Mining Publication: Ventilation Planning Layouts for Large Opening Mines
Stone mines represent the highest percentage of operating underground nonmetal mines in the United States. With the introduction of stricter diesel particulate matter (DPM) regulations, large-opening underground room-and-pillar stone mine operators are faced with implementing one or more alternative methods to reduce concentration levels, including: install and maintain an effective ventilation system, install lower DPM emission diesel engines, and the adding of DPM filters. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is actively researching various aspects of fan and stopping designs in an effort to improve the ventilation of these mines. NIOSH has identified and further developed three alternative methods for use in large-opening underground mines: split-mine, perimeter, and unit-ventilation. This paper describes the implementation of the three methods with respect to their use in mines of various levels of development.