In-Stope Atomisation for dust suppression

“Some of the most effective approaches to dust control & reducing the exposure of employees to respirable dust emanating from mining activity is to prevent the respirable dust from getting airborne and removing dust from ventilating air. Various methods have been employed across the world to achieve this. Suppression of dust using water-based methods is a widely known phenomenon, and in most instances has proven to be effective. Water sprays have over the years been used for different applications to suppress dust emanating from of mining activities, and due to their varying designs in the market, these sprays have yielded different results in terms of efficiency and effectiveness in suppressing dust, as their principle of operation also differs. Water Atomisation is a process of transforming bulk liquid or water droplets, into a fine and smaller liquid droplet (spray/mist) in a surrounding gas or vacuum using increased air pressure. Smaller water droplets travelling at higher velocity have proven to be more effective in capturing dust particles”.

In-Stope Atomisation aims to primarily prevent respirable dust from getting airborne and removing airborne dust from the ventilating air by deploying fine water droplets at high velocity to capture dust particles, thus reducing the amount of dust liberated by scraping activities and ensuring cleaner ventilating air. The benefit of this reduction in dust level can have significant impact on the total ventilating air quality at any operation, thus reducing the total respirable dust exposure of employees in that operation. The following graphs from the source. The conclusions drawn from the evaluations at the source mine were that the In-Stope Atomisation dust suppression technology is effective in capturing and reducing a significant amount of respirable dust emanating from the stopes and development ends and has the potential to reduce dust RQC (Respirable Quartz Concentration) at source by 79.2%. The principle of atomisation for dust suppression is widely used at underground mines within the South African mining industry and has the potential for a much broader application including installations at belt transfer points, crushers, tipping areas, as spray curtains in the haulages, etc.”