Power and automation group ABB’s new mining solution has boosted productivity and cut costs per tonne at Boliden‘s Garpenberg zinc, lead and silver mine in central Sweden as part of a $580m project.

ABB’s System 800xA power and automation control platform was installed at the mine, coordinated sub-operations including power and automation for mill drives, hoists, ventilation system as well as crushers.

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ABB Process Automation division president Peter Terwiesch said: "ABB’s comprehensive power and automation solutions for 21st century mining are a powerful demonstration of how the internet of things, services and people are fundamentally changing the mining industry.

"After nearly a century working together, ABB is proud to play a major role in helping keep Boliden at the vanguard of mining efficiency and productivity."

Since mid-2014, when the project was completed, the milled ore tonnage increased nearly 60% to 2.22 million tonnes (Mt), and is expected to rise to 2.5Mt by the end of the year.

"Boliden is working with ABB to deploy high levels of automation and integration to ensure that mining here continues for years to come."

ABB said that its System 800xA platform has integrated systems that include hoists, mill drives, ventilation, dewatering, substations, conveyors, crushers, ore storage, and maintenance, as well as document management and communications.

The system can be optimised by Boliden operators and engineers who are working in more than 30 workstations or those working underground outfitted with mobile tablet devices.

Boliden Garpenberg general manager Hans Jönsson said: "Mines like Garpenberg face increased environmental regulations, labour and energy costs and heightened demand from the public and employees for safety.

"Boliden is working with ABB to address these hurdles, deploying high levels of automation and integration to ensure that mining here continues for years to come."

Image: Boliden’s Garpenberg zinc, lead and silver mine in Sweden. Photo: courtesy of Boliden Group.