Extracting new value through integrated mining

ABB helped turn a mine expansion into an expansion of how to operate a mine more efficiently overall.

Integrated Mining

An opportunity to change an industry

 

The mining company Boliden had an ambitious plan for Garpenberg, one of the oldest mines in Sweden. In addition to expanding it, they also wanted to modernize it for the digital era. How could they leverage integration, automation and the Industrial Internet of Things in an environment deep underground? How could the ventilation systems be made smart? How could all the systems talk to each other and fully optimize operations?
Integrated Mining

 

Separate tasks, integrated thinking

We combined a century of deep knowledge of the mining industry with the digital connectivity of ABB Ability™ systems like 800xA to help turn Garpenberg into one of the most advanced, fully integrated mines in the world.

  • We collect data in real time from 400 electric motors, 280 variable speed drives, and two massive 1,200-meter hoists.
  • Our distributed control system 800xA integrates data from all critical functions, such as water management, crushers, conveyor belts, skip loading, concentrator and pumping stations into one seamless, efficient operation.
  • Today, the concentrator plant and underground crushers are fully automated. After the trucks tip the ore into crushers in the mine, it is sent into the skip, into the hoist, up to the surface and through the plant, 24 hours a day, without ever touching human hands.
  • A new smart ventilation system now recognises the location of people and vehicles in the mine and delivers fresh air on demand, increasing safety and maximizing efficiency.
  • Round-the-clock remote monitoring services provide access to real time data about mission-critical equipment. Engineers now have the ability to make predictive maintenance decisions, before something goes wrong.
Integrated Mining

 

On-the-ground (and underground) benefits

  • Reduced energy usage
  • Increased resource productivity
  • Reduced downtime
  • Reduced need for on-site expertise
  • More efficient water usage
  • Reduced noise

 

Integrated Mining

 

Now one of the world’s most cost-effective mines

  • Milled tonnage up 60 percent since 2014
  • Large reduction in cost per ton
  • Cut ventilation energy consumption in half 
  • Garpenberg became the most profitable mine in Boliden’s portfolio