Mine Ventilation Implications of Segregated Intake and Neutral Air Beltways


SUMMARY Although it is believed that exemption to the ruling has been common, coal underground beltways in mine areas developed since 1978 in Queensland are required to have belt heading air segregated from other intake headings to improve the likelihood of maintenance of an uncontaminated escape airway in the event of a mine fire. Furthermore, the 1996 Moura No 2 Warden's Inquiry Recommendations set down that underground mines should have one intake airway that is completely segregated from other parallel intake airways so as to provide two separate intake airways means of egress from the mine. The results of a study to examine the implications and costs of these provisions are set down and discussed. A number of Queensland mines are facing conditions of having to mine through extensive seam pockets of high concentration unpleasant and toxic gases such as H2S. These gases are liberated both from the face and from coal travelling on and being tipped from belts. Panel mining necessitates routing face return air down belt headings homotropally and under these conditions Mains Headings belt air will be contaminated and cannot be reused within the mine. The Mains belt heading must be fully segregated and one option is for it to in effect become a neutral airway with a low airflow being coursed either homotropally or antitropally and dumped to returns. This restricts the number of possible mine intakes and so has implications on the provision and cost of mine ventilation. Examples from a study on this situation are discussed.


Mining Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Belt Heading Air; Coal Mines; Escape Airway; Mine Fires

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 1996 Queensland Mining Council, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Aug 1996

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