The mining industry is one of the largest in the world, from northeastern Pennsylvania to Central Asia and beyond. Advances in technology have led to working conditions that are far safer than those faced by miners in the past. Even so, safety is critical as workers obtain precious minerals and other natural resources from the earth. That’s why it’s essential for mining companies to use top-of-the-line equipment that protects workers and enhances operational efficiency.
Whether crews are mining for coal, other fossil fuels or diamonds, nearly all mining operations rely on compressed air as a source of power.
Common Uses for Compressed Air in Mines
Because there are so many applications for compressed air in mining, most mines utilize more than one compressor on site. The most common applications include:
- Exploration drilling: During exploration drilling, an air compressor is used to drive a rotating drill bit deep into the ground.
- Smelting: This process of melting and heating is another means to extract valuable metal from ores. Compressed air is often used throughout the smelting process, which includes instrumentation, agitation and cooling.
- Agitation: Orifices in the bottom of a tank allow for air agitation. Compressed air is introduced through piping for even distribution.
- Cleaning: As a source of clean air, an air compressor is a valuable tool that can be used to clean filters and other spaces during a mining operation. Regular cleaning keeps downtime to a minimum and increases the longevity of essential mining equipment, as fewer repairs are needed.
- Material handling: Compressed air makes it easier for mining crews to handle coal dust and other very fine materials. Mixing fine particles with compressed air allows for the occurrence of fluidization. This process is helpful for conveying material.
- Refining: In the process of extracting metals from ore and other raw materials, the metal is softened by the high heat of a furnace. This process is known as refinement. During refinement, compressed air is used to oxidize any other alloys so no material goes to waste.
- Powering pneumatic tools: Wrenches, drills, saws and other critical mining equipment are often needed in deep mining environments. Air compressors provide a dependable source of power for these tools.
- Blasting: Due to the controlled use of explosives, blasting operations can be high-risk without the right equipment. Compressed air systems offer a relatively safe medium of high-velocity streams of air.
- Ventilation systems: In the deepest mine tunnels and hazardous environments, air compressor systems are used to provide clean and breathable air for miners.
How Can Quincy Compressor Help Your Crew?
Mining is one of the many industries we are proud to serve at Quincy Compressor. We provide equipment that is durable and reliable when you need it most. Browse our site for additional resources about compressed air usage in the mining industry. For more information and assistance finding the ideal compressor to meet the needs of your operation, reach out to us today.