Doubling production at Europe’s largest copper mine

2009-03-17 - A comprehensive ABB power and automation solution – including the world’s most powerful gearless mill drives - will double production capacity at Europe’s largest copper mine and create one of the most modern and efficient mines in the world.

By ABB Communications

The $560-million modernization project will boost annual production capacity at Boliden’s Aitik copper mine in northern Sweden from 18 million to 36 million metric ton and significantly reduce the production cost of copper concentrate, thereby making the mine more profitable and competitive.

It will also enable Boliden to extend the productive life of the site by an additional 25 years.


The entire Boliden site process – including the concentrator plant, conveyor systems and pumping stations - will be controlled by ABB’s awarding-winning Extended Automation System 800xA.


Aitik is already the largest open-pit copper mine in Europe and is set to become an industry benchmark in mine efficiency when the three-year modernization program is completed in 2010.

ABB is playing a pivotal role in the program and has won contracts totaling some $54 million for products and systems that will power and automate the entire site and enable the mine to operate at world-class levels of productivity and energy efficiency.

ABB’s scope of supply includes two 22.5-megawatt gearless mill drives (GMDs) – the most powerful GMDs ever built – that will power two new 38-foot (11.6-meter) autogenous grinding mills and crush up to 2,200 tons of copper ore an hour.

ABB is the leading supplier of power and automation products, systems and solutions for open-pit and underground mining. (photo copyright Boliden)
The entire site process – including the concentrator plant, conveyor systems and pumping stations - will be controlled by ABB’s awarding-winning Extended Automation System 800xA.

Boliden selected System 800xA as its group-wide process automation platform several years ago following extensive tests and comparisons with other automation systems.

Around 600 ABB high-efficiency motors and variable speed drives will power the conveyors, crushers, pumps, fans, and process equipment to ensure minimal energy use and maximum process efficiency.

An ABB gas insulated substation will feed electricity from the power grid to Aitik with minimal electrical losses and minimal space requirements, and ABB low voltage systems will distribute the power across the entire site reliably and energy efficiently.

Click on the link to read a Boliden brochure on the mine and the expansion project.
(PDF/600 kB)


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      ABB’s Extended Automation System 800xA will help double annual production capacity at Boliden’s Aitik copper mine in Sweden and extend the productive life of the site by an additional 25 years. 800xA mobile operator workplaces allow operators carry out most control room operations with a handheld computer. (click image for larger view; photo copyright Boliden)

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