ABB hoists to improve mining processes at Kittilä

The Kittilä gold mine in northern Finland has invested in ABB’s production and personnel hoists to increase the capacity of the mine and reduce the use of fossil fuels
ABB hoists to improve mining processes at Kittilä ABB hoists to improve mining processes at Kittilä ABB hoists to improve mining processes at Kittilä ABB hoists to improve mining processes at Kittilä ABB hoists to improve mining processes at Kittilä

Illustration of the future expansion at Kittilä

Staff Reporter

The delivery, worth more than US$11 million, is part of the US$186-million expansion investment in the Kittilä mine by mining company Agnico Eagle Finland, which started in the spring of 2018. A mine shaft over a kilometre deep will be built at the mine, from which ore will be lifted with hoisting equipment supplied by ABB.

The shaft will make it possible to access the deeper parts of the gold deposit in an economically viable way. This will also improve the energy efficiency of the mine and reduce the use of fossil fuels, ABB said, as it will replace the truck and off-road vehicle transport of ore and personnel. The processing capacity of the mine's concentrating plant will increase from the current 1.6 million tonnes to 2.0 million tonnes per year.

The ABB delivery includes one friction-type 2.5MW production hoist, as well as a 1.2MW single-drum personnel hoist. With ABB Ability, it will also deliver online remote support services for real-time hoist condition monitoring.

Seppo Voutilainen, project manager at Agnico Eagle Finland, said: "ABB has proven to be a reliable and capable partner in mining projects. In addition, ABB has a comprehensive service network in the area, which is indispensable for ensuring production. The hoisting machine is a new critical factor in the mine production chain, where all of the above things are emphasised."

Mikael Ingo, process industries HUB BU manager, North Europe, ABB, commented: "We've been planning the project together for several years in order to create the best technical solution possible."

The mining field is experiencing a period of strong growth in Finland. In 2017, over US$349 million was invested in mining operations. The growth from the previous year was 25%.

The Kittilä mine already utilises a varied range of ABB technology, including motors, an automation system, frequency converters and instruments. The current life cycle of the mine is estimated to last at least until 2035.

The personnel and the production hoists will be installed and introduced at the mine during 2020-2021.

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