Modelling of the ventilation system using ventsim considering the full mine mechanization drive at Konkola copper mines

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Dzwiti, Kudakwashe
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The University of Zambia
Konkola Copper Mines Plc (KCM) is undergoing full mechanization drive aimed at increasing levels of production from the current 2.4 million tonnes to 7.5 million tonnes per annum. The mechanization of the mines will provide a large potential for reduced costs and improved profits, while at the same time lead to increase in the demand of mine ventilation as more quantities of air has to be provided in order to meet levels of mechanization and to comply with government statutory requirements. The continually rising energy costs and the fairly recent introduction of stricter legislation limiting exposure levels of miners to pollutants such as diesel particulate matter (DPM) have resulted in more complex mine ventilation networks, which cannot be solved by traditional methods currently being employed at KCM. Therefore, this study was undertaken with the objective of modelling an effective and efficient 3D animated mine ventilation model for Konkola Copper Mines using a simulation program Ventsim Visual. The model has been developed with the intention of introducing a computer based computation and management of the ventilation system which is fast, easy and accurate over the traditional methods currently used at the mine. The study has highlighted how the developed model can be used for fault-finding of a problem area in the mine and options analysis for resolution of such problems. Results of study indicate that it is possible to significantly reduce the mine ventilation operation costs under the current mechanization drive without compromising exposure levels. Using scenario 2 (20 years mine life), the study has established that 60 airways can be optimized to reduce cost with potential savings of about $1,715,158 and annual power saving of $355,659 respectively.
Mine ventilation , Mining equipment , Copper--Mining machinery