Kloof Hard Ice project
Gold Fields’ Kloof gold mine is situated some 48 km west of Johannesburg, near Westonaria in South Africa’s Gauteng Province. The Kloof operation is a well established, intermediate to ultra deep level gold mine which consists of five shaft systems and two gold plants. Currently, mining extends to a depth of around 3,300 metres below surface.
Gold Fields’ Kloof #3 shaft is currently cooled by cold water, which is distributed down the vertical shaft through a system of storage dams and then pumped back out of the shafts to surface, where it enters the chillers, again through a series of storage dams. Pumping large volumes of water from such depth requires substantial energy input. As such, pumping accounts for one of the largest components of electricity consumption at gold mines, amounting to about a quarter of total electricity consumption.
The Kloof Hard Ice Project will introduce an ice maker on the surface to produce hard ice from the cold water supplied from the chillers. In the project design, ice would be the prime carrier of chill energy, as opposed to water. Since ice is a far more efficient carrier of chill energy, the pumping load will be significantly reduced, which will result in a considerable reduction in power consumption.