Permanent Shelter – MineSAFE Permanent

Permanent Shelter (as opposed to a Portable Refuge Chamber) can often prove to be a more efficient and cost effective solution for an underground mine. In particular a permanent shelter (or crib room) can work well as an emergency refuge facility for mine sites that have a large number of personnel underground at any one time; particularly if they are remaining within certain areas of the mine.

Permanent refuge chambers are capable of sheltering upwards of hundreds of personnel in an underground emergency, and can also double as break, rest and lunch areas during normal operation.

MineSAFE Permanent Refuge Shelters consist of a standard framework of recommended equipment, vital to safe operation of the shelter in an underground mining emergency. MineARC engineers work closely with each site to tailor a refuge model to best suit their requirements.

Permanent Shelter – Scrubbing Systems

Carbon dioxide (CO2) and carbon monoxide (CO) are expired by refuge shelter occupants as part of their normal breathing activity. Carbon monoxide can also enter the shelter via the compressed air intake if it becomes compromised, and as occupants enter and exit the refuge chamber. In high enough concentrations, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide poisoning can lead to a loss of consciousness and eventually, death. Carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide removal is therefore a vital necessity for any refuge shelter.

MineARC’s patented Series IV electrical scrubbing system is designed to ‘scrub’ the build up of harmful CO2 and CO from the air inside the permanent refuge shelter.

Permanent Shelter – UPS Battery Backup

A secure steel cabinet outside the MineSAFE Permanent Refuge Shelter houses the refuge system’s battery backup UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply). The UPS is a fail safe system that can power the emergency refuge shelter’s internal life support systems for a minimum of 36 hours should mains (‘mine’) power become cut-off.

Permanent Shelter – Flushing Airlocks

An airlock is designed to act as a secure staging area between the safety of the permanent refuge shelter and the outside environment; significantly reducing the threat of contaminants being brought into the refuge chamber on entry during an underground mine emergency.

MineARC offers a choice of a normal entry or high flow entry airlock, with a number of optional add-ons to further improve the flushing efficiency during personnel entry.

Permanent Shelter – Bulkhead Doors

MineARC manufactures a range of bulkhead doors to suit permanent refuge shelter specifications. All doors are constructed from solid steel plate, with doublelocking rotating handles, rubber seals, porthole windows, and check valves to ensure a fully sealed emergency shelter. Doors can be configured either with a bulkhead mounting frame (allowing walls to be built around the door), or without a mounting frame, should a door cavity already exist.

Permanent Shelter – Compressed Air Management System (CAMS)

In the event of an emergency, during entry into the refuge shelter, the positive pressure created by CAMS ensures contaminants do not pass into the refuge bay. Once all personnel have safely entered the refuge shelter, the compressed air management system manually diverts to allow safely filtered mine air into the main refuge bay; providing continual, breathable compressed air flow for occupants for the duration of entrapment.

Permanent Shelter – Compressed Oxygen Cylinder Racks

If mine air supply fails, permanent refuge shelters should be fitted with a reliable secondary source of oxygen supply (O2). MineARC Scrubbers operate in conjunction with breathing grade O2 cylinders.

All scrubbers are supplied with a primary and backup oxygen regulator as well as Latex Gloves for handling.

Comparison Table

Name Capacity * Advanced Digital Control System ** iVAN *** Aura-FX Gas monitoring Modular construction Powerless Portable System **** Air-conditioning 36hrs Battery Backup 5psi Blast Rating *****
  • * Capacity Every refuge chamber is built with a certain rated occupancy in mind. The life support systems are designed to safely house this number of people for the designated duration.
  • ** Advanced Digital Control System All refuge chambers with a Series IV Scrubbing System feature MineARC's unique Advanced Digital Control System.
  • *** iVAN iVAN is an on-board navigation assistant that guides occupants through operational procedures.
  • **** Powerless Portable System MineARC's Powerless Portable System means it can sit stand-alone for extended periods without requiring connection to mains (mine) power
  • ***** 5psi Blast Rating MineARC offers blast rating upgrades to all refuge chambers.

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