Carajás Serra Sul

Power technology group ABB has obtained a $140m deal from Vale to automate the Carajás Serra Sul S11D project, consisting of the iron ore mine and processing plant, in Brazil.

Situated in the Amazon region of northern Brazil, the $8bn project is expected to receive the implementation licence in 2013 and begin delivering after June 2016, with a capacity to produce 90 million tons a year.

As part of the deal, ABB will supply automation and electrical equipment to what is considered to be the largest iron ore project investment across the globe.

The project will use shiftable conveyor belts instead of vehicles to transport the iron ore from the mine to the processing plant.

The system is expected to significantly reduce both operating costs and carbon emissions for Vale, avoiding the use of 100 off-highway trucks and 77% more diesel.

ABB process automation division head Veli-Matti Reinikkala said, "This unprecedented project will use the latest ABB automation technologies to truly create the mine of the future, a benchmark in terms of productivity, safety and sustainability."

ABB will automate all plant processes and provide automation and electrification for ore transport.

Personnel safety and production will be enhanced with the installation of a centralised 800xA control system for processing operations.

The package also includes use of 3D scanning for field screening, as well as equipment controlling and positioning via satellite signal and GPS for automatic recovery and piling of iron ore.

Processing plant electrical infrastructure, energy distribution equipment and engineering and installation services will also be provided by ABB.

Image: ABB will automate the Carajás iron ore mine in Brazil. Photo: Vale.