As part of an on-going commitment to leading practice in spontaneous combustion assessment and management, Spring Creek Mine has adopted a strategy of bulk coal testing to obtain data on hot spot development in broken coal, including the associated gas evolution pattern. This approach has been successfully integrated into the spontaneous combustion management plan for the mine and has enabled appropriate actions to be taken in response to the coal behaviour during a heating. Site experience gained at Spring Creek is presented to compare with the laboratory scale testing results. A key feature that has been identified for the Spring Creek coal in the laboratory is the stage of hot spot development associated with moisture evaporation as the hot spot prepares to migrate towards the air source. This stage of delayed thermal runaway provides a lead time for appropriate actions to be taken to control the heating.