Some New Developments in Mine Ventilation


An overview will be given of some new developments in mine atmospheric monitoring and development of new simulation approaches. In particular three areas of new endeavour will be highlighted. A new personal respirable dust monitor that gives realtime readings will be discussed. The unit is mounted within the miner's cap lamp and internally measures the true particle mass of dust collected on its filter. Samples are available for later mineralogical analysis and results do not exhibit the same sensitivity to water spray as optically based measurement approaches. The technique achieves microgram-level mass resolution even in the hostile mine environment and reports dust loading data on a continuous basis. The monitor is being adopted for statutory mine respirable dust determinations in the US and has particular application for determining high source locations and efficiency of engineering means of suppression and other approaches to handling the problem. It has been recognised that the PDM's unique approach has application to allow real time atmospheric Diesel Particulate Matter (DPM) monitoring. The industry has no real time atmospheric DPM monitor at present. Recent surveys in NSW and Queensland continue to show significant numbers of miners continue to face full shift DPM exposures in excess of internationally accepted levels. Real time DPM monitoring will allow the industry to pin-point high exposure zones such as those encountered in coal longwall face moves, where a number of trucks, loaders, coal ram cars work or in areas of poor ventilation. Pinpointing of high DPM concentration zones will allow efficient modification of work practices to reduce underground miners exposure. The outcome of a currently funded ACARP project in this area will be discussed. The use of the mine fire simulation computer program “Ventgraph” for modelling of fire scenarios in selected different mine layouts is discussed. Specifically an ACARP funded research project has been examining use and potential applications of mine atmosphere inertisation within the industry. The project has reviewed the variety of inertisation system available in Australia such as the GAG, Mine Shield, Tomlinson and Floxel approaches. Exercises will be discussed which involved “evaluation or auditing” of selected mines as to the ability to deliver inert gases to high priority underground fire locations in a number of mines.


Mining Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Diesel Particulate Matter; Mine Atmospheric Monitoring; Personal Respirable Dust Monitor; Realtime Readings

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2007 Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Feb 2007

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