Howden has secured a contract for its innovative Ventsim™ CONTROL system at Gold Fields South Deep gold mine. The mine is a world-class bulk mechanised mining operation reaching depths between 2,800m and 3,300m below surface and is located in the Witwatersrand Basin, near Westonaria 50km south-west of Johannesburg (South Africa).
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. 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, whilst the level 4, Ventilation on Demand (VOD), solution employed by South Deep will allow ventilation devices to react based on feedback from environmental sensors underground. 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.
The installation of Ventsim™ CONTROL will improve the operability and flexibility of the mines 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.
Howden focuses on helping customers increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their air and gas handling processes enabling them to make sustainable improvements with regards to their environmental impact. Howden designs, manufactures and supplies products, solutions and services to customers around the world across highly diversified end-markets and geographies.