Raglan Mine Wind Turbine, Nunavik, QC

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Raglan mine, a Glencore group, is located in Nunavik, Quebec, and began production in 1997. The mine’s deposits mainly consist of nickel, copper and cobalt, which are extracted from four operating underground mines. Sustainable development has always been of great value to Raglan mine and replacing part of its diesel consumption with a clean and renewable source of energy, would be an important step toward reducing the mine’s ecological footprint. In 2014, with the collaboration of key players such as Tugliq Énergie, a Quebec society of renewable energy, and Enercon, a German wind turbine manufacturer and engineering firm, Raglan mine reached its goal and inaugurated its first wind turbine.

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Construction phases were challenging due to Nunavik’s permafrost and its rigorous, yet extremely windy, climate. In order to reach a solid rock mass, the wind turbine’s platform was installed on twelve, circular, 0.4 metre in diametre, 16 metre in length, bored piles, containing an on-site fabricated rebar cage. The piles were filled with KING PC-S6 UG35, which cured for a 28 days. A KING Technical Representative was on-site to ensure proper concrete mixing and placement, and to conduct quality control testing on the material. Concrete samples were withdrawn from every concrete truck, in order to determine the concrete’s compressive strength by an external laboratory.

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The superior, 0.5 metre section, and the wider, 0.6 metre in diametre section of the piles required a high performance concrete mix design. The wind turbine’s platform had to be directly attached to the superior part of the twelve piers by means of a complex anchoring system. The concrete had to withstand the cold temperature and reach sufficient compressive strength at an early age, to allow Raglan’s crew to begin the structure erection and deliver the project on time. For this critical concrete pour, Raglan chose KING HP-S10 with an early-age compressive strength of 40 MPa in 24 hours and a compressive strength of 60 MPa in 28 days. A 4 cubic metre capacity, concrete mixing truck was used to mix and pour the HP-S10. Water dosage was controlled on-site in order to obtain the proper consistency without exceeding the recommended quantity of water.

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Although the insitu temperature was close to the freezing point, HP-S10 fully cured and was sufficiently resistant to begin the wind turbine assembly after only 7 days. The Glencore group was greatly pleased with KING’s support in both the planning phase and on-site. Raglan mine’s first wind turbine was inaugurated in August 2014. Since then, the Glencore group has achieved considerable operating cost savings by replacing an important portion of their diesel consumption with wind energy.

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