The Mandela Mining Precinct’s Mechanised Mining Systems research programme has successfully tested and proven the effectiveness of a real-time monitoring regime for ventilation on demand at Siyanda’s Union mine 4 South Decline shaft.
The focus of the Mechanised Mining Systems (MMS) Programme is to develop or demonstrate solutions that will lead to the increase of economically feasible gold, PGM, and Chrome orebodies in SA through new mining approaches.
“Real-time in-situ condition monitoring with hazard alarm notification, guided by people and equipment tracking gives the control room operator cutting-edge technology to proactively respond and action preventative measures to reduce risk to people, the environment, and equipment,” says MMP Research Programme Manager, Martin Pretorius.
The ventilation on demand system allows for:
- The remote start and stops of an electrical fan to increase or decrease ventilating air.
- The monitoring of the life supportive status of refuge chambers.
- The monitoring of gases and conditions for possible fires.
- The on-panel monitoring of all thermal conditions and
- Measuring the voltage and current of electrical equipment.
It was proven that the system delivers real-time information with effective data monitoring capability and is supported by alarm notification underground. The system includes monitoring of conveyor belt systems, sub stations, refuge chamber life support status, fire detection, air leakages, ventilation on demand, blast management, in-stope environmental status, vehicle management, lamproom condition status and asset management.
“The finding is that the system is very efficient, which also allows in-stope environmental condition monitoring been visually displayed at the waiting place, from which pro-active measures can be taken where risk conditions been alarmed. In addition, remote changes in ventilation flow have been proven which demonstrates the ability to supply ventilation on demand,” says Pretorius.