The current demand for better goaf inertisation practices has increased research and attention towards developing an optimum inertisation method. A successful goaf inertisation technique is defined as one which provides the following benefits: reduce the time taken to inert a goaf to less than a couple of days, be cost effective without compromising the safety and effectiveness of the operation and should have negligible environmental impact.
In conjunction to investigating the most recent literature available on goaf inertisation, this project also examines an industrial goaf inertisation case study in which the data provided by Broadmeadow Mine was tested and analysed. Moreover, it has been concluded that nitrogen is the preferred inert gas for goaf inertisation practices due to its ease of handling (safety) and environmentally friendly benefits. The optimum injection location was found to be in the vicinity of the explosive fringe, far back from the working face, which was tested and proved by Broadmeadow Mine. The proactive inertisation technique used at Broadmeadow Mine was found to be effective; however the blockage at the face during chock removal was identified to negate the benefits of the employed inertisation technique.
In addition, the inert gas supply options were identified and it was determined that the ultimate choice of supply will be influenced by the nature and location of the mining operation. Mining operations located in the near vicinity to bulk gas suppliers are provided with two available options: batch transport (trucking) if the inert gas is primarily required for panel sealing and a permanent pipeline supply if the mine site requires more substantial gas volumes. Mine sites located in remote regions are recommended to install the commercially available inert gas generators, with the detailed selection dependent on the short and long term gas requirements. Moreover, it is proposed that for larger-scale operations, which require a constant gas supply, contracting a third-party to construct an inert gas generating facility may be an economically viable and more preferred option.