News, Safety

Miners urged to prepare for hotter months ahead

Aggreko underground cooling sector manager Mitch Bevan has encouraged the Australian mining industry to start preparing now for the spring and summer months.

“Rental cooling and ventilation solutions are a hot commodity on the back of post-pandemic supply chain challenges and increasing production targets,” Bevan said.

“Although Aggreko is not 100 per cent immune from world-wide supply chain challenges, we are in a fortunate position of having an agile business model, large equipment fleet and a global team of experts.”

Beven has been manager of Aggreko’s Mine Cooling Business for the past four years and has seen the effects on mines that have prepared well – or not so well – for hotter months.

“For every megawatt of permanent refrigeration cooling, it’s upwards of $1.2 million in capital expenditure, and ventilation alone is about 30 per cent of a mine’s total operating costs,” he said.

“Refrigeration is an essential cost, however there are additional risks on top of this cost, associated with purchase, installation, and operation of large mechanical plants. Particularly in current times, projects are at elevated risk of cost and schedule over-run.

“Aggreko’s mine cooling solutions are designed to minimise risk, and provide reliable, easy-to-use mine cooling services. We can mobilise relatively fast and modify our plants year on year, due to the modular design of our equipment.

“Along with the rental of the equipment, we provide complete mechanical and electrical design of system, installing and commissioning and servicing of the plant for the duration of the hire.”

Bevan said in the current market, mine managers and production teams have so many competing priorities.

“They have been asked to produce at faster rates to capitalise on commodity prices while also having ambitious targets on the energy transition, with aspects of the market and supply chain making things difficult,” he said.

“Outsourcing mine cooling solutions to an external provider lightens their load, so they can concentrate on their core focus of production. For this summer it is definitely beneficial to prepare early.”

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