ABB commissions gearless mill drive system at Peruvian gold mine

Jun 12, 2008

Baden, Switzerland – ABB has announced that it has successfully completed commissioning of a 16.5 MW gearless mill drive (GMD) system for a 32-ft. SAG (semiautogenous) mill at Minera Yanacocha. The mine, located in Cajamarca, Peru, is the largest gold producer in Latin America.

Newmont Mining Corporation, owner of Minera Yanacocha, had signed the contract for the goldmine expansion project with ABB in early 2006. The order comprised a complete GMD system including harmonic filters. Each GMD system includes transformers, ring motors and a complete E-house. With a GMD acting as a variable- speed drive, mills start smoothly, without any mechanical stress. GMDs provide maximum control over the grinding process and allow for adjustments, meeting customer requirements for process efficiency and flexibility.

When compared with conventional geared drive systems, ABB gearless mill drive systems offer numerous advantages, as they provide improved energy efficiency, superior reliability, increased process availability and an extended life span. ABB GMDs also provide frozen charge protection and positioning in creeping and inching mode without additional motor and controlled roll-back.

ABB and Newmont have had a long and successful collaboration, including various drives orders over the years. Kim Hackney, project director at Newmont Yanacocha said: “The mill achieved commercial production with 70% availability, throughput and gold production within the first month. This is fantastic, and we are confident that ABB will make sure our GMD at Yanacocha continues to deliver the best performance and be top of the line over its life span. For the completion of this project, I would personally like to thank ABB on a job well done within this hugely successful project.”

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