A review of the geomechanics aspects of a double fatality coal burst at Austar Colliery in NSW, Australia in April 2014

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Abstract

A coal burst occurred on 15 April, 2014 at the Austar Coal Mine, located west of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. The burst resulted in fatal injuries to two men working as part of the mining crew at the development face. At the time, a continuous miner was being used to mine a longwall development gate road through heavily structured coal, at a depth of approximately 550 m. A number of pre-cursor bumps had occurred on previous shifts, emanating from the coal ribs of the roadway, in proximity to the coal face. This paper reviews the geological, geotechnical and mining conditions and circumstances leading up to the coal burst event; and presents and discusses the available evidence and possible interpretations relating to the geomechanical behaviour mechanisms that may have been critical factors in this incident. The paper also discusses some key technical and operational considerations of ground support systems and mining practices and strategies needed for operating in such conditions in the future.

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Hebblewhite, B., & Galvin, J. (2017). A review of the geomechanics aspects of a double fatality coal burst at Austar Colliery in NSW, Australia in April 2014. International Journal of Mining Science and Technology, 27(1), 3–7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijmst.2016.10.002

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