Risks Analysis for Ventilation Network Optimisation Processes in Kazakhstan Metal Mines


Sergei Sabanov, Nazarbayev University, School of Mining and Geosciences

This case study produced for the metal mine operating in Kazakhstan, which has ventilation controlled manually and working continuously at maximum speed to keep air flowing through each part of the mine 24 hours a day. The mine auxiliary ventilation has been designed with the maximum length of ducting systems with extra air volumes to compensate for potential leakage.  The mine provided auxiliary ventilation to all production stopes even to those, which for various operating reasons become temporarily inactive. However, mine safety has to consider risks associated with the deficit of fresh air for mine gases dilution and removal.  The mine needs additional investments for re-designing ventilation network and therefore needs to estimate financial risks associated with it. The aim of this study is to conduct risk analysis for ventilation network optimisation processes at the operational metal mine in Kazakhstan. Mine ventilation surveys were undertaken for validation of the computerised ventilation model. The mine ventilation network modelling has been undertaken to be compliant with Kazakhstan mining regulations. Results of the mine ventilation optimisation processes were analysed in terms of financial risks for investments into reconstruction of the ventilation shafts, extension of the ventilation network, variable speed fans and automated regulators. Savings were resulted from improving ventilation system efficiency by reduce airflow in areas without mining activity and redistributing existing ventilation capacity. Based on savings derived from the optimised ventilation network an additional NPV has been received.  Stochastic modelling use Monte Carlo simulation producing representation of possible outcomes for the additional NPV considering electricity pricing as a major variability.  As result probability distribution for the optimised ventilation network demonstrates the additional NPV in a range of 1.6 - 2.2 million US$ in the corresponding defined value of 90%. Moreover, there is only 5% chance that the additional NPV to be less than 1.5 million US$. Conducted risk analysis for ventilation network optimisation processes gives considerations on volume of investments into the mine ventilation system.