Report on International Committee on Coal Research (ICCR) Visit to South Africa - 14th to 23rd April 1997

Underground » Health and Safety

Published: September 97Project Number: C6058

Get ReportAuthor: R Parkin, David Cliff, Paul Mackenzie-Wood, Jim Galvin | Shell Coal, SIMTARS, NSW Mines Rescue, University of New South Wales

The importance of safety in the underground coal mining industry is paramount to the increases in productivity the industry must achieve in order to realise adequate returns on funds invested. These efforts to improve safety have intensified following the Moura Inquiry findings.

A new initiative arose from Australia's participation in the International Committee on Coal Research (ICCR) and the desire of the South African delegates to cooperate more closely with Australian researchers particularly in the field of safety research and demonstration..

Agreement has been reached to actively exchange information and experience in the areas of Coal Pillar Design, Fires and Explosions and Mines Rescue and Escape.

This cooperation has taken the form of nominated experts in each area collating relevant work done in their country. The Australian delegation visited South Africa from 14 to 23 April 1997 to both describe our work and to see at first hand what the South Africans are doing. The visit to South Africa was funded by the Australian Coal Association Research Program (ACARP). The South Africans reciprocated in kind from 16 to 25 June 1997. The visit in South Africa was organised by the Mining Technology division for the Council for Scientific and Industry Research (CSIR).

The major highlights of the visit were as follows:

  • A new technique of suspending stone dust barriers, which is simpler and reduces manual handling considerably, has been developed.
  • The South Africans have experience in actual emergency conditions with many of the escape techniques which have been proposed post Moura with hard evidence on what works and what does not.
  • Light and sound guided escape systems in low visibility have been found wanting but cable guides have been found to be effective.
  • The South Africans have considerable experience with oxygen based self rescuers.
  • Some brands of SCOSRs which are banned in South Africa because of poor performance are being sold in Australia.
  • A matrix of coal pillar types versus common research needs has been developed.
    Lessons learned in yield pillars in platinum and deep gold mines, plus crush pillars in longwall mining will find application in Australia.
  • A large field experience base relating to pillars exists in South Africa across both its coal and its metalliferous mining industry.
  • A large data base contained in research and technical reports resides in the Chamber of Mines, CSIR and mining houses (groups) in South Africa.

The Australian Team was as follows:
Mr Ray Parkin, Manager Health and Safety and Environment, Shell Coal Australia - Team Leader
Professor Jim Galvin, Head of the School of Mining Engineering, University of New South Wales - Coal Pillar Design: Mr Paul Mackenzie-Wood, Manager, Technology and Technical Services NSW Mines Rescue - Escape and Rescue: Dr David Cliff, Manager Mining Research, SIMTARS - Fire and Explosions

The South African Team was as follows:
Mr Harry Rose, Manager Health and Safety Ingwe Coal - Team Leader: Dr Bernard Madden, Miningtek - Rock Mechanics - Coal Pillar Design: Mr Jan du Plessis, Miningtek - Fires and Explosions: Dr John Kielblock, Miningtek - Escape and Rescue


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...

C26063Reliable Estimation Of Horizontal Stress Magnitudes From Borehole Breakout Data

The main objective of the project is to develop a reliable and simpl...

C26053Predict Stress State And Geotechnical Conditions Near Major Geological Structures Using Microseismic Technology And Distinct Element Modelling

Stress state and geotechnical conditions often change significantly ...


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...

C27074Tyre Integrity Monitoring

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

C26034Coking Properties Deterioration In Small Samples

Accurate evaluation of coking coal parameters at the exploration sta...

Open Cut

Coal Preparation

Maximising throughput and yield while minimising costs and emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C25019Adaptation Of Coal Grain Analysis To Improve Flotation Yield Estimation

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

C250083D Flotation Of Fine Particles

In this project a process for the continuous, selective agglomeratio...

C26009Improved Precision Of Determining Coal In Urban Dust

Dust samples collected in coastal locations using High Volume Air Sa...

Coal Preparation

Technical Market Support

Market acceptance and emphasising the advantages of Australian coals.

Recently Completed Projects

C26044Physical And Chemical Interactions Occurring During Cokemaking And Their Influence On Coke Strength

This project builds onto a previous project , C24055 in which macera...

C27056Imaging Gas Penetration Inside Coals And Cokes And Determining Influence On Coke Reactivity

The suitability of cokes for use in a blast furnace is determined by...

C26045Mineralogy Effects On The 3D Porosity Evolution Of Coke And Coke Reactivity

CRI/CSR CO2 combustion data are key metrics of coke quality and perf...

Technical Market Support

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from the production of coal.

Recently Completed Projects

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...

C24061Proof-Of-Concept Photocatalytic Destruction Of Methane For Coal Mining Fugitive Emissions Abatement

Australia's fugitive emissions in 2015 were 41 Mt CO2-e (representin...

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