Copper mining at its most efficient
At Sweden largest copper mine, Boliden Aitik, it takes 1000 kgs of earth to obtain three kgs of copper. The mine, located near Gällivare inside the Arctic Circle, is only profitable because its processes are highly automated. Mined ore is transported by a conveyor belt seven kilometers long to a processing plant where giant mills grind it into sand from which the copper can be extracted. The entire site process -- including the concentrator plant, conveyor systems and pumping stations -- is controlled by ABB's Extended Automation System 800xA. ABB's scope of supply also included a gas-insulated substation, a harmonics and power factor correction filter system, low-voltage switchgear as well as maintenance and service.