Characterisation of and exposure of workers to tailings dust at South African platinum mines
Du Plessis, Johannes
Van Aarde, Michiel
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The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has conducted research to improve the ventilation of large-opening mines whose entries are at least 93m2 (1,000 ft2). The ventilation of large-opening mines is unique compared to other types of mines because (1) it is challenging to keep airflow velo cities high enough to effectively remove or dilute airborne contaminants because the entries are so large, (2) large air volumes can be moved through the mines with little static pressure drop, and (3) stopping that are used to direct ventilation airflows are costly to construct and to maintain. The research results suggest that the ventilation of large-opening mines is improved significantly by incorporating ventilation planning into the mine planning process, using propeller fans to direct airflow, developing new stopping materials and construction methods, and using long pillars to eliminate crosscuts where possible.