GE Supply Advanced Electrical Technology for Mining Operations in Africa

GE has announced it will supply mining projects in Zambia and South Africa with its advanced electrical technology.

GE’s Power Conversion business has announced it is supplying Actom Industry Pty (Ltd) with its advanced electrical technology for winder equipment for separate mining projects in Zambia and South Africa. As a leader in the domain of electrical drive systems, Power Conversion’s solution for Actom features its tried-and-tested MV7000 variable speed drive coupled to an induction motor. Mining projects are often located in remote areas with harsh operational environments and call for exceptionally robust and dependable systems with very little routine maintenance requirements.

Actom and GE are collaborating on the supply of complete mine winder systems for expansion projects at the Mopani Copper Mine in Zambia and the Royal Bafokeng Platinum, Styldrift No. 1 Shaft 1 Project in South Africa.

Actom is the largest manufacturer, repairer and distributor of electro-mechanical equipment and turnkey solutions in southern Africa, employing about 7,500 people.

“We are pleased to work with GE to deploy our mine winder systems featuring GE’s electrical technology, which offers very high levels of reliability and efficiency in harsh mining environments. These qualities are essential to help ensure that our customers are able to meet their production schedules,” says Mark Wilson, Actom’s CEO and chairman.

"GE’s collaboration with Actom Industry to support these important mining projects in Africa underscores the increasingly vital role that advanced energy technologies will play in meeting the production challenges of the metals extraction sector," says Joe Mastrangleo, CEO of GE’s Power Conversion business.

According to the Freedonia Group’s January 2012 study, “World Mining Machinery,” commodity prices are expected to remain high by historical standards, thus stimulating growth in demand for mining equipment. This growth is anticipated to climb 8.5% annually through 2015 to $92 billion.

Mopani Copper Mine Expansion Project, Zambia

GE and Actom’s equipment will be deployed to support Mopani Copper Mines PLC’s development of a new, $320 million shaft and associated infrastructure at the Synclinorium site within the Mopani Copper Mine, which is an integrated copper and cobalt operation. The new shaft is expected to extend the life of Mopani’s Nkana copper and cobalt mines by about 25 years.

GE’s equipment is scheduled to be delivered to Zambia in March 2013, with commissioning scheduled for September 2013.

Royal Bafokeng Platinum, Styldrift No. 1 Shaft , South Africa

The mine is located in the Bushveld Complex, 30 km northwest of Rustenburg in northwestern South Africa. GE and Actom are supplying the mine winder drive solution that will implement its development of the new Styldrift No. 1 Shaft extraction project. The Styldrift Rock winder project follows GE’s work with Actom on the earlier Styldrift Man and Material winder projects.

GE’s equipment is scheduled to be delivered to the Styldrift Rock Winder project site in South Africa in December 2012 and installed during the second quarter of 2013. Mine owner Royal Bafokeng Platinum plans to begin production at the shaft project in the second quarter of 2015.

GE’s Power Conversion business is a leading supplier of some of the most advanced and innovative electrical solutions combining motors, variable speed drives and automation and process control for the metals, mining, material handling and test bench industries. GE’s strong familiarity with customers’ processes allows the development of tailored automation solutions to achieve unique performances. Such solutions have included development of one of the fastest tinning process, some of the deepest hoist mine winders, advanced container cranes, a new of super-heavy-lift cranes for offshore wind turbine installation and one of the largest wind turbine test benches.

In addition to technologies provided by Power Conversion, GE has a significant presence in the mining sector with GE Global Industries—GE’s new cross-business unit that takes the best technologies from across GE’s diverse portfolio and interconnects them to increase efficiency and results for customers in critical business sectors such as food and beverage, metals, mining, petrochemicals and unconventional fuels.

GE acquired Power Conversion (then known as Converteam) in September 2011. GE’s Power Conversion business applies the science and systems of power conversion to help drive the electric transformation of the world’s energy infrastructure. Designing and delivering advanced motor, drive and control technologies that evolve today’s industrial processes for a cleaner, more productive future. It serves specialized sectors such as energy, marine, industry and all related services.