Part of Serra Azul mine expansion, project will triple current iron ore production by 2015

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Zurich, Switzerland, Dec.7, 2011 – ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, recently won an order to supply gearless mill drive (GMD) systems to power two grinding mills at the Serra Azul iron ore mine in southeast Brazil. The contract was awarded during the third quarter.
The Serra Azul mine unit, owned by MMX Mineração e Metálicos., has a current production capacity of 8.7 million metric tons of iron ore per year. The mine is expanding as part of a multi-billion $US project and is expected to increase annual iron ore processing capacity to over 24 million tons per year by 2015, allowing MMX to triple its output at Serra Azul.

ABB’s delivery includes two GMD systems and related electrical equipment; it will help the mine increase its production capacity, grinding mill reliability and energy efficiency.

“ABB’s powerful, state-of-the art gearless mill drive systems help our mining customers improve their overall productivity while providing reliable equipment performance with increased energy efficiency,” said Veli-Matti Reinikkala, head of ABB’s Process Automation division. “Our mining industry expertise, superior technical solutions, and strong local presence in Latin America were important factors in winning this contract.”

The scope of supply for the project includes two GMD systems to power two 38-foot 23 megawatt semiautogenous grinding (SAG) mills, as well as related transformers, ring motors and complete containerized electrical houses (e-houses). GMDs use variable speed drives to optimize the grinding processes for ores with varying properties and different mill loads. They eliminate the need for critical high maintenance mechanical equipment such as the gearbox, ring-gear and pinion and provide high system efficiency and equipment availability.

This order is ABB’s first GMD project in iron ore processing and will be ABB’s seventh installed unit in Brazil and its 48th GMD installation in Latin America.

MMX Mineração e Metálicos, part of the EBX Group, operates and owns high quality iron ore mines in Minas Gerais and Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil.

ABB’s Process Automation division delivers industry specific solutions and services for industrial automation and plant electrification. These solutions help customers meet their critical business needs in the areas of energy efficiency, operational profitability, capital productivity, risk management, and global responsibility. Available industry specific solutions include process control, instrumentation, analytics, safety, plant optimization, telecommunications, energy management and power distribution.

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 130,000 people.

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