Metso Outotec in action at Scott Base Research Facility in Antarctica.

It is not every day that you supply equipment destined for Antarctica. That was the challenge in front of Mimico when the company’s client Isaacs Construction came to them with the work scope.

“What we knew was that we needed a solution with proven capability to meet, withstand, and operate within the extreme environmental demands of Antarctica,” says a Mimico representative.

The solution was found within the Metso Outotec crushing and screening product range. A Metso Outotec LT1110S mobile impact crusher and a Metso Outotec S2.5 mobile scalping screen were identified as the right machines to take on the planned work scope.

With the assistance of Metso Outotec’s vast experience crushing in the Arctic circle, Mimico was able to execute several mission critical modifications. This included the addition of special features, such as insulated engine compartments, engine and electrical heating systems, and specialised fuel and lubricants.

Upon the completion of the engineering modifications the equipment was ready to operate in temperatures as low as minus 30. This operational climate is typically available during the southern hemisphere summer months from October to April.

Destination Scott Base

Once ready, the machinery was loaded onto a vessel at Lyttleton Port and following an eight-day voyage successfully arrived at US McMurdo station. From there the equipment was unloaded and transported three kilometres to the Scott Base Research Facility. The New Zealand operated Antarctic base has been home to both New Zealand and International Scientists since its opening in 1957. Scott Base was designated as an official research centre of New Zealand in 1962.In 2021, the New Zealand Government committed $344M to the Scott Base Redevelopment programme. Scott Base has not seen any major facilities upgrades since the mid-1990s. The modern redevelopment project will see 12 separate buildings being replaced by three large, interconnected buildings. The project completion will ensure a safe, sustainable, and modern research facility.

Through these infrastructure and facility upgrades, New Zealand will secure its scientific presence in Antarctica for the next 50 years. A continuation of our country’s strong scientific commitment on the continent. Meaningful research in Antarctica enables specialist within the New Zealand scientific community to be at the forefront of climate change.

Metso Outotec solution on the job in Antarctica

The project contractors will benefit from the versatility and power of the Metso Outotec LT1110S mobile impact crusher, which can efficiently process a range of materials from soft to hard rock. With a capacity of up to 400 tonnes per hour and a maximum feed size of 600mm, the crusher can produce the required products quickly and cost effectively.

Working alongside the crusher, the Metso Outotec S2.5 mobile scalping screen is equipped with features such as a remote-control system, apron feeder, two-way split configuration and hydraulic screen angle adjustment, and is capable of separating materials into different sizes at a maximum capacity of 450 tonnes per hour.The work scope of the machines are to produce five different products ranging from 0-100mm engineered fill to a 0-10mm crusher dust.

The project comes with significant environmental considerations, as the basalt rock that will be extracted from the site will be recycled into various products for the construction of building pads and access roads.

The utility of the Metso Outotec crushing and screening plant ensure that the production process is efficient and sustainable due to the required aggregate products are being produced on-site, reducing the need for transportation and minimizing the project’s carbon footprint.