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NEWS 17 / 12 / 2020

Bulk Air Cooling reducing temperatures in the South Shaft mine

South Deep mine, owned by Gold Fields, is one of the largest gold mines in South Africa and in the world.  South Deep has a mineral reserve of 38-million ounces, the equivalent to close to 100 000 gold bullion bars and has a current life-of-mine of 75 years.

South Deep is located in the Far West Rand goldfields on the north western rim of the Witwatersrand Basin.  The mine is accessed from the surface through two shaft systems, the Twin Shaft Complex (main and ventilation shafts) of which the main shaft a single-drop to 110A, a depth 2,998m, the vent shaft to 110 level (2, 947m) and the South Shaft Complex which is a vertical system (three operating shafts) to 95 level at a depth of 2,786m.

Gold Fields’ operating principal has often been quoted, “If we cannot mine safely, we will not mine”. This principle is deeply ingrained at South Deep and in line with this principle, IWC was called in to construct and erect a custom designed Bulk Air Cooling tower to ensure a safe working environment for their staff.

Bulk air coolers reduce the working temperatures inside a mine, consequently enabling mineworkers to operate in better conditions and allowing for improved efficiencies. With rock temperatures exceeding 60°C, it is important for mines to install ventilation and cooling systems to safeguard employee health.

IWC is proud to be associated with the South African gold and platinum mining industry, and has provided a number of large, field-erected condenser cooling towers as well as both surface, and underground bulk air coolers, to various mines across the country.

The forced draught counterflow Bulk Air Cooling tower (BAC) was customed designed for an EPC specialising in mine ventilation and cooling. The BAC shown below is a 2 cell 9MW unit making use of a low fouling trickle grid fill.   The structure is a fiber cement clad steel structure erected above a concrete basin.


We are one of the few companies globally to offer Bulk Air Cooling solutions . IWC has been at the forefront of developing ventilation and cooling system technology in the mining for over 30 years and has successfully completed projects for heavyweight clients such Roxgold, Anglo Platinum and Sibanya Gold.  We are the EPC market leader in Africa with global presence in Australia and India and offer a full thermal solutions product and service offering.

Products used in this article