Three gearless mill drive systems to provide reliable, cost-effective ore extraction and processing for new copper mine

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Zurich, Switzerland, May 24, 2012 – ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, recently won an order worth $44 million to deliver three gearless mill drive systems (GMDs) for a new copper mine to be operated by Kazakhmys PLC (Kazakhmys) in southeastern Kazakhstan. The contract was awarded in the first quarter of 2012.
Kazakhmys is the largest copper producer in Kazakhstan and one of the top copper producers in the world. Located approximately 450 km northeast of Almaty, the Aktogay sulphide complex has an expected lifespan of over 40 years and will provide long-term production of approximately 100,000 tonnes of copper in concentrate per year.

ABB’s scope of supply consists of one 28 megawatt GMD for a 40-foot semiautogenous (SAG) mill and two 22 megawatt GMDs for two 28-foot ball mills. Each GMD system includes phase and excitation transformers, a ring motor with its associated local mill control panel, a containerized electrical house (E-house) including cycloconverter, advanced specific grinding control software with the full system protection and auxiliary distribution.

The three GMDs ordered are among the largest units manufactured today in terms of power rating and power density. This magnitude of equipment will lead to high economies of scale in regards to process and production of the low-grade ore deposit. In addition, ABB’s GMD systems are designed to operate with the highest levels of efficiency possible while withstanding the most extreme environmental conditions.

“ABB won this order due to our innovative and advanced system solution, minerals industry expertise, as well as our long-term relationship with Kazakhmys,” said Veli-Matti Reinikkala, head of ABB’s Process Automation division.

This order follows a previous delivery in 2010 for three GMDs for Kazakhmys’ Bozshakol mine, with identical design and manufacture. With this order, Kazakhmys will also benefit from interchangeable capital spare parts, equipment and service specialists between both mine sites.

Equipment deliveries are scheduled for the second half of 2013; with mine production projected to start in 2014.

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 145,000 people.

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