ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, won an order to upgrade Anglo American Platinum’s high pressure grinding rolls (HPGR) drive system at the Mogalakwena North open-pit mine, South Africa. The contract was awarded in the second quarter of 2012.

Anglo American Platinum Ltd. is one of the world’s leading primary producers of platinum group metals and accounts for about 40 percent of the world’s newly mined platinum. Located 30 kilometers north-west of Mokopane in the province of Limpopo, the mine has an estimated lifespan of 50 years and is the only open-cast platinum mine within the Anglo American Group.

The scope of supply consists of one HPGR drive system comprising two squirrel cage induction motors, two ACS1000 frequency converters and two converter transformers. The contract also includes a spare motor and transformer as well as ABB supervision for installation and commissioning.

This is ABB’s first reference in optimizing an HPGR drive system by exchanging the existing ABB fixed-speed drive with a variable-speed drive system (VSD).

ABB’s VSDs have a long track record in improving performance and extending the technical frontiers of HPGRs for hard rock processing. Aside from enabling optimal operational speed for grinding rolls, they provide accurate load sharing between both rolls while also being network-friendly. The variable-speed of the rolls adjusts HPGRs to the actual grinding conditions and the properties of the respective ore, which ensures optimal grinding results.

ABB won this contract due its long-term relationship with Anglo American Platinum Ltd. and by offering a solution with maximum levels of reliability, availability and efficiency, as well as minimal mechanical wear and tear and energy consumption. Anglo American Platinum Ltd. is known to partner with technological companies that help them increase overall productivity.

Prior to this order, ABB already delivered, installed and commissioned equipment for the initial Mogalakwena North mine expansion consisting of two complete gearless mill drive systems in 2007 and one ring-geared mill drive systems for the Amandebult concentrator in 2009.

Equipment deliveries are scheduled for the first quarter of 2013; with commissioning to follow in the second quarter of 2013.