Controlling dust in underground mines is one of the greatest ongoing challenges for mine operators, particularly in coal mines. With so much activity going on in such confined spaces, maintaining a clean air supply and clear visibility is critical. Ventilation and basic control measures cannot be solely relied upon as best practise. Without proactive strategies in place, dust can quickly become widespread and unmanageable.
For these reasons, Dust-A-Side specialises in holistic, site-wide dust solutions. We are the only Australian company that provides complete and integrated dust control services as well as haul road management and erosion control solutions. These services combined have been proven to increase productivity and safety, unlock cost efficiencies and benefit the environment. Additionally, our dust control measures are designed to target and subdue PM10 dust (respirable dust smaller than 10 microns) which has been proven to lead to adverse health effects if exposed to long term.
Learn about our specialised services for underground mines
Our tailored dust control measures can be used from pit to port. From blasting activities to drilling to conveyors, we have all your dust problems covered.
Haul Road Management
We provide a full-service turnkey solution incorporating the manufacture, supply, installation, maintenance and management of underground haul road performance and associated dust control products. This service has a positive focus on ROI and has been proven to yield water savings of 90+% as well as tyre savings of 7+%.
Dust-A-Side offers much more than just dust control measures. The binder content of our specially formulated erosion control products help to cost-effectively reduce wind erosion, while the addition of a sealing agent will also reduce water erosion.
Sources of dust in underground mines
Underground mines have numerous dust generation points and this dust is trapped if nothing is done about it. To combat dust, effective primary and secondary ventilation systems are of utmost importance. Basic control measures such as isolating dust from workers wherever possible and equipping workers with adequate protective equipment like respirators are also critical. However, more advanced solutions are required to truly mitigate all the risks posed by dust in enclosed spaces. Here’s how Dust-A-Side can help address specific dust concerns throughout a mine site.
By their nature, underground mining operations have extensive road networks which generate huge dust plumes in an enclosed space. Haul truck tyres will inevitably churn up microscopic respirable dust which will enter the ventilation system and ultimately be inhaled by workers. Low pressure overhead sprinklers are commonly used to suppress underground road dust, however these are ineffective and can flood certain areas, creating multiple hazards.
Solution: Dust-A-Side’s Road Management services have helped many underground mines achieve operational dust reductions of 90+%. As part of this service, we offer the best dust suppression product for haul roads on the market – DASProduct. DASProduct is a bespoke dust control product developed especially for the mining industry, using proprietary bitumen emulsion technology. It forms an impermeable seal that reduces dust generation when applied via a series of light dilutions. When used correctly, DASProduct delivers reductions of dust levels of 90+% on haul roads in underground mines.
Additional sources of dust in underground mines are generated from transfer and processing points such as conveyor belts and tipping areas. PM10 dust generation from tipping is often particularly excessive. It is often not practical or entirely effective to pre-wet material in underground mines for dust suppression purposes. Additionally, the pooling of water is a concern.
Solution: Dust-A-Side’s dust suppression systems use low volumes of water at high pressure (above 50 bar) to add humidity/moisture to the air, usually at underground transfer points such as conveyor belts and tipping areas to capture and subdue dust particles that are already airborne. The benefits of high pressure suppression systems in underground mines include the suppression of airborne respirable dust by 80+%, the reduction of water usage and the prevention of excessive water pooling.
Why water alone won’t cut it in underground mining
Dust control measures in underground mines typically centre around the use of low pressure watering systems to wet haul roads and to pre-wet materials. Even though water itself is sometimes considered to be ‘free’, wetting roads and materials in this way is actually expensive and also not entirely effective.
Underground roads which have been overwatered create a number of safety concerns such as reduction in tyre traction, degradation of road quality and increased risks of collisions. Additionally, low pressure watering systems for pre-wetting materials do not actively subdue dust particles that are already airborne or PM10 dust particles.
As industry leaders in the field of dust control, Dust-A-Side has championed the development of highly innovative solutions and products which do not rely solely on water. Rather, our patented dust control products and holistic services are designed to help mines achieve significant water savings. With water scarcity becoming such a worldwide concern, particularly in Australia, our services are leading the way in helping mines achieve better sustainability outcomes.
A full range of proven solutions for underground mining
With well over 30 years of global research and refinement to rely on, Dust-A-Side has everything it takes – the experience, the personnel and in particular the products – to provide quantifiable results on every level.
Dust-A-Side has a complete range of dust control products to provide the most operationally and cost effective solution across any operation.
They can be used – effectively and economically – in a wide range of applications such as semi-permanent roads, temporary roads, underground work areas, laydown facilities, exposed areas, stockpile/embankment areas, veneering and construction areas.
Our products include bitumen and polymer based emulsions, as well as organic binders, surfactant technologies and a range of blended products. Each product is designed and developed to perform a specific task and can be applied in different ways to achieve your desired outcomes.
For more information about any of our proven products, simply call us on 1800 662 387. Or you can click here to arrange a no obligation technical consultation and dust report.