INVESTIGATING THE LINK BETWEEN COMPRESSED AIR WASTAGE AND VENTILATION SHORTFALLS IN DEEP-LEVEL MINES

U van Gruting, Corne Schutte, WA Pelser, Jean van Laar

Abstract


As part of mining development, mines are constantly increasing in size and depth, resulting in a dynamic environment. There is often a recurring shortfall in ventilation adequacy in these mines, as mine planning and design are primarily driven by production considerations. As a result, compressed air is often misappropriated for underground ‘self-ventilation’. Instrumentation, simulations, and physical examinations are three commonly used methods for ventilation assessment, each with its own shortcomings and limitations. There is a need for an alternative method to identify ventilation shortfalls in underground mines. This study investigates the hypothesis that a link exists between compressed air wastage and ventilation shortfalls. Both the compressed air and the ventilation network were benchmarked, which showcased a direct link, thus proving the hypothesis true. Using this premise, a methodology could be further developed to investigate compressed air wastage as a metric for identifying ventilation shortfalls.


Keywords


Ventilation shortfalls; compressed air; zero-wastage; hypothesis testing

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7166/33-3-2786

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Copyright (c) 2022 U van Gruting, Corne Schutte, WA Pelser, Jean van Laar


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