Why Dust Control for Mining Operations is of Critical Importance

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Why Dust Control for Mining Operations is of Critical Importance

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Dust is classified as fine, dry particulate matter and can be made up of pollen, minerals, soil, and many other particulates found in the local environment. Companies in the mining industry are tasked with monitoring and controlling their dust emissions, because dust is created in every step of the mining process: mine construction, extraction, processing, storage and transportation. In the United States, Canada, and the EU, particulate emissions standards are set and monitored by government agencies, and as more mines are brought on-line in developing countries, air quality concerns are sure to become an issue.

Dust can cause a host of problems for mining operations, such as low-visibility issues and equipment failure, and can also be linked to health problems, such as asthma, lung cancer, and heart disease. Airborne dust can adversely affect employees working at mines or at transportation facilities, residents who live nearby, and the surrounding environment. In some countries, dust levels that are consistently above acceptable air quality levels set by governments can result in fines and can potentially shut down operations temporarily. And it is not just government regulations that mining operators have to contend with but also public perception and activism that can turn a negative spotlight on uncontrolled dust and the mining operator’s ownership of the problem.

Related Reading: Dust Suppression Saves Water and Money

USING WATER TO CONTROL DUST

Water is used to help control dust during the excavation and processing of ore, on tailings and storage piles, and throughout the transportation process. Not only does water help suppress dust that is already airborne, but it also binds mineral dust to the ore’s surface. On unpaved haul roads, large trucks go in and out of mines multiple times a day creating large amounts of airborne dust. The dust created by this traffic is currently controlled mainly by the use of water trucks. Because water trucks have to move at a slow pace in order to deliver the appropriate amount of water to wet down the road, they can impede traffic, slowing up other trucks carrying more important cargo. The use of water trucks is considered by many in the mining industry to be one of the most inefficient ways to control dust.

In addition, effective dust control using water at mines and on haul roads requires uniform wetting and monitoring of weather conditions, like air temperature, relative humidity, and wind direction and speed. Installing a sprinkler system with weather monitoring, centralized control, and proper water distribution components can be an effective and operationally efficient solution for using water to help control dust. However, this is a very costly solution.

ROADBOND

Thankfully, there is a more cost-effective solution. RoadBond by RoadPacker Solutions is an extremely effective dust suppressant that can be used as a surface spray or it can be milled into the top two inches and compacted to provide both dust control and surface stabilization. RoadBond is a concentrate that can be mixed at different ratios depending on your dust control needs.

Interested in learning more about RoadBond? Contact us by e-mail atinfo@roadpackersolutions.com or call (403) 457-4733 to obtain a complimentary project quotation.

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