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After completion of industrial tests JSC PIMCU commissions new stowing complex designed to fill up worked-out spaces of underground uranium mines with stowing
Industrial tests took two months. During that time, optimum compositions of stowing mixtures were tried and tested to ensure filling up of vacant spaces in mines No. 8 and 2 with solid stowing. Underground voids need to be filled up for the purposes of safe subsequent development of mines, as well as environmental impact mitigation.
“State-of-the-art high-performance equipment makes it possible to significantly improve composition of the mixtures. It is now possible to use chemical additives and various inert fillers. This has enabled us to enhance the quality of stowing and reduce cost of mine stowing operations,” says Dmitry Shchemelev, Manager of Project for Modernization of Stowing Operations, JSC PIMCU.
Depending on industrial requirements, quick-hardening stowing mixtures, those with hardening process taking 28 days, cement-free mixtures and ready-mixed concrete for construction purposes may be prepared. Ready-made mixtures will be delivered directly to worked-out spaces of mines via a dedicated concrete pipeline.
Pre-commissioning adjustment and testing of the equipment were carried out under the guidance of representatives from the manufacturing company, LLC Tekhnologii Betona. The complex has been developed in compliance with technical requirements of JSC PIMCU. Its maximum throughput capacity amounts to 150 cubic metres of mixture per hour.
“We currently need about 9,000 cubic metres of mixture every month to fill up worked-out layers of the 4th and 5th levels at Mine No. 8. Therefore, the equipment has a significant margin of capacity, which will ultimately be required to ensure fulfillment of stowing operations at the 6th and 7th levels of Mine No. 8, and also at Mine No. 2,” noted Sergey Popov, Deputy Chief Engineer, JSC PIMCU.
The complex comprises three rapidly erected modules. Now it is positioned between shafts 14-B and 14-RESH of Mine No. 8. As mining operations proceed further, it can be relocated on site so that to avoid expensive drifting of underground mining workings for laying concrete pipelines that deliver stowing mixtures. Apart from basic mixing and measuring equipment, the stowing complex will also integrate comfortable amenity rooms for service personnel and special premises where reference specimens of stowing mixture will be stored.