ABB awarded $24m contract to support expansion of gold mine

August 11, 2020 Mining Editor

ABB to provide mine hoist systems to increase production at Newmont’s Tanami gold mine in Northern Territory, Australia.

Newmont has commissioned leading global technology company ABB to design, supply, install and provide long-term service for the entire mine hoist mechanical and electrical systems for the mine production shaft at Tanami.

The gold mine is located in the Tanami Desert, 563km north west of Alice Springs and 949km southwest of Darwin in Northern Territory, Australia.The $24 million AUD ($17 million USD) contract marks part of Newmont’s Tanami Expansion 2 (TE2) project which is expected to increase the annual capacity of the processing site to 3.5 million tonnes per annum from 2.6 million tonnes and extend the life of the mine beyond 2040. Over a 90-week period, ABB will deliver two complete mine hoist systems; a double drum personnel-riding hoist and a friction hoist.

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The Tanami underground gold mine is operated by Newmont Mining Service Pty Ltd, a division of global mining player Newmont. Since 1986, the mine has produced more than 10 million ounces of gold from various open pits and underground mines. The mine currently produces from the Callie underground operation at Dead Bullock Soak with ore processed at the Granites Mill, more than 40 km to the east.

Currently, ore is trucked from the Tanami underground mine to the surface via a system of declines, which presents logistical, ventilation and cooling requirement challenges and constraints to the planned expansion of the mine. 

“The Tanami expansion project (TE2) includes construction of a 5.4 meter shaft that can reach 1,460 meters below surface depth to enable recovery of ore at a depth. This provides a viable solution to extend the mine and and with an additional investment in processing is expected to increase production to 3.5 million tonnes per year,” said Neil Steyn, Regional Project Director at Newmont. “ABB’s in-house mechanical hoist design capability will help deliver a tailormade solution in a cost effective way.”

As part of the TE2 project, ABB’s solutions package also includes digital applications covering functional safety, a programmable logic controllers (PLC) control system, remote operations, shaft communication and the latest drive systems technology.

“This contract highlights ABB’s capability to offer end-to-end mine hoist system solutions. As sole supplier, we are designing and delivering equipment, providing service and spare parts which will help lower life cycle costs and reduce project execution time at Tanami, while ensuring reliability and system availability,” said Ralf Eckert, Manager for Sales-Mining, Aluminium and Cement Systems at ABB Australia. “Our global footprint allows us to be close to our customers, including our operations centre for underground mining with mine hoist engineers based in Australia.”ABB’s leading-edge technologies, combined with global and local industry expertise, ensure the efficiency, reliability and safety of critical mining operations all over the world. Safety integrity level (SIL) is becoming an increasingly important concern in the mining industry.

As a complete mine hoist supplier, ABB follows IEC standards to build functional safety into all mine hoist deliveries. ABB has gone a step further by achieving SIL product certification of the entire safety system prior to installation, and has delivered SIL-certified hoisting solutions globally. To date, ABB is the only company that can deliver mine hoist with several certified products up to SIL3 in Australia. 

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