Mining Publication: Application of Gas-Enhanced Foam at the Excel No. 3 Mine Fire
The Excel No. 3 Mine is a room-and-pillar mining operation owned by MC Mining LLC, a subsidiary of Alliance Resource Partners LP, which produces coal from the Pond Creek Coalbed in Pike County, KY. Late on December 25, 2004, a fire was discovered near the bottom of the slope and, after an unsuccessful attempt to fight the fire underground, it was decided to address the fire remotely from the surface. The mine operator developed a plan to fight the fire that called for the installation of temporary seals at the slope and mine shafts to eliminate the inflow of oxygen. In addition, the plan called for drilling and completion of vertical boreholes into select areas of the mine workings to monitor the mine atmosphere and inject nitrogen gas and gas-enhanced foam. Over the next 9 days, nitrogen gas was injected almost continuously and gas-enhanced foam was injected periodically as deemed necessary. On January 7, 2005, it was determined that the fire was successfully suppressed. This paper presents a discussion of the firefighting approach and an analysis of the results of the application of gas-enhanced foam technology.