World’s largest iron ore mine to go truckless

ABB is working Vale to make its Carajas Serra Sul S11D iron ore mine automated and completely truckless.

The $140 million contract will see ABB using shiftable conveyor belts instead of off-highway dump trucks to move the ore from the mine to the processing plant.

"This is the first time a 'truckless' solution will be used on a large scale at an iron ore mine," according to the company.

It stated that using "a truckless system significantly reduces operating costs and produces lower carbon emissions.

"If the S11D mine were to be operated using trucks it would need around 100 trucks and consume 77% more diesel per year."

Veli-Matti Reinikkala, head of ABB's Process Automation Divisions, stated that "this unprecedented project will use the latest automation technologies to create he mine of the future, a benchmark mine in terms of productivity, safety, and sustainability.

"This project will also allow Vale to increase production by approximately 90 million tonnes, while reducing emissions and improving operational efficiency and process safety."

ABB will provide the automation and electricification to transport the ore into the processing plant, and will completely automate all plant processes.

"The order includes a centralised 800xA control system for processing operations, so that personnel can be located away from the site, for improved safety and continued production.

"It also enables the automatic recovery and piling of iron ore by controlling and positioning equipment through satellite signal and via GPS, and by using 3D scanning for field screening."

ABB will also provide electrical infrastructure for the new processing plant, related energy distribution equipment for its power supply, and engineering and installation.

The delivery includes medium and low voltage motors for use with frequency convertors, the primary power transmission stations, duplication of the telecom system for the railroad, and 37 secondary substations in self contained electrical houses.

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