Howden says it has secured a contract for its Ventsim™ CONTROL system at Gold Fields’ South Deep gold mine in South Africa.
The mine is a world-class bulk mechanised mining operation reaching depths between 2,800-3,300 m below surface and is located in the Witwatersrand Basin.
South Deep has invested in key infrastructure to ensure that it operates as a safe, low-cost, bulk and mechanised gold mine and is collaborating with Howden to implement a state-of-the-art ventilation optimisation system, Howden said. The solution will support a safe working environment as well as reducing the mine’s energy consumption, which will contribute towards South Deep’s environmental and operational goals.
Ventsim CONTROL combines ventilation modelling of the mine with a flexible control system and advanced control strategies for monitoring, control and optimisation of underground mine ventilation. The remote and autonomous control of ventilation devices allows operators to view underground mine conditions in real time as well as the ability to act quickly to suit their conditions.
Howden’s ventilation optimisation solution offers varying levels of control to suit the needs of the mine. Level 1 and 2 allows for manual remote control and scheduling of ventilation devices, while the level 4, Ventilation on Demand solution employed by South Deep will allow ventilation devices to react based on feedback from environmental sensors underground, according to Howden. It will furthermore adjust mine airflow in real time based on vehicle and personnel position. The Ventsim CONTROL solution also offers a 3D modelling capability within the software, which helps users to better predict and control air flows based on what is evidenced in the simulation.
Eric Vemer, President of Africa region at Howden, said: “The installation of Ventsim CONTROL will improve the operability and flexibility of the mine’s ventilation system to ensure a safe, healthy and efficient ventilation solution. Ventsim CONTROL will further reduce energy consumption and associated tonnes of carbon emissions. As the system allows the mine to optimise its ventilation based on fully remote vehicle and personnel monitoring, it directly contributes to achieving emissions reduction targets – something of which the Howden team is very proud.”