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Conference Paper

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Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Allanson, C, Strata Control in Underground Coal Mines: A Risk Management Perspective, in Aziz, N (ed), Coal 2002: Coal Operators' Conference, University of Wollongong & the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 2002, 135-153.


Hawcroft Miller Swan (HMS) reviews approximately 120 mines per year, around the world. Of these approximately 60% mine coal and the remainder metal and other minerals. Also approximately 60% of these mine underground. From our experience it is apparent that the mines with a well-developed understanding of their risk profile and a systematic approach to the way they do business, enjoy better business outcomes in terms of safety, productivity, cost control, profitability and reputation. Others without systems in place, consume a phenomenal amount of time and energy dealing with day-to-day issues, without ever gaining effective control of the critical issues that drive their business. This paper seeks to share HMS experiences in relation to risk management in Australia with particular focus on the underground coal mining industry of New South Wales and Queensland and geotechnical matters. It provides a brief overview of the legislation in both states and the use of risk assessment in relation to statutory compliance and as a business management tool. Comment on the benefits and limitations of risk assessments are given from the perspective of an organisation providing risk management services to the industry, or utilising industry-specific examples.

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