Innovative five-year service agreement for mine hoists

An innovative five-year service support agreement has been struck with ABB Process Automation for mine hoists across Glencore Queensland Metals, bringing long-term certainty of service and technical support for mining winders.

Winders are critical infrastructure that can impact the viability of our operations. The winders are used to hoist ore, equipment and our workers up and down the shafts, to one kilometre underground.

Maintenance Manager, Dave Bartolo, says it is critical our winders are in optimal operation, working to their capacity and specifications.

The innovative five-year agreement between ABB and Glencore will bring long-term certainty of service and technical support to our mining winders.
The L72 winder at George Fisher Mine.
The P49 winder at George Fisher Mine is a double-drum winder.

“Technical support and legislatively-required inspections of the hoists are crucial for our business continuity,” says Dave.

In addition to mandated safety audits, ABB is providing advanced services including monitoring the performance of the hoists’ control systems and developing digital fingerprints for each machine to enable pre-emptive tailored maintenance to maintain the equipment in a commissioned condition.

Previously servicing individual machines on a service level agreement for George Fisher Mine or under annual contracts for Mount Isa Copper Operations, the new five-year agreement enables a more streamlined approach to ensure reliability of seven ABB hoists across the mining sites.

The U62 winder at Mount Isa Mines.
The X41 winder at Mount Isa Mines.
The R62 winder is responsible for transporting workers underground at Mount Isa Mines.

ABB Process Industries Service Sales Engineer, Brian McDonald says the new contract enables a more efficient approach over five years.

“Glencore and ABB worked through the legal complexities of defining the long-term agreement and the result is a sophisticated, collaborative partnership that drives value for both organisations,” says Brian.

Operators are supported by 24/7 technical support teams based onsite or remotely. Hoist operators can consult detailed manuals for hoist components through an online portal.

The agreement enables a more streamlined approach to ensure reliability of seven ABB hoists across the Queensland Metals mining sites.
The machinery hall with the drum winder.
Inside the winderhouse.

When service repairs or technical support is requested, service hours are taken from a pre-paid resource bank without the mine operator needing to place additional purchase orders, which streamlines the process.

“Remote monitoring and data collection will document where each hoist sits from a lifecycle perspective enabling ABB to present upgrade paths so that Glencore is never left with limited or obsolete equipment that’s difficult to support or repair,” says Brian.

“We can collaboratively drive a planned evolution program that supports the future profitability of the mines,” says Brian.