Coal Preparation                                  reports

Coal Preparation

Maintenance, improved recovery and plant capacity are our key coal preparation strategies. Work is focused on maximising yield, reducing production costs, minimising emissions, reducing water consumption and the use of lower quality water without adversely impacting on process efficiency.

General (52 Reports)

Improved Prediction of Size Distributions and Their Effects in Materials Handling and Coal Preparation Systems

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Author: Andrew Swanson, IS Fletcher | Quality Coal Consulting

 ....  read more


Moisture Changes and Stability Problems in Coal Stockpiles

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Author: John Eckersley | James Cook University of North Queensland

This report summarises works conducted at James Cook University on moisture movements and stockpile stability, including the current understanding of factors leading to moisture movement, erosion, shallow surface slipping  ....  read more


Improved Washability Prediction Through Establishment of Correct Coal Size Distributions

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Author: Andrew Swanson, I Fletcher, W Membrey, R Davis | Quality Coal Consulting, ACIRL, Mining and Exploration Geology Services

The prediction of coal size distributions during the process of mining, handling and preparation are of great importance in preparation plant design because of the need to adequately cater for appropriate amounts of fine coal, and to be able to provide realistic samples for washability  ....  read more


Prediction of Washability as a Function of Breakage

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Author: Tony Kojovic, Graeme O'Brien, F Shi, Joan Esterle | CMTE

The washability and recovery of coal is governed by two processes: breakage and liberation of stone from coal. The efficiency of liberation is coal type and particle size dependent. Particle size distribution is a function of the material properties of the coal and the breakage energy imparted ....  read more


Optimising Coal Fragmentation for Improved Recovery

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Author: Joan Esterle, Darren Thornton, Graham O'Brien, Alan Cocker | CSIRO Exploration & Mining, JKMRC, C Clarkson & Associates, Quality Coal Consulting

Uncontrolled fragmentation, in particular that resulting in the generation of coal fines (

This is the final report for ACARP Project C6046 conducted through the Centre for Mining Technology and Equipment (CMTE) by members of the CSIRO division of Exploration and Mining and University ....  read more


Dry Beneficiation of Coal by Laser Sorting

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Author: Ted Lewis | Callide Coalfields

The project was designed to demonstrate on a pilot scale, the technical viability of the laser based sorting process to coal cleaning. The project was managed by Callide coalfields with Barco Machine Vision Systems (Elbicon Pacific Pty Ltd), supplying and operating the processing unit. ....  read more


Effect of Various Constitutents on Storage and Transportation of Coal

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Author: John Chambers, Yan Liu, Alan Roberts | University of Newcastle

The effect of various constituents of coal on the handleability of both raw and clean coal is generally unknown. There is some information on the influence of moisture content, size distribution and clay content on coal handleability. However the overall influence on handleability of the ....  read more


Performance of Banana Screens in Drain and Rinse Applications

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Author: Andrew Meyers | A&B Mylec

This project was primarily concerned with the delineation of issues related to the drain rate of medium through banana screens as the screen deck aperture varied, in particular below 1.0mm. Comparisons with existing sieve bend / low head combination technology were also required to enable ....  read more


Impact of Coal Crushing on Washery Feed

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Author: Clement Chao, L Mason, Bruce Firth, Stuart Nicol | CSIRO Energy Techology, Novatech Consulting

In the primary breakage of a run of mine (ROM) coal to its preparation plant top size, there are three aspects of principle interest to the coal producer:

  • Adequate liberation of clean coal from mineral matter to maximise the yield of coal meeting product specifications.
 ....  read more


Improved Performance of Banana Screens in Drain and Rinse

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Author: Michael O'Brien, Bruce Firth, Andrew Meyers, Douglas Nemeth, Adrian Burger | CSIRO Energy Technology

The objective of this project is the identification of the factors controlling the efficiency of the high capacity Banana screens when they are used to recover media via drain and rinse. This includes potential approaches to improve efficiency with respect to fluid recovery, partition curves ....  read more


Design of Sampling Systems

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Author: Chris Clarkson, Cameron Dorr, Darren Edward | C Clarkson & Associates, Sedgman

Researchers have developed a specification to enable Australian coal operators to design reliable and accurate sampling systems suited to their individual needs.

Many sampling systems installed in Australian coal mines are unreliable, inaccurate and require a high degree of operator ....  read more


Maintenance Requirements in Coal Preparation Plants

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Author: Joe Sanders | Coalproc

ACARP commissioned this study into maintenance issues of coal preparation plants, with the aim to identify areas where research may result in potentially substantial improvements.

The scope of the study included:

  • Review current maintenance practice
 ....  read more


Stockpile Volumes and Tonnages by Remote Means

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Author: John Doyle | Geosensing Solutions

Key results:

  • This research has demonstrated that gravity surveying methods can achieve the resolution necessary to determine the tonnage of coal in a stockpile.
  • Tonnages can be determined without using on pile measurements if microgravity techniques are employed.
  • Low
 ....  read more


Portable Screen Motion Analyser

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Author: Michael O'Brien, Ian Hutchinson, Chris Wesner | CSIRO Energy Technology, CSIRO Exploration & Mining

A previous project developed a method using a portable PC, a triaxial accelerometer and suitable software to determine the stroke and frequency of a vibrating screen and to display the three dimensional motion of the screen on a rotatable and resizable XYZ graph. Screen and panel ....  read more


Image Analysis Measurement of Screen Aperture and Open Area

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Author: Michael O'Brien, Douglas Nemeth, Terry Wex, Stephen Sullivan | CSIRO Energy Technology, A&B Mylec

The project's objective is to develop a portable prototype measurement system using a digital camera and a laptop computer to measure screen aperture and open area. The measurement of the screen aperture will include the number of aperture measurements made, the mean, histogram and the standard ....  read more


Reduced Cyclone Wear and Maintenance

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Author: Anita Hill, James Mardel, T Markley, T Bastow, R Hannink | CSIRO Manufacturing and Materials Technology

This project gives details of a study of the wear and performance of DMCs from the Hunter Valley and the Bowen Basin.  The project consisted of information gathering, in-situ monitoring of DMCs, and ex-situ failure analysis of DMCs. 

Due to cost factors there is ....  read more


Application of the Portable Screen Motion Analyser to Measure Plant Performance

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Author: Michael O'Brien, Ian Hutchinson, Mark Kockanek | CSIRO Energy Technology

Banana screens have been shown in a previous ACARP project to have a stroke, as measured with a portable screen motion analyser , which is proportional to the mass feed rate to the screen. This report presents the results of pilot plant and coal preparation plant experiments using the  ....  read more


Application of Magnetic Fluids for Sink-Float Analysis - Literature Review

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Author: Kevin Galvin | University of Newcastle

It is now more likely than ever that the Australian Coal industry will need to find an alternative to the heavy liquids used to produce a sink-float analysis of coal. Indeed, the Australian Standard on sink-float analysis is likely to be phased out over the next five years. Thus there is a ....  read more


Screen Aperture Wear and Performance and CFD Modeling of Screen Wear

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Author: Anita Hill, Michael O'Brien, A Taylor, Bruce Firth, JI Mardel, MR Hill, TJ Bastow, RHJ Hannink, L Graham, J Wu, A Bui | CSIRO Energy Technology

In ACARP C11006 (O’Brien et al. 2003), screen aperture dimensions and open area inclusive of pegging were measured using a new image analysis system. In ACARP C11012 (Hill et al. 2004), the material performance and the critical failure mechanisms of screen panels ....  read more


Limits to Plant Capacity

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Author: Michael O'Brien, Bruce Firth | CSIRO Energy Technology

The current high demand for coal for the export market has raised the issue of the limitations to plant performance and production as the amount of run of mine coal feed to the plant is increased. While there are some obvious limitations such as the amount which the feed conveyor to the plant ....  read more


Performance Based Specification for Coal Preparation Plants Maintenance Coatings

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Author: Henry Bartosiewicz, Paul Curcio | MTI, Monash University

The main objective of this study was to develop a cost effective methodology to ensure that only high quality coating systems are approved for use at the Coal Handling and Preparation Plants (CHPPs) structural components.  This goal is to be achieved through development of methods that ....  read more


Extending the Lifetime of Sieve Bends and Centrifuge Baskets

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Author: Shenggen Hu, Mike O'Brien | CSIRO Energy Technology

Maintenance accounts for 41% of the washing costs in coal preparation. Sieve bends and centrifuge baskets are among the most costly items in the maintenance area (ACARP project C8063), and these costs are associated with their relatively short life due to abrasive wear. In most situations, ....  read more


Coal Preparation Equipment Performance Database

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Author: Bruce Atkinson & Andrew Swanson | QCC Resources

The database is designed to hold raw sizing and float-sink data for coal preparation process equipment.


In order to maximise the value of the data, associated information is also stored that includes all available information about the nature of the installation and ....  read more


Improved Automatic Reclaim for Uneven Stockpiles

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Author: Russ Morrison, Stuart McCarthy | BMT WBM

This investigation has involved the development and testing of an improved control technique for automatically controlled slewing bucketwheel reclaimers. The technique uses laser scanning immediately ahead of the bucketwheel's trajectory, permitting pre-emptive control of slew speed and ....  read more


Coal Preparation Field Promotion 2010

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Author: Peter Newling | ACARP

As the sole purpose of this project was to raise awareness of ACARP coal preparation research by plant visits there is no report. An A4 size pdf of the poster used during the 2010 visit can be downloaded  ....  read more


Application Of Nano Particles To Fine Coal Float Sink Tests

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Author: Gary Cavanough | University of Queensland

The elimination of organic chemicals, used in float/sink testing from laboratories is a priority for the coal industry.  A variety of replacements are under investigation including ferro-fluids, zirconium dioxide and caesium formate.  This project initially investigated the ....  read more


Washability Analysis of Fine Coal using a Water-Based Method

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Author: Kevin Galvin, Simon Iveson & David Hunter | University of Newcastle

The aim of this project was to develop a water-based method for generating washability data and analysing the partition performance of separation operations. Fractionation experiments were performed in a laboratory Reflux Classifier on coal samples in the -0.250 +0.038 mm, - 2.0 +0.25mm and -16 ....  read more


Seal, Spray and Wash Water Filtration in Coal Preparation Plants

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Author: Dr Götz Bickert | GBL Process

The objective of the study was to undertake a review of seal, spray and wash water filtration technologies currently used in Australia and overseas and technologies with the potential to improve process water quality from a solids content perspective. This is relevant for water used for filter ....  read more


Application of X-ray Computed Tomography for Coal Washability Analysis

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Author: Tuan D Nguyen, Anh V Nguyen, Chen-Luh Lin and Jan D Miller | The University of Queensland, University of Utah

Coal washability is currently obtained by float-sink analysis. The safety and technical concerns associated with the float-sink analysis due to the use of toxic, environmentally hazardous liquids have been recognized by the industry for many years. Moreover, this slow, time-consuming analysis ....  read more


Coal Preparation Field Promotion 2012

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Author: Peter Newling | Petan Enterprises

As the sole purpose of this project was to raise awareness of ACARP coal preparation research by plant visits there is no report. An A4 size pdf of the poster used during the 2012 visit can be downloaded here.

In 2003 ....  read more


Impact of Sample Preparation Procedure on CGA Result

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Author: Bruce Atkinson | QCC Resources

A number of ACARP research projects are demonstrating useful outcomes from coal grain analysis (CGA), for example Project C18041.

Samples for CGA are prepared by the same method as for conventional petrographic analyses, namely by grinding to minus 1 mm topsize whilst aiming to keep ....  read more


Product Coal Loss Due to Inappropriate Focus on Ep

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Author: Bruce Atkinson | QCC Resources

The Coal Preparation fraternity is used to focussing on Ep(75/25) values when people consider separation equipment performance. However, Ep only describes a small aspect of performance, and in many cases the Ep value is completely irrelevant or even misleading. For example, when considering ....  read more


Coal Preparation Field Promotion 2014

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Author: Peter Newling | Petan Enterprises

As the sole purpose of this project was to raise awareness of ACARP coal preparation research by plant visits there is no report.  An A4 size pdf of the poster used during the 2014 visit can be downloaded here.

 ....  read more


Application of ACARP DMC R&D between CSIRO and JKMRC

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Author: Mike O'Brien | CSIRO

In 2006 ACARP funded "The Intelligent Plant" project (C11069) to the value of $0.5M over three years for the CSIRO team at QCAT to define the requirements in terms of instrumentation, monitoring, control and overall management of the next generation dense medium cyclone plant). This ....  read more


Derrick Stack Sizer In-plant Evaluation

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Author: Darren Mathewson | Quality Process Solutions

Across the industry, millions of tonnes of saleable quality ultrafine coal are ultimately discarded into tailings dams along with the high ash slimes material. While a classifying cyclone is widely considered to be a size separating unit there is also a substantial density separation occurring ....  read more


Revised Dustiness and DEM Test Method (Update of AS4156.6) Part 2:Preparation

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Author: Dusan Ilic, Ken Williams | The University of Newcastle

In 2015 project C23054 investigated and reviewed the Australian Standard for dust extinction moisture (DEM) of coal AS4156.6 and re‐enforced the validity and applicability of the test method described. However, the project outcomes also highlighted a number of possible areas where the ....  read more


Implementation of Oxidation Monitoring Tools and New Reagents in Plants to Improve the Flotation of Oxidised Coals

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Author: Xumeng Chen, Yangyang Huai and Yongjun Peng | The University of Queensland

Flotation of oxidized coals is a challenge confronting the Australian coal industry. The conventional flotation collector, diesel, used for floating non-oxidized coals is not suitable for floating oxidized coals, leading to a significant loss of valuable coals to the tailings. In the previous ....  read more


Multi-Sloped Screening Efficiency with Changing Strokes, Frequencies, Feed Solids and Feed Rates-Pilot Plant Study

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Author: Michael O’Brien, Shane Reinhard and Andrew Taylor | CSIRO

Optimising multi-sloped screens is often described as an art and there is very little data in the open literature describing the role of the control variables. Several variables affect the screening process and these include the screen machine variables such as stroke and frequency of ....  read more


CSIRO Instruments at Multiple Plants

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Author: Michael O’Brien, Clint McNally, Ian Hutchinson, Andrew Taylor and Shane Reinhard | CSIRO

Using the electrical impedance spectrometer (EIS) and sensors to measure the density of the mediums associated with the operation of the Dense Medium Cyclone (DMC) in real time gives the operators a measure of performance stability. As an example, the differential can be measured or the ....  read more


Improved Flotation Recovery Via Controlling Froth Behaviour

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Author: Hangil Park, Liguang Wang | University of Queensland

There is no real-time measurement for coal flotation performance, making it difficult to control the flotation process. Previous laboratory test work in project C23035 has developed a froth diagnostic tool and a frother concentration measuring tool. This project further developed and assessed ....  read more


Low Cost Online Measurement of Particle Size and Density for Diagnostics Across the Fine Coal Circuit

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Author: Rohan Stanger, Quang Anh Tran, Peter Stepien, Clint Bruin, Terry Wall | The University of Newcastle and ResTech

This project has developed a novel prototype optical system for profiling fine coal streams in a coal preparation plant. The system determines individual coal particle size, settling velocity and density targeting the size range (100µm - 2.0mm). This information is combined to form ....  read more


Determining the Benefits of Online Thickener Underflow Rheology Measurements

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Author: Noel Lambert | Clean Process Technologies

The aim of this project is to determine how useful the rheology measurements generated by the Thickener Underflow Monitor (TUM) are to CHPP operations. The TUM is currently able to generate information regarding the rheology of coal thickener underflow but the usefulness of this information is ....  read more


CGA Workshop Series Driving Implementation

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Author: Bruce Atkinson & Graham O’Brien | Basacon Services & CSIRO

Over the past ten years, ACARP has funded a number of projects which have been used CGA techniques and associated image processing software to undertake a wide range of projects to address specific industry needs at all stages in the coal chain from green field exploration, optimised coal ....  read more


Improving Coal Flotation with Oscillatory Air Supply

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Author: Hangil Park and Liguang Wang | University of Queensland

This report provides detailed information on coal flotation with oscillatory air supply at pilot scale.

At the start of the project, the effectiveness of three different devices (named A, B and C) for converting steady airflow to oscillatory airflow was evaluated. It was found that ....  read more


Lab Froth Flotation Testing Guide with Coal Quality

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Author: Chris McMahon | McMahon Coal Quality Resources

Correct outcomes from laboratory froth flotation testing in coal borecore exploration are critical to resource predictive potential, market evaluation and economic mining outcomes.

McMahon Coal Quality Resources (MCQR) has observed over many projects that froth flotation outcomes ....  read more


Coal Grain Analysis Applications Handbook

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Author: Bruce Atkinson, Priyanthi Hapugoda, Silvie Koval, Graham O’Brien, Karryn Warren, Sandra Atkinson | Basacon Services

This Handbook sets out recommended practices for using coal grain analysis (CGA) data to interpret coal quality for a variety of applications, and to understand the use of CGA for quantitative assessment of dust samples. It encompasses typical quantitative and qualitative information in the ....  read more


Detection of Non-Ferrous Broken Pick Tips and Clay Balls in the Dense Medium Cyclone

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Author: Michael O'Brien, Clint McNally and Andrew Taylor | CSIRO

Tramp metal, in particular tungsten carbide pick tips, can cause severe damage to the linings of Dense Medium Cyclones (DMCs). In addition, clay balls recirculating in the cyclones decrease the efficiency of cyclone operation, reducing yields and product quality. This project's aim was to ....  read more


Developing Operator Friendly Coal Oxidation Measurement

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Author: Xumeng Chen and Yongjun Peng | The University of Queensland

Flotation of oxidized coals is a challenge confronting many Australian coal preparation plants. Previous projects have demonstrated that polar collectors can be added together with diesel to improve the flotation of oxidized coals, however, the ratio between polar collector and diesel needs to ....  read more


Quantitative Based Protection Coating Assessment Using Digital Imaging and Artificial Intelligence

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Author: Fidel Gonzalez | Mincka Engineering

This report presents the progress and findings of a project which focused on addressing the challenges in inspecting and assessing the condition of corrosion protection coatings in coal mining infrastructure, particularly coal handling and preparation plants. Traditional inspection methods, ....  read more


Value-Added Products from Coal Tailings

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Author: Utsab Katwal, Atousa Khazaie, Mingtiem Yong, Soheil Jahandari, Mohammad Babla, David Osborne, Maroun Rahme, Alistair Harriman, Zhonghua Chen, Zhong Tao | Western Sydney University

The quantity of coal tailings (CT) currently discharged annually in Qld and NSW is estimated to be between 14 and 16 million dry tonnes with the majority going into tailings storage facilities (TSF). Due to the continuous mining activities over the last 50 years, the existing tailings storage ....  read more


Impact of Water Quality in Coal Handling and Preparation Plants

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Author: Bruce Atkinson | Basacon Services

This project evaluated water chemistry impacts on the corrosion rates of other common construction and fabrication materials. Different construction and fabrication materials are each affected differently by different aspects of water chemistry. For example, it is known qualitatively that ....  read more


Improving 3D analysis of coal particles for density and mineral grain composition beyond float / sink

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Author: Rohan Stanger, Quang Anh Tran, Andrew Stanger, Liza Elliott, Wei Xie, Terry Wall | University of Newcastle

Micro-CT (Computed Tomography) technology provides fast 3 dimensional analysis of solid samples and this technique has been used to assess the particle characteristics of coal samples from the fine circuit of a coal preparation plant, coal maceral concentrates and float/sink samples.

 ....  read more



Health and safety, productivity and environment initiatives.

Recently Completed Projects

C34019Longwall Bretby Cable Handling Monitoring With Fibre Optics

This project examined the potential of using fibre optic sensing tec...

C28028The Inclusion Of High Interest Native Plants In Mine Site Restoration Programs: Propagation, Translocation And Field Re-Introduction

This report synthesises over 10 years of ex situ and in si...

C27049Mine Machine Radar Sensor Integration

The aim of this project was to develop an integrated radar sensor an...


Open Cut

Safety, productivity and the right to operate are priorities for open cut mine research.

Recently Completed Projects

C34029Validation Of Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) As A Rapidly Deployable Field Technology To Estimate Coal Quality

Rapid evaluation of a coal resource by in-situ characterisation dow...

C34028Guidelines For Assessment Of Geotechnically Safe And Stable Post-Mining Landforms

The purpose of this project was to develop a guidelines document as ...

C34016Elements In Coal – A Start-To-End Analysis

This project explores the fate and concentration potential of critical e...

Open Cut

Coal Preparation

Maximising throughput and yield while minimising costs and emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C26016Determining The Benefits Of Online Thickener Underflow Rheology Measurements

The aim of this project is to determine how useful the rheology meas...

C33056Modelling And Control Of Classifying Cyclones

Hydrocyclones are one of the key technologies for the classification...

C28056Surface Alloying Of Centrifuge Baskets And Sieve Bends Screen Surfaces To Increase The Service Lifetime

The main objective of this project was to improve the wear resistanc...

Coal Preparation

Technical Market Support

Market acceptance and emphasising the advantages of Australian coals.

Recently Completed Projects

C33066Washability And Distribution Of Sulfur And Trace Elements For Different Size And Density Fractions Of Raw Coals

Based on the hypothesis that the levels of sulfur and other toxic tr...

C34060In-Situ Investigation Of Coke Structure Formation Under Stamp Charged Coking Conditions

Stamp charged cokemaking has emerged as an effective technique to im...

C34062Improving The Classification Of Microstructure Distribution In Coke CT Images Using Deep Learning And Lineal Path Calculations

This project builds on a number of earlier projects that have helped...

Technical Market Support

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from the production of coal.

Recently Completed Projects

C28076Selective Absorption Of Methane By Ionic Liquids (SAMIL)

This third and final stage of this project was the culmination of a ...

C29069Low-Cost Catalyst Materials For Effective VAM Catalytic Oxidation

Application of ventilation air methane (VAM) thermal oxidiser requir...

C23052Novel Stone Dust Looping Process For Ventilation Air Methane Abatement

This multi‐phase project is concerned with the mitigation of m...

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Low Emission Coal Use

Step-change technologies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C17060BGasification Of Australian Coals

Four Australian coals were trialled in the Siemens 5 MWth pilot scale ga...

C17060AOxyfuel Technology For Carbon Capture And Storage Critical Clean Coal Technology - Interim Support

The status of oxy-fuel technology for first-generation plant is indicate...

C18007Review Of Underground Coal Gasification

This report consists of a broad review of underground coal gasification,...

Low Emission Coal Use

Mining And The Community

The relationship between mines and the local community.

Recently Completed Projects

C16027Assessing Housing And Labour Market Impacts Of Mining Developments In Bowen Basin Communities

The focus of this ACARP-funded project has been to identify a number...

C22029Understanding And Managing Cumulative Impacts Of Coal Mining And Other Land Uses In Regions With Diversified Economies

The coal industry operates in the context of competing land-uses that sh...

C23016Approval And Planning Assessment Of Black Coal Mines In NSW And Qld: A Review Of Economic Assessment Techniques

This reports on issues surrounding economic assessment and analysis ...

Mining And The Community


National Energy Research,Development & Demonstration Council (NERDDC) reports - pre 1992.

Recently Completed Projects

1609-C1609Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

1301-C1301Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development...

Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development and Extraction Operations

0033-C1356Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals...

Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals - An Industry Handbook