Underground cooling and chilling for deep mining operations

Underground cooling and chilling for deep mining operations


Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd. of South Africa, operates some of the world’s deepest gold mines. The Phaksia mine in Free State is one such example, reaching a depth of 2,400 meters. To manage the associated temperature issues of mining to such a depth, Harmony commissioned the building of ice-making plants as part of their cooling system.

When the commissioning of the cooling system was delayed, Harmony needed to find an urgent solution to cover this gap, especially with the warmer summer months approaching.


Following an enquiry from Harmony and upon completion of a site survey, Aggreko proposed a fully integrated, turn-key cooling package which included the complete design, mobilisation, installation and operation of the system.

The cooling package was mobilised from Aggreko’s local depots in South Africa in a matter of days and the equipment was maintained by Aggreko’s team of experienced technicians. Based around a 3,700 kWr surface cooled plant, the system delivered 3,000 kWr of cooling with additional capacity as back-up.

The solution matched Harmony’s requirements perfectly, effectively bridging the gap until the permanent cooling package was installed.

Why was Aggreko chosen?

Harmony was looking for a supplier that could rapidly deliver an end-to-end solution that fully matched their requirements and ensured 100% uptime.

Aggreko’s strong local presence and nearly 50 years experience in working with many of the world ‘s leading mining companies gave Harmony the peace of mind they were seeking.

Health and safety is something we take very seriously, which is why we have brought in Aggreko to provide us with a turn-key package which can be delivered quickly to the mine.
The knowledge and experience Aggreko can provide in this area will play an integral part in the operation of the mine until the in-house cooling system is operational.

Marius De Leeuw - Project Design Engineer, Harmony Gold Mine Co. Ltd.