The design and installation of a mine monitoring and control system

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 84, No. 954, 1991

H. de Ruiter, and D. Lauzon, LAC Minerals Ltd., Macassa Division, Kirkland Lake, Ontario

In 1988 a decision was taken to design and install a computerized mine monitoring and control system. This system had to monitor and control all pumping and ventilation underground. The operation of the mine air heating, using waste heat from the mine water and compressors, was to be part of the system. It ultimately also had to interface with the four existing Canadian General Electric Series 3 PLC's which controlled the No. 3 shaft loading pockets. Beside operational control and trouble shooting, the system is a valuable tool in energy management and ultimate savings are estimated at $50,000 per year. The final equipment selection was a General Electric Series Six PLC on surface with a total of 17 Series One Plus and Juniors PLC located underground. Data is transferred through a two-pair shielded cable using modems. Both analog and digitial functions are being utilized. The basic monitoring and control system was commissioned during 1989 and, due to a higher level of technology today, further improvements have been planned for the future. The system was designed by Walter Dow together with Gordon Champion ofD.G. Champion Engineering Ltd. of Toronto. Advice for the ventilation part of the project was obtained from Maurice White, Independent Ventilation Consultant. The Ministry of Energy, Mines and Resources and the Ministry of Energy of Ontario approved this project together with the waste heat recovery project to qualify for a grant of $135,000 under the Enerdemo-Canada program.
Keywords: Mine monitoring systems, Underground mining, Ventilation, Heating, Computer applications.