CSA M424 standards are used to ensure safe air quality for underground workers.

CanmetMINING performs emissions testing and certification of diesel engines according to these standards.

A CSA-prescribed emissions-based ventilation rate is derived from engine emissions data obtained during a comprehensive laboratory certification test. However, once a new engine has been verified against a comprehensive exhaust emissions test, there is no on-going verification program in place to monitor its in-use performance to ensure that emissions are not increasing and that the prescribed ventilation rate remains sufficient over time.

CanmetMINING has proposed that a future version of the M424 family of standards should include an in-use verification component to ensure that emissions from certified diesel engines do not exceed the certification test values in service. An in-mine field study was conducted in collaboration with Vale Canada to collect in-service engine emissions data for the purposes of developing an in-use verification program.

A trial comparison of in-use data with certification test data successfully demonstrated the feasibility of performing an in-use verification test on underground mining equipment, as well as the suitability of the test equipment and proper procedure.

It is recommended that this work be expanded to develop an in-use verification program for underground vehicles. This might include:

  • a study of in-use verification procedures in other jurisdictions;
  • the collection of in-use emissions data from in-service vehicles underground; and
  • a comparative laboratory study to review the suitability of transient test cycles for in-use verification.

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