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Conference Paper

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Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Gillies, S & Wu, HW, Case Studies From Simulating Mine Fires in Coal Mines and Their Effects on Mine Ventilation Systems, in Aziz, N (ed), Coal 2004: Coal Operators' Conference, University of Wollongong & the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 2004, 111-125.


The structure of a comprehensive research project into mine fires applying the Ventgraph mine fire simulation software, preplanning of escape scenarios and general interaction with rescue responses is outlined. The project has ACARP funding and also relies on substantial mining company site support. This is essential and allows the approach to be introduced in the most creditable way. The outcome of the completed project will be that the Australian mining industry is in an improved position in their understanding of mine fires and the use of modern advances to preplan actions to be taken in the event of mine fires and the handling of possible emergency incidents. The essential work program of the project is described and work already undertaken at individual mines discussed as examples. The effort is built around the introduction of fire simulation computer software to the Australian mining industry and the consequent modelling of fire scenarios in selected different mine layouts. Application of the simulation software package to the changing mine layouts necessitates experience to achieve realistic outcomes. Most large Australian mines of size currently use a ventilation network simulation program. Under the project a small subroutine has been written to transfer the input data from the existing mine ventilation network simulation program to Ventgraph. This has been tested successfully. To understand fire simulation correctly the mine ventilation system must be understood correctly first. The results of the project to date are discussed.

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