MINEARC DEVELOPS CUSTOM ELECTRIC STENCH GAS NETWORK FOR KAMOTO COPPER MINE, AFRICA
Written by Jason Van Niekerk, Africa BDM
MineARC has been given the opportunity to once again work closely with Kamoto Copper, an underground copper and cobalt mine located in the Katanga Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Kamoto Copper place a strong emphasis on safety within their operations, and are no stranger to MineARC safety products. In 2014, our MineARC Africa team worked closely with Kamoto to integrate two 30-man MineSAFE Standard Design Refuge Chambers and three MineSAFE Permanent Refuge Bays into their emergency response plan.
During 2015, Kamoto approached MineARC regarding the prospect of implementing a fully integrated stench gas network on-site in order to improve their wider Emergency Response Procedure. They required an automated system that would cover an underground area of around 5km, with the ability to disperse stench gas within 10 seconds to all active areas of the mine.
MineARC Engineer Sebastian Acosta worked with Kamoto to design a network of 10 stench gas units and two anti-stench units that can be remotely controlled by an above-ground master controller via a series of six underground sub-controllers. The fibre optic platform utilises a PLC system to transmit a signal from the master controller to the stench gas units, which when activated in an emergency will release short, measured bursts of stench gas throughout the mine’s ventilation system. Once the all-clear has been given, anti-stench can be released to efficiently neutralise the smell of the stench gas.
Kamoto chose MineARC’s electric stench gas system over other manual options in order to rule out the possibility of human error during emergency activation. The above ground master controller removes any need for interaction with the units underground during a crisis. Each stench gas unit does however feature a manual override button if required.
“The MineARC Stench Gas System represents a great leap forward in terms of safety in the mining industry in the Democratic Republic of the Congo”, says Greg Dala, Senior Ventilation Engineer and Mine Rescue Coordinator of Kamoto Copper.
All of the units supplied to Kamoto are mounted on custom MineARC stands which will be bolted into the ground for stability. The units are powder coated red for emergency stench gas and blue for anti-stench, with beacon lights for easy identification in low light conditions.