The Globe and Mail

Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Press release from CNW Group

ABB commissions Clarabelle mill upgrade for Vale in Canada

Thursday, February 06, 2014

ABB commissions Clarabelle mill upgrade for Vale in Canada

08:00 EST Thursday, February 06, 2014


Complex mill upgrade completed and in operation serving all Vale mines in the Sudbury area

BADEN, Switzerland, Feb. 6, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has commissioned an upgrade to Vale's existing Clarabelle dual pinion semi-autogenous (SAG) mill. The mill is used to reduce the size of the ore at the company's nickel and copper mines in the Sudbury area, Ontario. The project was completed on-time and on-budget with an excellent safety record.

Located in Ontario about 400 kilometres north of Toronto, Vale's Sudbury operations are primarily underground nickel sulphide mines with integrated mining, milling, smelting and refining operations. One of the characteristics of Clarabelle Mill is to accept nickel-copper ore from various sources and companies and to produce a nickel-copper concentrate and copper concentrate for further processing. The size of the ore is further reduced in semi-autogenous mills, rod mills and ball mills where all milling is done wet.

First awarded in 2010, the project is the largest of several turnkey projects completed for Vale in Canada. This complex project involved upgrade to a SAG mill of 10 meters diameter, and 11.2 Revolutions Per Minute that had reached end-of-life with a newer, more robust system.

ABB replaced all of the electrical equipment including 5500KW motors, converter, transformer, motor control centers, switchgear and mechanical auxiliary equipment such as the cooling system - pump skid, chillers and fin-fan heat exchangers. The company also modified the existing foundation and air clutch coupling to adapt it to the new motors. A number of SAG mill applications were implemented to facilitate the operation and maintenance of the SAG mill.

ABB also built an additional structure next to the existing mill to house all the new equipment and integrate its system with the mill. Engineering and construction of the building extension included excavation, foundation, civil, structural steel and architectural works as well as insulation, fire system, lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

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 employees about 150,000 people.

Watch our ring-geared mill drive animation here:

For help with any technical terms in this release, please go to:



Image with caption: "ABB synchronous motor AMZ1250 driving the SAG mill pinion gear (CNW Group/ABB inc.)". Image available at:

Image with caption: "Clarabelle Mill operation plant with the SAG mill driven by ABB motors (CNW Group/ABB inc.)". Image available at:

For further information:

ABB Switzerland Ltd.
Emmanuel Chabut
Marketing Communications
Mining & Mineral Processing
Baden, Switzerland
Phone: +41 58 586 71 33

  • Globe Unlimited

    Digital all access pass across devices. subscribe

  • The Globe and Mail Newspaper

    Newspaper delivered to your doorstep. subscribe

  • Globe2Go

    The digital replica of our newspaper. subscribe

  • Globe eBooks

    A collection of articles by the Globe. subscribe

See all Globe Products

Advertise with us

Your number one partner for reaching Canada's Influential Achievers. learn more

The Globe at your Workplace
Our Company
Customer Service
Advertising Privacy
Globe Recognition
Mobile Apps
Other Sections