Ultility Gun

Ultility Gun

Washing Down Gun

Pipe Pressure Testing

Linear Motor

Linear Motor

Linear Motor

Jet Pumps Small

Jet Pump Dewatering

Jet Gun

IV SSV with bypass

Hydropower – What, Why, How?

  • Hydropower is the use of high pressure water to power rockdrills and other mining equipment – it replaces compressed air.
  • The benefits include 2x faster drilling and more than 80% energy cost savings.
  • The use of drilling rigs can further enhance productivity and safety.

Hydropower for mining was in developed for SA mines from the 1980s under the Chamber of Mines, Novatek’s predecessor being a key collaborator. It was developed for deep gold mines to use the mine cooling water to also power machinery, thus saving energy.

It has since expanded to shallower mines and applications using localised pumps to provide the necessary pressure.

Hydropower holds many benefits; energy savings can be 90% compared to compressed air systems; labour productivity can be doubled and safety improved. The working environment is also improved by eliminating oil lubricators, exhaust misting and reducing noise.

The economics also make sense; capital costs are lower than compressed air systems and much lower than highly mechanised systems.

Electrical power costs have increased by over 300 % in the last few years and labour costs have increased but productivity has stagnated. Hydropower can double drilling labour productivity and saves energy (up to 90%).

The technologies can be adapted to suit a range of mining operations, from hand-held drilling to ‘appropriate technology’ drill rigs to more mechanised mining systems.

By ‘appropriate technology’ we mean systems and equipment that suit the orebody and mining layout, available skills, the mine infrastructure, capital and operating cost profile of the mine.