The Sifto salt mine, surface mill and loading facilities were developed in 1959. Offering access to transportation by road, rail and water, the plant site was built-up largely from fill in Goderich harbour, Ontario. Sifto's first mine shaft is circular, measures 4.88m (16 feet) across and is completely concrete lined. The shaft extends from the surface down to the bottom of the salt beds a distance of 549m (1,800 feet). A second shaft, also 4.88m (16 feet) in diameter, is located 61m (200 feet) away. The first shaft is used for hoisting salt to the surface while the second shaft is for ventilation, personnel and equipment.
Through years of use the bottom of the first shaft had built up debris that had fallen from the skips during the skipping process, as well as sludge that had migrated down from the mining levels above. The material build-up was encroaching towards the cheese weights that are hanging down on cables to the shaft bottom; cheese weights make up part of the hoisting mechanical installation and are required to hang free and straight.
It was decided that the IVAC PV500 Vacuum Delivery unit would be used to pick up and deposit the materials on the mining level above to allow equipment to access them for disposal. Due to bulkheads installed in the shaft just under the mining level that would not allow the vacuum equipment down the shaft any further, it was a requirement that the vacuum be placed on the level near the shaft and about thirty meters of hose was hung down the shaft for picking up the material. The vacuum equipment picked up the material and deposited it on the mining level. Three meters of the material was removed to expose the shaft bottom and to allow the weights to hang free. The vacuum equipment has been involved in many mine shaft projects. Many projects have required that the vacuum unit send the material one hundred and fifty meters above the work site to a loading pocket for disposal.
As demonstrated by the Sifto Salt mine project, the IVAC units prove capable in complicated situations. The vacuum is not hindered by distance or difficult materials, and will perform up to standards in all situations.
An IVAC vacuum unit will prove itself as a cost-effective and productive way of providing solutions for your difficult clean-up requirements. The vacuum can handle many different and difficult materials, wet or dry, from sludge, sand, gravel and rock to water and drill cuttings. It is able to pick-up and deliver materials long distances.