Saracen selects Minetek to support Thunderbox ramp up

The Thunderbox site. Image: Saracen Mineral Holdings

Saracen Mineral Holdings has appointed Minetek to install a custom ventilation solution at the Thunderbox gold underground mine in Western Australia.

The order was initiated due to insufficient ventilation provided by Saracen’s traditional axial fans to allow for a production ramp up at the site.

Minetek’s solution came in the same size in diameter and uses the company’s pressure on demand technology to increase ventilation levels underground when required, while giving the user control over their energy consumption.

Saracen Thunderbox underground manager Des Koh said the company chose Minetek fans due to their ability to produce almost double the ventilation flow of the previous set up while only taking up slightly more room.

“The relatively small fans allowed us to utilise our existing bulkhead, where we were severely limited by space, which allowed us to use our existing infrastructure and dramatically reduce downtime in the mine during the change out,” Koh said.

“The installation was completed safely by our own personnel with technical support from Minetek and allows us to scale our ventilation flow with their pressure on demand system to suit our production profile.”

Saracen plans to further develop its Thunderbox underground mine over the next two years as its additional source of production alongside the open pit mines.

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