Coal loss is an important issue at many coalmines, with losses of five per cent being common. The type of loss varies from mine to mine but is dependent on mine strata, the drilling and blasting processes applied and the mining method used. Typical coal loss mechanisms from the drill and blast process are coal roof damage and edge loss. Usually a reduction in coal loss is in direct competition with the need to provide material that is well-fragmented and a muck pile that has the required cast percentage. These competing issues were addressed over a two-year period at a mine in the New South Wales Coalfields by implementing a five-step approach. This was centred around building an understanding of the coal loss mechanisms utilising proprietary heave- modelling software, measuring coal losses by comparing survey to drill and/or gamma logs and implementing appropriate coal loss reduction processes. The end result exceeded expectations with a 95 per cent reduction in coal loss. Mine excavation productivity was maintained and coal loss minimised to less than one per cent of the in situ coal block.
Nagarajan, M, Green, A, Brown, P and Dare-Bryan, P, 2015. Managing coal loss using blast models and field measurement, in Proceedings 11th International Symposium on Rock Fragmentation by Blasting, pp 429–436 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).