Compressed air system solutions for deep surface mining

In this installment of What Works, a Chinese mining operation uses compressed air to move underground.

Approximately 30 oil-injected screw compressors are operating in Hanking Industrial Group mines in northeast China. The compressors, including GA 355, GA 250, GA 132 and GA 110 models, are specially designed by Atlas Copco to meet almost any requirement at Hanking’s iron mining and processing facilities.

compressor miningHanking Industrial Group was established in the early 1990s. With millions of tons of proven iron ore reserves, Hanking operates more than 10 iron mining facilities in Fushun, Benxi, Liaoyang, and Danjiangkou, with an annual capacity of approximately 2 million tons of iron powder, making it one of the largest private companies in iron mining and processing in northeast China. The mined ore is supplied to northeast China steel plants.

“In April, the surface mining project in Aoniu Mine achieved its full operation, with output surpassing 110,000 tons per month,” says Gang Li, mining supplies department manager at Hanking. “It set a new record in the history of surface mining production. This record could not have been achieved without the high efficiency of Atlas Copco air compressors, especially the compressed air system solutions that are designed according to our actual operational conditions and requirements.”

compressor mining2For more than 10 years, Hanking has collected iron ore through surface mining with operations currently running 50-150 m below ground level. To meet the production requirements of deep surface mining, Atlas Copco developed customized solutions for the stationary air compressors running in Hanking and designed compressor stations with GA series oil-injected screw compressors installed at ground level.

Atlas Copco’s oil-injected rotary screw GA compressors are built to perform in harsh environments. For mining applications, the specialized design of the GA series enables it to operate in working temperatures up to 55 °C. The GA series is designed, manufactured, and tested in accordance with ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 1217 standards. The integrated closed gear drive is designed to eliminate the need for a coupling, which reduces maintenance requirements.

An Elektronikon controller is used on the main drive motor, and it regulates system pressure within a predefined and narrow pressure band. The controller also can be adapted to meet specific needs with extra sensors, digital contacts, fieldbus, Internet, and SMS communication functions.

In Hanking’s underground mining operation, the stationary compressors supply air power to the pneumatic picks. The oil-injected screw compressors are mainly used in the drifting and production drilling processes.

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