Mining Publication: Maximizing the Ventilation of Large-Opening Mines
NIOSH has conducted research to improve the ventilation of large-opening mines. Large-opening mine ventilation is unique for the following reasons: (1) it is challenging to keep airflow velocities high enough to effectively remove or dilute airborne contaminants, (2) large air volumes can be moved through the mines with little static pressure drop, and (3) stoppings to direct ventilation airflows are costly to construct and maintain. The research results suggest that by incorporating ventilation planning into the mine planning process, using propeller fans, developing new stopping materials and construction methods, and using long pillars to eliminate crosscuts where possible, the ventilation of large-opening mines can be significantly improved. The ventilation improvements created by incorporating these various techniques into the ventilation plan will help reduce the exposure of mine workers to airborne contaminants in underground large-opening mines.