Publication Details

Black, D. J. (2017). Gas reservoir and emission modelling to evaluate gas drainage to control tailgate gas concentrations and fugitive emissions. Proceedings of the 2017 Australian Mine Ventilation Conference (pp. 1-5).


The process of longwall coal extraction coal causes fractures in the overlying and underlying strata and these fractures become pathways for gas released from adjacent coal seams to flow into the mine workings and contaminate the ventilation air. If the rate of gas emission exceeds the diluting capacity of the ventilation air, the gas concentration will increase and exceed the statutory limit resulting in production delays.All potential gas sources within the planned mining area, including coal seams located above and below the working seam, should be identified and sufficient gas data collected and used to determine the specific gas emission from each gas source. Gas reservoir and emission modelling is recommended to determine specific gas emission and changes in gas emission from individual sources over the planned mining area. Accurate gas reservoir and emission modelling provides the information required to accurately design gas drainage programs to effectively manage gas emissions and minimise the risk of ‘gas-outs’.Given the increasing occurrence of incidents of gas concentration in ventilation air exceeding the 2.0% statutory limit and changes to mine plans to avoid ‘difficult-to-drain’ areas, it is apparent that many operations are not effectively utilising gas reservoir and emission modelling to identify high gas emission areas and are not completing sufficient gas drainage in advance of planned mining.The process of gas reservoir and emission modelling to support gas drainage design to control tailgate gas concentration and fugitive emissions is presented and discussed.