A Review of Current Australian Longwall Ventilation Practice


A study has been undertaken into the mine ventilation systems currently in use within Australian modern longwall extraction mines. The paper reviews current systems and discusses evolving changes being adopted to address the more complex problems. To remain viable mines are constantly emphasising cost reduction resulting in longer panels, wider faces, greater extraction heights, increased production rates and decreased personnel. In addition mine workings are moving deeper. Exacting ventilation control issues such as increased total and respirable dust, greater seam gas content at lower insitu permeabilities, spontaneous combustion and heat management become critically important. This review forms the basis for understanding these current ventilation issues. It analyses a comprehensive database of Australian longwall ventilation practice. This understanding is important so existing knowledge can be built on to assist with future operations. The review was completed by visiting and surveying 16 large longwall mining operations in Australia. The selection of longwall mines was based on encompassing most pits with pronounced ventilation challenges while focusing on larger operations facing issues related to higher production. Details are given of ventilation techniques used including number of gateroads developed, longwall ventilation patterns, use of monitoring systems, methods for sealing goafs, seal and stopping practices, pressure balancing of goafs and ventilation structures.

Meeting Name

11th U.S./North American Mine Ventilation Symposium (2006: Jun. 5-7, University Park, PA)


Mining Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Australia; Mine Ventilation Systems; Mines; Ventilation Control

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type




Publication Date

07 Jun 2006

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