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Project Roster - Coal Mining Task Force

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Coal Mining Task Force Action Plan - PDF format

CLM-06-01 Information Sharing on Coal Processing Technologies*
CLM-06-02 Coal Beneficiation: Economic Modeling, Analysis, and Case Studies
CLM-06-03 Fine Coal Beneficiation - Joint Venture Project
CLM-06-04 Information Sharing on Coal Drying - (Completed)
CLM-06-05 Joint Venture Project on Waste Coal Management - (Completed)
CLM-06-06 Extraction of Steep Seam Coal - (Cancelled)
CLM-06-07 Leading Practice Sustainable Development Program for the Mining Industry
CLM-06-08 Overburden Slope Stability - (Completed)
CLM-06-09 Coal Mine Health and Safety*
CLM-06-10 Reclamation of Legacy Coal Mines to Abate Hazards - (Cancelled)
CLM-06-11 Increasing Recovery and Use of Coal Mine Methane*
CLM-06-12 Integrated Coal and Methane Extraction
CLM-06-13 Thick Coal Seam Extraction
CLM-06-14 Underground Coal Gasification in India - (Completed)
CLM-06-15 Workforce Assessment and Training Needs - (Cancelled)
CLM-06-16 Technical Improvement for Control of Coalfield Fires
CLM-07-17 Coal Mine Fires Prevention Control
CLM-07-18 Acceleration of Underground Coal Gasification in India - Phase 2 UCG Demonstration
CLM-08-19 3-D Seismic survey with acoustic borehole imaging system - (Cancelled)
CLM-08-20 In-Seam Seismic Surveys for underground coal mine operations - (Cancelled)
CLM-08-21 Ventilation Air Methane Emissions: Mitigation and utilization in the Indian mining scenario - (Cancelled)
CLM-08-22 Development of Technical Standards and Regulations for Land Reclamation in Coal Mining Areas in China
  • Please note that all documents are in Adobe PDF format

Project 1. Information Sharing on Coal Processing Technologies*

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This project seeks to initiate an inter-Partner country flow of information on best practices in coal preparation technologies.  There are wide variations in pre-combustion coal treatment concepts and technologies used in different Partner countries.  In order to streamline suboptimal systems of coal preparation used in some Partner countries, it is essential to share the experience gained in other Partner countries.  Until now, individual countries have pursued bilateral cooperation for adoption of best practices. This Task Force project provides an opportunity to share the best practices of each Partner country with others.  India and the United States are participating Partners in this project.

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Project 2. Coal Beneficiation: Economic Modeling, Analysis, and Case Studies

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This project seeks to develop a coal cost model with appropriate input parameters to determine coal effective coal-beneficiation strategies for Partner countries.  It is associated with a coal-beneficiation project that will focus on India (see also Project 3: Fine Coal Beneficiation - Joint Venture Project).  This model will be part of the deployment of coal cleaning technologies and practices to improve the economics and efficiencies of coal processing.  Coal beneficiation contributes to energy security, reduces pollution, and directly improves quality of life.  India and the United States are participating Partners in this project.

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Project 3. Fine Coal Beneficiation - Joint Venture Project

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This project seeks to address coal beneficiation issues in India.  Coal beneficiation requires the crushing of coal to an optimum size, which will vary according to the beneficiation technology employed.  During the crushing process coal “fines” are generated, which are difficult to beneficiate/wash.  This problem is particularly significant in India where higher ash content in the fine coals and ultra-fine coals makes it difficult to separate them from inert material.  The problem of fine coal washing is faced by most of the coal producing Partner countries.  As such, there is a need for developing a suitable process for upgrading fine coal to recover maximum clean coal, preferably without application of costly reagents, by adopting improved and enhanced gravity separation technologies.  India and the United States are participating Partners in this project.

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Project 4. Information Sharing on Coal Drying

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This project will share information and experiences among Partner countries regarding coal drying post-processing after coal beneficiation.  It will draw substantially on Australian experience in coal drying technology.  Thermal drying is generally not part of coal beneficiation, nor is it practiced at the bulk consumer’s facility or at coal preparation plants.  However, Australian coal drying studies have shown its implementation leads to reduced greenhouse gas emissions.  Partner countries will have a technology exchange on coal drying to realize the environmental benefits consistent with those found to be possible in Australian studies.  Australia is the participating Partner in this project.

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Project 5. Joint Venture Project on Waste Coal Management - (Completed)

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This project centers on management of unusable coals generated by coal beneficiation.  In particular its focus will be on coal beneficiation projects in India.  Coal beneficiation plants produce enormous amounts of unusable coal depending upon the beneficiate coals use.  These rejects contain substantial amount of carbon, which, when disposed in mined out areas in hot and humid countries, create environmental problems due to selfoxidation.  There is also substantial loss of a potential source of energy. This project seeks to reduce the loss of energy in Partner countries due to non-utilization of rejected coal from the beneficiation process.  India is the participating Partner in this project.

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Project 6. Extraction of Steep Seam Coal - (Cancelled)

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Coal deposits located in seams that are angled more than about 30 degrees are known as “steep seam” coal.  Mining such seams presents special challenges.  The overall objective of this project is to achieve improved production performance and extraction percentage of steep seam, higher value coal by utilizing improved mining technology.  This project will focus on India, in particular in the context of the unique characteristics of the coal bearing strata of the North East Region of India.  It is expected that steep seam coal production will be enhanced through evaluation of the application of alternative mining methods, such as those used in the United States.  India and the United States are participating Partners in this project.

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Project 7. Leading Practice Sustainable Development Program for the Mining Industry

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The Leading Practice Sustainable Development Program is being developed in consultation with Partner countries’ mining regulating agencies, the mining industry, research organizations and community groups to provide guidance for sound mining practices.  The Program recognizes community expectations of the mining industry and is consistent with industry standards for sustainable development, including the Ten Principles for Sustainable Development Performance released by the International Council on Mining and Metals in 2003.  Australia is the lead on this project to provide leading practice guidance and support for the sustainable development of the minerals industry.  The Leading Practice Sustainable Development Program will provide this guidance to Partner countries’ industry and government, and as well as information on specific issues for the international coal community in general.  Australia, India, and the United States are participating Partners in this project.

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Project 8. Overburden Slope Stability - (Completed)

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This project seeks to design and develop engineered mine planning in Partner countries that integrates proper removal and placement of overburden, complex pumping systems installation, monitoring overburden piles and successful deployment of sensors within the overburden piles to detect slope failures.  The project will focus on Indian open case mining sites.  Several technical characteristics of the overburden dump will be evaluated including items such as pheratic surface, dump slope, rate of slope movement and predictions of dump failure.  Cost effective installation of sensors within the dump, and laser-based surveying exterior to the dump will be a part of the technology transfer associated with this project.  India and the United States are participating Partners in this project.

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Project 9. Coal Mine Health and Safety*

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This project seeks to develop a strategic approach toward risk management and to advance toward the goal of zero fatalities and injuries in the coal mining industry in Partner countries.  It is envisioned that the project will include work in automation, enhancement of rescue operations, improved communication and regulation capabilities, and monitoring procedures.  Participating Partner countries will provide input into an overarching legislative framework for health, safety, and risk management.  This project also seeks to identify leading practices to control health and safety risks, while identifying expertise and resources within Partner countries.  Australia, China, India, Japan, and the United States are participating Partners in this project.

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Project 10. Reclamation of Legacy Coal Mines to Abate Hazards - (Cancelled)

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This project seeks to abate hazards associated with the reclamation of Partner countries’ coal mining areas, in particular reclamation of legacy coal mines.  More specifically this project aims to establish nationwide programs to protect society and the environment from the adverse effects of coal mining by striking a balance between this protection, agricultural productivity, and the Partner country’s essential energy requirements.  The project will promote reclamation of mined areas left without adequate reclamation, which in their unreclaimed condition continue to substantially degrade the quality of the environment, damaging water resources and endangering the health and safety of the public.  The United States is the participating Partner in this project.

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Project 11. Increasing Recovery and Use of Coal Mine Methane*

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This project seeks to improve mine safety and increase coal mine methane and coal bed methane production and utilization in the Partner countries, primarily in China and India.  It will do so by promoting use of more effective drilling and mine drainage technologies and techniques in advance of mining, and the recovery or use of low-grade coal mine methane sources, such as ventilation air methane.  China, India, and the United States are participating Partners in this project.

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Project 12. Integrated Coal and Methane Extraction

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This project seeks to improve mine safety and increase coal mine methane and coal bed methane production and utilization in Partner countries, primarily in Australia and China, by demonstrating and promoting the use of an integrated coal production and methane extraction approach, reliable planning and optimization of the joint production processes, and effective operational control and risk management technologies.  The project will apply and demonstrate an advanced approach and technologies to support and promote integrated coal production and methane extraction in Partner countries.  Australia, China, and the United States are participating Partners in this project.

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Project 13. Thick Coal Seam Extraction

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The major outcome of this project is optimization of extraction methods and/or designs to substantially improve recovery rates and safety of mining operations in Indian thick seam environments.  It will focus on thick seam environments in India and Australia.  There is an urgent need for comprehensive investigation of various options for thick seam mining and to develop optimum extraction technologies and designs for improving coal recovery in thick seam environments in these two Partner countries.  Australia and India are the participating Partners in this project.

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Project 14. Underground Coal Gasification in India - (Completed)

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This project centers on India’s interests in underground coal gasification.  Underground coal gasification (UCG) is an appropriate technology to access the energy resources in deep and/or unmineable coal seams and to extract these reserves economically through production of synthetic gas (syngas) for power generation, production of synthetic liquid fuels, natural gas, or chemicals.  The project will share with India the other Partner countries’ best practices, such as experiences with regulatory arrangements, gasification impacts on ground water, and mitigation measures.  India and the United States are participating Partners in this project.

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Project 15. Workforce Assessment and Training Needs - (Cancelled)

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The desired outcome of this project is the development of a strategic approach to address mining skills shortages in Partner countries, including the identification of skills shortages and opportunities for training to reduce technology gaps. This work will also include sharing information on Partner countries’ current strategies and practices, identifying areas for capacity building, and transferring information and developing models to work toward addressing the issue. The collaborative approach undertaken by the Task Force will equip participating Partner countries to deploy strategies that deal effectively with the problem in their own country.  Australia, China, Japan and the United States are participating Partners in this Project.

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Project 16. Technical Improvement for Control of Coalfield Fires

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This project seeks to accurately quantify the depth of a burning coal seam to within one meter, while at the same time determine the spatial distribution of such fires.  It will focus on the Xinjiang area of China.  In China, coalfield fires are most severe in Xinjiang due to its unique geological and geographical conditions.  It can be difficult to determine the depth and range of the burning field due to the limitations of current technology, especially in complex geological conditions where the fire is more than 100 meters deep and the temperature above 500 degrees centigrade.  This cooperative activity will provide China with important information to determine what adjustments and improvements should be made to existing coalfield fire technology.  China is the participating Partner in this project.

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Project 17. Underground Coal Mine Fires Prevention Control

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Coal mine fires have increased significantly in recent years and are now a major problem in developing and developed countries alike.  This project will conduct field examinations in coalfields in Australia and India, and develop appropriate control strategies for different mining conditions.  These strategies will have the potential to substantially improve the safety and economics of the coal mining industry as well as to reduce its fugitive greenhouse gas emissions.  Australia and India are participating Partners in this project.

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Project 18. Acceleration of Underground Coal Gasification in India - Phase 2 UCG Demonstration

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Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) provides the prospect of accessing large amounts of otherwise inaccessible coal while minimizing the costs of extraction, and providing the energy as syngas (hydrogen and carbon monoxide), which can lead to a new generation of clean power and liquid fuels technologies.  This project, following on from a first-stage study of UCG at specific Indian sites, will conduct a UCG demonstration in India to prove that UCG design is scalable to large commercial power station requirements.  Australia and India are participating Partners in this project. 

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Project 19. 3-D Seismic survey with acoustic borehole imaging system - (Cancelled)

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This project aims to lower the cost and increase the speed of compiling 3-D modeling data of the geological properties of sub-surface coal seams and overburden. Full core drilling is both time-consuming and costly, and 3-D Seismic Surveys and Borehole Acoustic Imaging technology help optimize drilling input and the economics of exploration by generating high density sub-surface data. This project will expand training on these techniques and produce a 3-D geological model of sub-surface coal seams.  India and the United States are participating Partners in this project.

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Project 20. In-Seam Seismic Surveys for underground coal mine operations - (Cancelled)

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This project seeks to enable more rapid production of underground mining by locating minor faults and other geological discontinuities. In-seam seismic survey techniques are believed to increase underground coal production by remotely mapping the structure of the coal seam in advance of the working face in underground mines. This project will facilitate sharing expertise on In-Seam Seismic Survey techniques and will conduct surveys using this technology in selected mines.  India and the United States are participating Partners in this project.

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Project 21. Ventilation Air Methane Emissions: Mitigation and utilization in the Indian mining scenario - (Cancelled)

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The project aims to create a database on coalbed ventilation air methane (VAM) in India. This will help identify sources of escaping coalbed methane and explore the possibility of utilizing them in power generation or oxidation. This will help mitigate methane emissions to the atmosphere. Ventilation air methane is in the exhaust air from underground mines and is the largest source of coal mine methane globally, accounting for half of the emissions from coal mines. The estimated total underground methane emission in India is about 213.8 million m3. This project will collect and analyze air ventilation samples from underground mines to begin a database that will inform the selection of sites for VAM utilization.  India and the United States are participating Partners in this project.

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Project 22. Development of Technical Standards and Regulations for Land Reclamation in Coal Mining Areas in China

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Partners will identify and evaluate land reclamation methods and technical standards currently used in APP Partner countries that can be applied in China to reclaim land impacted by mining. Following a series of site evaluations and technology exchanges with Partner Country experts, China will prepare suggestions for policy makers to improve technical standards, regulations and the management system for land reclamation in China.  China, Australia, Canada, India and the United States are participating Partners in the project.

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* Flagship Projects