ABB is a technology and engineering firm with a focus on automation and electrification. The company is active across sectors including mining, energy, transport, logistics and construction.

The company is a Category Award Winner in the Business Expansion, Environmental and Research and Development categories in the 2023 Mining Technology Excellence Awards due to its efforts to evolve and expand the reach of mine electrification, including through its eMine™ solutions.

ABB has been engaged on several significant projects during the research period, which advanced the cause of mine electrification, making operations more efficient and reducing the sector’s carbon footprint.

In one example, the company, alongside mining services group Perenti, has been awarded a contract by mine operator IGO to provide a study for underground electrification at the Cosmos Nickle Project in Western Australia. The study is a significant step in IGO’s commitment to continuously improving its sustainability performance.

Mark Norwell, Managing Director and CEO, Perenti (left) signed an MoU with Joachim Braun, Division President, Process Industries, ABB

The deal sees the trio look at all aspects of the project, from mine design optimization for electric operations, production and operating philosophy, fleet selection, power distribution and electrical infrastructure design, battery management, ESG and safety impact analysis, and cost modelling, , with the aim to implement a complete mine electrification solution by mid-2025.

A similar project is ABB’s work with Norge Mining to design a next generation mine in Norway, including complete electrification of the mine as well as downstream and control operations.

The two companies are conducting a FEED (Front-End Engineering and Design) study of the mine, which has phosphate, titanium, vanadium and phosphorus deposits and is set to start operations in 2028.

The project is important both as a blueprint for future fully electrified mines, but also in its role providing minerals for Europe’s clean energy transition.

A key pillar in mine electrification is the conversion of vehicle fleets, and ABB is also playing a key role in advancing efforts in this area as a founding member of CharIN Mining Taskforce.

Launched in March 2023 the taskforce aims to address technical bottlenecks and accelerate progress on zero emission mining vehicle fleets, particularly around interoperability and standardization, ensuring that all vehicles can use the same charging equipment.

CharIN Mining Taskforce participants will define requirements, pilot, and test the technical capabilities of the interoperable ruggedized charging solutions in mining environments.

Mining vehicles traditionally run off diesel fuel and typically account for between 30-50% of a mine’s carbon emissions. It is therefore critical that mine operators have a smooth pathway to electrifying their vehicle fleets.

While charging standardization has largely been achieved for smaller electric vehicles, the same cannot be said for the types of heavy vehicles used in mining, and the taskforce’s work will be critical in achieving this.

ABB has also taken the lead as a thought leader when it comes to mine electrification, including the publication of a 5 Pillar action plan for transition to an electric mine. The plan sets out a roadmap to decarbonizing mining operations from pit to port for any underground or open-pit mine.

Company Profile

ABB is a technology leader in electrification and automation, enabling a more sustainable and resource-efficient future. The company’s solutions connect engineering know-how and software to optimize how things are manufactured, moved, powered and operated. Building on more than 130 years of excellence, ABB’s 105,000 employees are committed to driving innovations that accelerate industrial transformation.

ABB in Mining:

From cellphones, electric vehicles, batteries, wind farms…virtually every aspect of modern life relies on the ores mined from the earth. But there must be a transformation. The need for sustainable, safe and productive mining has never been greater in order to fulfill the increased demand for minerals.

Combining its advanced portfolio of electrification, automation, and digital technologies with over 130 years of experience in the mining industry, ABB is at the forefront of this transformation journey with its holistic framework eMine™.