Morupule Coal Mine (MCM) has been named the winner of the 2012 underground risk controls audit, beating eight Anglo American coal mines in South Africa. The coal mine attained this feat after its environmental monitoring system, commonly known as Aerview, passed a performance test last December.
Anglo American developed Aerview, an environmental monitoring system. This system is designed to meet the needs of underground mines for a robust, reliable, online and real-time measurement, display and interpretation of appropriate environmental parameters in all working areas. The system continuously monitors the underground atmosphere and ensures early warning of a fire or spontaneous combustion, abnormal methane and carbon monoxide concentration and a failure or weakening of the air flowing underground.
MCM General Manager, David Kgoboko, said his company is proud of this achievement as it “goes to show our unwavering commitment to safety”.
“This achievement will spur us to continue on our ZERO HARM pledge to ensure that all our employees return home safe at the end of each working day.”
Morupule Coal Mine is currently the only mine that operates such a system in Botswana. There are several sensors and components which are installed in various working areas namely: smoke, methane, air velocity, carbon monoxide and a surface barometer. All the sensors were tested and found to have quick and accurate responses. A technical consultant visits a participating mine three times a year to audit the effectiveness of the system.
Given the inherent risk, management has expressed the need to maintain vigilance, especially by the Ventilation Officers, Central Control Room Operators and Supervisors.
Methane gas is well known as a potential hazard in coal mines, and the Mines Quarries, Works and Machinery Act No. 89 and 90 provides for strict regulations on regular monitoring and appropriate mitigation measures in underground mines.