Low-temperature geothermal energy in mining environments

CIM Journal, Vol. 1, No. 2, 2010
J. Raymond, R. Therrien, and L. Gosselin, Université Laval, Québec, Québec
Abstract

The ground-source heat pump is a low-carbon technology that uses the earth’s renewable geothermal energy to heat and cool buildings, with an efficiency 3 to 4.5 times that of conventional systems. These high performances are achieved by exchanging heat with the earth using a fluid that is groundwater, surface water or closed loop water. Expensive installations, such as water wells or buried coils, are however necessary to transport the fluid in and out of the earth, making ground-source heat pumps more costly than conventional systems. Installation costs can be reduced in mining environments due to the abundance and the accessibility of resources to be used with heat pumps. Examples of system design calculations using data from the Mouska and Doyon mines in Abitibi show significant installation cost savings using dewatering mine water or ground heat exchangers installed below oxidizing waste rocks. Ground-source heat pump technology is reviewed and scoping calculations are presented to illustrate how such systems can be installed in mining environments.


Les pompes à chaleur géothermique sont des systèmes à faibles émissions de gaz à effet de serre qui utilisent l’énergie renouvelable de la terre pour chauffer et climatiser les bâtiments avec 3 à 4,5 fois plus d’efficacité qu’un système conventionnel. Ces performances élevées sont réalisées par le biais d’un fluide caloporteur, soit l’eau souterraine, l’eau de surface ou l’eau circulant dans un réseau de tuyaux, lequel transporte l’énergie thermique entre le bâtiment et la terre. Des installations dispendieuses, comme des puits de captage d’eau souterraine ou des serpentins enfouis, augmentent toutefois les coûts d’aménagement d’un système géothermique qui s’avère plus coûteux qu’un système conventionnel. Les coûts d’un système géothermique peuvent être réduits dans l’environnement minier puisqu’on y retrouve d’abondantes ressources compatibles avec les pompes à chaleur. Les technologies reliées aux pompes à chaleur géothermique sont revues. Des calculs de conception, effectués pour les mines Mouska et Doyon en Abitibi, sont présentés afin d’illustrer comment installer avantageusement de tels systèmes dans l’environnent minier.
Keywords: Geothermal, Energy, Heat pump, Waste dump, Mouska, Doyon, Abitibi, Géothermie, Énergie, Thermopompe, Halde à stériles
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Publication: CIM Journal
Issue: 2
Volume: 1
Year: 2010
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Summary: The ground penetrating radar (GPR) method was used in a platinum mine in Zimbabwe by members of the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Mineral Resources (BGR). The measurements were carried out in boreholes and drifts. Electromagnetic reflections from a fault that consistently trends parallel to the mineralization zone permitted the mapping of the economically minable parts of the deposit. An introduction is given to the geology of the studied area and the application of the GPR method....
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R. Thierbach, Ronnenberg, Germany
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Issue: 2
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Year: 2010
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Summary: An overall study was conducted to evaluate the properties and processes influencing the rate and magnitude of consolidation for oil sands fine tailings produced using different extraction processes. As part of this overall study, consolidation tests using slurry consolidometers were carried out for caustic and non-caustic fine tailings. The influence of a change in bitumen extraction process (caustic versus non-caustic) on consolidation properties, namely compressibility and hydraulic...
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Author(s): W. G. Miller, WorleyParsons Services, Perth, Australia and J. D. Scott and D. C. Sego, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta
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Issue: 2
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Year: 2010
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Summary: The shaft bottom junction in a mine ventilation system is an important source of shock loss due to the combined effect of bend and area change. The occurrence of high-volume flow rates through this configuration can potentially result in high energy losses. The current research examines the process of shock loss at a characteristic shaft bottom junction of an underground coal mine. Investigations are performed on both laboratory-scale models and three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics...
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Author(s): T. Purushotham, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska, B. S. Sastry and B. Samanta, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India
Keywords: k-? turbulence model, Forcing and exhausting ventilation shafts, Relative roughness, Shaft bottom length, Geometric and dynamic similitude, Modèle de turbulence, Puits d’évacuation et de forçage de la ventilation, Rugosité relative, Longueur au fond du puits, Similitude géométrique et dynamique
Issue: 2
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Year: 2010
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Summary: An overall study was conducted to evaluate the properties and processes influencing the rate and magnitude of consolidation for oil sands fine tailings produced using different extraction processes. As part of the overall study, a comprehensive description of physical and chemical characteristics of fine tailings generated by caustic and non-caustic processes was carried out. Ultimately, the influence of these fundamental properties on the compressibility, hydraulic conductivity and shear...
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Author(s): W. G. Miller, WorleyParsons Services, Perth, Australia, J. D. Scott and D. C. Sego, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta
Keywords: Oil sands, Fine tailings, Index properties, Specific surface area, Water chemistry, Particle size distribution, Dispersion, Flocculation, Structure, Sodium adsorption ratio, Fines content, Coagulant, Sables bitumineux, Résidus fins, Propriétés caractéristiques, Surface spécifique, Hydrochimie, Granulométrie, Dispersion, Floculation, Structure, Rapport d’adsorption du sodium, Teneur en particules fines, Coagulant
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Summary: Sorting has the potential to massively improve the profitability of mining base metal, hardrock ores. However, several barriers to the increased application of sorting have been identified, including a lack of mineral-specific sensors available to the industry. This paper presents the outcomes of a collaborative project to develop an induction-balance sensor specifically for low-grade copper and nickel ores. A review of the basic principles of induction-balance sensing and of the sensor-rock...
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Author(s): A. S. Bamber, University of British Columbia, British Columbia and D. J. Houlahan, MineSense Technologies, British Columbia
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Issue: 2
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Summary: The development and evolution of the gravity recoverable gold (GRG) test procedure at McGill University is reviewed in this paper. Since the late 1980s, the research group led by the late Professor André Robert Laplante at McGill University has undertaken fundamental studies and applied research of the Knelson concentrator to develop a sustainable method of estimating GRG. Historically, a concept of “free gold” was used, and it was defined as the gold that could be separated and recovered...
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Author(s): L. Huang and S. Koppalkar, COREM, Québec, Québec
Keywords: Gravity recoverable gold, Gold ore characterization, Knelson concentrator, Centrifugal separation, Or à récupération gravimétrique, Caractérisation de minerais aurifères, Concentrateur Knelson, Separation centrifuge
Issue: 2
Volume: 1
Year: 2010
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