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Development of a Fire Modeling Study for the Chuquicamata Underground Mine

Brian Prosser, Jess Van Diest
Thursday, June 22, 2017
First presented: 
16th North America Mine Ventilation Symposium
Mine Ventilation
The addition of fire modeling during the development of a ventilation system design can greatly enhance the safety aspects of the mine. When a fire modeling program is developed in conjunction with the ventilation design, mitigation aspects and infrastructure can be incorporated into the design process. This fire modeling encompasses the identification of intake/exhaust airways, access routes, and the provision of fresh air bases from which development activities will progress. Understanding how the ventilation system will respond to fires in critical or high risk areas is a fundamental element of the ventilation design. The ventilation system for the new Chuquicamata underground block cave mine is in the intermediate stages of development. During November 2015, a fire modeling study established a correlated ventilation model which was used to simulate mine fire scenarios at key locations. The study was used to determine the placement and application of essential mitigation infrastructure and to identify the consequences of a fire including fume spread, heat, and air reversals. This paper will describe the methodology and results of the fire modeling study.


Feature Author

Brian Prosser

Mr. Prosser has over 20 years of experience in the design and planning of large underground ventilation systems, ventilation and air climatic surveys, network analysis, dust and gas control, and the development of network ventilation and fire models. He has experience overseeing numerous ventilation studies involving nuclear waste repositories, hard rock mines, and coal mines. Brian has performed ventilation studies, surveys, optimization and planning for mines located in North America, South America, Europe and Indonesia. Brian has been responsible for survey planning, coordination with third party consultants and vendors, business development and job estimating. He has also conducted ventilation short courses to expand the knowledge base of clientele.

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