April 11, 2019

New Publication Describes Controls for Industrial Minerals Mining, Processing

The second edition of NIOSH’s Dust Control Handbook for Industrial Minerals Mining and Processing—published in March—provides information on control technologies to lower mine workers’ dust exposures during all stages of mineral processing. The new edition was written by a task force of safety and health specialists, industrial hygienists, and engineers, and was developed under a partnership between NIOSH and the Industrial Minerals Association–North America. IMA-NA represents companies that extract and process industrial minerals, including ball clay, barite, bentonite, borates, calcium carbonate, diatomite, feldspar, industrial sand, kaolin, magnesia, soda ash, talc, and wollastonite.

The handbook describes dust-generating processes and stages of the minerals handling process, including drilling, crushing, screening, conveyance, bagging, loadout, and transport. Readers will find information on control strategies that mine operators can use to reduce workers’ dust exposure. The updated publication includes chapters on dust collection systems, wet spray systems, and filtration and pressurization systems for environmental enclosures.

“The handbook’s aim is to empower minerals industry personnel to apply state-of-the-art dust control technology to help reduce or eliminate mine and mill worker exposure to hazardous dust concentrations—a critical component in ensuring the health of our nation’s mine workers,” NIOSH’s website states.

A free PDF of the handbook is available from the NIOSH website.