BULK CHEMICAL HANDLING SYSTEM
During the last 12 months, Wilson Mining (WM) has been developing a bulk chemical handling system as a step-change improvement to handling chemicals in underground coal mines.
Traditionally the chemicals used for roof fall recovery and the stabilisation of mine strata are supplied in 20 litre drums. These drums are taken underground in bulk handler pods and operators tip these drums into hoppers that feed chemical into the pumps that are used to inject the chemical into mine voids or broken strata. Several hundred drums can be used on each application which is a major logistical and manual handling exercise.
The bulk chemical handling system has been developed by WM in conjunction with the chemical supplier Weber Mining. The chemical will now be supplied in 1000 litre intermediate bulk containers (IBCs). Bulk handler pods have been designed to transport up to 3 x IBCs instead of 120 x 20 litre drums. Ancillary equipment has been sourced and tested to mix and transfer the chemical directly into hoppers.
Key benefits of the system are:
- No drum handling – reduced labour requirement, less heat stress for operators
- Improved ratio control – counters are used instead of drum counts
- Improved logistics – 37.5% more chemical in each bulk handler
- Closed system – no spills or splashes of chemical, reduced risk of chemical exposure and atmospheric contaminants
- Improved waste management – instead of empty drums that are crushed and disposed of, the IBCs are recycled
SURFACE TO SEAM REMOTE CHEMICAL SYSTEMS
WM has developed capability over the last 16 years for surface to seam chemical systems that have been successfully used by several Australian and NZ clients. Key features are:
- Chemicals and pumps are located on the surface.
- Delivery hoses are lowered down a vertical borehole proximate to the underground work site.
- All chemical handling and mixing is conducted on the surface reducing the number of operators underground and avoiding all underground chemical logistics.
- Injections can be conducted either remote or in-seam.
- Tailored solution as a planned activity or emergency response.
MULTI-INJECTION CHEMICAL SYSTEMS
The purpose of this arrangement is to reduce the time taken for chemical injections which are traditionally injected from a single injection site. Risk assessments have been undertaken and procedures developed to ensure all health and safety aspects are addressed. This arrangement is particularly attractive for time-critical pre-consolidation of longwall recovery roads/chutes.