14th United States/North American Mine Ventilation Symposium, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, June 17, 2012
Authors: S. B. Patton and G. L. Skaggs (Agapito Associates, Inc.) and S. Britton (Baja Mining Corporation)
Boleo is an underground copper-cobalt-zinc-manganese project currently under construction near the town of Santa Rosalía in the state of Baja California Sur, Mexico. The deposit consists of seven soft-rock ore beds, or “mantos”, faulted into irregular-sized blocks of mineable ore. Over 94 percent of ore will be derived from underground mining. Current plans show over thirty underground mines will be developed during the anticipated project life in Mantos 1, 2, 3 and 4. Underground mining operations will consist of room-and-pillar mining with pillar recovery using standard drum-style continuous mining machines, shuttle cars, and continuous haulage typically found in coal, potash and salt mines. Upon achieving steady-state full production, the Boleo underground mines will have up to six continuous mining units set up at one time, either mining on advance or retreat, with no more than three units in any one mine at the same time. The challenge to the ventilation design is to size and design the controls for a main mine fan that would be interchangeable between mines operating at various production rates and operating lives. To manage risks to workers associated with heat stress and strain during the hotter months of operation, mine ventilation air cooling is also necessary. This paper presents the ventilation design, fan and cooling system selection for the Boleo mines.
Downloadable PDF: Ventilation Design for the Boleo Project