With galleries reaching over 3 km in depth, the Laronde mine from Agnico Eagle 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.
The main exhaust fans experienced recurrent and unexpected blade failure, motivating the need to identify the root cause of the problem and propose corrective actions to avoid future interruptions.
As part of this project, Optis contributed to the following tasks:
- Root-cause analysis of the blade failure:
- Reverse engineering of the fan performance based on current geometry;
- Mechanical tests on actual blade samples;
- Processing and analysis of +5 years performance date to identify operational anomalies.
- Optimization of the rotors blades:
- Geometry optimization for improved efficiency and structural strength;
- Extension of life cycle through in-situ corrosion testing of alloys and protective coatings.
- Collaborate with Agnico Eagle to implement best operational practices of parallel fans:
- Instrumentation and real time monitoring of fan performance;
- Development of a fan stall sensor linked to an alarm system preventing undesirable fan operation.