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Inhibition of Sulphide Dust Explosions with Limestone


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Author Enright R J


The introduction of large diameter drill holes and mass firings in underground metalliferous mines has led to an increase in the number of reported sulfide dust explosions in Australia and overseas. Adaptation of the coal mining technique of using limestone to inhibit or prevent dust explosions has not been entirely successful as the development and inhibition of a sulfide dust explosion is somewhat different from that of a coal dust explosion. Tests were carried out on two pyritic ore samples, sulfur contents of 41 and 36 per cent, in 8 and 20 litre explosion chambers to evaluate the effect of the addition of limestone on the maximum explosive pressures developed and rates of pressure rise. Significant values were obtained in both chambers with dusts containing 60 per cent ore and 40 per cent limestone. The percentages of limestone required to inhibit the pyritic dusts were considerably higher than those values generally accepted by the mining industry and the current methods used to inhibit sulfide dust explosions should be re-evaluated.