Mine ventilation: Waste heat recovery

Abstract The Williams Mine is Canada’s largest gold producer, with annual production of 450 000 ounces from 2 300 000 tonnes of ore. Highly mechanized and automated underground mining practices are employed in order to achieve and maintain high levels of productivity and minimize costs.
The mine ventilation system is modified to include a new vent raise and variable pitch vane-axial fan. This addition allows several fan installations underground to be decommissioned. A substantial net savings in installed horse power is achieved.
Heating costs associated with underground ventilation air are a significant portion of mine operating costs. Air heating costs are substantially reduced by recovering heat from upcast exhaust air, mine water and compressor cooling circuits. This waste heat is used to supplement propane fired air heating systems for underground ventilation air. An additional benefit is the availability of a heat sink for summer cooling of the compressors. System design, energy savings data and payback calculations are presented.
Keywords: Underground mining, Ventilation, Heating costs, Energy savings, Heat exchangers, Variable frequency drives, Heat recovery, Propane burners, Vane-axial fans.
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Summary: The Geomechanics Research Centre at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Canada, has undertaken a five-year research program into the design of support appropriate for controlling damage caused by rockbursts. Rockburst damage mechanisms in Canadian hardrock mines are reviewed and a support design approach is presented. Each element in a support system performs a reinforcing, holding, or retaining function. The desirable load-displacement characteristics for elements in burst-resistant support...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): Rock mechanics, Research and development, Support designs.
Keywords: Paper reviewed and approved for publication by the Rock Mechanics and Strata Control Committee of CIM.
Issue: 998
Volume: 89
Year: 1996
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Summary: The feasibility assessment of a mineral deposit requires the construction of a geomechanical model of rock mass properties, for the purpose of preliminary mine design. The Noranda Technology Centre has been involved in the development of geomechanical models for several mineral deposits at the feasibility stage. Each model is constructed through intact rock testing, geotechnical core logging,
geotechnical mapping and rock mass classification. Rock mechanics principles are used to develop...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): Simon Nickson, Dave Ecobichon, Michel Leclerc, Éric Côté
Keywords: Rock mechanics, Feasibility studies, Geomechanical modelling.
Issue: 998
Volume: 89
Year: 1996
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Summary: A set of new blast damage criteria has been developed, with special reference to blasthole mining operations, for assessing damage by incorporating the vibration level, rock properties, site characteristics and the effects of ground support systems. The main objective of this work was to provide a database with reasonable accuracy for use in optimizing blast design, numerical analysis and ground control expert system module development.
The new damage criteria allow one to estimate the degree...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): T.R. Yu, S. Vongpaisal
Keywords: Blast damage criteria, Blast damage index, Underground blasting, Blasthole mining, Dynamic tensile strength, Blast design.
Issue: 998
Volume: 89
Year: 1996
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