A scientific approach to quantifying the efficiency and efficacy of dust curtains on a Sandvik mb650 continuous miner at kestrel colliery whilst mining a full face of roof stone during an overcast construction
With the correct identification and continued increase in CWP and related occupational lung disease in the Australian coal mining industry since May 2015, the industry’s focus has been directed at mining operations achieving statutory respirable dust level compliance to AS2985. The majority of dust control techniques currently installed and operational in Australian coal mines have been developed in the USA, UK and other western countries and their application is more suited to low to medium coal seam heights up to 3m. The Australian mining experience has indicated that the efficiency of some of the existing respirable dust control methods reduce significantly in thick coal seams, under high production environments and when mining roof stone. As the current trend in the industry is to substantially increase production levels, there is an urgent need for detailed investigation of various dust control options and development of appropriate dust management strategies based on quantifying the efficiency and efficacy of installed controls to mitigate respirable dust from the working environment. This paper details the approach taken to quantify the efficiency and efficacy of installed face curtains for respirable dust mitigation on a Sandvik MB650 continuous miner whilst mining a full face of roof stone cutting an overcast in the mains at Kestrel Colliery. Results of the project have shown that the installed face curtains are not suitable as a dust mitigation control.