Underground roadway dust suppression

May 28, 2016



Dust suppression on any mine site is an ongoing challenge. With tight operational environmental strictures concerning dust levels, ensuring that their mines remain within shrinking guidelines.

Regulators are imposing increasingly strict conditions, and mine operators have had to respond with more innovative and technologically advanced systems to meet these demands, which are now considered standard in the mining industry.

While the issue is important for any open cut operation, the enclosed nature of underground mines make it a serious safety issue as workers are exposed to increased dust levels.

Reynolds Soil Technologies (RST Solutions) has developed a new dynamic road dust solution designed specifically for the challenges faced in underground mining.

RST Solutions’ new Hammer dust suppressant is designed for unsealed “dynamic” roads that are watered, continually graded, and worked hard, as well as permanent surrounding roads.

“Hammer achieves excellent results in underground mining applications, which can require specialist solutions due to situational factors such as operating within an enclosed space, increased ventilation, and higher evaporation rates” according to RST Solutions.

The product has been designed for both reactive and non-reactive soil type, and allows for significant reduction in watering activities as well as road maintenance requirements, while at the same time actively reducing road dust generation.

“Created with operational optimisation as a priority the application of Hammer delivers minimal requirements for unsealed road maintenance programs and produces freight cost savings due to minimal dosage rates,” the company stated.

David Handel, RST Solutions operations and technical director, explained that “dust suppression for underground mining is more important than ever, with mine operators needing to ensure they provide employees with an environment that is safe to work in.”

“Adding Hammer into water used to suppress mechanical dust lift-off from surfaces allows for the aggregation of the fine particles, making them larger and heavier to minimise dust lift-off and reduce the height of dust that does arise,” Handel said.

“Hammer works to compact the road running surface and after continued use helps reduce roll resistance and surface degradation, producing significant savings by reducing the time between repeat watering and road maintenance requirements.

It is environmentally safe, dilutes easily into the water cart, and is applied topically for instant results.”

The solution is added to each to each load of water applied to the surface, while the dosage rates depend on water quality and material types, with RST Solutions supplying a range of dosing pumps to inject correct dosages into each water cart.