Evaluation of Methane Liberations from Production Blasts in Domal Salt Mines
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Jan 1, 1988
Gulf Coast domal salt mining operations have had sporadic encounters with methane gas emitted without any warning. In virtually all confirmed cases, the methane was localized in methane enriched zones. In a few cases large quantities of methane were expelled rapidly with salt outbursts, resulting in dangerous methane concentrations. Estimates of methane liberated by face blasts in methane-enriched areas is needed in determining how much air should be supplied to the face for proper dilution. A relationship between the gas content of salt samples collected from the face and the amount of methane liberated would be helpful in estimating how much methane will be produced by a face blast. Little is known about the layering or stratification of methane in large area-low velocity airways. This publication reports on three tests conducted by the Bureau of Mines which monitored the immediate return air of four faces during blasting. The test locations were in a methane gas-enriched section that had previously experienced two large outbursts and many smaller ones. A comparison was made between gas content values of face salt samples from the dissolution test and the gas liberation quantities. The characteristic movements of the methane in a large room with low air velocities were charted. This will help to better understand the factors involved in proper placement of methane sensors as a warning system.