International Mine Ventilation Gurus to visit SA

By Iqpc Middle East, PRNE
Sunday, July 31, 2011

JOHANNESBURG, August 1, 2011 -


On March 3rd 2011 the Constitutional Court of South Africa ruled that Thembekile Mankayi, a former mineworker, could sue AngloGold Ashanti for damages he suffered as a result of having contracted silicosis, a serious lung disease caused by dust inhalation. Estimates of how much such class action suits could cost the mining industry range up to R100-billion.

This case and the prospect of more stringent regulations have re-focused attention on the issue of occupational safety in mining. The primary means through which mines ensure a safe working environment underground is ventilation - basically, moving in fresh air and diluting, filtering and moving out contaminated air. A simple enough objective, but achieving it is an immensely complicated engineering challenge.

It is the goal of IQPC’s Mine Ventilation Africa conference, taking place November 15-16 in Johannesburg, to address these challenges ventilation professionals face. The keynote address will be delivered by Mr. David Msiza, Chief Inspector of Mines of South Africa. He will discuss the future direction of regulations, especially when it comes to the amount of potentially-carcinogenic diesel pollutants workers are exposed to.

Additionally, two international gurus will present workshops at the conference. Dr. Joe Stackulak, Manager of Strategic Ventilation at Vale’s Canadian operations, is a world expert on the control of diesel particulate matter. Glenn Lyle, R&D program director at Canada’s Centre of Excellence in Mining Innovation will facilitate a workshop on ventilation on demand, a technologically advanced ventilation technique that promises immense energy savings. With large energy users such as mines expected to reduce consumption in order to avoid load-shedding, the adoption of ventilation on demand in South Africa would be a distinct advantage.

The deepest mines in the world are in South Africa, and AngloGold Ashanti operates two such ultra-deep mines in Savuka and TauTona, both almost 4km deep. When mining at such depths heat becomes a real problem, so it becomes necessary to refrigerate in order to cool down the working environment. How South African mining companies manage to operate effectively in such an extreme environment is of great international interest, and Andrew Robbins, Pump and Refrigeration Engineer at AngloGold Ashanti, will be presenting on precisely this topic.

For more information on Mine Ventilation Africa 2011, feel free to visit, email or call +27-(0)11-275-0457.


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