Project Officer, Simtars
Information deficiencies during emergencies is increasingly seen as a critical issue for emergency response. Information should be gathered to provide “intelligence” about the underground conditions after a major incident, such as an explosion or rock fall. This project investigated four key areas related to information gathering:
Post explosion atmosphere monitoring:– An industry study into available, low powered, sensors were conducted. The study was to identify commercially available equipment to sample the mine atmosphere post an underground incident.
Ultra-resilient communication system:– An investigation was undertaken into the feasibility of components for a robust and resilient mine communication network. The network must survive an underground incident and be able to transmit information in and out of an underground mine environment.
Blast protection (or blast resilience):– The blast protection was evaluated through subjecting different shapes of enclosures to actual blasts, in an explosion propagation tube.
Navigational aids:– A series of test were undertaken to determine the suitability of using visible light, infra-red as well as radar to aid in self rescue. All test were undertaken in a “dusty”, or low-visibility, environment.
This paper will present the results obtained for each of the key areas and highlight the potential of such a system in an underground coal mine environment.
Dr Snezana Bajic
Technical Services Manager, Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (Simtars)
Reliable gas monitoring is a key element to ensure that the mine based controls are effective.
Coal mines in Queensland and New South Wales have been facing issues in controlling tailgate methane levels and recently there have been two serious spontaneous combustion events. Legislation and Australian standards make specific requirements for the installation and maintenance of gas monitoring systems.
This paper discusses the issues related to gas monitoring, tailgate methane control, alarm set points and proposals for feedback loops on alarm notifications and acknowledgements. The paper will not discuss individual mine events but will focus on reliable gas monitoring to enable early detection and proactive actions to be taken.
Professor Jianming Wu
Visiting Professor of University of Wollongong and Director of AST Australia
A/Professor Ting Ren</br/>Director of Centre of Infrastructure Protection and Mining Safety, University of Wollongong
Spontaneous combustion (sponcom) of coal remains a major safety issue for underground coal mining operations. Recent heating incidents in Australia further highlight the need of improving current knowledge and practices of sponcom management to ensure safety and productivity of coal mines extracting coal seams that are prone to spontaneous heating.
This presentation will provide some the fundamental theory and practices in the early detection, prevention and control of spontaneous combustion of coal. Case studies based on Chinese and Australian coal mines will be presented to demonstrate a range of techniques, including radon detection, jel and fly ash injection materials, that can be practically used for coal heating and fire management.
The presentation will also include studies of goaf gas flow dynamics based on computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling. Based upon fundamental fluid flow governing equations, computational models are developed to investigate the impact of different ventilation layout and ventilation parameters on goaf gas flow characteristics and in particularly, oxygen leakage and ingress patterns, and hence identification of high sponcom risk zones. Inertisation strategies, using both nitrogen and carbon dioxide, are modelled to optimise operational parameters (e.g, injection flow rate and location etc) for active longwalls and seal-off operations.