A Framework for Life of Mine Ventilation Planning with a Case Study of the Diavik Diamond Mine

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Clarke, Robert
Mine , Ventilation , Planning , Framework , Mining , Underground , Diavik
A ventilation planning framework with a focus on life-of-mine plans has been developed and was validated with a case study. The framework reconciles the mine production plan with the ventilation plan by creating design acceptability criteria, and from these, minimum airflow requirements for the production plan are set. The framework continues with the development of a ventilation model that is extrapolated forward, and the predicted future flows are tested against the ventilation acceptability criteria and the model is also checked for other bottlenecks and inefficiencies. Where gaps exist between the available and required ventilation, ideas are generated and ranked rapidly according to the value-ease principle and preliminary modelling. Those potential solutions which appear most likely to succeed are then modelled in detail before a fuller economic analysis is undertaken, a recommendation arrived at, and final optimizations made. The framework was validated with a case study of the Diavik Diamond Mine. Diavik has been an underground operation since 2012 and has a mine life of only 13 years. With less than eight years remaining the mine will go through some fundamental milestones, including the opening of two new mining blocks in one orebody, and closing of two other orebodies currently in production. A single orebody will be left in operation for the final three years of mine life. A significant change to the ventilation system will be required to support these transitions to the final configuration. The proposed framework was successfully utilized to select the optimal project scope to meet the ventilation requirements of the life-of-mine plan.
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