ABB won an order worth $43 million to deliver three gearless mill drive systems, plus related automation and power infrastructure equipment for Minera Quadra’s new copper mine in Sierra Gorda, Chile. The contract was awarded in the second quarter of 2011.
Minera Quadra is a Chilean subsidiary of Vancouver-based Quadra FNX Mining Ltd.
Located in the Atacama Desert region of northern Chile, the new open pit mine will produce 100 kt/d (111,000 stpd) of copper, with significant molybdenum by-products, for the next 20 years.
ABB’s delivery will help the mine to optimize its overall efficiency and productivity. Its gearless ore-crushing mill drives are more reliable and energy efficient than traditional mill drive systems, providing increased productivity.
The scope of supply for the project consists of three 17 megawatt GMDs for three 8-m (26-ft) ball mills. Each GMD system comprised three converter phase transformers, an excitation transformer, one ring motor, a local mill control panel and mill creeping control panel and one cycloconverter earthing set. The order also included an electrical house with control, automation and auxiliary distribution as well as a cycloconverter. Aside from this general equipment, Quadra expanded the order with optional extras such as frozen charge removers, diagnostic and remote monitoring, the online partial discharge monitoring system, an earthquake detector, overall finite element analysis, ring motors GAP-watchTM, rotor winding temperature monitoring and ring motor differential protection.
“ABB’s ability to deliver the high-performance technological solutions needed to start efficient operations at this mine as soon as possible, plus our deep mining industry expertise and project execution resources, were important factors in winning this order,” said Andre Inserra, head of ABB’s Minerals business.
Equipment deliveries are scheduled for the second half of 2012 with mine production projected to start in 2014. ABB was able to comply with the very tight delivery schedule due its new GMD assembly facilities in Switzerland.