Client Peak Gold Mines Pty Ltd

Location Cobar, Australia

Sectors Mining

The challenge

Keep things cool and safe in a gold mine during the summer

Gold is a hot commodity, but in summer so are the mines. Under the searing Australian heat, it gets hot and humid down in the tunnels of Cobar’s gold mine, and working underground in these overheated conditions is a risk to life and limb. When the wet-bulb temperature in the Cobar mine climbed to 30°C, miners could only work safely underground for limited periods of time resulting in a loss of productivity. So Peak Gold Mines – knowing we had years of experience in the mining business and that we take the health and safety of all workers seriously – called us in to fix their seasonal temperature problem.

Project fact file

1.2 km

Mine location underground

11 km

Length of the airshafts

30 °C

Wet-bulb temperatures

The solution

Installing coolers underground 

Nothing’s too hot for us to handle. We set up an 1,800 kWr (600 refrigeration tonne) air-conditioning system by connecting underground bulk air coolers to the fresh air above and chillers in the return ventilation. Having all the coolers underground meant less power was needed to get the fresh air to the lower levels so smaller units could be used. This reduced the overall cost of the installation. 

The package was delivered, installed and commissioned well within the timeframe and met or exceeded all Quality Health, Safety and Environment (QHSE) requirements.

the aggreko difference

We dig deep to find ways to help keep your people safe.

The impact

Safe, productive and cost-effective underground cooling

The package operated by our technicians lowered the wet-bulb temperature to 27°C, regulated the temperature and, most importantly, kept the miners healthy and safe. Putting the entire system underground kept costs down and the flexibility of the system meant it could be turned off during the cooler winter months. 

“By utilising Aggreko, we were able to hire cooling capacity only when needed rather than purchasing a cooling package which would be unnecessary during the winter months.”

Michael Brown Mine Maintenance and Project Supervisor ,
Peak Gold Mines Pty Ltd