International Mine Ventilation Forum 2019

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First International Mine Ventilation Forum (IMVF),
June 25th, 2019, China University of Mining & Technology, Xuzhou, Jiangsu, P.R. China

Several universities in China, including China University of Mining and Technology (CUMT), Xi'an University of Science and Technology (XUST), Liaoning Technical University, and the University of Science and Technology Beijing (USTB), developed the concept of an International Mine Ventilation Forum. Led by Professor Fubao Zhou, Vice President of CUMT, this forum is intended to identify opportunities in the field of mine ventilation for information exchange, joint research and development. The intent of the forum is to develop a means for universities, research institutes, consultants and other interested parties to collaborate on specific topics relating to mine ventilation and less on the dissemination of mine ventilation information.

Participants in this forum included:

  • Keith Wallace (SRK Consulting, USA),
  • Jerry Tien (Monash University, Australia),
  • Dean Millar (Laurentian University, Canada),
  • Stanislaw Wasilewski (Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland),
  • Xintan Chang (Xi'an University of Science and Technology, Chair of the 2018 International Ventilation Congress, China),
  • Tingxiang Ren (University of Wollongong, Australia),
  • Hsin-Wei Wu (Gillis Wu Mining Technology Co., Ltd., Australia),

and representatives of the Chinese Industry Association, engineers and scholars from key mine enterprises, universities and research institutions.

The objective of the meeting was to establish common ground and network for future research and development, and to develop a format for future forums. The meeting format consisted of participants delivering short presentations on a topic of interest with the goal of identifying common research and/or technical concepts. At the first forum, the exchanges were principally of a technical nature spanning the themes of efficient, safe and ecologically benign mine ventilation.

Report on the First International Mine Ventilation Forum (IMVF)

Background and Motivation
Ventilation is an important component to ensure the safety and health of workers in underground operations. The main function of ventilation is to provide respirable oxygen within specified concentrations to support human workers, while controlling or eliminating dust, harmful gases and high temperatures and other hazards that threaten the safety and health in underground workings.
In pursuit of this goal, over the past century the discipline of mine ventilation has evolved and improved, both theoretically and practically. Unfortunately, as catastrophic events continue to occur, many challenges still remain, impacting the performance, reliability, environmental sustainability and safety of mine ventilation systems.

Objectives
The international mine ventilation forum aims to bring together representatives of academic, commercial, industrial, regulatory organisations and other interested parties, to create an inclusive, intimate, open, crucible for discussion of:

  • discipline-wide strategic research directions and priority areas,
  • recognisable changes in technology, policy instruments or other external influences,
  • mechanisms of professional development within, recruitment to, suggested methods and standards for, the discipline,
  • improvements to processes and policy affecting all stakeholders to the mine ventilation discipline.

Efficient Ventilation
With the help of modern communications, sensors, controls, communications and automation technology, ventilation systems can improve the working environment by:

  • online monitoring and perception of ventilating state parameters,
  • real-time monitoring, calculation and distribution of air volumes,
  • automatic diagnosis of ventilation system faults,
  • automatic management and control of ventilation facilities.

The development of such ventilation system process automation aims to make the system more stable, reliable, intelligent, energy efficient, cost effective and responsive to varying demand arising from adoption of new mining practices and equipment.

Safe Ventilation
The ventilation system is vital to underground operations requiring human access. The forum discussed improving system reliability and resilience in the face of potentially uncertain operational and environmental circumstances.

Ecologically Benign Ventilation (Green Initiatives)
The key to realizing environmentally benign ventilation is to reduce, and ideally minimise, the deleterious and fugitive emissions expelled to the atmosphere in the course of ventilation activities and to recognise such flows to the atmosphere not as waste streams, but as streams of currently underutilized resource.

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