POSITIVE PRESSURE VENTILATION SYSTEM CONVERSION AT DIAVIK DIAMOND MINE

World Mining Congress
The Diavik Diamond Mine is located in one of the most remote and forbidding places in the world, 220 kilometres south of the Arctic Circle and on the bed of a vast northern lake, Lac de Gras. A single road, built out of ice and crossing frozen lakes, connects the mine with other operations and Yellowknife, the capital of the Canada's Northwest Territories. Diamonds were first discovered in the Lac de Gras region in the early 1990s, and construction of the Diavik Diamond Mine was completed in 2003. Diavik currently mines three kimberlite pipes. Open pit mining has now concluded and all three pipes are mined using underground mining methods. In early 2010, Diavik began mining and processing initial ore from its new underground mine; underground mining operations are expected to continue beyond 2020. The initial mine ventilation system was an exhausting (pull) system with fresh air supplied by a fresh air raise and a main ramp. Return air was exhausted via two raises and a secondary ramp. The system had a total flow capacity approximating 401-411 m3/s. With planned increased production and with changes in mining method, it has been proposed to change the mine ventilation system to a positive (forcing) ventilation system in order to meet projected increases in flow requirements of 566-708 m3/s. Extensive engineering work was developed in order to successfully achieve the changes in system configuration. In the proposed configuration, the main ramp is in an exhaust configuration and exhaust raises are converted to fresh air raise. A number of system implementation options were investigated and phased plans for system execution have been developed. The proposed changes to the ventilation system are substantial and involve extensive construction work. Work was commenced in 2011, each planned phase has been successfully completed to date, and system changes continue today in order to achieve complete system flow reversal and increased flow distribution. This paper details the design of the modified ventilation system and commissioning work which will allow the mine to meet its future production targets.
Keywords: Fans; Pressure; Systems; Ventilation system; Ventilation systems; flow; Air; Exhausts; Mine; Mines;
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