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Principles and practices, causes and solutions, with testing technologies.
Risks – How to safeguard against damage?

Date: 21 May 2015
Venue: Glen Hove Conferencing
Cost: R 2 995-00
CPD points will be awarded


Self heating in coal which, if not prevented or stopped in time, leads to full scale combustion, damage to the source of the coal or product and generates a considerable health hazard under certain circumstances. The phenomenon has long been experienced and much research has gone into understanding and explaining it.   However, the process continues – it is found in seams under shallow soil cover, in open seam faces, in opencast mines when seams being extracted were previously mined by board and pillar methods, in stockpiles at pitheads, power stations or on docksides, in hoppers, train trucks and coal-bearing cargo ships.  Stopping the self heating process, once it begins, is understood by many but not often undertaken in time to prevent further damage.  The outcomes of various self heating case studies has lead to the loss of millions of rand and hard fought legal situations. This course seeks to summarise the principles and processes in self heating, and to outline its prediction, prevention and management.


Session 1

  • Introduction
  • Overview of chemical Composition, physical properties and Petrographic characteristics
  • Primary causes of self heating
  • The behavior of coal blends and mixtures
  • Question and Answer Session

Session 2

  • Methods of prediction
  • Interpretations of characteristics and tests
  • The Effect of Blending or Mixing different circumstances
  • Question and Answer Session

Session 3

  • Practices of prevention at the mine face
  • Practices of prevention in stockpiles
  • Practices in prevention in hoppers, silos, containers and at sea
  • Question and Answer Session

Session 4

  • Presentation of case histories
  • Future considerations for mixing or blending in South African coals
  • Legalities in self heating


  • To present the causes of self heating (more than one!)
  • To outline the methods of prediction and testing
  • To present the practices of prevention
  • To outline methods to stop self heating once begun
  • To present case histories and how they were handled
  • To outline the legalities in case studies.

Who Should Attend

Geologists and Mineral Resource Managers, Mining and mineral processing engineers, Marketing officers, Industrial Users of coal, Eskom and Sasol, Coal Exporters and traders, Infrastructure and logistics officials, Researchers in Coal.


Key specialists in industry, Science Councils and academia.

Next Energy And Fossil Fuel Foundation Courses – 2015

9-12 June – Coal Geology and Exploration Course in Southern Africa: Part 1:

Logging and Sampling of coals with anomalies explained in the Northern Coal Basins of southern Africa/Mozambique; Management of Exploration;  interpretation of results using real data from downhole logging.

The process of reconstituting the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions has been completed. View the new Council.
If you are final year Natural Science student, you can enroll at SACNASP. View more information.