Mining Publication: Characteristics of Fugitive Dust Generated from Unpaved Mine Haulage Roads
Fugitive dust is generated along unpaved mine roads from intermittent equipment traffic. Typically, the majority of such traffic consists of trucks hauling either mine product or waste from the surface mine pit and/or the processing plant. Fugitive dust generated along these unpaved mine roads includes particles of all sizes that become airborne. The potential hazards include the deleterious effects to human health of inhaled dust, traffic visibility hazards, and environmental impacts on the localized area by the larger-sized visible airborne dust. Two field surveys were recently conducted to quantify fugitive dust generation and dispersion from truck traffic on unpaved and untreated mine haulage roads. For these surveys, airborne dust sampling was conducted at multiple sampling locations away from an unpaved haulage road at a limestone quarry/plant and at a coal mine preparation plant to measure the size characteristics, concentrations, and dispersive behavior of the dust cloud generated from truck traffic. Results show that at least 80% of the airborne dust generated by haul trucks was larger than 10 micrometers. Airborne respirable, thoracic, and total dust concentrations all decreased and approached background concentrations 30.5 m (100 ft) from the road. This report describes the average and instantaneous peak dust levels that were measured up to 30.5 m (100 ft) from the haulage road.