Geothermal Energy Resources on Active Mines

CIM Montreal 2007
Jasmin Raymond, René Therrien,
Abstract Geothermal heat pump can be used to heat or cool industrial buildings and water supply. This technology uses the underground as a heat source or sink to efficiently provide thermal energy. For example, a geothermal heat pump typically consume less then the third of the electric energy consumed by a conventional electric heater. Geothermal systems could therefore be used to reduce energy consumption of active mines where low-grade geothermal resources are abundant. In most geothermal systems, water having a temperature ranging from -6.5 to 43.5 °C is circulated through a heat pump at a rate of about 2 to 4 L/m for each kilowatt of heating capacity. The groundwater that is continuously pumped to drain underground mines could be used to operate heat pumps. Water feeding a heat pump can alternatively circulate in a close loop network of pipe buried underground or installed in a surface water body. Retention water basin, tailing parks and waste dumps commonly found on active mine sites could provide excellent environments to install the close loop system. Research activities have been initiated at Université Laval to inventory geothermal resources on active mines and to demonstrate the efficiency of geothermal technology in the mining environment.
Keywords: Energy, Waste dump, Water basin, Groundwater, Geothernal, Heat pump, Tailing
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