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:: ABB Wins $27-million Mining Order in Sweden
ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has won an order worth about $27 million from Swedish mining company Boliden. ABB will supply gearless drive systems for two new grinding mills that will increase production at one of Europe's largest copper mines.
The gearless mill drives will be installed at Boliden’s Aitik mine, located near the city of Gällivare in northern Sweden, where they will power two new 38-foot autogenous grinding mills.
At 22.5 megawatts (MW) each the mill drives will be the most powerful anywhere in the world when they become operational at the end of 2009. They will drive mills with a capacity to grind about 2,200 tons of ore per hour each. With this expansion, the mine’s life will be extended to at least 2025 and production capacity will rise from its current 18 million tons a year to 36 million tons.
“ABB pioneered gearless mill drives. The technology supports important mine applications like ore processing where huge volumes and brute strength must be matched to energy efficient operation and around-the-clock reliability," said Veli-Matti Reinikkala, head of ABB’s Process Automation division.
An autogenous mill uses large pieces of ore to grind down smaller pieces by impact in a large rotating drum. The autogeneous Mill and its Gearless Mill Drive is not only one of the largest installations (the ringmotor has a height of almost 20 meters), it is also of the pivotal applications in a concentrator plant, grinding the ore into small particles. It sounds like just using brute strength, but there are advanced technologies involved on both the mill and motor side.
The scope of the contract includes spare parts, network studies, installation supervision and commissioning. The new concentrator is scheduled to start operation in 2010, and will completely replace the current grinding plant.
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