Efficient Mine Ventilation Systems through Proper Fan Design


Dara Breeuwer, Zitron-VDDO; Javier Fernandez, www.vddo.ca; Luis Javier Diaz, www.vddo.ca; Louis Van Wyk, www.vddo.ca

Ventilation is an essential component of any underground mine, playing a vital role in ensuring the health and safety of workers, and a mine’s continuous operation. At a time when mining companies are increasingly having to turn to deeper underground operations in pursuit of high-grade ore-bodies, the search is on for more efficient ventilation systems that will allow mining to be carried out at even deeper levels while ensuring the protection of workers and the maximisation of productivity through temperature management and the lowering of energy costs. Mining companies today are looking for innovative ways to deliver new technologies and procedures to enhance their mine’s profitability. Energy consumed by mine ventilation systems is higher than ever due to stringent specifications of underground equipment (primarily combustion engine emissions), air quality standards and mining at deeper levels which all require more powerful ventilation systems. Energy costs associated with operating ventilation systems is a mine’s second-highest cost of production after labour therefore finding the right ventilation solution is critical to a mine’s performance. Proper fan design remains a major factor in reducing CAPEX and OPEX expenditures and thus serious consideration must be given to the requirement of full testing at the factory at full power prior to being dispatched to site in order to simulate the mine’s current and future design requirements.