Our Story

RUSSELL MINERAL EQUIPMENT (RME) is the global leader in the design, manufacture and supply of grinding mill relining technologies, services and support. RME provides product and service-based solutions for problems encountered in the mining and mineral processing industries.

35+ years ago, John Russell invented the first mechanised mill liner placement technology for large mills. The outcome was the establishment of the mill relining industry and RME’s focus on improving mill availability and reducing safety risk for Customers.

Today, RME operates across 12 international Sales and Service Centres with a global reach of over 440 mine site locations. RME’s commitment to industry is to visibly, defensibly and sustainably improve our Customers' concentrator performance.

RME Mill Relining Systems deliver fast, reliable and safe relines.


Discover some of our highlights

EARLY 1980s

As a graduate mechanical engineer, John Russell saw first-hand how replacing grinding mill liners was a time consuming and dangerous activity, which impacted plant availability.


RME was established with the vision to mechanise the mill relining process, shorten reline times and increase mine site profitability – all while improving the safety of the working environment.


The hard work started paying off, and RME was now a team of three: two mechanical engineers, Peter Rubie and John Russell, and draftsman, Doug Neild.


RME’s first RUSSELL Mill Relining Machine (MRM), a RUSSELL 6, was commissioned by Mount Isa Mines (MIM) for their lead zinc concentrator rod mills. As a result, relining times dropped from 44 hours to 24 hours.


RME was chosen to design and supply a RUSSELL MRM to the new Leinster Nickel Project in Western Australia. It was the first, large-capacity liner-placement RUSSELL 7 MRM ever attempted. Capable of lifting 2500kg liners, it continues to service Leinster’s 32-foot diameter SAG mill to this day.

MID 1990s

With growing confidence in the reliability of the RUSSELL 7, mill relining crews began to experiment with liner placement. They never looked back.


If RUSSELL 7s made mill relining good, the newly released THUNDERBOLT Recoilless Hammer, made mill relining great. Crews now had the tools to slash traditional grinding mill relining downtime.


The BHP Minera Escondida copper mine in Chile commissioned a larger THUNDERBOLT Recoilless Hammer, now known as the THUNDERBOLT 1500 Special Performance Recoilless Hammer. The toughest SAG mill discharge-end bolts yield to the relentless force delivered by this mighty hammer.


The combination of the THUNDERBOLT Recoilless Hammers and RUSSELL 7 MRM secured the foundation of the RME Mill Relining System. Having effectively halved relining times, RME engineers started to concentrate on improving other work flows and eliminating dangerous practices around the relining process.


RME worked with metallurgist Stephen Kittel who undertook detailed time and motion studies at global sites to reveal new opportunities for the RME Mill Relining System. His insights led to the development of the O-ZONE Liner Lifting Tool range and precipitated the invention of the THUNDERBOLT Moil Axis Guide (T-MAG), and ultimately RUSSELL Elevating Platforms. Further, findings about operator skill variations were addressed by developing certified training courses with Southern Queensland Institute of TAFE.


RME’s 100th RUSSELL MRM was built for Gibraltar Mine in British Columbia, Canada. It was painted gold to commemorate its place in RME history. In the same year, RME built the world’s first RUSSELL TWIN MRM for BHP Minera Escondida Mine in Chile.


In April, RME created a purpose-built facility at its premises on Hursley Road in Toowoomba. The new workshops provided us with greater space and resources to manufacture our technologies and for ongoing product development.


RME built its 200th RUSSELL MRM, a RUSSELL 7, for BHP Billiton’s Kambaloda Nickel Mine in Western Australia.


Our Customer Support and Training Centre was completed at RME’s Hursley Road headquarters.


RME celebrated its 300th RUSSELL MRM, built for the Dugald River Mine in North-West Queensland.


To support its ever-growing fleet of RME Mill Relining Systems, RME developed a International Sales Centre in the United Kingdom. The network of Centres offering local maintenance and exceptional support has expanded across South America, North America and Africa.


This year represented a significant expansion of RME’s suite of mill relining safety and performance technologies. RME hosted a demonstrator event to introduce RME INSIDEOUT Technology, RUSSELL SAFETY Products and THUNDERBOLT SKYWAY, RME’s semi-automated guidance and suspension system for THUNDERBOLT Recoilless Hammers.


RME celebrated the completion of the 400th RUSSELL MRM, built for Northern Star Resources Ltd.


It’s been an amazing journey, and we are proud to continue offering excellent Customer care, OEM technical support and customised solutions. RME’s passion has always been to minimise mill relining times and increase crew safety. Products like our RME INSIDEOUT Technology that safely perform relining without anyone inside the mill, are taking Customers into an even safer, more high-performing future.