Sergio Sapién Balderrama
Director General

Removing Power and Water Headaches at Mining Sites

Wed, 10/21/2015 - 16:40

The reliability of a mine site’s power source can make or break the success of an operation. From the very beginning of a mining project, generators that can provide the high level of power that mining processes demand must be up and running. This necessity means that power generators offer a profitable line of business within the mining sector.

GAMSA is dedicated to the sale and rental of electric plants, providing equipment that ranges from 20kW to full installations reaching 10MW in order to power all aspects of a mine. GAMSA offers two types of generators, which meet the environmental, noise, and fuel efficiency standards demanded by the mining industry. The first is a conventional use generator, and the second is designed for use in rough or extreme circumstances. The latter is more regularly used in the mining industry due to the harsh conditions associated with the practice. Typically, mining companies already know the type of engine, fuel, and generator that they need to withstand mining use. However, companies still review the relevant data sheets to verify which generators are rigged with longer lasting fuel tanks and are reinforced to the specific needs of the industry. For example, to clients running mines with little space, GAMSA supplies compact generators of 1,250 kW in containers of 20 parts. This differs from usual equipment of that capacity, which is commonly transported in containers of 30 or 40 parts. “These systems are more compact due to the topfacing location of the vents which replace the ones that traditionally appear on the sides,” explains Sergio Sapién Balderrama, Director General of GAMSA. “The offering of these generators helped us win a contract to supply First Majestic’ Del Toro mine. Del Toro operations consume about 8MW per day so the generators installed by GAMSA have a total capacity of 10MW. These generators have 1,500l tanks which are fed automatically and run at 80% capacity to prevent engine wear.”

In addition to the sale and rental of plants, GAMSA sends its operators to provide 24-hour support at the sites. GAMSA personnel visits the mines to perform maintenance, document energy consumption records, and supply fuel to the generators. The Atlas Copco generators that GAMSA offers can be monitored through dedicated software. When a problem arises, GAMSA is able to identify the situation online and, if necessary, move staff to the mine within a maximum time frame of six hours. “We monitor electric energy consumption, voltage, amperage, and hours of use. Our systems can even remotely switch the equipment on or off. Mine supervisors can connect from anywhere in the world to view diagrams that monitor how the generators are functioning,” explains Sapién Balderrama. GAMSA is also the exclusive distributor for the English company Broad Crown, whose generators house similar engines to those of Atlas Copco, but feature a user-friendly dashboard created by the Deep Sea brand. GAMSA’s catalog also lists water pumps which are used for the flotation process. The company offers pumps for both clean water and liquids with 70% solid material, as well as diesel generators that lower head pressure, reducing the distance between the pump and the water.

One of the most important projects that GAMSA worked on took place two years ago, involving the installation of six water pumps in the Fresnillo mine of Industrias Peñoles. Disaster struck when the mine flooded. Sapién states that GAMSA was the only company that could offer a quick solution to the problem, providing a water pump, the needed piping, and other parts that were imported from Paris to Mexico. In 15 days, the team was already working to fix the problem and began operating deep inside the mine in scalding waters. “This close relationship and quick reaction to the problems helped to place GAMSA above its competitors in the mining sector,” says Sapién Balderrama. “We do not only provide generators, we are totally committed to the mine and its operations. Our people are constantly operating in mines and monitoring the equipment we have provided. This level of service is important to the mining sector, companies have to be sure that someone has their backs.”

The company intends to keep its portfolio centered around a mix of power generation equipment and water pumps, but will bulk it out by adding other products that support these main lines. GAMSA also plans to continue its focus on “powerhouse” projects in the future. “These projects typically include operation, maintenance and services. We have been investing in such higher demand projects for two years and plan to keep developing them in the future,” says Sapién Balderrama. Its participation in these challenging but more rewarding projects, along with its continued supply of reliable power sources in the mining sector, is how GAMSA plans to solidify its mining successes.