Mines Rescue Vehicle - Demonstration Phase

Underground » Health and Safety

Published: October 06Project Number: C14024

Get ReportAuthor: Paul Binnie, Ray Davis Martin Watkinson | Simtars

Simtars under the auspices of the Queensland Mines Rescue Service and ACARP has been investigating development of a mines rescue/escape Vehicle.  This involved investigating the operation of underground coal mine personnel transport vehicles in non standard mine atmospheres.

The first stage of the project resulted in a design specification for a vehicle to assist in the aftermath of an underground coal mine emergency. The second stage of the project involved testing diesel engines in a variety of atmospheres, consisting of up to 4% methane and low oxygen concentrations produced by the introduction of extra carbon dioxide and nitrogen. This second stage proved the feasibility of using normal diesel engines in such atmospheres.

The principle objective of this third stage (ACARP C14024 Mines Rescue Vehicle Demonstration Phase) was to utilise the information gained in stage one and two of this project to modify an existing mine personnel transport vehicle. The vehicle incorporated modifications in the form of extra features including a high-speed methane analyser and a sonic navigation device.

This report describes the development of the extra features installed on an existing mine personnel transport vehicle and the process whereby the vehicle, as a concept, was presented to the mining industry through formal demonstrations, conferences, presentations to manufacturers, interested parties and videos showing its particular capabilities.

Notwithstanding testing conducted during the second stage the ability of a vehicle to function safely, if suddenly exposed to explosive atmospheres, was still unknown and therefore Simtars researchers undertook controlled testing of a typical personnel transport vehicle in explosive methane/air atmospheres. The vehicle was operated safely while completely exposed to the high methane environment throughout the entire test period.

The amount of interest shown in the demonstration vehicle, by industry, prompted the researchers and the Industry Steering Committee to continue with developing the vehicle from a concept to prototype testing at Crinum Mine. It was feared that loss of momentum could jeopardise the chances of the vehicle additions being developed and becoming available as retro fit kits/options on new vehicles.

The next stage needed to proceed on two fronts if this goal was to be realised:

  • Prototype testing and further development of the added features.
  • Further testing of engines currently used for this purpose under the worst possible conditions of explosible methane concentrations.

Prototype testing has been completed and the concept vehicle has been well received wherever it has been shown. The level of interest shown both locally and internationally is demonstrated by the fact that several mines from countries like the USA and China have expressed interest in purchasing vehicles.

At time of reporting the vehicle remains a concept only.  It is imperative that this proceed from concept to reality, as loss of momentum could jeopardise the ultimate goal of the project.

It is recommended that making this concept a reality be championed by all industry as a whole.


Health and safety, productivity and environment initiatives.

Recently Completed Projects

C25060Development Of Borehole Shear Monitoring Device For Routine Application In Coal Mine Roadways

This project outlines the development of a cost effective, routine s...

C26056Optimisation Of Low And High Pressure Longwall Hydraulic Systems

This project aimed to establish if longwalls with Hi-Set systems cou...

C27007Assessment Of Pyrite Coal Dust Induced Pneumoconiosis

There have been recent concerns regarding the re-identification of C...


Open Cut

Safety, productivity and the right to operate are priorities for open cut mine research.

Recently Completed Projects

C25031Developing Closure Criteria For River Diversions: An Alternative To Reference Sites

The use of reference sites for establishing closure criteria in area...

C25025Guidelines For Estimating Coal Measure Rock Mass Strength From Laboratory Properties - Report A Empirical Approach And Report B Synthetic Rock Mass Models

This report combined different approaches to investigate the estimat...

C27074Tyre Integrity Monitoring

Driving mine trucks with underinflated and overloaded tyres subjects...

Open Cut

Coal Preparation

Maximising throughput and yield while minimising costs and emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C6046Optimising Coal Fragmentation For Improved Recovery

Uncontrolled fragmentation, in particular that resulting in the gene...

C25019Adaptation Of Coal Grain Analysis To Improve Flotation Yield Estimation

This project involved sampling of full-scale flotation circuits at ...

C27033Comprehensive Flotation Model Using CGA Particle Surface Composition

The aim of this project was to adapt existing particle based flotat...

Coal Preparation

Technical Market Support

Market acceptance and emphasising the advantages of Australian coals.

Recently Completed Projects

C27036Improved Understanding Of Coke Quality Using 3D Immersive Visualisation And Statistical Characterisation Of Microstructure Properties

This project carried out an explorative study into the use of a 3D v...

C27047Combustion Characteristics Of Australian Export Thermal Coal Using Advanced Imaging Techniques

During pulverised fuel combustion, coal particles are rapidly pyroly...

C25045Assessment Of In Situ High Temperature Strength Of Cokes

The research for this project was undertaken in three stages.


Technical Market Support

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from the production of coal.

Recently Completed Projects

C26004CFD Modelling Of Reverse Thermal Oxidisers For VAM Abatement - CFD Modelling Of Fixed-Bed RTO Devices

The project is part of a larger multi‐phase program of study a...

C27058Technological Assessment Of A Recycle Reactor For VAM Abatement

Underground coal mining emits high volumes of methane, diluted in ve...

C27008Selective Absorption Of Methane By Ionic Liquids

The connection of a ventilation air methane (VAM) abatement plant di...

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Low Emission Coal Use

Step-change technologies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C17060BGasification Of Australian Coals

Four Australian coals were trialled in the Siemens 5 MWth pilot scale ga...

C17060AOxyfuel Technology For Carbon Capture And Storage Critical Clean Coal Technology - Interim Support

The status of oxy-fuel technology for first-generation plant is indicate...

C18007Review Of Underground Coal Gasification

This report consists of a broad review of underground coal gasification,...

Low Emission Coal Use

Mining And The Community

The relationship between mines and the local community.

Recently Completed Projects

C16027Assessing Housing And Labour Market Impacts Of Mining Developments In Bowen Basin Communities

The focus of this ACARP-funded project has been to identify a number...

C22029Understanding And Managing Cumulative Impacts Of Coal Mining And Other Land Uses In Regions With Diversified Economies

The coal industry operates in the context of competing land-uses that sh...

C23016Approval And Planning Assessment Of Black Coal Mines In NSW And Qld: A Review Of Economic Assessment Techniques

This reports on issues surrounding economic assessment and analysis ...

Mining And The Community


National Energy Research,Development & Demonstration Council (NERDDC) reports - pre 1992.

Recently Completed Projects

1609-C1609Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

1301-C1301Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development...

Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development and Extraction Operations

0033-C1356Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals...

Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals - An Industry Handbook