Gas monitoring in mining sites is just one small aspect of keeping miners safe. The quantity of gas in mining sites needs to be kept extremely low in order to maintain operations. Most mining lockout safety devices do not allow for mining gasses like methane and make up 1% of the air concentration. Controlling the level of gas in an area like a coal mine can be extremely challenging.
The two ways that many mining sites are able to control gas levels in the atmosphere often come down to ventilation and gas capture.
Some of the main ways that gasses are controlled in a mine include:
A hole can be drilled directly into the coal seam prior to mining and connecting up a series of pipes to let the gas vent up to surface level. This is often considered a pre-mining exercise and can be called a pre-drain.
Boreholes in the roof can also create a ventilation shaft that increases the range of pre-drainage. This cross measure drainage is a borehole that will lead to proper ventilation in underground mining sites.
This will remove gas from areas using a series of pipes and seals. The use of boreholes at the surface will assist with the gas removal but this process often involves using a vacuum with the boreholes to expedite gas removal.
Sealing off areas of the mine that are no longer in use and can also contain gas is still being made in areas that have been previously excavated. Flooding areas or completely sealing up areas can help to prevent contamination of the current ventilation shafts. The sealing process needs to be properly planned in order to reduce risk for future mining operations and to properly contain gasses throughout the mining site.
This post was written by Justin Tidd, Director at Becker Mining Communications! For over 15 years, Becker Communications has been the industry’s leader in Gas Monitoring Devices and electrical mining communication systems. As they expanded into surface mining, railroads, and tunneling they added wireless communication systems, handheld radios, tagging and tracking systems, as well as gas monitoring.