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A new look into mining safety in Victoria

Western Australia a hotbed for new mining railways"

The mining of brown coal for power generation is a key component of the economic lifeblood of Victoria. With an estimated 430 billion tonnes of brown coal still underground, according to the Victorian government, it is no surprise that this resource is a key area of focus for industry, government and community stakeholders.

With a mind to improving mining safety in this key region, Victoria's Earth Resources Regulation, Federation University and Energy Australia are embarking on research at the Yallourn Mine in the Latrobe Valley.

Investigating mine batter stability

This research will lead to better safety in open cut mining across the region.

Set to span a five-year period, the research at Energy Australia's Yallourn Mine will focus on mine batters - the walls of open cut mines that slope up from the pit floor to ground level. Federation University researchers will conduct hydrogeological and geotechnical studies on these structures to learn more about stability and their risk of collapse.

The Batter Stability project, which will cost $2.2 million over five years, is expected to provide information that will increase open cut mining across the region.

"This partnership between the Andrews Labor Government, Federation University and Energy Australia is a great example of how we can work together to make mining operations in Victoria among the safest and most sustainable in the world," said Lily D'Ambrosio, minister for energy and resources.

 An ideal research site

The Latrobe Valley is a location well-suited for such a study, given its importance to the overall mining industry in Victoria. The state's Energy and Earth Resources department has measured 65 billion tonnes of brown coal in the area and projects that 33 billion tonnes of it are economically viable. 

The Yallourn Mine itself is a prime case study, as the coal excavated there powers the Yallourn Power Station. This key infrastructure supplies 22 per cent of Victoria's electricity requirements through 18 million tonnes of mined brown coal each year, according to Energy Australia.

Brown coal open cut mining at Yallourn accounts for a sizeable amount of Victoria's power.Brown coal open cut mining at Yallourn accounts for a sizeable amount of Victoria's power.

Research into mine batter stability will be particularly useful for this region, as Yallourn has experienced flooding issues stemming from stabilisation issues in 2007 and 2012, according to the Victorian government.

This research will hopefully improve mine batter techniques and lead to greater safety for miners and members of the community.

Interconnect Systems has a comprehensive background in aerospace and defence engineering, being an industry leader for more than 20 years. It provides electrical interconnect products and solutions, including cable and wire harness manufacture. For more information on the best backshells and cable harness solutions, contact Interconnect Systems today on 1800 812 214 FREE.

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