An open source article by Nikky LaBranche. The re-identification of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis in Queensland in 2015 has prompted improvements in exposure monitoring and health surveillance in Australia. The potential consequences of excessive exposure to respirable dust may depend upon the size, shape and mineralogical classes of the dust. Technology has now advanced to the point that the dust characteristics can be explored in detail. This research collected respirable dust samples from four operating underground coal mines in Australia for characterization analysis using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with energy dispersive X-ray (EDX). The research found multiple mineralogical classes present with their own particle size distributions. The variation between mines appears to have had a larger effect on particle size distribution than the differences in mining processes within individual mines. This may be due to variations in the geologic conditions, seam variation or mining conditions.

Characterization of Particulates from Australian Underground Coal Mines


Last Updated: 26/02/2022 10:01:05am