Kinross Goldmine – Paracatu, Brazil
Paracatu: insulation for one of the largest gold mines in the world
The Paracatu gold mine, operated by Kinross Gold Corporation and located in the Minas Gerais region in Brazil, is one of the largest gold mines in the world. Paracatu is an open pit mine, and its ore is processed in ball mills and SAG mills which are expected to keep processing stockpiled ore until 2031.
Kinross Gold Corporation is a Canadian gold mining company operating worldwide, with a strong commitment to sustainable development and social responsibility. Founded in 1993, it has grown to become the world's fifth largest gold producer, focusing on innovation and operational efficiency to consolidate its position in the industry.
Kinross Gold Corporation has the ambition to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.
Gold mining involves acoustic challenges
A major challenge for this mine was to preserve the surrounding population. In fact, the Paracatu mine is located on the northern edge of the city of Paracatu, which has a population of around 90,000. Given the mine's proximity to the city, certain major concerns were prioritized, and acoustics was one of them.
Since explosives are required for blasting, Kinross has a well-defined air pressure and vibration management program. To minimize disturbance, daily blasting takes place at 3 p.m. on weekdays only, in accordance with an agreement reached with the residential community.
In addition, Kinross adopts continuous daily noise monitoring from 7 pm to 6 am with measurements carried out in accordance with ABNT recommendations (Brazilian standards).
As noise is caused by the operation of equipment, machinery, heavy vehicles, dismantling, transport of ore and waste, and other activities inherent in the company's operations, Kinross takes a series of precautions, such as:
- An operating plan that optimizes truck routes and areas worked during the day and at night.
- Equipment back-up alarms are deactivated during night work.
- Equipment maintenance
- Pit deepening
- Acoustic barrier between the mine boundary and the vicinity of the residential community. In addition to reducing noise levels, this barrier also minimizes the visual impact of the mine.
Effective insulation for an Acoustic Barrier:
The acoustic barrier is in reality a gigantic wall built between the gold mine and the city, measuring 15 m high and 1500 m long. The main goal was to create a barrier that could significantly reduce the impact of the mine noise on the population of Paracatu city.
Initially, the specification for this project was 50 mm mineral wool panels with a glass fabric veil facing. However, we successfully convinced Kinross of the benefits of using a double layer of 25 mm glass wool panels with glass fabric veil, to achieve the desired 50 mm thickness. This solution not only had the advantage of providing best-in-class acoustic performance, but also easier handling, thanks to the reduced weight of the panels. In total, 44,000m2 of insulation was used.
A successful co-development project
Another important factor in our favor was the co-development aspect, aiming to create a custom-made product perfectly suited for the barrier's requirements. We faced several challenges, such as ensuring vibration resistance, ensuring lightweight design, easy installation, waterproofing (for outdoor use), and logistics.
Finally, the project's success can be attributed to several key factors: first, the persuasive efforts of the Acoustic Consultant led to a change in the initial specification, adopting ISOVER glass wool with two 25 mm layers. Second, a fruitful co-development collaboration with the structural team and Kinross resulted in the optimal technical solution combined with cost-effective logistics. Finally, rigorous internal testing ensured compliance with Kinross's acoustic standards and local noise reduction legislation.
Co-development was essential to create a completely customized product, taking into account factors such as outdoor use. Also, the ease of installation and the lightness of our solutions were major assets in our favor.
Emerson Barnabe – Technical Sales Commercial Manager
Participating in projects with a positive impact on the society
Kinross, through its Paracatu mine, plays an important role in Brazil's economic development, bringing significant social and economic benefits to the local population.
As a leading player in shaping the future of construction, we prioritize projects that have a positive impact on society and the environment. The acoustic barrier is a perfect illustration of this commitment, as it improves the living environment for the people of Paracatu, helping to make the community more peaceful and sustainable.
Accoustic insulation for a major gold mine in the world