Africa|Electrical|Energy|Engineering|engineering news|Gas|Industrial|Innovation|Mining|OPENCAST|Platinum|Solar|Storage|Technology|Underground|Water|Infrastructure|Operations
Africa|Electrical|Energy|Engineering|engineering news|Gas|Industrial|Innovation|Mining|OPENCAST|Platinum|Solar|Storage|Technology|Underground|Water|Infrastructure|Operations

Canadian underground mining likely to take hydrogen ventilation lead – HySA

SHOWCASE Hydrogen South Africa hydrogen ventilation research site in North West province

Underground mines expected to follow openpit mines in the use of hydrogen.

Photo by Creamer Media

Hydrogen South Africa Infrastructure Centre director Professor Dmitri Bessarabov.

Photo by Creamer Media

Map shows South Africa's major sun power to produce electricity to produce green hydrogen.

Photo by Creamer Media

23rd April 2021

By: Martin Creamer

Creamer Media Editor


Font size: - +

Canadian and Australian mines are big on wanting hydrogen ventilation in underground mining operations, and Canada will likely lead in the use of hydrogen underground.

This is the view of Professor Dmitri Bessarabov, the director of South Africa’s Department of Science and Innovation’s National Centre of Competence: Hydrogen South Africa (HySA) Infrastructure.

Other mining jurisdictions, including South Africa, would likely also, in due course, adopt hydrogen ventilation technology and emission-free hydrogen fuel cell mobility technology in their underground mines.

During an address to the energy storage chapter of the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers on the future of the hydrogen economy in South Africa, Bessarabov displayed a picture of himself next to a large haul truck, 3 km down a hard-rock underground mine in Canada.

In response to a question from Engineering News & Mining Weekly, he expressed the view that Anglo American is adopting the right approach in South Africa by starting with opencast mining, where the regulations governing flammable gas and pressure vessels can be applied, in the absence of still-to-be-enacted legislation governing the use of hydrogen in South Africa’s underground mines.

“That’s why we built the hydrogen ventilation facility, to show how it can be done,” said Bassarabov, who displayed a picture of the underground hydrogen ventilation facility that HySA Infrastructure has established at its North West base, which is co-hosted by the North-West University and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.

Despite South African mines not being likely frontrunners, Bessarabov expressed optimism that local underground hydrogen ventilation would follow the adoption of hydrogen fuel cell mobility in opencast mines, which Anglo American is spearheading at its Mogalakwena platinum group metals opencast mine in Limpopo.

Regarding the adoption of hydrogen fuel cell mobility at mines, he said heavy-duty vehicles wanting to go clean and green would have to convert to fuel cell mobility.

“That, obviously, would result in the consumption of hydrogen,” he said. This would require electrolyser and then fuel cell use, with fuel cells available off the shelf, with no development needed to achieve full fuel cell mobility other than the on-site generation of solar, wind or other green energy to generate green hydrogen using water.

Still to come is the framework that lays down what regulations have to be followed in first taking and then storing hydrogen underground for use by emission-free hydrogen fuel-cell-powered mining vehicles. “These are open questions,” he said.

But they come against the background of considerable scientific spade work and far-reaching local development already having taken place.

(See also page 10.)

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


Latest News

Gibb River chairperson Jim Richards and Namibia exploration manager Nico Scholtz visit the Erongo region.
Gibb River enters Namibia uranium sector
Updated 1 hour 25 minutes ago By: Mariaan Webb


M and J Mining
M and J Mining

M and J Mining are leading suppliers of physical support systems as used by the underground mining industry. Our selection of products are not...

Aqs image
AQS Liquid Transfer

AxFlow AQS Liquid Transfer (Pty) Ltd is an Importer and Distributor of Pumps in Southern Africa


Latest Multimedia

sponsored by

Magazine round up | 21 June 2024
Magazine round up | 21 June 2024
21st June 2024

Option 1 (equivalent of R125 a month):

Receive a weekly copy of Creamer Media's Engineering News & Mining Weekly magazine
(print copy for those in South Africa and e-magazine for those outside of South Africa)
Receive daily email newsletters
Access to full search results
Access archive of magazine back copies
Access to Projects in Progress
Access to ONE Research Report of your choice in PDF format

Option 2 (equivalent of R375 a month):

All benefits from Option 1
Access to Creamer Media's Research Channel Africa for ALL Research Reports, in PDF format, on various industrial and mining sectors including Electricity; Water; Energy Transition; Hydrogen; Roads, Rail and Ports; Coal; Gold; Platinum; Battery Metals; etc.

Already a subscriber?

Forgotten your password?







sq:0.191 0.225s - 91pq - 2rq
1: United States
Subscribe Now
2: United States