UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Designing a Large-Scale Lake Cooling System for an Ultra-Deep Mine: A Canadian Case Study Kuyuk, Ali Fahrettin; Ghoreishi-Madiseh, Seyed Ali; Sasmito, Agus P.; Hassani, Ferri

Abstract

Subsurface mining operations are continuously getting deeper and more complex due to depletion of shallow deposits. This fact inevitably brings more expensive, high-tech oriented and most importantly energy intensive subsurface mining operations to come alive. Accordingly, while big mining companies are developing sensible extraction methods to exploit orebodies located at great depths, they are also seeking to cut down their costs and carbon footprint. A large percentage of the energy needed by a subsurface mine is due to the mine ventilation and air conditioning reasons. In fact, for mines deeper than 2 km, mine air conditioning becomes a must. Yet, as there are not many alternatives developed, most of the modern mines are subjected to deploy tens of megawatts worth of cooling plants using massive refrigeration units. This does not only create a large financial burden during the project stage but also results in heavy energy demands during the operation. This paper aims to investigate a natural, alternative deep-mine lake cooling system by providing a detailed ‘front-end-loading’ design conducted for a real-life, Canadian example.

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CC BY 4.0