[PHOTOS] 5 of the most staggering facts about the Mponeng Gold Mine
As the worlds deepest manmade hole, the depth of theMponeng Gold Mineis almost mythical. Located sou...
1. Mponeng is as deep as 10 Empire State Buildings
As the world’s deepest manmade hole, the depth of the Mponeng Gold Mine is almost mythical. Located south-west of Johannesburg in South Africa, the mine descends 2.5 miles below the Earth’s surface—enough to stack 10 Empire State Buildings on top of each other. This doesn’t include the 236 miles of tunnels throughout the mine, which is longer than the New York subway.
2. 4,000 workers descend into the mine each day
Owned and operated by AngloGold Ashanti, approximately 4,000 miners take the plunge each and every day to work underground at Mponeng. To access the mine, workers board an elevator shaft – “cage” – that fits 120 people at a time, which then travels to the first stage of the mine located 1.6 mile below the Earth. A second elevator takes workers even deeper, while the last part of the mine is only accessible by foot or vehicle.
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3. Ice has to be pumped down to cool the tunnels
Nearing the center of the Earth, temperatures reach as high as 140 degrees Fahrenheit inside Mponeng. To combat this, and keep the heat from literally cooking workers, the company pumps an ice-slurry mixed with salt down from the surface, using fans to blow the air over the ice, creating its own internal weather system inside the mine.
4. Ghost miners exist in Mponeng
Believe it or not, illegal miners are known to sneak into mineshafts at Mponeng and hide out for months--turning ghostly white in the process—in order to steal gold. This is a fact!
(source: The Guardian)
5. A new ecosystem was discovered
Ever heard of Desulforudis audaxviator? Well, it’s a monotypic bacterium that has only been found in water samples obtained underground in the Mponeng Gold Mine. The bacterium, which lives in depths from .9 to 1.8 miles below the Earth’s surface in ground water, is one of the only few organisms known to man that doesn’t not require sunlight for nourishment.
Coal India Secures First-Of-Its-Kind Digital Deal
Coal India Limited (CIL) has appointed Accenture Solutions to digitally transform seven of its open-cast mines as the company strives to improve performance and increase coal production. Accenture is due to lay down digitalisation groundwork until March 2022.
The deal aims to increase coal production by 100 million tonnes (MT) by the end of FY’23. Once the minimum quantity has been surpassed, an agreed sum will be paid to the consultant for every additional sum of coal produced. This success fee will only be paid on the procurement of the minimum assured quantity.
The move will see heavy earth moving machinery (HEMM) fitted with digital sensors to monitor performance efficiency at all levels. Additionally, modern data analytic techniques aim to increase mine productivity and project monitoring through functional system management and effective observation.
An Exciting Venture For Global Mining
CIL, which aims to provide energy security in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner, hopes the move will help transform the entire business of mining operations and ensure higher volumes of coal are acquired at a lower cost.
“This is a first of its kind initiative by the company utilising digitalisation to ramp up coal output,” CIL has said.
A Digital Step Towards Enhanced Performance
Digitalisation is expected to take place at open-cast mines in Kusmunda, Gevra, Dipka of Southern Eastern Coalfields (SECL), Migahi, Jayant, Dudhichua, and Khadia of Northern Coalfields (NCL). Nearly 32% (188 MT) of CIL’s 596 MT output in FY’21 was accounted for by the seven selected mines. However, this new deal is set to see a large increase following the subsequent digital changes due to be made.
“Learning from the outcome and success of this model, we may replicate it in our other large mines,” says CIL, optimistic about the future following the modernisation of their mining.
It is expected that the move will help address roadblocks and guarantee corrective measures are put into place, ensuring the company is able to move forward with its aim of increasing output whilst remaining sustainable and eco-friendly.