ABB will supply one double drum hoist for personnel and material conveyance, two friction hoists for production, and one single drum hoist for service duty. ABB will provide the design, supply, manufacture, installation and commissioning of all four hoists, including hoist mechanicals, motors, and electrical drive and control, all certified to the highest safety integrity levels (SIL).
This is the first time that multiple, turnkey large friction mine hoists are delivered to the South African mining industry. The installation will commence in July 2018. All four hoists are due to become operational in April 2020.
Panoramic view of the Main Terrace - The open pit can be viewed on the left
“With mineral deposits becoming increasingly difficult to access, increasing productivity while ensuring safety and reliability are key customer requirements,” said Roger Bailey, Managing Director of ABB’s Process Industries business. “ABB is the only supplier with the unique capability to design, supply, install and provide long-term service and support of entire mine hoist systems. Leadership in supplying power and automation for site is a key component of ABB’s next level strategy. “
Open pit mining is due to continue until 2022, and it is expected that underground mining will extend the site’s operational life into the 2040’s, with the potential to deliver an estimated 94 million carats. (18.80 metric tons).
De Beers, which is 85% owned by Anglo American, the balance by the Republic of Botswana, is sinking two new shafts adjacent to the existing open pit in order to access deeper ore reserves that cannot be reached through conventional surface mining techniques.
The project represents De Beers’ biggest capital investment in South Africa. Since hoisting forms a critical aspect of underground mining, particularly with respect to safety, ABB believes it is the supplier best suited with a solid track record in installing such complex systems.
ABB has worked with De Beers previously and believes it was selected for its proven ability to provide a complete mechanical and electrical hoist package, as well as its expertise in installing SIL compliant systems.