Canadian Manufacturing

Vale operation in Ontario gets upgrades to ore-processing mill

ABB Inc. performed work on semi-autogenous mill in Sudbury, Ont., that breaks down ore



SUDBURY, Ont.—Global automation firm ABB Inc. said it has completed upgrades to a Vale Canada Ltd. mill in Ontario that will help the miner break down ore.

According to ABB, the upgrades to Vale’s existing Clarabelle dual pinion semi-autogenous (SAG) mill will allow it to reduce the size of the ore at the company’s nickel and copper mines in the Sudbury, Ont., area.

Vale’s Sudbury operations are primarily underground nickel sulphide mines with integrated mining, milling, smelting and refining operations.

The Clarabelle mill accepts a nickel-copper ore from various sources and companies and produces a nickel-copper concentrate and copper concentrate for further processing.

The size of the ore is further reduced in SAG mills, rod mills and ball mills where all milling is done wet.

First awarded in 2010, the project is the largest of several turnkey projects completed for Vale in Canada.

The SAG mill project involved upgrades to a machine that had reached its end-of-life.

ABB replaced all of the electrical equipment including 5500KW motors, converter, transformer, motor control centres, switchgear and mechanical auxiliary equipment such as the cooling system.

The company also modified the existing foundation and air clutch coupling to adapt it to the new motors.

A number of SAG mill applications were implemented to facilitate the operation and maintenance of the SAG mill, according to ABB.

ABB also built an additional structure next to the existing mill to house all the new equipment and integrate its system with the mill.

Engineering and construction of the building extension included excavation, foundation, civil, structural steel and architectural works as well as insulation, fire system, lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

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