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Massive motors installed by Marthinusen & Coutts at Cobre Panama
March 2018, News

Marthinusen & Coutts recently executed the sub-assembly of six gearless mill drives for Minera Panama’s remotely situated Cobre Panama project in record time, and as a result was able to hand the machine over to the mechanical teams for assembly well ahead of schedule.

Minera Panama, the Panamanian subsidiary of First Quantum Minerals, is currently developing the Cobre Panama project in the country’s Colon province. The mine life has been estimated at more than 30 years and will produce around 300 000 tons per year copper, 100 000 ounces per year of gold and 2 500 tons per year of molybdenum.

Of the six ABB gearless drives being installed, four will power ball mills and the other two will drive SAG mills. Importantly, these massive machines are among the largest ever installed in the world and were transported in quartered sections to site for assembly.

The Marthinusen & Coutts team brazing the coil to the stator connections.
The Marthinusen & Coutts team brazing the coil to the stator connections.

Commenting on the role that Marthinusen & Coutts played in this project, divisional CEO Richard Botton said that a team of six highly competent and skilled technicians was responsible for the completion of the project within extremely tight time schedules. “The depth of experience and technical competence within our team proved vital to the successful completion of the work, especially given the various challenges encountered on a daily basis,” he added. “The average execution per machine took just 28 days.”

Another major challenge that the team had to contend with was adverse weather conditions at the location. This region receives between five and seven metres of rain per year, with ambient temperatures often exceeding 35°C and humidity levels above 80% on a daily basis.

Botton says that working closely with the ABB on this project, was also vital to its success. He pointed out that it is not unusual for Marthinusen & Coutts to partner with OEMs on projects such as this.

For more information contact Richard Botton, Marthinusen & Coutts, +27 (0)11 607 1700,,

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