The Pilar mine at the Caraiba Mining Complex in Bahia, Brazil, will soon have a high-tech, safe, and efficient underground mine cooling system through Howden and their TMVS – Total Mine Ventilation Solutions.
The Caraiba Mining Complex is owned and operated by Ero Copper and is located in northeastern Bahia State, Brazil, approximately 385 km north-northwest of the capital city of Salvador. The high-grade mafic-ultramafic mineral occurrences contained within the Curaçá Valley extend over 100 km in strike length. Current operations include the integrated mining operations of the Pilar underground mine, the Surubim open pit mine and the new Vermelhos underground mine, currently under development.
The Pilar mine has almost 1,400 m of depth, 105 km of galleries, and 8,400 m of ramps that will experience temperature control, a more pleasant environment for workers, and a significant increase in productivity. The ventilation project is part of the mine’s Deepening Extension Project through which a significant increase in production from the current 1.2 Mt/y ore mined at Pilar to approximately 2.2 Mt/y ore mined is planned. The expansion of the Pilar is supported by the installation of a new external shaft, scheduled to commence construction in Q3 2021, that will not only support the planned increases in copper production at the Pilar mine but has also been designed to support the potential for longer term copper production increases.
David Strang, President and CEO of Ero Copper has stated: “While the Deepening Extension Project, technically, remains a mere extension of our existing operations at Pilar, the inclusion of the new shaft along with updated ventilation and cooling provides us with increased flexibility to not only increase overall production from Pilar but also improve the operating environment for our operations teams working in the mine, thereby increasing operating time at the working face.”
Howden has been awarded a turnkey mine-cooling project from the design stage to commissioning. It integrates the TMVS experience in products and services, developed to provide more efficiency, safety, and total coverage to all mine operations.
For Edson Luis Geraldini, Howden South America Sales Director: “Mining is an activity related to almost all sectors of the economy. It reaches a share that approaches 40% in the Brazilian trade balance and represents 4% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In this scenario, technology, efficiency, and innovative projects that speed up operations increase safety and guarantee the work environment improvement. As is the case of Caraiba Mining and the reason of Howden’s success in the sector,” he said.
Howden says TMVS – Total Mine Ventilation Solution offers the guarantee and the experience of almost two centuries dedicated to handling air and gases, manufacturing high quality and reliable products for the global mining industry. Howden is also a leader in underground ventilation systems, including main fans, auxiliary fans, booster fans, heating solutions, ventilation on demand (VOD) and Ventsim. These innovative products provide more performance and efficiency in mining industry operations.