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Agnew Gold Mine

Sustainable Underground Ventilation Solution

Located just 30km from Leinster, Western Australia is the Northern Norseman-Wiluna Greenstone Belt. This mining region is home to the Agnew Gold Mine, owned by the international mining corporation Gold Fields. Agnew mine houses the Waroonga and New Holland underground deposits, the last two remaining gold mines in the Goldfields-Esperance region. Both Agnew mines have been operational since the 1880s, with a resurgence in production over the past decade. Between 2021 and 2022 Agnew Mine produced between 232,000oz -240,000oz of gold [1]. 

Agnew gold mine primary booster fan

Net-zero underground ventilation.  

The Agnew Gold Mine required a complete ventilation upgrade to meet Life Of Mine (LOM) requirements. This solution involved future-proofing for continuing production, mine extensions and brownfield exploration throughout under-explored sections of the tenements. This Gold Mine was experiencing challenges with the existing primary ventilation circuit. The air volume flow rate was not achieving the required free air volume or pressure. Therefore, debottlenecking was required to achieve their goal of increased production and expanded exploration. 

Agnew Gold Mine commissioned Minetek to help achieve their long-term vision and demands by developing a customised underground ventilation solution. Minetek’s solution was a Primary Booster Fan which included the removal of redundant equipment and installing the new fans. This unique solution was an Australian first for a fan of this combined size and technology, powered by Agnew’s renewable grid network. Discover the full case study by requesting a free PDF copy. 

Underground gold mine primary booster fan

Sustainable ventilation solution. 

Agnew Gold Mine favoured a low energy, high volume ventilation solution with low energy consumption. Minetek’s Primary Fans required energy output of 1,100kW / 1,000 V and a flow rate of 280 m³/sec – 350 m³/sec at a pressure of 3,700 Pa – 4,200 Pa meeting both current and future production and development needs.   

Minetek’s Performance On Demand (POD) technology enabled a seamless operation with the ability to adapt pressure and power consumption without using Variable Speed Drive (VSD) controls. Our impulse bladed impeller controls the POD system with anti-stall technology installed to capture turbulent air flow and unstable pre-swirls, to ensure optimal fan performance.  

Primary ventilation commissioning by electrical engineer

Due to their sheer size, Minetek’s Primary Fans had to be tested prior to shipping. We gained approvals from the Power Supply Authorities, and all other facilities within the Minetek complex had to be shut down to provide enough power for testing. The performance of the Primary Booster fans was pilot tested in Minetek’s testing chamber which happens to be the largest fan test chamber in the southern hemisphere. This unique environment was built to conform with AMCA standards and can simulate the most challenging conditions in any underground mining scenario. 

Minetek engineers and key personnel kept all project goals on track, achieving the installation within a short timeframe. The previous fans were removed and replaced with new fans in just four days of commissioning. Originally, we anticipated this project to be completed within 10 shifts however our seamless project management enabled a turn-key installation in only 7 shifts.  

Agnew gold mine primary ventilation installation

1100kW Primary Booster Fan 

Engineered with the mining industry at the forefront, Minetek’s High Output Axial Primary Booster Fans are a robust and reliable ventilation solution with a broad operating range. Our unique steel impeller allows for operation at high pressures with prolonged life, in even the harshest of underground mining environments. 

Primary Booster Fan Specifications 

  • Power range – 1100 kW (kilowatts) / 1,000 V (volts) 
  • Volume flowrate – 350 m³/sec (cubic metres per second) / 742,000 CFM (Cubic Feet Per Minute) (cubic feet per minute) 
  • Pressure – 4,200 Pa (pascals) / 16.9 in.wg (inch of water) 
Minetek fan delivery to Leinster Western Australia

Minetek’s primary fans, have been proven to reduce power consumption costs by up to 50%, by regulating flow rates from the integrated POD system. Our fans have the capability to outperform larger alternatives and then be re-deployed quickly and easily to other locations as the mine workings evolve. Underground mines can reduce on ventilation capital costs with less fans required to meet underground flow rates and pressure requirements. Achieve safe, reliable operations while delivering guaranteed reductions in power consumption and increased profitability, assisting green mines achieve net-zero emission targets. 

Minetek has expanded with a new operations hub located in Perth, servicing the Western Australian Mining regions. Our world-class service has expanded to meet the demand and responsiveness needed to support our clients’ requirements. Our technical team is now close by and readily available to help with your site. The team at Minetek are confident and ready to provide solutions that match your requirements. Contact us to find out more about our primary and secondary ventilation solutions. 

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