Tag Archives: water use

Midwest’s MineKleen to cut the dust in underground hard-rock mines

Midwest Industrial Supply, a leader in dust control and road stabilisation solutions, has released a new system for dust control in underground hard-rock mines.

The MineKleen® Underground Mine Dust Control System can eradicate up to 95% of dust while reducing water usage by up to 95%, the company says.

The result of years of research in some of the harshest underground mine conditions, the MineKleen system relies on molecular technology for its performance.

“Midwest developed a proprietary chemical formula consisting of a synthetic fluid plus polymeric binder system,” the company explained. “This system binds fines together, creating a pavement-like strength that gets stronger with use.”

Midwest’s proprietary formulation is environmentally safe, verified by the US EPA and several Canadian authorities, Midwest added.

Jim Silva, Midwest’s Vice President of Mining Solutions, said: “MineKleen keeps particulate matter out of the air, enhancing regulatory compliance and the health and safety of mine workers. It helps roads hold up longer, even in heavily used areas.”

The system also includes the MineKleen Sprayer, which, the company says, is a unique distribution system designed specifically for underground mines. It enables the formulation to be applied to roads, backs and ribs at the same time, enhancing productivity.

One mine that tested Midwest’s formula against a generic dust control product used previously, cut costs by 35%, saving nearly $225,000 annually, according to the company. The mine also extended days between applications to 14 days from every three days, decreasing annual applications from 122 to 28. Manhours required for dust control and road stabilisation dropped from 487 to 133, while the surface of the mine roads dramatically improved. Reduced maintenance and less watering boosted worker productivity in moving product out of the mine.

Midwest said: “Mines seek an affordable way of managing dust. For many, watering is the go-to solution. But this compounds the challenges. Regular watering degrades the road by washing away fines (small particles that hold the road together, keeping larger material in place). So, road maintenance and rebuilding costs escalate.”

CEEC gets behind mining industry water use initiatives

The Coalition for Energy Efficient Comminution (CEEC) is looking to build on the industry success it has had with its free Energy Curves tool with the development of a global Water Curves tool.

In its efforts to develop this, around 40 leaders from the mining, METS, research and support services world came together in Vancouver, Canada, this month for “a groundbreaking workshop” to do exactly this.

Jointly organised by Canada Mining and Innovation Council and CEEC, with facilitation by KPMG, the project definition workshop at Teck Resources’ Vancouver headquarters explored many important questions, such as: what the industry requires from Water Curves, what metrics are required to benchmark water use, how information could be gathered and assessed, and how the project could be funded, CEEC said.

“The Water Curves approach builds on the success of CEEC’s trusted free Energy Curves tool, which has been used since 2015 to assess and map operational energy efficiency improvements and options,” the organisation said.

Workshop speakers included CMIC CEO, Carl Weatherell; CEEC CEO, Alison Keogh; CEEC Director, Simon Hille, Newmont Goldcorp Group Executive Global Projects, and, Metso VP Product RTD (Mining and Aggregates, Minerals Consumables).

The workshop was timed to follow the SAG Conference, in Vancouver, which brought together all those engaged in the field of autogenous, semi-autogenous and HPGR grinding in the industrial and metalliferous mineral industries and took place on September 22-26 at the Marriott Parq Vancouver.

It also follows closely on the heels of ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service saying in a report that scarcity costs associated with securing reliable sources of water represents “an elevated risk”.

Moody’s Senior Vice President, Carol Cowan, said: “Many countries, including Peru, Chile, Australia, South Africa and Mongolia, have large mining operations exposed to decreasing water availability. In the next 20 years, all of these countries will be in the high to extremely high ratio of water withdrawals to supply, which will make it difficult for companies to secure reliable sources.”