Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Carres, JN and Saghafi, A, Predicting spontaneous combustion in spoil piles from open cut coal mines, in Aziz, N (ed), Coal 1998: Coal Operators' Conference, University of Wollongong & the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 1998, 617-625.


Spoil piles are produced routinely in open cut coal mines. Spoil piles may contain waste coal and other carbonaceous horizons. Coal and carbonaceous materials react with oxygen in the atmosphere, producing heat. If the rate at which heat is generated is greater than the rate at which heat can be dissipated, the temperature of the spoil pile rises. If the heating remains unchecked, spontaneous combustion can occur. Spontaneous combustion poses significant safety , environmental and economic problems if it should become established in spoil piles. Using the basic features of self heating in spoil, the use of model is directed toward developing quantitative prediction of spontaneous combustion in open cut coal mine spoil piles.