Low-speed mill drive systems to provide process and energy efficiency at Canadian gold mine

ABB has successfully commissioned four low-speed dual pinion drive systems at the Detour Lake gold mine in Ontario, Canada. 

These systems include the largest low-speed dual pinion mill drives in the world. The low-speed concept operates without a gearbox, with motors driving the pinions directly, thus increasing overall system efficiency. ABB’s state-of-the-art dual pinion mill drive systems are the most operation and mechanically-friendly solutions available on the market today. Features include variable-speed operation, real time frozen charge protection, the frozen charge remover function, controlled roll-back, and positioning without additional drive. These features and drive characteristics enable smooth mill operation, reduce maintenance requirement, increase energy efficiency and availability of the complete production line.

The pre-commissioning phase started in fall 2012 with consecutive commissioning of grinding line 1 and 2 completed in 2013. The first line has been in operation since January, the second since February 2013 and commercial production was reached by mid-August 2013. 

ABB’s scope of supply included four dual pinion low-speed mill drive systems for two semiautogenous (SAG) and two ball mills, each consisting of two synchronous motors, converter transformers and ACS6000 frequency converters including active rectifier units that allow the mill drives to achieve a power factor of 0.90 leading. ABB also delivered the programmable logic controller (PLC) to control the drives and mill auxiliaries. Each mill drive has a rated power of 15 MW.   

Learn more about the drive system

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