The underground Song Mine tin operation in Yunnan province, southwest China, has a large fleet of Atlas Copco mining equipment including Boomer face drilling rigs, Boltec bolters, Scooptram loaders and Diamec core drilling rigs.
But it was the introduction of specially designed compressed air solutions, also from Atlas Copco, that led to a new mining record for the owner, Yunnan Tin.
In just one month, exactly 464.3 drillmeters were completed, representing a new record throughout the Yunnan Tin group.
The air suppy is provided by 29 compressors that have been designed and adapted to the prevailing conditions in the mine. These include GA500, GA250, GA110 and GA55 oil-injected screw units, as well as an ES130 internet remote monitoring and central control system.
These units have an input voltage of 6KV and a pressure of 7 bar, in line with the air demands of the mining industry, and have different configurations depending on whether they are used on the surface or under ground. At ground level they are mainly large-scale GA500/250 units, while under ground they are mainly small GA110 air-cooled, oil-injected screw units with short gas transmission pipelines to due to the restricted space.
Air filters protect the core components from high dust environments, and since the mine is located at a high altitude, the compressor motors are more powerful than normal in order to prevent the area?s low atmospheric pressure from reducing their efficiency.
Located near Gejiu City, Song Mine covers an area of 45 km2 and is currently 770?m deep. Ore production exceeds 1.3 million tonnes per year.
Guang Gu, Manager, Equipment Division at Song Mine, explains: ?Ore extraction not only requires these compressors to run at full load for a long period of time, but also requires them to endure the demanding tests of the underground wet environment as well as high temperatures and dust.
?The Atlas Copco equipment has displayed excellent performance and super- high stability since it was put into use. Besides this, Atlas Copco has provided permanent service technicians for pre-determined maintenance in order to safeguard our production schedule and free us from any worries.?
Each GA compressor complies with ISO?9001, ISO?14001 and ISO?1217 and are engineered for reliability, even in ambient temperatures up to 55°C/131°F and in very harsh environments. In addition, thanks to an optimization system, each unit can be operated according to the total air consumption, largely reducing idling time.
Accurate pressure control also helps lower pressure on the piping network, saving up to 30% of the required energy while at the same time, a communication module transmits all operation parameters to a central monitoring terminal.
Epiroc operated under the trademark “Atlas Copco” prior to January 1, 2018.