Worker in lignite mine

18 May 2018

How calcium chloride helps to optimize mining activities

More or better? That’s what you should be asking if you want to increase production volumes in an environmentally friendly way and with stricter health and safety standards.

It turns out that using calcium chloride can optimize and even increase the quality of drilling, crushing and transport activities while maintaining high HSE (health, safety and environment) standards. Here are six ways calcium chloride can improve mining operations.

1. Easier drilling activities in winter

Soil can become extremely difficult to drill in winter, given the freezing and/or geographic location of certain mines (permafrost). Calcium chloride works by releasing heat in contact with snow or ice, which helps to “soften” the soil and thus facilitate drilling or crushing operations

2. Reduction of dust emissions during crushing activities

Crushing and stacking activities can generate a significant amount of dust, which can be harmful to the environment and to the health and safety of employees assigned to these tasks. To limit or even prevent damage, Somavrac C.C. recommends the use of a high-performance calcium chloride dust suppressant.

3. Seasonal treatments for gravel roads

Somavrac C.C suggests using a liquid dust suppressant in the summertime, as this type of product traps dust on gravel roads, thereby increasing visibility on roads with high heavy-vehicle traffic.
In winter, Somavrac C.C advises mining companies to use calcium chloride de-icers for gravel roads. Unlike salt de-icers, calcium chloride doesn’t create potholes on gravel roads.

4. Reduced ore carryback during rail transport

Ore tends to stick to wagons and trucks during transportation, creating deposits. This results in long-term efficiency losses, since these deposits return to the operating sites. To counter this, Somavrac C.C. offers a liquid industrial non-stick formula. The product creates a liquid barrier between the wagon and the ore, which allows the ore to slide out during unloading.

5. De-icing treatment during rail transport in winter

When the temperature drops below zero, ore tends to freeze, which makes unloading difficult. Somavrac C.C. recommends spraying liquid de-icers on the ore prior to loading to help keep ore malleable in extreme cold conditions.

6. Waste water treatments

Calcium chloride is frequently used to control the pH of water, which can be necessary to reduce the toxicity of water used in various mining operations.