A breath of fresh air...

...ventilation at Winsford

In any mine it is vital to introduce fresh air to flush out fumes from vehicles and shotfiring. Requirements vary but there are minimum standards that we must meet for day to day operations.

No 4 shaft is the main downcast shaft and has two large fans at the bottom which draw in around 135 cubic metres of fresh air per second.

Keeping a constant temperature

Air drawn into the mine is circulated through specially constructed air conditioning tunnels known as the de-watering tunnels. Here any excess moisture in the air is drawn out by the rock salt. The temperature of the rock then stabilises the air to 14°C.

This fresh air will then take 9 hours to travel around the mine. We hang Hessian brattice curtains between the pillars to make sure that the air can reach all parts of the mine.

Even though we mine for rock salt there is a very slow corrosion rate to vehicles and equipment in the mine. This is due to the de-watering process.

Unlike some mines, we are fortunate that noxious gasses like methane do not present a problem at our mine - but it doesn't mean that we don't monitor the air quality constantly to comply with statutory requirements.

Read more about the mine structure

Download the Winsford Rock Salt Mine Ventilation

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Main picture courtesy
of Paul Deakin