Glencore Technology (GT) is the global, exclusive supplier of the IsaMill technology, which efficiently grinds ores and concentrates to fine particle sizes, improving extraction of the valuable minerals.

An ongoing partnership established in the early 90s, J C Smale works with GT and German company NETZSCH to supply essential spare parts for the IsaMill.

This industry-leading technology offers many advantages in the processing of ores and concentrates by grinding the product down to very fine particle sizes in the micron range.

The technology has undergone a remarkable evolution – growing from a prototype machine mill with a volume of no more than that of a standard wine bottle, to now approaching capacities comparable with that of a semi-trailer tanker.

In scaling-up the technology, J C Smale worked closely with GT to develop manufacturing methods for first-time production. This endeavour presented the team with substantial challenges, having to create moulds, jigs and fixtures capable of accommodating the scale-up process within very tight deadlines – a remarkable achievement.

With parts seamlessly assembled in-shop in Germany before being shipped to site for final installation, the success of the project was the result of a positive working relationship and sustained effort from both sides.