Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

S. Yarlagadda, R. Balusu, T. Liu and Veera Reddy B, Proactive Strategies for Prevention and Control of Fires in Bord and Pillar Mines Working in Thick Coal Seams, 11th Underground Coal Operators' Conference, University of Wollongong & the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 2011, 249-256.


Coal fires associated with spontaneous combustion pose significant risks for underground mines. The hazard to the safety of the people working in mines, the loss of valuable coal reserves, the addition to fugitive Green House Gas (GHG) emissions and the huge costs involved in controlling the aftermath situations put these into one of the most critical parameters which have to be dealt with. Some of the research attempts taken to prevent and control coal mine fires and spontaneous combustion in thick seams worked with bord and pillar mining methods is presented. A mine located in India which has a 22 year history of working a 10m thick coal seam with the blasting gallery (BG) technology for extraction of the pillars was selected for the study. The project investigated the geological, geotechnical, operational and ventilation parameters causing the frequent fire incidents. Several laboratories, desktop and modelling studies were made to give a better understanding of the contributing factors and develop strategies for the control of mine fires. In the study computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling techniques were used to simulate and assess the effects of various mining methods, layouts, designs, and different operational and ventilation parameters on the flow of goaf gases in BG panels. A wide range of parametric studies were conducted to develop proactive strategies to control and prevent ingress of oxygen into the goaf area preventing spontaneous combustion and mine fires.