Characterization of airborne dust in a belt conveyor drift

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 80, No. 908, 1987

M.G. GRENIER, S. HARDCASTLE and J. BIGU Elliot Lake Laboratory, CANMET-EMR Elliot Lake, Ontario

This study was undertaken in a belt conveyor drift of an underground hard rock mine. The conveyor transported ore or waste from a crushing operation located upwind from the drift sampling locations. A 250 m section of this drift was selected and several types of measurements were taken. Average respirable concentrations in the drift were 0.43 mg/mi and 0.19 mg/mifor total and silica dust, respectively. From the respirable dust concentration profile along the drift, it may be possible to estimate the contribution from extended sources such as dust produced by the belt and return idlers. The airborne dust in the drift had an average mass-median aerodynamic diameter of 4.2 micron. A continuous dust monitor showed that the crushing operation produced fairly high dust concentrations (sometimes greater than 4 mg/mi) over short periods of time.
Keywords: Human resources, Ventilation, Underground mining, Conveyors, Dust concentrations, Crushing operation, Silica dust.