The application of a total energy system at the Polaris mining project

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 77, No. 862, 1984

A. NIELSEN, Senior Electrical Engineer Cominco Ltd.

The Polaris mining operation (Fig. 1) is located on Little Corn-wa/lis Island in the Canadian Arctic, an area with a very limited shipping season and a hostile climate. The operation consists of the underground works, barge-mounted concentrator facilities, concentrate storage and shipping facilities, a personnel accommodation complex and an airstrip. The electrical energy for the operation is provided by four 2.3 MW diesel-generators installed on the barge. The power is distributed through a 4.16 KVsystem connected directly to the generators and to the large motors. All other loads are supplied at 600 V or 120 V. The power plant has been designed as a Total Energy System with maximum energy efficiency and thus designed for maximum heat recovery. The waste heat recovered on a year 'round basis is expected to be sufficient for the process heating and drying as well as the space heating for offices and accommodations. The engine cooling system consists of two glycol-water loops, a "cold" loop for charge air and lube oil cooling and a "warm" loop for jacket water cooling. Each loop is complete with heat exchangers for heat recovery and out-door forced air radiators to dispose of excess heat. A water loop in the concentrator area transfers the heat from the jacket water loop and the exhaust gas boiler to the space heating equipment, the process and the heating system for the accommodations. Part of the exhaust gas is diverted to the concentrate dryers.
Keywords: Mining, High Arctic, Polaris mining project, Energy systems, Diesel generators, Air systems, Engine cooling systems, Exhausts, Heat utilization