Ventilation systems have become a lot more elaborate in the last few decades, providing monitoring, cooling and automated functions to allow for optimal clean air distribution.
As battery-electric vehicles and machine automation start to impact the underground environment, Dan Gleeson spoke to several of the major solution providers to find out how they are reacting to this evolution.
The need to go deeper in search of ore is causing mining companies to reconsider the use of innovative and digitallyenhanced technologies to look for profitable ways to develop new mining horizons. With increasing depth comes increasing complexity, whether that is water ingress, heat, or exposure to harmful gases. This makes having a robust, efficient and cost effective ventilation system integral.
The ability to electrify underground mining equipment on a large scale has helped alleviate some of the cost and energy pressure put on miners plunging deeper underground. For instance, the use of electric vehicles at Glencore’s Onaping Depth project, in Sudbury, Canada, which is set to reach 2,600 m below surface, is expected to reduce its energy usage by 44% for ventilation systems and by 30% for cooling equipment, compared with an equivalent diesel-fuelled operation.