According to the manufacturer of the eight person refuge chamber that housed a trapped miner during his 15 hour ordeal at Leinster underground mine in Western Australia, the chamber could have supported life for a minimum of 36 hours.
The chamber used in the rescue incorporates a carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide scrubbing system, which operates without electrical power, in order to supply breathable air.
One of the key risks to supporting life underground, according to the manufacturer, is the rising metabolic heat produced by occupants, which can increase to potentially fatal levels.
The MineARC Systems’ Refuge Chamber, which was used during last week’s Leinster incident, cools the air inside the chamber using a split-system air conditioner, ensuring the environment is sustainable for human life.
The chambers are also fitted with a purpose-built MineARC Control System, allowing occupants to easily monitor the status of the refuge chamber.
The chamber features three separate air supply systems, including filtered and silenced compressed air, medical oxygen cylinders, and an oxygen candle.
A gas monitoring system is fitted, with an external port and pump adaptor included for monitoring the outside environment.