Thursday, December 6, 2012

MYNE START Underground Training Complex

We were invited to tour MYNE START TRAINING COMPLEX

Myne Start is a simulated Underground Coal Mining Complex and is used for various underground mine training.Mastermyne commenced the Myne Start Underground Training Complex in Mackay in 2010 and Brisbane (Pinkenba) in 2012. Myne Start is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mastermyne Pty Ltd.

The primary purpose of Myne Start is to encourage and introduce inexperienced personnel into the underground coal mining industry.It provides the mining industry with controlled, consistent pathways by which inexperienced personnel can gain a more in-depth level of understanding of the underground mining environment, its distinctive hazards and associated control processes, whilst accelerating them into more productive work in a far reduced timeframe when compared to traditional training methods.

Learning about the equipment we were about to put on!

Historically, coal mining has been a very dangerous activity and the list of historical coal mining disasters is a long one. In the US alone, more than 100,000 coal miners were killed in accidents over the past century, with more than 3,200 dying in 1907 alone. Open cut hazards are principally mine wall failures and vehicle collisions; underground mining hazards include suffocation, gas poisoning, roof collapse and gas explosions.

The improved safety features in Australian mining has dramatically increased the forecasted improvement in the deficit to average life expectancy of the working male. It is envisioned that within 17 years, life expectancy of mine workers will be on par with the average male Australian.

Miner Ming reporting for duty!

The goal of coal mining is to obtain coal from the ground. Coal is valued for its energy content, and, since the 1880s, has been widely used to generate electricity. Steel and cement industries use coal as a fuel for extraction of iron from iron ore and for cement production. In the United States, United Kingdom, and South Africa, a coal mine and its structures are a colliery. In Australia, "colliery" generally refers to an underground coal mine.

Pitch darkness in the underground simulated facility
Kinda like our Civil Defense Academy (CDA) in Singapore

Most coal seams are too deep underground for opencast mining and require underground mining, a method that currently accounts for about 60 percent of world coal production. In deep mining, the room and pillar or bord and pillar method progresses along the seam, while pillars and timber are left standing to support the mine roof. Once room and pillar mines have been developed to a stopping point (limited by geology, ventilation, or economics), a supplementary version of room and pillar mining, termed second mining or retreat mining, is commonly started. Miners remove the coal in the pillars, thereby recovering as much coal from the coal seam as possible. A work area involved in pillar extraction is called a pillar section.

Having a lunch break in darkness could be fun!

Modern pillar sections use remote-controlled equipment, including large hydraulic mobile roof-supports, which can prevent cave-ins until the miners and their equipment have left a work area. The mobile roof supports are similar to a large dining-room table, but with hydraulic jacks for legs. After the large pillars of coal have been mined away, the mobile roof support's legs shorten and it is withdrawn to a safe area. The mine roof typically collapses once the mobile roof supports leave an area.

Coal production has grown fastest in Asia, while Europe has declined. The top coal mining nations (figures in brackets are 2009 estimate of total coal production in millions of tons) are:

China (3,050 Mt)
US (973 Mt)
India (557 Mt)
Australia (409 Mt)
South Africa (250 Mt)
Russia (298 Mt)
Indonesia (252 Mt)
Poland (135 Mt)
Kazakhstan (101 Mt)
Colombia (72 Mt)

Two forms of coal are mined in Australia, depending on the region: high-quality bituminous coal (black coal) and lower-quality lignite (brown coal).

Bituminous coal is mined in Queensland and New South Wales, and is used for both domestic power generation and for export overseas. It is mined underground or open-cut before being transported by rail to power stations, or export shipping terminals. Bituminous coal was also once exported to other Australian states for power generation and industrial boilers.

Lignite is mined in Victoria and South Australia, and is of lower quality due a higher ash and water content. As a result Victoria adopted German power station and briquette technology in the 1920s to utilise the lignite reserves of the Latrobe Valley. Today there are three open cut lignite coal mines in Victoria used for baseload power generation.

This is an one-man bunker for one
$25,000 per unit, can be erected in 4 hours

It even comes with a comprehensive toilet!

Wanna be a miner like us?


Inexperienced Mineworker Program 
4 week
$1,650 + $12,100
Inexperienced Underground Mine Electrical Course
4 week
$1950 + $12,100

More information here
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