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Mine Exploration Forum

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Author Exploring Coal Mines - Gas?
Peter Burgess

Joined: 01/07/2008
Location: Merstham. Or is it Godstone ...... ?

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Exploring Coal Mines - Gas?
Posted: 04/06/2019 10:48:35
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I know this topic is a request for stories, but there is a fair bit of advice popping up understandably. Maybe the advice should be, if in the first place you need to ask what the risks are and what to do about them, then don't go into old coal workings. IP: 85.115.54.201
jagman

Joined: 11/03/2007

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Exploring Coal Mines - Gas?
Posted: 04/06/2019 10:53:34
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Peter Burgess wrote:

I know this topic is a request for stories, but there is a fair bit of advice popping up understandably. Maybe the advice should be, if in the first place you need to ask what the risks are and what to do about them, then don't go into old coal workings.


Very sensible, but where's the fun in that? Wink
IP: 2.218.227.180
BertyBasset

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Joined: 13/12/2007
Location: Caernarfon, North Wales

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Exploring Coal Mines - Gas?
Posted: 04/06/2019 10:56:44
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Yes, Apedale extended is brilliant. The guide lowered his meter into a shallow trench and the change on CO2 levels was astounding. Hate to think what the levels would have been like if the blowers were not going. IP: 185.19.209.50
The Fresh Prince of Portreath

Joined: 05/08/2015

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Exploring Coal Mines - Gas?
Posted: 04/06/2019 14:00:47
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Yes, this was a request for stories. I do see coal as a sort of impossible frontier for exploration. I'm very interested in the geology and that coupled with the relics/fittings makes it fascinating.

After all of these years of exploring very regularly, I would want to go with a load of people who are seasoned experts. I suppose it gets into almost "diving" territory with BA and sub 11% air, or if CO is present.

I remember years ago, looking at disused mines with a sort of awe and wonder which has lost it's edge a bit. The thought of venturing into an fairly decent colliery is pretty exciting stuff.

In light of what it is and the hazards present, I totally understand the CA's sentiment, with sealing places up.
IP: 89.238.154.172
legendrider

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Joined: 13/07/2014
Location: Darlington

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Exploring Coal Mines - Gas?
Posted: 04/06/2019 14:10:10
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When I was at ICI Wilton in the late 80's, there was one particular anecdote which a staple of plant safety talks.

A process vessel had been nitrogen-purged, and left with the ground-level hatch open, but with a Hazard barrier bolted across the flange. Somebody decided to take a peep inside, so stuck his head in. When he was found he still had his feet on the ground outside, having been asphyxiated instantaneously!

scary

MARK



--

festina lente IP: 82.25.240.225
jagman

Joined: 11/03/2007

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Exploring Coal Mines - Gas?
Posted: 04/06/2019 14:57:38
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The Fresh Prince of Portreath wrote:

Yes, this was a request for stories. I do see coal as a sort of impossible frontier for exploration. I'm very interested in the geology and that coupled with the relics/fittings makes it fascinating.

After all of these years of exploring very regularly, I would want to go with a load of people who are seasoned experts. I suppose it gets into almost "diving" territory with BA and sub 11% air, or if CO is present.

I remember years ago, looking at disused mines with a sort of awe and wonder which has lost it's edge a bit. The thought of venturing into an fairly decent colliery is pretty exciting stuff.

In light of what it is and the hazards present, I totally understand the CA's sentiment, with sealing places up.


I think its probably important to remember that below 15% is dangerous. Below 12% may well kill you, 10% or lower is going to kill you.
Oxygen deprivation will give you a false sense of security, your judgement will be impaired sufficiently that your sense of self preservation will evaporate

There are no seasoned experts in disused coal mines.
There are plenty of experts in the risks of coal mines that are maintained and ventilated, not many people venture in to disused coal for all the reasons mentioned in this thread.

Some coal mines are pretty benign, even after being sealed for years. but you don't know which variety they are until you are in them.

Also (and I'm not preaching) don't underestimate how difficult it is to use BA in confined spaces. It works but not well! Its why rescue teams get such intensive training for it.

Coal is not impossible but it is risky. Those risks can be mitigated.
You must also factor in that it could be an explosive atmosphere too. You need to go old school Oldham lamps etc

The risks re high but so are the rewards.
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legendrider

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Exploring Coal Mines - Gas?
Posted: 04/06/2019 15:04:41
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The Fresh Prince of Portreath wrote:


In light of what it is and the hazards present, I totally understand the CA's sentiment, with sealing places up.


They also lurk on AditNow; so does HSE

had that first-hand from the man himself

MARK

--

festina lente IP: 82.25.240.225
staffordshirechina

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Joined: 15/11/2009
Location: North Staffordshire

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Exploring Coal Mines - Gas?
Posted: 04/06/2019 15:26:08
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legendrider wrote:

so does HSE

had that first-hand from the man himself

MARK


So did I, just yesterday....
IP: 92.15.14.196
ttxela

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Joined: 04/09/2007
Location: Cambs

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Exploring Coal Mines - Gas?
Posted: 04/06/2019 15:41:35
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legendrider wrote:

When I was at ICI Wilton in the late 80's, there was one particular anecdote which a staple of plant safety talks.

A process vessel had been nitrogen-purged, and left with the ground-level hatch open, but with a Hazard barrier bolted across the flange. Somebody decided to take a peep inside, so stuck his head in. When he was found he still had his feet on the ground outside, having been asphyxiated instantaneously!

scary

MARK



I think the issue with practically zero oxygen environments is that once you have taken a breath its not sufficient to simply remove yourself from the environment you need some sort of intervention to clear your lungs to receive the oxygen again.

Summat like that anyway - a vague recollection from some safety training.
IP: 195.171.131.2
NewStuff

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Joined: 26/07/2010
Location: NE Wales

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Exploring Coal Mines - Gas?
Posted: 04/06/2019 17:02:36
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legendrider wrote:

The Fresh Prince of Portreath wrote:


In light of what it is and the hazards present, I totally understand the CA's sentiment, with sealing places up.


They also lurk on AditNow; so does HSE

had that first-hand from the man himself

MARK


Which is why I don't name, share or show anything to do with coal unless it's in person and I trust them to make sensible judgements.

--

Searching for the ever elusive Underground Titty Bar. DDDWH CC
IP: 88.97.32.83
royfellows

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Joined: 13/06/2007
Location: Great Wyrley near Walsall

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Exploring Coal Mines - Gas?
Posted: 04/06/2019 19:54:06
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I find the:"At around 10.5% matches will react and then go out immediately. " interesting in that I can " do" at that level but turn back.

I always wondered what the level was, it became the no go limit for me.

I was recently in a metal mine where I turned back, it must have been at or close to that level. Maybe in a coal mine there are some other factors. I stay out of them.

--

Looking forward to NAMHO 2019. www.cambrianmines.co.uk
IP: 88.108.14.189
Cuban Bloodhound

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Joined: 22/02/2008
Location: Central Scotland

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Exploring Coal Mines - Gas?
Posted: 04/06/2019 23:11:29
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Coal mines breathe more noticeably than other mines. One day you can visit them and they're blowing out air at 6%, and the next time they can be breathing in a rock solid 20.6. The best time I find, is a frosty high pressure night above 1200mb. You can usually tell if it's going to be bad when you taste the foul alkaline air just at the adit.

I remember a fouler we returned to, to find a dead bird at the small entrance. It had succumbed to the bad air as soon as it landed. Once we exited we sealed it up.

I like the way Germany seals up some of their drifts - bricked up or with heavy steel bars; keeping more of the mining remains intact, instead of obliterating them.
IP: 80.177.163.61
The Fresh Prince of Portreath

Joined: 05/08/2015

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Exploring Coal Mines - Gas?
Posted: 05/06/2019 10:27:32
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It's quite a good job that health and safety hysteria has been superseded by safeguarding hysteria. It's less of a case that the crack in that mug could harbour a whole host of bacteria which could cause harm, and more about whether the cup was ever held by someone who once said they liked Jimml Fixit and thought he was a good guy.

It's a funny one, because quite a lot of explorers include some pretty experienced industry professionals. (Outside of coal down here).

There is a bigger picture where there could possibly be a big push for a Operation Minecap Mk2 due to all of this publicity. The problem with the internet is less about people doing crazy stuff in holes on facetube, but more like when something does happen, sinkhole/mine/cave death, it's everywhere.

I don't know if things can continue as they are too long.
IP: 194.35.116.201
royfellows

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Joined: 13/06/2007
Location: Great Wyrley near Walsall

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Exploring Coal Mines - Gas?
Posted: 05/06/2019 13:01:49
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I get the impression that for some reason Cornwall is the place for all of this, we dont get it in Wales.
Maybe its 'mine hostility' with so many houses falling down them!
Laugh

--

Looking forward to NAMHO 2019. www.cambrianmines.co.uk
IP: 88.108.14.189
Peter Burgess

Joined: 01/07/2008
Location: Merstham. Or is it Godstone ...... ?

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Exploring Coal Mines - Gas?
Posted: 05/06/2019 13:04:03
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With all those sulphurous minerals they may simply be closer to Hell. IP: 85.115.54.201
robnorthwales

Joined: 21/05/2008
Location: Denbighshire, North wales

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Exploring Coal Mines - Gas?
Posted: 05/06/2019 17:21:48
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The Fresh Prince of Portreath wrote:


It's a funny one, because quite a lot of explorers include some pretty experienced industry professionals. (Outside of coal down here).

There is a bigger picture where there could possibly be a big push for a Operation Minecap Mk2 due to all of this publicity. The problem with the internet is less about people doing crazy stuff in holes on facetube, but more like when something does happen, sinkhole/mine/cave death, it's everywhere.

I don't know if things can continue as they are too long.


I don't see Minecap II ever happening. The CA have an anticipated budget of £5m per annum to deal with all surface hazards.

That ain't going to buy that much concrete, steel and contractors !

--

Madness takes its toll, please carry exact change
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The Fresh Prince of Portreath

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Exploring Coal Mines - Gas?
Posted: 05/06/2019 17:32:09
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robnorthwales wrote:

The Fresh Prince of Portreath wrote:


It's a funny one, because quite a lot of explorers include some pretty experienced industry professionals. (Outside of coal down here).

There is a bigger picture where there could possibly be a big push for a Operation Minecap Mk2 due to all of this publicity. The problem with the internet is less about people doing crazy stuff in holes on facetube, but more like when something does happen, sinkhole/mine/cave death, it's everywhere.

I don't know if things can continue as they are too long.


I don't see Minecap II ever happening. The CA have an anticipated budget of £5m per annum to deal with all surface hazards.

That ain't going to buy that much concrete, steel and contractors !


There is always "funding" available for certain things. Usually you need a load of buzzwords/fashionable topics. Perhaps we could make the caps out of recycled sea plastics!

Minecap down here was govt funded and nothing to do with the CA.

Given the usual overkill that CA go to for their capping/securing works, they'd be lucky to get 4 jobs out of £5m
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royfellows

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Location: Great Wyrley near Walsall

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Exploring Coal Mines - Gas?
Posted: 05/06/2019 17:37:36
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Not exactly, its the consultants.

£5M funding, £250K to the contractors, the rest on the money-go-round.

It appalling.

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Looking forward to NAMHO 2019. www.cambrianmines.co.uk
IP: 88.108.14.189
crickleymal

Joined: 12/03/2009
Location: Gloucester

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Exploring Coal Mines - Gas?
Posted: 05/06/2019 18:08:07
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Anecdotes.
A friend was going to abseil into a coal mine in Bixslade in the Forest of Dean with other members of the RFDCC. They lowered a paraffin lamp in and it went out 6ft below the surface repeatedly.

I've seen an entrance to a mine not far from the above which I think is used as an escape route from a free mine. There are signs there warning people away due to the CO2 which issues from there occasionally.

I've also been in an iron mine not far from a scowle which was filled with waste paper from Rank Xerox. I started feeling a bit of a headache about 30 yards in and we found a zippo wouldn't light. In fact it wouldn't light until right by the entrance.

--

Malc. Rusted and ropey, Dog eared old copy Vintage and classic or just plain Jurassic All words to describe me.
IP: 80.42.215.11 Edited: 05/06/2019 19:15:56 by crickleymal
Morlock

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Exploring Coal Mines - Gas?
Posted: 05/06/2019 19:04:43
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When conditions are right this place could be fatal a fair way from the grilled portal.



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