ABB has won an order for two dual pinion, high-speed ring-geared mill drive systems for a major expansion by Katanga Mining Ltd. in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Katanga Mining Ltd., majority owned by Swiss giant Glencore Xstrata plc, operates the large-scale DRC copper-cobalt project, which, located in the prolific Katanga Province, includes high-grade mineral reserves and metallurgical operations.

ABB’s ring-geared mill drive (RMD) solutions are designed for reliable, long-life and low maintenance operations, said company officials; features include real-time frozen charge protections, the frozen charge remover functions, controlled roll back, positioning without an additional drive and variable-speed.

By optimizing the grinding process, ABB said, the RMD is prime for ores with varying grinding properties; end-users further benefit from operating cost savings since the technology uses less electricity than conventional fixed-speed mill drives.

The supply scope includes two 4.75 Megawatt (MW)-wound rotor induction motors, ACS6000 frequency converters with mill application controllers and remote diagnostic facilities, transformers, medium-voltage cubicles and engineering for one 23-ft diameter run-of-mine ball mill. These will be designed and supplied by FLSmidth, according to ABB representatives.

The contract was awarded by FLSmidth in Q2 2013; first deliveries are scheduled for Q1, 2014.