Mine gas drainage and outburst control in Australian underground coal mines
Australia produces both black and brown coal and is the world's fourth largest producer of black coal, after China, USA and India. Australian underground coal mines operate under controlled safety codes. The establishment of the mine safety management system, including the 1994 outburst management plan, contributed to a significant improvement in mine safety leading to non-fatality in outburst related incidences since 1994. The management of outburst risk, as a part of the overall safety and health management system is described. Also discussed are the introduction of outburst threshold limit values and the desorption rate index which forms the basis for determining safe mining conditions along with the “Authority to Mine” process The measures taken and lessons learned from safe mining of Australia's outburst prone mines represent an opportunity for improved mining safety in other countries, such as China.. The role of the Australian Coal Association Research Program, which supports research in critical areas such as outburst risk control and management, is also discussed.
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