CRITICAL LIFE SUPPORT ELEMENTS AND CONSIDERATIONS FOR REFUGE CHAMBERS IN MINING PROJECTS

World Mining Congress
While refuge chambers are common place in most underground mining projects, there are
different philosophies as to what life support systems are to be considered and how these systems are
to be applied. Case studies in the underground mining industry have examples of emergencies where
the external compressed air and power supply to the refuge chamber were compromised due to
proximity of services to the fire location. In 2005, The Department of Industry and Resources, Western
Australia, drafted guidelines that listed specific requirements for refuge chambers which included a
secondary life support system that would operate independently of external sources. The objective of
this document is to examine what critical life support systems are essential for safe entrapment in the
event of an emergency and to examine considerations for their application.
Keywords: CO2; Air; Systems; Standards; Compressed air; Requirements; Temperature; Safety; Mine; Mines;
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