ACARP releases 2003 research priorities

THE Australian Coal Association Research Program (ACARP) has released its research priority guidelines for proposal submissions.

Staff Reporter

The ACARP program aims to assist the coal mining industry develop and adopt technology and mining practice that leads the world. It is funded, owned and managed by Australian black coal producers.

Five technical committees, made up of industry representatives, are responsible for project development and selection. They are Greenhouse Gas Mitigation, Coal Utilisation, Open Cut, Environmental, Underground and Coal Preparation.

Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

“Australian coal producers are facing the need to measure and control greenhouse gas emissions, which are emerging as a major environmental issue for the industry,” ACARP said.

Research proposals in this area should aim at development ways to measure and reduce emissions from operations. Fugitive gases are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from mining and are a primary focus. ACARP notes that it is important for producers to be able to measure their emissions to track improvements, and proposals to measure open cut emissions are especially encouraged.

Regarding capturing mine gas ACARP seeks projects that can reduce gas drainage costs, maximise pre-mining gas recovery, improve the consistency of mine gas production, and assess potential impacts of extended pre-drainage.

Coal Utilisation

This committee seeks proposals addressing technical problems in the marketing of Australian coals, particularly related to electricity generation and iron production.

Open Cut

The open cut committee seeks proposals for increased automation, improved health and safety, increasing mining systems productivity, improving the reliability of equipment and services, and improving the geological definition of coal deposits.


Proposals in this area should target improved management of the mine site environment.


Underground research priorities are considered in two focus areas: Sustainability and Profitability. The committee grouped general priorities into four program areas:

Improved health and safety

This includes clarifying key health and safety issues; improving the management of health hazards (eg, dust, noise); improving management of hazards (gas, fires).

Management of mining conditions

Includes improved characterisation of ground conditions; improved ground control systems.

Higher productivity mining

Improved performance of roadway development and longwall mining; wider application of remote control and automation processes.

Reliability of mining systems

Increase availability and uptime of mining and services processes; continuous improvement in uptake and reliability of sensors, monitoring systems and communications capabilities; development of real time response systems.

Coal Preparation

This committee continues a five year strategy targeting maintenance, improved recovery, and automation and control.

Further details may be obtained from ACARP,


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