In the underground mining industry, 35% of costs are devoted to fresh air supply and ventilation. Fresh air is a necessary premium, so vent walls are often closed once mining is finished in that area. In the past, sealing these vent walls proved to be logistically difficult and extremely costly due to the manpower and specialized equipment needed to service these hard-to-reach places. 

A new solution to seal mine vent walls

With new innovations in geosynthetics like concrete on a roll product, Concrete Canvas® these vent walls can now be closed quicker than conventional concrete solutions while minimizing the threat of reworking the vent wall and boasting a performance life of 120 years. 

Traditional methods of sealing a vent wall take approximately two shifts (or 24-hours), but Concrete Canvas® cuts your application time in half with applications taking only one shift (or 12-hours). Traditional methods also require trained technicians, whereas with Concrete Canvas® you can do it yourself with less manpower — allowing you to take on more work. So while the two options are relative in material costs, Concrete Canvas® ultimately saves you money in time and labour. 

Along with its long lifespan and time-saving capabilities, Concrete Canvas® is also eco-friendly and uses up to 95% less material than conventional concrete applications. 

Concrete Canvas® in Ontario, Canada

Our Concrete Canvas® product lead, Ron Drewry, saw the benefits in using the geosynthetic material with Vale Canada Ltd as they looked to create vent closures in hard-to-access areas of the underground nickel mine, Creighton Mine in Ontario, Canada. By using Concrete Canvas®, we were able to help Vale avoid the logistical nightmare often associated with the traditional shotcrete solution and the high expenses related to planning that type of installation.

How Concrete Canvas® stacks up against traditional methods 

Despite the popularity of traditional shotcrete methods, Concrete Canvas® makes sealing mine vent walls easier. Aside from the cost savings associated with Concrete Canvas, other underground mining-related benefits include:  

  • Extreme durability – Concrete Canvas® is 2x more abrasion resistant compared to standard OPC concrete. 
  • Quick and easy installation – Concrete Canvas® comes pre-mixed, so all you have to do is unroll, anchor, seal, and hydrate the material. You don’t need a skilled installation team or any tools other than a few pairs of pliers, some nails and water. 
  • Portable material – Concrete Canvas® allows you to choose a man-portable batched roll delivery to avoid specialized machinery in hard-to-reach places, without risking safety along the way. Concrete Canvas® comes in three different roll types for varied applications. Batch rolls are often used in underground mining because they’re man-portable for restricted site access. 

Although there is a common fear that new innovations can cause inconvenient disruptions in productivity or a steep learning curve, Concrete Canvas® makes your job easier. Highly reviewed by installers, Concrete Canvas® is known for its simple and effective installation — helping you cut costs without risking the safety of your employees. 

Many uses for Concrete Canvas®

Concrete Canvas® is used across a range of sectors of the mining industry for a variety of applications. Including but not limited to:

  • Channel/Ditch Lining
  • Slope Protection and Stabilization
  • Bund Lining
  • And much more!

You can download our “Geosynthetic Innovations in Mining” webinar for more information: DOWNLOAD WEBINAR.

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