Crinum wins gas monitoring award

BMA's Crinum mine has taken out the 2007 Peter Dent Simtars Gas Chromatographer of the Year award.

BMA’s Crinum mine has taken out the 2007 Peter Dent Simtars Gas Chromatographer of the Year award.

The competition is open to all underground coal mines using Simtars’ Camgas system (Computer Assisted Mine Gas Analysis System) and is designed to test analytical knowledge and skills of mine site operators.

It’s well supported by mine operators, with eight Camgas operators participating from one mine alone (Kestrel mine).

Crinum scored top marks for their knowledge of mine gas analysis, maintenance and troubleshooting.

They also excelled in analysing the nine gas samples prepared by Simtars to test the analytical capabilities of the equipment and operators.

Department of Mines and Energy Executive Director Safety and Health Stewart Bell said the Queensland-developed Camgas system had been monitoring the safety of underground coal mine atmospheres within Australia and overseas since its introduction in the late 1980s.

“Underground coal mines contain methane and other potentially dangerous gases which can build up during mining,” Bell said.

“Camgas provides a complete analysis of mine gases to maintain the safety of miners.”

Simtars, a research unit within the Department of Mines and Energy, worked closely with each mine to tailor Camgas to their needs.

“Simtars provides training and 24/7 technical support to mine site operators to ensure this complex monitoring technology operates reliably day-by-day. It also conducts an annual site audit to confirm correct operation and maintenance of the system,” Bell said.

The Peter Dent trophy plays a key role in ongoing improvements in underground coal mine safety. It allows each mine operator and Simtars to assess the competency of Camgas operators, the performance of the equipment and to identify any areas requiring improvement, including refresher training.

The award is named after Peter Dent, the inaugural Director of Simtars.

Dent was director when Camgas was first established Peter Dent then became Executive Director of the department’s Safety and Health division where he headed up implementation of the recommendations of the Mining Warden’s inquiry into Moura No.2, including the restructure of the department’s Mines Inspectorate, until his retirement in 2005.

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