Fresh air, 3 km underground.

CONTEXT:

With galleries reaching up to 3 km in depth, the Laronde mine from Agnico Eagle Mines Limited is currently the deepest in America. Without proper air circulation, the temperature at the bottom of the mine shafts could reach up to 40°C, jeopardizing the mining operations and causing significant revenue losses.

Agnico Eagle Ltd

CHALLENGES

The main exhaust fans blades are subject to unexpected and recurrent failure. There is a need to:

  • Identify the primary causes of the blades’ rupture
  • Propose corrective actions to avoid future shutdowns

CONTRIBUTIONS

Reverse-engineering of the current fan design:

  • Performance replication using in-house developed rotor models
  • Characterization of the blade material
  • Real time sensor data processing and analyses
  • Blade fragments analysis and fracture inspection

SOLUTIONS

Identification of the primary causes and implementation of best practices:

  • Instrumentation and alarms
  • Parallel operation of high performance fans
  • Protection against corrosion
guillemets
The work carried by OPTIS allowed us to identify the cause of the blades’ rupture and improve the control strategy for our main exhaust fans. The structured and rigorous approach demonstrated by OPTIS all along the project rapidly yielded meaningful results.
Sébastien Laflamme, Eng. MBA
Assistant-Superintendant, fixed machinery
Agnico Eagle Mines Limited

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