ABB successfully commissions world’s largest ring-geared mill drives at Detour Lake

Baden, Switzerland, November 13, 2013 – ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has successfully commissioned four low-speed dual pinion drive systems at the Detour Lake gold mine in Ontario, Canada.

These systems include the largest low-speed dual pinion mill drives in the world. The low-speed concept operates without a gearbox, with motors driving the pinions directly, thus increasing overall system efficiency. ABB’s state-of-the-art dual pinion mill drive systems are the most operation and mechanically-friendly solutions available on the market today. Features include variable-speed operation, real time frozen charge protection, the frozen charge remover function, controlled roll-back and positioning without additional drive. These features and drive characteristics enable smooth mill operation, reduce maintenance requirement, increase energy efficiency and availability of the complete production line.

The pre-commissioning phase started in fall 2012 with consecutive commissioning of grinding line 1 and 2 completed in 2013. The first line has been in operation since January, the second since February 2013 and commercial production was reached by mid-August 2013.

ABB’s scope of supply included four dual pinion low-speed mill drive systems for two semiautogenous (SAG) and two ball mills, each consisting of two synchronous motors, converter transformers and ACS6000 frequency converters including active rectifier units that allow the mill drives to achieve a power factor of 0.90 leading. ABB also delivered the programmable logic controller (PLC) to control the drives and mill auxiliaries. Each mill drive has a rated power of 15 MW.

The drive systems order was awarded in May 2010 followed by first equipment deliveries in October 2011.

The Detour Lake mine, 100% owned by Detour Gold Corporation (TSX:DGC) is located approximately eight kilometers west of the Ontario-Québec border and 180 kilometers northeast of Cochrane. The Detour Lake open-pit mine has proven and probable reserves of 15.6 million ounces of gold. Detour Lake will be among the largest gold operations in North America.

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 150,000 people.