Goldex Rail-Veyor Delivers a Sustainable Future
Goldex Deep 1 achieved commercial production in July 2017, extending the mine’s life by another eight years, at least, and creating a better outlook for Goldex’s future.
The Goldex team needed to develop the low-grade deposit using a cost-effective mining method that would be economic at depth – a challenge that had never been tried before.
According to Patrice Simard, Superintendent, Akasaba West Project, “We had to find a way to convert low-grades resources into actual mining reserves. It was the passion of our people that allowed us to achieve this goal. They love what they do and they always want to discover more.”
The engineering team installed a new underground technology called the Rail-Veyor, an automated conveyor system, which was key to making the Deep 1 project both economically and operationally viable.
Unlike regular conveyors, the Rail-Veyor system can easily negotiate turns, within the Goldex steep (17%) internal ramps system. But the Rail-Veyor, an all-electric conveyance system, has other advantages when looked at with a sustainable development lense. It eliminates the equivalent of fourteen diesel trucks that would otherwise be necessary to transport the ore to the shaft. In doing so, it improves industrial hygiene underground, and reduces the mine’s Greenhouse gases emissions . The electricity it uses comes from hydro-electric power, a renewable energy source. The installation of the Rail-Veyor is an example of a well rounded decision, combining great advantages for the mining and a reduction in the environmental footprint of the mine.
Installing the Rail-Veyor system and Deep 1 infrastructures at a $50 million budget was not an easy task. It meant extensive cooperation and coordination to ensure the 100-person installation crew didn’t disrupt daily mining operations.
Frédéric Mercier-Langevin, Goldex’s General Manager, comments, “Thanks to everyone’s dedication and commitment, we now have a great project and a mine with a longer lifespan. There is a great future ahead of us here at Goldex.”