Overview

The majority of Saskatchewan Potash mining is done by conventional mining methods. This is where large mining machines are used to extract ore by cutting tunnels into the ore body. The raw ore is conveyed to a production hoist where it is transferred to the surface for processing.

Mosaic operates potash mines which include shaft mines with production shafts and has one solution mine. Mosaic’s new Saskatchewan potash operation, Esterhazy K3, has reached potash at a depth of 3,350 feet.  With its new K3 Expansion, the Esterhazy mine will become the largest potash mine in the world.

Easton Industrial Air had the great privilege to design and complete the HVAC engineering and HVAC equipment procurement for this Project.

Project Snapshot

Mining

Thyssen Krupp / Mosaic

K3 Expansion

High Abrasiveness & Dust Inhalation

Challenges

The ventilation system design basis was designed to avoid  large differential pressures and to minimize potential leakage and recirculation. By having a flow distribution of lower resistance pressures, which would minimize equipment size and overall costs. A minimum volumetric airflow was considered taken into consideration other equipment operating in the building as well as dilute any contaminants in the air.

Heat consideration was given to give adequate ventilation to be maintained to keep employees safe and comfortable.

Airborne dust was a major consideration in the design basis for this job. As dust is added to the airstream by the aeration of the ore when it is being transferred on the conveyor.

A potash mining facility is very dusty however there are minimum health effects in inhaling the dust components and inhalation dust has not been found to have any negative long term health.  It should be noted that the finer dust particles have a history of causing irritation of the mucous membranes particularly halite dust.

Easton Solution

Easton Industrial Air worked with ThyssenKrupp in the design, construction and development of a ventilation system for a potash application. The ventilation system was designed by looking at specifications, standards and analyzing requirements per building. Design parameters were verified through modelling and design factors were then used to generate specifications for fan systems to be purchased and installed.

Scope of Work Included engineering, detailing, procuring and delivery of the complete ventilation system for 3 different buildings and 2 different belt conveyors.  Technical deliverables included:

  • All design calculations required to properly size & specify equipment
  • Design & layout complete system in accordance to all standards, specifications and drawings
  • 2-D & 3-D Drawings for Modelling
  • Completed IFC Drawings
  • Completed all occupancy building schedules & building permits as required
  • Issued Material Requisitions and selections of equipment with procurement & delivery
  • Providing interfaces with all other disciplines for design progression
  • Ventilation for transfer house and belt turnover buildings were designed with minimal dust settling
  • Ventilation design in buildings were to accommodate for minimal dust incrustation as well as adding in supply of fresh air
  • Personal well being & safety hazards analyzed & evaluated