In 2015, Kamoto approached MineARC regarding the prospect of implementing a fully integrated stench gas network on-site to improve their broader Emergency Response Procedure. They required an automated system that would cover an underground area of around 5km, with the ability to disperse stench gas within 10 seconds to all active regions of the mine—resulting in the development of a custom Electric Stench Gas Mine Alert System.
Designing an Electric Stench Gas Systems for African Mines
MineARC Engineer Sebastian Acosta worked with Kamoto to design a network of 10 stench gas units and two anti-stench units that an above-ground master controller can remotely control via a series of six underground sub-controllers. The fibre optic platform utilises a PLC system to transmit a signal from the master controller to the stench gas units, which will release short, measured bursts of stench gas throughout the mine when activated in an emergency’s ventilation system.
Once all-clear, anti-stench works as a flushing agent to clean the compressed air lines. Following stench gas activation, flushing all ventilation lines removes the scent of the chemical.
Kamoto chose MineARC’s electric stench gas system over other manual options to rule out the possibility of human error during an emergency activation. The above ground master controller removes any need for interaction with the units underground during a crisis. Each stench gas unit does, however, feature a manual override button if required.
Mounting the units on custom stands bolted into the ground adds stability. For easy identification in low light conditions, the boxes are powder coated red for emergency stench gas and blue for anti-stench, with beacon lights.
Supporting Safer African Mines
MineARC has been allowed to work closely with Kamoto Copper, an underground copper and cobalt mine located in the Katanga Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Kamoto Copper place a strong emphasis on safety within their operations and are no stranger to MineARC safety products. In 2014, our MineARC Africa team worked closely with Kamoto to integrate two 30-man MineSAFE Standard Design Refuge Chambers and three MineSAFE Permanent Refuge Bays into their emergency response plan.