Ventilation Mistakes and Consequences - Real Life Experiences


Euler DeSouza, Queen's University

The uninterrupted operation of a ventilation system is critical to ensure the mine meets its scheduled production and, as important, is vital to the health and safety of all personnel working underground. Those operating the mine ventilation system must have fundamental engineering training in the art of fluid dynamics and have a good comprehension and control of the mine ventilation network. Ventilation management by untrained and inexperienced personnel may result in serious consequences when the system becomes ineffective. This paper shares observations and experiences pertinent to the occurrence of upset conditions as a result of the improper design and operation of mine ventilation systems. A series of real life case studies are presented to describe disruptions to mine ventilation systems and the gradual deterioration of system operational efficiencies leading to eventual failure. Special focus is given to mistakes made and on the resulting serious consequences. The case studies also demonstrate how each upset condition was resolved, permitting the mines to safely resume production activities.