ABB to deliver trolley assist solution to Copper Mountain Mining in Canada

Photo: ABB

ABB will install haul truck trolley assist infrastructure to help Copper Mountain achieve a reduction in carbon intensity by more than 50 percent in medium-term with a final target of zero by 2035

ABB has grown its footprint in the journey to the all-electric mine by winning an order to deliver a complete open-pit haul truck trolley assist solution for Copper Mountain Mining in Canada. The installation, which includes engineering, supply and construction management for a DC substation and an overhead catenary system (OCS), combines ABB’s electrification and automation expertise in the mining industry.

Copper Mountain mine near Princeton, British Columbia is the mining company’s flagship site. It is a conventional open-pit, truck and shovel operation which produces approximately 100 million pounds (45,000 metric tons) of copper equivalent per year. It is estimated that the initial phase of the trolley assist system, which will be installed in late 2021, will reduce carbon emissions at the site by up to 7 percent. Copper Mountain Mining has advised that overall the mine will reduce carbon intensity by more than 50 percent in 5-7 years through electrification and capacity increase.

The company’s sustainable development journey has a final target of zero by 2035 and the project, using electric-drive haul trucks, is indicative of the move towards mine electrification in the region.

Each truck will be fitted with a pantograph to receive external electric power. ABB will take responsibility for the off-truck trolley assist infrastructure and provide engineering, project management, equipment supply, system commissioning and construction management. ABB will design the overhead catenary system (OCS) infrastructure and deliver a rectifier substation providing in excess of 12MW of DC power to the trolley assist system. The trolley control system can provide connectivity to the existing distributed control system (DCS) automation platform for seamless integration and monitoring of trolley operations and energy consumption. ABB is also providing OCS components customized for mining applications.

“From initial feasibility study onwards, ABB has been aligned with our commitments to develop our mining operations in a way that fits with energy conservation and emissions reduction goals,” said Walt Halipchuk, Copper Mountain Mining’s Director of Energy Management. “The trolley assist infrastructure is an essential part of our plans to reach our bold medium to long-term targets, and ABB has proven the results it can have in terms of helping reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We trust their expertise and have achieved past successes together, notably with grinding and automation systems already in operation in the mine.”

“A trolley assist system significantly reduces GHG emissions for ultra-class mining haul trucks, which are typically the biggest source of emissions in a mining operation,” said Sachin Jari, Industry Lead – Mining, North America at ABB. “Together with Copper Mountain Mining, we look forward to making this happen again so they can meet their sustainability goals, while staying competitive and ensuring high performance. ABB is a reliable and committed partner for all-electric transformation and this project underlines our world-class expertise in mine electrification.”

ABB collaborates with mining companies from initial feasibility studies through to full deployment. ABB has previously installed a similar substation at Boliden AB’s Aitik mine, Sweden's largest open-pit copper mine and is part of ongoing expansion plans at the site. This included a 4.8 megawatt rectifier, connected to the ABB Ability™ System 800xA DCS.