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MAXAM Foundation

MAXAM Foundation - MAXAM Chair - Blasting solutions - Underground coal Mining

The industrial development of our society would not have been possible without the strategic contribution made by coal as a source of energy, whether for producing elec-tricity, heat or other industrial processes, along with refining of metals.

The history of coal dates back thousands of years, although its exponential deployment as a source of energy did not take place until the Industrial Revolution in the 18th centu-ry, as new technologies such as coal-powered steam trains and boats developed. Large amounts of coal were required in order to meet the increasing demand resulting from this industrial and economic progress, which led to the widespread exploitation of mines, often using underground mining techniques.

Underground coal mining

Underground coal mining currently makes up almost 60% of global production of this material. The decision on which form of mining is the most suitable is closely related to the geology of the coal deposit. Whenever the coal seam is deep down below ground, the most common methods are chambers and pillars and longwall mining.

The use of special blasting solutions in underground coal mines is essential for preparatory and blasting work whenever there is hard rock present, including coals such as bitu-minous coal or anthracite.

MAXAM and coal mining

The use of blasting in underground coal mining requires a high degree of safety. The explosives used in coal mining meet special safety conditions in order to avoid any risk of inflammation of the firedamp (methane gas mixed with air). In our case, blasting in underground mines is carried out using so-called "safety explosives", which are specially designed to work in environments with potentially explosive atmospheres.

Explosives are classified as "Rock", "Layer" and "Reinforced Safety Layer", depending on the configuration of the material to be blasted. "Rock" explosives are limited to 1st and 2nd class work, as defined in mining legislation, meaning blast holes cannot be made in coal using these explosives.

"Layer" explosives meet the safety conditions necessary for use in coal seam work, with the constraints set out in mining legislation in the event of delayed detonation.

Finally, "Reinforced Safety Layer" explosives are ion-exchange type, meaning they are safer than "Layer" explosives whenever there is firedamp and coal present, although they are also less powerful, making them the most suitable safety explosives group for use in hazardous conditions.

Given these challenges, the value propositions developed by MAXAM include:

• Safe operation.
• Full line of safety products and explosives.
• Safe supply.
• Cost-efficient operations.
• Environmental controls.
• Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

The combination of all these factors is key to the success of underground coal mining operations.

Be sure to contact MAXAM for further information on value proposals and blasting solu-tions for underground coal mining.


 MAXAM operator preparing a blasting operation in a coal mine.

Blasting solutions. May 2017





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Last update 2019.10.22
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