General Electric unveils global mining industry business unit

GE Transportation, a unit of diversified conglomerate General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) launched Monday its newest business unit, GE Mining, which will be based out of Brisbane, Australia.

GE Mining’s Chief Executive, Geoff Knox, made the announcement at MINExpo 2012. Recently, the company acquired Fairchild International, which manufactures underground mining equipment, and is finalizing the acquisition of Australian-based Industrea Limited (ASX: IDL), a provider of safety and productivity-enhancing mining equipment and services.

GE will reach a global customer base with enhanced products based on its clean propulsion systems, energy storage offering and world-class system integration capabilities.

The continuing urbanization and growth in energy demand in the emerging economies bodes well for the long-term future of the global mining industry," said Knox in a press release. "With mine operators rebalancing their investments to get more out of their existing assets, GE's global mining business is well positioned to add value. We can help them maximize output through more efficient movement of their products, generate and distribute power more efficiently, and address their water management challenges."

During this week's MINExpo conference in Las Vegas, GE Mining will showcase solutions that address critical industry challenges, including:

  • Power: Mining companies are increasingly under pressure to find and utilize electrical power more efficiently, reliably and safely. GE offers a full range of power generation solutions including steam, wind, biogas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered turbines, enabling organizations to utilize power from multiple sources and allowing for the lowest cost fuel option to be used at any given time. From its LM6000PF aeroderivative gas turbines*, built from GE's best-in-class aircraft engine technology, to its Jenbacher combined heat and power (CHP) systems*, GE offers flexible solutions to meet a mine's unique power demands. For safe and reliable distribution of electricity, our Arc VaultTM Protection System can stop an electrical arcing fault in a fraction of the time that traditional systems require. By reducing downtime and minimizing switchgear damage, it enables mine operators to maximize their return on investment – all while reducing the risk of on-site electrical injuries.
  • Water: Water management is a key issue that all mining companies must tackle. As the mining industry looks to reduce its environmental impact, customers are placing a higher emphasis on implementing new equipment and chemical technologies that help maximize resource efficiency. GE's AquaSelTM system* is a breakthrough non-thermal desalination technology with extremely high water recovery rates. Mine operators that deploy this technology can achieve recovery rates of up to 98 percent and reduce the volume of liquid brine that is generated seven-fold as compared to conventional reverse osmosis technology. GE is also one of the foremost suppliers of environmentally responsible road dust control programs that are tailored to reduce water and fuel usage, including the DusTreat* and CoalPlus treatment programs.
  • Productivity: GE offers a comprehensive portfolio of technologies to help operators protect investments and operate safer and more efficiently for both new and existing mining projects. For example, GE's Proficy? MaxxMine* remote monitoring and diagnostic software solution combines process and asset optimization in a single offering, enabling mine operators to make timely and accurate decisions that balance process performance with equipment health. The Company also provides highly reliable, efficient and adaptable power conversion systems engineered to meet customer needs. In fact, GE engineers are placing robust and dependable technological solutions with very little routine maintenance requirements in some of the world's most challenging mining environments. Another example is the QuadramaticTM Drive System* that has the highest efficiency for dual-pinion, fixed speed mill applications in the industry and provides the benefits of a single pinion, air-clutch connected, low-speed synchronous motor drive for today's maximum mill ratings. The Company's DurathonTM battery* offers best-in-class energy density and performance for a range of mining power needs. When connected to GE's InvertexTM underground propulsion systems, the battery significantly reduces problems caused by heat, diesel particulates and emissions, driving down ventilation costs at underground mines. The Durathon battery and Invertex AC drive systems are being incorporated into Fairchild International's underground mining utility scoop equipment less than one month after GE closed this acquisition.

"In this current global context the need for mineral resources across a diversified set of industries will continue to grow, and the mining industry will be critical to meeting that demand,” said GE ecomagination, Vice President, Mark Vachon.

He added that, through ecomagination, GE would help its customers accelerate growth and productivity by delivering resource efficiency and economics.