Case study: Underground mining dust suppression

GRT has served a globally renowned mining and resource organisation that owns large scale, underground and open-cut mines in central Queensland. The challenges the miner faces underground and above ground differ, although there are similarities – how to best manage underground coal dust.

In underground mining, water is sprayed to prevent spark arrest, however, performs quite badly in its secondary role as a dust suppressant. As coal is conveyed, crushed, and eventually stockpiled, water is typically used again to wet the coal enough to prevent dust generation.

This coal mine has one of the largest coal reserves in the world, amounting to almost one billion tonnes of coking coal. Moreover, the current annual production capacity is more than nine million tonnes of coal and is predicted to rise significantly in the next 10 years.

Core issues of this coal mine

  • Water-alone is not working.
  • Workers are exposed to unacceptable levels of coal and silica dust in both the underground and coal handling and processing plant (CHPP).
  • Workers are also in and around the product all day, in a confined space – so the product must be very safe to be in contact with and of course non-flammable.
  • The availability of water to manage dust, and pressure to not consume natural resources are also in demand from local communities and farming.

GRT’s Solution

GRT’s client decided to transition towards a more sustainable, environmental, and economical solution for managing and suppressing dust, especially in underground coal mining and processing. The miner was pressured by the local government to reduce the amount of water used and to improve the safety and health of mine workers in this particular mining operation, so GRT offered a perfect solution. It was easy to implement and was also very effective to capture and control hazardous coal dust.

To learn more about the results of this project, click here.

Leave a Reply