GE’s Power Conversion business will supply its ecomagination-qualified Quadramatic drive technology to Grupo Mexico to support the expansion of its Buenavista copper mining operation in the Mexican state of Sonora. The site is Latin America’s largest ball milling operation.

Grupo Mexico will use GE’s advanced synchronous motor technology to add 84 megawatts (MW) of power at six Buenavista ball mills. Quadramatic motors run at fixed speeds with minimum system losses to promote high efficiency, thus lowering the mine’s energy requirements.

Previously known as the Cananea mine, the Buenavista site is one of the largest open-pit copper mines in the world and produces more than 164,000 metric tons of copper annually. To meet the increasing global demand for copper, Grupo Mexico designed its expansion project to increase capacity without sacrificing efficiency.

“We selected GE’s Quadramatic motor technology to help us boost production and take advantage of record high copper prices driven by Asia’s strong infrastructure expansion activities,” said Manuel Tellez, corporate purchasing director, Grupo Mexico. “By supporting the long-term economic viability of the Buenavista mine, our expansion project will support the local economy at Cananea Sonora, Mexico.”

For the Buenavista expansion, GE will supply Grupo Mexico with: six, 14-MW Quadramatic systems, each consisting of two low speed synchronous (LSS) motors and one Quadramatic drive; one LSS spare motor; and installation and commissioning services.

“GE’s unique and highly efficient Quadramatic system offers Grupo Mexico the reliability and simplicity required to help reduce Buenavista’s energy requirements and costs,” said Israel Astorga, grinding solutions leader for GE’s Power Conversion business.
GE’s equipment will be shipped and installed during the first three quarters of 2013. Commercial operation of the equipment will be phased in, beginning in the second quarter of 2013.