ABB won an order to provide drive systems for the new ore grinding mills at Allied Nevada Gold’s Hycroft gold mine expansion project. The project is part of an overall $1.2 billion expansion that will almost triple the mine’s recovery and production rate for gold and silver by 2015. The contract was awarded in June 2012.
Allied Nevada Gold is a U.S.-based gold mining and exploration company with various exploration sites throughout Nevada. The company’s Hycroft open-pit mine is located 50 miles west of Winnemucca, in northwest Nevada, and, with the implementation of the expansion, is expected to be one of the largest gold producers in the U.S. and among the largest silver producers worldwide. Once the expanded mill operations begin in 2015, production is expected to average 582,260 oz of gold and 29.1 million oz of silver for the next 10 years.
ABB’s scope of supply for the project includes drive systems for the grinding mills as well as engineering and project management. The delivery will provide increased availability of the complete grinding process, raising efficiency, grid reliability and overall productivity.
“ABB’s extensive minerals industry experience, local presence and solid technical solutions to power these demanding, around-the-clock processes were important factors in winning this order,” said Veli-Matti Reinikkala, head of ABB’s Process Automation division.
For the expanded grinding operations, ABB will deliver five dual pinion (2 x 9MW) low-speed mill drive systems for two 36-foot semiautogenous (SAG) and three 26-foot ball mills, and one dual pinion (2 x 5.5MW) low-speed drive system for a regrind mill. The drive systems comprise transformers, frequency converters, synchronous motors advanced mill control, operations and maintenance features for dual pinion RMDs.
ABB’s innovative dual-pinion mill drive system helps to minimize mechanical wear on ring gear mills, reducing downtime and repairs while increasing the availability of grinding process equipment. Operating on low-speed, with motors driving the pinions directly, no gearboxes are required. The solution also raises the efficiency and overall productivity of the process. Deliveries are scheduled for the third quarter of 2013.