How Hoverdale's Ultraclad hard metals saved a Chilean mining company $1.8 million, 9,600 man hours & added 5.1 million tonnes of lost production

Chilean Open Pit Mining Company Hard Metals Case Study

The Situation

The main conveyor (1.6 km long) that transported raw materials from the mine was overloaded in order to increase production. Consequently, side boards or spill plates had to be fitted to prevent the bed of material being transported spilling over the sides of the conveyor. The life of the spill plates was only 8 million tonnes or 10 weeks manufactured from 500 BHN RQT steel.

The Client's Objectives

To find a product that would last at least 20 weeks.

Our Solution

We manufactured spill plates out of ultraclad 800/1 using 12mm of overlay plus 13mm of backing plate. The total thickness was 25mm.

Their Measures for Success

20 weeks plus of uninterrupted productivity

Our Work

The replacement spill plates we supplied lasted 25 million tonnes or 32 weeks plus. Because the wear was only on one edge it was possible to reverse the plates and obtain a second life of 32 weeks.

The Timing

From being introduced to the problem we provided samples in three weeks and a full set of plates in 3 months.

The Value to the Customer


  • Ultraclad cost: $1,410,048
  • Life 32 weeks x 2 = 64 weeks
  • Cost of changing = 1500 man hours
  • Lost productivity per change = $800,000


  • Cost of previous material (500 BHN RQT steel) = $518,400
  • Number of changes of previous material compared to ultraclad = 6.4
  • 4 times $518,400 = $3,317,760
  • 4 changed = 9600 man hours
  • 4 x lost production = 5,120,000 tonnes

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