Minetek has been chosen to install an interim primary ventilation solution at Saracen Mineral Holdings’ Thunderbox operations in the northern Goldfields region of Western Australia.
Saracen was looking for an innovative ventilation solution to replace the traditional axial fans that were not supplying the required ventilation to increase production at the site, Minetek said.
The METS company said it was able to cater to the client’s needs and offer a custom solution that was installed with minimal disruption.
“We were able to customise a solution that was the same size in diameter to their existing fans but delivered a substantial increase to performance at the same time,” Minetek General Manager for Ventilation, Jeremy Sutherland, said.
Minetek’s POD (Pressure On Demand) technology allows the client to incrementally increase ventilation levels underground when required and give the client control over their energy consumption, the company said.
Saracen Thunderbox Underground Manager, Des Koh, said Minetek fans were selected to upgrade the site’s primary ventilation network, in preparation for a production ramp up, due to their ability to produce almost double the ventilation flow of the previous setup while only taking up slightly more room.
“The relatively small fans allowed us to utilise our existing bulkhead, where we were severely limited by space, which allowed us to use our existing infrastructure and dramatically reduce downtime in the mine during the change out,” Koh said.
“The installation was completed safely by our own personnel with technical support from Minetek and allows us to scale our ventilation flow with their pressure on demand system to suit our production profile.”