Minera Los Pelambres Ltd., a Chilean mining company, has awarded the order to modernize the mill gearless drives and conveyor belt drives of the copper mine to the Siemens Industrial Solutions and Services (I&S) Group. The drives will be fitted with additional or new motor components, transformers, converters and switching devices in order to increase the facility´s production of copper concentrate. The components for the mill gearless drives will be integrated in spring 2006 and the components for the conveyor belt drives one year later. The total value of the order amounts to 7.4 million euros.

The Los Pelambres copper mine is situated around 200 kilometers to the north of Santiago at an altitude of 3200 meters. It operates a downhill conveying system which is just under 13 kilometers long and is located between the mine and a dressing plant at an altitude of 2000 meters.

Two of the three conveyor belts will each be fitted with an additional drivetrain in order to enhance conveying capacities and thus cover the increased ore requirement of the mill. Each drivetrain consists of a motor, a converter, a transformer and medium-voltage switching devices. The belt drive output will be increased from 20 MW to 25 MW, and the conveying system will be able to transport 8700 tons of material per hour instead of 7000 tons.

The ore mills of Los Pelambres are powered by two gearless drives with an output of 12.6 MW each. In order to increase the throughput rate of the mill, Siemens is supplying transformers and output-boosting components for the motors. Once upgrading has been completed, the motors will be able to provide the mills with 15 MW of driving power.

Simine Mill GD are gearless drives without mechanical parts between the motor and the mill. In addition, the speed of the drive can be controlled optimally and wear is reduced to a minimum. Thanks to speed variability, the drive can be exactly adjusted to the different requirements such as changing material hardness or different operating modes.

Siemens will install all the components and commission the new systems.