Mine Backfill System Rescue 911


Steve Goulet, Chess Controls Inc.

Dry Fills, Cemented Rockfill, Hydraulic Sandfill, Paste Backfill... All of these backfill choices present their own unique challenges and processes, but they all have some things in common: - Tend to be prepared on surface - Poured underground through thousands and thousands of feet of pipe/stopes - They are all flowing at very high pressures, due to static head pressure alone As mines continue to grow, so do their backfilling needs. Systems originally designed to pour into development areas are often adapted to pour into other development areas as new orebodies are discovered and the mine develops. Often there is little or no access to the piping/stopes used to direct this backfill, so if a blockage or obstruction occurs somewhere along the flow path, millions of dollars and thousands of man hours need to be dedicated to clear the blockage and replace the existing pipework, which can lead to downtime and lost production. Traditionally this has been a very difficult process to do any type of fluid handling in, due to the extreme temperatures and sometimes adbrasive nature of mine backfill.  Enter Guichon. This valve manufacturer, owned by the Valco group of companies, has designed specialty mine backfill valves to either divert pasteflow from one main line to any number of galleries, or to drain the line in case of emergency and prevent the total loss of their backfill piping system.  These are our valves, and this is how we do it.
Keywords: Mine Backfill, Diverter valves, drain valves, Sandfill, Pastefill, paste