BESTECH was responsible for the design of a new impact stench system to alert underground workers in the advent of a site’s fire, while allowing continued operation at an unaffected adjacent mining property. The design pertains to Vale’s Coleman Mine and the adjacent, joined Glencore, Fraser Mine. By way of complexity, the fresh air fans at Glencore’s Fraser Mine feed into the ventilation at the Glencore operations (Fraser Morgan and Fraser Nickel) and the same fresh air system feeds Vale’s Coleman Mine. Since the fresh air ventilation system is co-joined, a unique new stench gas system was required to alert the appropriate site of a fire while not disrupting the adjoining operation. The design is novel whereby the stench gas injection is segregated and controlled to feed into the operation with the actual fire, while ensuring no leakage into the adjacent operation. This ensures a discharge at Fraser Mine for a fire, for example, will not affect Coleman Mine’s operation, and vice-versa. The design called for the installation of an underground stench system underground on 3,400 level at Fraser Mine site. There are two stench routes, each consisting of two new stench gas panels. All four panels were installed in an existing cut-out between air-lock doors at Fraser Mine. Using a specially designed system of 1,500 ft piping, the two stench systems now deliver stench gas to Fraser Morgan and Fraser Nickel ore bodies simultaneously without impacting Coleman Mine. This system uses compressed air stored in an air receiver to propel stench gas through the piping. By utilizing both an air compressor and the mine’s compressed air to charge the air receiver, the required compressed air is always available.

BESTECH was responsible for the multi-disciplinary design including:

  • Air receiver sizing, air compressor requirements, and piping design
  • Wall design, flooring design, and room ventilation
  • Power distribution, instrumentation, and networking
  • Functional description, programming, and commissioning