EFFECTIVE dust control using water at mines requires uniform wetting, and monitoring of weather conditions such as wind direction and speed. Dust can cause major problems for mining operations, such as low-visibility issues and equipment failure, and can be linked to health problems such as asthma, lung cancer and heart disease.
A fixed sprinkler system with weather monitoring, centralised control and proper water distribution components can be an effective and operationally efficient solution for dust issues at material handling points and on stockpiles and roads.
The Rain Bird central control system utilises a single computer linked to field controllers to monitor watering schedules and system performance, allowing a small number of people to easily operate and monitor site-wide system activities from a remote location.
Additionally, an on-site weather station can be installed so that watering schedules are automatically adjusted using daily weather data.
Properly designed and installed fixed sprinkler systems are built to withstand the harsh environments found at mine sites: the individual components that distribute and control water supply are made of brass and stainless steel and can handle high water pressure and dirty water.
Rain Bird rain guns and impact sprinklers are best suited for wetting stockpiles, due to their large trajectory and throw capacity, which can reach 55.4m. Along haul roads, pop-up rotors provide the best solution for dust control and can be installed with stainless steel risers for added protection.
“Controlling dust with the smart technologies currently available in the market provides a long-term solution to an ongoing problem,” Rain Bird international business manager for Australia Tony Anderson said.
The use of Rain Bird central control systems, combined with automatic weather monitoring and durable water distribution components, ensures that water is uniformly applied throughout a site to effectively control dust.