Tag Archives: Minetek

Minetek breathes new life into Saracen’s Thunderbox gold mine

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.”

Minetek to deliver ventilation solution to Mincor’s Kambalda nickel ops

Minetek says it has been awarded a tender to supply the ventilation requirements for the Cassini, Otter Juan and Long declines at Mincor’s Kambalda nickel operation in Western Australia.

The award, which came through Mincor’s contracting partner, Pit N Portal, includes both the secondary and primary vents across all three declines and follows on from a close collaboration over the last six months between the three parties, Minetek says.

Steve Verstegeen, CEO for Pit N Portal, said: “We are always looking at new innovations and technologies that will benefit both us and our clients. Minetek has been able to display that with the use of their modern ventilation technology, where we can look to see production increases through faster re-entry times and reduced capital costs in the total life of the development, delivering value to both us and Mincor.”

Minetek General Manager – Ventilation, Jeremy Sutherland, said: “From the start of early discussions with Mincor and Pit N Portal, it was very evident that both parties wanted to deliver the maximum amount of value for their stakeholders/shareholders in all aspects of the developments. This really excited our team, as it gave us the opportunity, through the release of forecasted production information and mine plans from Mincor and Pit n Portal, to display that we could deliver this through energy savings, production increases and reduced capital expenditure throughout the lifecycle of the developments.”

The “Mincor Nickel Operations” DFS from earlier this year confirmed the potential to develop a five‐year operation forecast to produce 71,000 t of nickel and 5,000 t of copper on a life-of-mine basis at Kambalda, with peak annual nickel-in-concentrate production of more than 16,000 t/y at a forecast life of mine unit cost of $2.35/lb.