ABB recently completed commissioning of the low speed dual pinion mill drive and control systems at the newly reopened Copper Mountain super pit mine in British Columbia, Canada. The initial order was awarded in 2008. Engineering, delivery and commissioning of the complete drive systems was valued at more than $26 million.

ABB’s scope of supply for the joint ABB Switzerland/ABB Canada project included the startup of a new semiautogenous (SAG) mill and two ball mills with three ABB low speed dual pinion mill drive systems. Each consists of the ACS 6000 frequency converter, converter transformers and two synchronous motors. In addition, ABB commissioned its renowned mill drive control and automation system 800xA.

ABB’s dual pinion mill drive system operates at variable speed to allow increased availability of the complete production line, as well as increased production and grinding efficiency. The ACS 6000 motor control platform, based on ABB’s revolutionary direct torque control (DTC) technology, allows for fast and accurate process control in combination with low energy consumption.

“The recently commissioned state-of-the-art ABB technology fulfills our high requirements for maximum control over the grinding process, improvement of productivity, energy efficiency and process reliability. The plant and its facilities are all working well and meeting our expectations,” said Jim O’Rourke, CEO, Copper Mountain. “We are very happy with the outstanding overall performance the ABB team has shown during the entire project.”

The 18,000 acre mine site is located in southern British Columbia, 20 km south of Princeton and had produced 1.7 billion lb of copper prior to closing in 1996. It recently resumed operation in 2011, with estimated annual copper ore production of approximately 100 million lb per year.