Underground storage facilities

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With the amount and complexity of equipment underground, it is essential to maintain a clean and organized underground storage facility to store replacement parts, ventilation components, pumps, electrical equipment, and ground support supplies. Proximity to mechanical service shops and working areas are the primary location considerations, while inventory management is critical to manage costs while reducing downtime (Bullock, 2011). In order to reduce inventory management paperwork, an assortment of ‘free-issue’ items, such as coarse thread machine bolts, nuts, and washers should be located in open boxes outside the warehouse (de la Vergne, 2003).

The amount and location of warehouses is greatly impacted by the size and depth of the mine. Some mines have no supply rooms underground, and others have warehouses as large as 1,115 m2 (Bullock, 2011). Conventional drilling and blasting excavation methods are generally used to create underground warehouse areas, although the alternative methods discussed in maintenance facilities may be used to create larger excavations. The factors influencing the inventory policy at each mine’s warehouse include the frequency and ease with which the mine receives supplies, the dependability of the parts suppliers for the equipment being used, the ability to obtain replacement parts underground without disruption mine production, and the provision for a supply system and the collar or portal (Bullock, 2011). Figure 1, below, shows the layout of a simple underground storage drift being used to store pipe and ground support consumables.

Figure 1, Typical underground storage facility layout (Morin,2015)


Bullock, R. L. (2011). Subsurface Mine Development. In P. Darling, SME Mining Engineering Handbook (pp. 1203-1221). Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME).

de la Vergne, J. (2003). Hard Rock Miner's Handbook. North Bay: McIntosh Engineering.

Morin, M. (2015). Personal Files

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