SRK at Coal Operators' Conference 2019

18-20 February | Wollongong, Australia


Management of spontaneous combustion in coal overburden spoil piles

Date: Wednesday 20 February 2019

Time: Technical Session V  |  8:00 - 10:35am

Spontaneous combustion had occurred in the spoil piles at the Leigh Creek Coal mine during the decades of operation and there was potential for future combustion. As a result of coal mining operations ceasing in November 2015 the mining company developed a mine closure plan that included a management strategy to prevent spontaneous combustion in the spoil piles. In this presentation, Principal Consultant Andrew Garvie will discuss the strategy and showcase evidence of its performance.

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Andrew Garvie
Principal Consultant (Geoenvironmental)

Andrew Garvie has a PhD in physics and more than 25 years’ experience in the mining industry. His expertise lies in identifying the potential for acid and mine drainage and spontaneous combustion, recommending prevention and management strategies, demonstrating the effectiveness of management strategies and reviewing mine closure plans. He combines field work, numerical modelling, and laboratory testing to guide decision making and provide evidence of the performance of management strategies. Andrew focuses on materials characterisation, oxygen supply that supports oxidation of sulfidic wastes and spontaneous combustion, and the water infiltration that leads to the transport of reaction products. He has addressed issues in waste rock dumps, tailings dams, pit walls, coal overburden piles and heap leach piles in various climates including arctic, temperate and tropical. He collaborates with other specialists and regularly publishes case studies at conferences. He has worked for a wide range of clients in various countries.

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