A Review Of Local And International Heat Stress Indices, Standards And Limits With Reference To Ultra-Deep Mining

Webber, R. C. W.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 12
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2003
Mining up to depths of 5 000 m would be a world first and, accordingly, no previous experience in the determination of acceptable heat stress limits, criteria or indices is wholly applicable. However, some South African gold mines are already operating at depths beyond 3000 m and much of the knowledge gained in reaching and working at such depths will be helpful in making adequate provision for acceptable environmental control at the greater depths being contemplated. Accordingly, it is necessary to take cognisance of the industry?s experience in deep-level mining and of standards and regulations already established in South Africa and elsewhere in order to ensure acceptable working conditions and control standards, that compare favourably and defensibly with those in other mining industries. The local and international use of heat stress limits, criteria and indices were investigated as it was necessary to determine to what extent any other indices, limits or criteria would be applicable to South African deep mine conditions. In addition, it was necessary to establish whether there was a single heat stress index that could be used for South African ultra deep mining conditions. It was found that an appropriate combination of heat stress indices would be required in planning for and ultimately controlling thermal conditions in ultra-deep mining. The depths being contemplated and the concomitant potential heat hazard present too great a risk for reliance on a single environmental component of heat stress, such as wet-bulb temperature at present in common use locally. The study recommends that a heat stress index, preferably Air Cooling Power (ACP), be used to design an ultra deep mine?s ventilation system and that wet-bulb temperature be used to monitor and control the system once it is implemented.
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