TLT Turbo Africa fans boost ventilation and savings
TLT-Turbo Africa's new range of auxiliary and booster fans have not only improved ventilation in deep mines but yielded capital payback in under three months.
The company was approached by an ultra-deep mining operation located in Gauteng, requiring a recommendation for a suitable fan.
“Following numerous engagements, our Engineering and Research and Development teams set out to develop a customised solution, utilising our high efficiency A&B fan range,” Vusi Madlopha, TLT-Turbo Africa Head of Sales & Business Development relates.
At the time, the operation was using multiple installations of auxiliary fans to deliver the required volume and pressure (consuming ±630kwe). The mine was also operating three main surface fans, each consuming ±2MW of power.
Based on an assessment of the mine’s needs, the final recommendation made by TLT-Turbo Africa was for two MC1600AP-160KW dual stage fans from the newly launched A&B fan range (specifically 1600mm diameter, dual-stage fans, each fan driven by two 160kW high-efficiency motors).
The R&D team custom-designed the required fans to be modular, allowing their transport through shafts and access tunnels and once on site, they were easily assembled.
Three months after the installation, conditions underground at the shaft have improved noticeably, particularly in the previously warmer upper levels.
The installation and commissioning of the TLT-Turbo Africa fans has allowed the mine to permanently remove 14 other auxiliary fans (with a total rated power of 630kW).
The capital pay-back period on this project has been less than three months and with the lifespan of this project exceeding 10 years, the implied electrical cost savings of this solution are massive, the company states.
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.