Upgrade of Electrical Network, Niobec Mine - ASDR Canada

Upgrade of Electrical Network, Niobec Mine

Mandate and Objectives

Niobec is an underground niobium mine located in Saint-Honoré, Quebec. Operating since 1976, the mine is owned by Magris Resources. It is the only underground niobium mine in the world. ASDR was commissioned to design a new 25,000 volt electrical distribution network to enable the supply of 4,160 volts and 600 volts 2,400 feet underground. The transport of electricity had to therefore be ensured by vertical cabling without bearings.

Challenges and Issues

  • Performing electrical work in an existing plant, in operation
  • Accessing and updating drawings in a 50-year-old facility

Solutions and Achievements

  • Complete upgrade of the electrical distribution system and new infrastructure for communicating with the surface teams
  • Two redundant electrical rooms of 7.5MW, supplied by two vertical and rectilinear boreholes with 8 inch diameters 
  • System with a 25 year life span
  • Cooling of rooms using service water
  • Distribution equipment designed to be moved through the ramp
  • Electrical distribution panels located on the surface
  • Detailed engineering and technical documents to support the procurement of equipment
  • Preparation of the cable descent plan and installation supervision
  • Client Niobec (Magris Resources)
  • Services provided Engineering of an underground
    electrification system
  • Place Saint-Honoré, QC

The project in a Few Numbers

new 25,000 volt grid

feet underground

two redundant electrical rooms of 7.5MW

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