Mining Publication: Technology News 441 - SPONCOM - An Expert System to Predict Spontaneous Combustion Potential of a Coal Mining Operation
Approximately 15% of underground coal mine fires are caused by the spontaneous combustion of coal. Spontaneous combustion fires usually occur in mined-out or gob areas and are difficult to detect and to extinguish. These fires present a serious safety hazard to mine personnel, often requiring sealing of large sections of the mine or the entire mine. A knowledge of the spontaneous combustion potential of the mining operation and the factors that increase that risk can be useful in preventing spontaneous combustion fires. This can be accomplished through the use of aggressive monitoring and control measures at existing coal mining operations.