Hatch has been servicing deep-level mining for decades, with expertise built up over the entire deep-mining value chain.

A blend of people from different generations, together with a wealth of experience and new ways of thinking, allows Hatch to tap into leaner mining solutions for the mine of the future, asserts Kevin Seyfried, director mining AEM, associate at Hatch.

“Our drive towards digital mining solutions brings focus not only to capital optimisation, but also towards improving operating costs. Our mining and minerals processing expertise, together with our operational performance expertise, allows us to add value to clients’ bottom line by concentrating on the business lifecycle,” Seyfried elaborates.

Depending on the specific client requirements, Hatch focuses on safe and speedy ramp-up, reliable equipment and achieving a stable operational state, in addition to operational improvement and value generation.

[quote]Typical services include: due diligence studies, owner’s engineering, lender’s engineering, mine planning and design, process plant design, efficiency audits, gap analyses and efficiency improvements, at all levels of the organisation.

“We do work ranging from large capital projects to operational improvements. We have designed underground deep-level mines for some of the most challenging ore bodies in the industry. Our experience in the deep-level mining, dewatering, hoisting and refrigeration spheres, and other typical underground solutions, have allowed us to become an industry leader in these areas,” Seyfried points out.

Looking at some of the challenges facing shaft design and operations in terms of deep-level mining, Seyfried says these include ventilation for heat at depth, rope weight, hoisting capacity at depth and hoisting cycle times. “In these shafts, every second counts towards production,” he stresses.

“Some of our most exciting opportunities now lie in the deep-level mining space,” Seyfried highlights. As the environment gets less safe and less conducive for people to work in, innovative solutions have to be developed, especially, but not limited to, narrow tabular ore bodies.

These include digital mining, remote controlled operations, autonomous equipment, rock cutting, non-explosive mining and low to ultra-low profile equipment. “We also have internal technology projects which will allow us to take the mine of the future to the next level,” Seyfried concludes.