IMS Engineering (IMS) is in a joint venture with its comminution technology partner, EarthTechnica Company Limited (ETCL) of Japan – manufacturers of the EarthTechnica Kawasaki KG 5525 HD-S primary gyratory crusher, which is to be installed near the Foskor south pit by July 2009.

Foskor currently processes pyroxenite from the north and south pits and reclaims foskorite from depleting surface stockpiles, all of which contain phosphate. The phosphate rock is used to produce phosphoric acid, which, in turn, is used in a number of applications including fertilisers, animal feed and food preservatives.

Due to the need to replace depleting foskorite reserves, production from the south pit will be increased initially to 10 million tonnes per annum to replace the foskorite ore source. “The crusher has, however, been sized with the possibility of ultimately increasing production to 20 million tons per annum,” says Foskor project director Anton Nienaber.


Part of one of the EarthTechnica Kawasaki primary gyratory crushers at Orapa diamond mine in Botswana. They are similar in size to the one to be installed at Foskor in Phalaborwa

The primary gyratory crusher to be supplied by IMS and ETCL will have a throughput of over 4 000 tons per hour, and will feed a 3.5km overland conveyor linking it to the existing processing plant.

According to IMS marketing engineer Stean Barrie, the crusher will be required to crush run-of-mine material of +200-800mm, or up to 1.3m edge length, down to -200mm product, which would be acceptable to the secondary crushers installed at the Foskor plant.

Nienaber confirms that commissioning of the crusher is scheduled to begin in July 2009, and that production is expected to begin in September 2009.

IMS will be responsible for the manufacture, testing, installation and commissioning of the crusher, which is similar in size to the two EarthTechnica Kawasaki primary gyratory crushers that have been operating successfully at Orapa Diamond Mine in Botswana for a number of years.

The 10m high crusher will weigh 473 tons and will be powered by a 750 kW electric motor. It will be manufactured mainly locally, though some of the major components – such as the main shaft, spherical bearing and gear and pinion – will be produced by ETCL in Japan. IMS will project-manage the supply of the crusher, and will support Foskor with suitable technical support and backup after installation and commissioning.


A site survey and confirmatory testwork by IMS and ETCL form the basis for the development of the primary gyratory crusher to be delivered to Foskor. Here ETCL chief design engineer Tsukusa Katayama investigates ore during a site visit

“The internal configuration of the crusher will be optimised to enhance efficiencies in processing the ore, which ranges from very hard dolerite to soft phlogopite,” says Barrie. “This will follow confirmatory test work undertaken by IMS and ETCL, and is in line with IMS’s ‘Three M’ principle of matching the machine with the material.”

According to Nienaber, the decision to award the contract to IMS Engineering and ETCL was based on both commercial and technical grounds.

Upon completion of the Foskor contract, IMS and ETCL will have supplied the majority (nine) of the new primary gyratory crushers sold into the Southern African market in the last ten years. IMS recently installed the new primary gyratory crusher at the Sishen expansion project, and the company is also on track to deliver a primary gyratory crusher to Norilsk Nickel’s opencast operations at Tati Nickel in Botswana.