1348 meters is the deepest mining well in Poland – KGHM Polska Miedz’s GG-1 shaft in Kwielice is one of the most important investments in the history of the copper giant and the largest underground project in the non-ferrous metals industry in Europe.
In June, the key connection between the shaft and the Rudna mine was made.
The technical connection, merging excavations from the Rudna Mining Plants with the GG-1 shaft, was successfully completed on June 14 this year. Work is now underway there, which means that new quantities of fresh air can be supplied to the mines. This will certainly improve working conditions underground.
The shaft is ready to build reinforcement and equip it with the necessary plant and equipment for the target period. A three meter thick layer of concrete has been poured on the bottom. The two basic parameters of the GG-1 shaft are: depth – 1,348 meters and the diameter in the light of the casing, which is 7.5 meters. It is an air intake shaft that will be used to transport people and materials.
KGHM is a crown jewel and the GG-1 shaft is a great project that will affect the safety of miners. I have great admiration for all those who have undertaken this project. Every effort is made to allow miners to work in the best possible conditions. The shaft GG-1 is also a business, industrial, economic project. These are copper deposits that can be mined for decades to come,” said Elzbieta Witek, Speaker of the Polish Parliament.
The GG-1 shaft is a strategic investment by KGHM. It will provide the air that will enable us to exploit the Glogow Gleboki-Przemyslowy deposit at depths previously inaccessible to us. We are a global company, but domestic production is fundamental to the business. The completed shaft primarily ensures safety, but also promotes more efficient work by miners,” said Tomasz Zdzikot, Chairman of the Board of Directors of KGHM Polska Miedz SA, at a press conference.
The GG-1 shaft is fundamental to the development of KGHM Polska Miedz SA. It will make it possible to open up new areas of the copper deposit and extend the operation of the Polkowice-Sieroszowice and Rudna mines. The investment will also improve ventilation and air-conditioning conditions for miners and shorten crew access routes to the mines.
Shaft in numbers
The GG-1 shaft complex is being built as part of the deposit opening program being conducted by the Department of Mining Structure Development at KGHM headquarters. The work was carried out by a KGHM Group company, PeBeKa. The GG-1 shaft is one of the main facilities that will serve to open up the Glogow Gleboki-Przemyslowy mining area
The estimated industrial copper ore resources are nearly 265 million tons, with an average copper content of 2.40%. This represents about 25% of copper stocks and more than 30% of silver stocks in all KGHM license areas in Poland. Access to these resources will ensure the continuity of copper ore mining for many years to come.
According to investment plans, in the years 2028-2035, i.e. during the period of greatest intensity of mining operations, the production of the Glogow Gleboki-Przemyslowy area is expected to reach 10-11 million tons of ore, from which it will be possible to extract about 200- 220 thousand tons of electrolytic copper per year.
History of the investment
Construction of the GG-1 shaft began in 2010. Two years later, construction began on the shaft tower, one of the tallest ever built by KGHM. It is 45.5 meters high and weighs 1,100 tons. The equipment used in shaft pilling includes a complex hoisting system with more than a dozen wire ropes. Each more than 1,500 meters long, some weighing as much as 20 tons.
In 2013, one of the most important phases of construction began: freezing of the rock mass prior to shaft pilling. Brine was then poured into 40 freezing holes. The first bucket of excavated material left GG-1 on December 11. A year later, specialists reached layers of solid rock at a depth of 393 meters. It was then that the method of shaft pilling was changed from mechanical excavation of the rock mass to the blast method.
To build the first part of GG-1, PeBeKa employees used 466 iron rings, which protected the shaft from flooding with water from Tertiary and Triassic layers. To fully protect GG-1 against the effects of incoming water, a modern so-called cascade drainage system was installed in the shaft. In subsequent years, as work progressed to further pill the shaft, more elements of the drainage system were added. A total of eight stations were built there, pumping water from the bottom of the shaft to the surface.
This year, March also marks the 60th anniversary of the mining of the first cup of copper ore in the Copper Belt. It happened on March 20, 1963 in the L-III shaft of the Lubin mine. One of the pioneers of Polish copper, the late Jan Urlich, recalled: ‘Among the ore we saw a large piece of dolomite, in which large veins of copper sulphides were visible. The joy was enormous. I thought: finally we’re at the down payment.’
Shaft GG-1 is the company’s thirty-first shaft in the Copper Belt. Meanwhile, preparatory work has begun for the construction of another major facility in the Deposit Opening Program in the Glogow Gleboki-Przemyslowy and Gaworzyce mining areas. The shaft GG-2, located in the municipality of Zukowice, will have an exit material function.
(C) 2023 Electronic News Publishing, source ENP Newswire