Powerful variable-speed drive systems

Increasing plant productivity and operational efficiency with HPGRs

When it comes to productivity at remote mine sites, highly reliable and robust grinding equipment is key. Where SAG mills were prevalent in the past, the availability of smart variable-speed drive systems make HPGRs a competitive alternative to provide high-throughput and an energy efficient grinding process. ABB's variable-speed drive solution has played an integral role in raising popularity of HPGRs for hard rock processing. Thyssen Krupp Polysius and ABB worked together to support Newmont with its Boddington Gold Mine expansion. 

Boddington gold mine
The Boddington mine, owend and operated by Newmont Mining Corp., America’s biggest gold producer, is located about 130km south-east of Perth. The original, mainly oxide open-pit mine was closed at the end of 2001 and more recent exploration identified an extensive 19.57 million ounce gold bedrock resource, the basis of the Boddington Gold Mine expansion project. The newly reopened mine is expected to operate for at least 20 years, with full production of more than 1 million ounces of gold per year, making it Australia’s biggest producing gold mine. 


  • Varying ore qualities 
  • Achieving maximum productivity levels (high throughput, minimum downtime)
  • Ensuring efficient grinding operations 

Our solution 

ABB provided a fully integrated and optimized solution for the entire grinding circuit consisting of two 2.8MW twin drive systems, with possibility of increasing the power further to 10MW using twin or quad drive configurations. The two drive systems provided for Boddington included motors, frequency converters, medium-voltage circuit breaker and a converter transformer. All this cutting edge technology allowed the HPGRs to always operate optimally, whatever the grinding conditions.
The competitive advantage of this optimized solution is better utilized in mines like Boddington, with four HPGRs running 24 hours a day, 360 days a year. ABB systems can significantly improve the operating margins of mines with this conditions. Additionally, ABB adapted the drive system according to Australian electrical and safety standards. and we responded accurately to other request from customer, regarding equipment manufactured locally in Australia. We replied the requeriment providing transformers manufactured at an ABB in Australia transformer factory.

Protecting the assets 

A service contract covering the full scope of ABB equipment, including remote diagnostics, quarterly reports and regular on-site visits by ABB service engineers for preventive maintenance purposes are part of the agreement in addition to a regular on-site ABB service engineer who supports 24/7.

Main data




Boddington, Australia

Customer need: 

Powerful grinding circuit to handle high process capacity under extreme environmental conditions


  • 2 x 2.8MW twin drive systems 


High pressure grinding rolls 

Customer benefits:
  • High productivity
  • Energy efficient grinding process 
  • Improved operating margins 
Commissioning year: 2010

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