Evaluation of hazard from self-heating of sulphide rock

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 88, No. 989, 1995
F. Rosenblum and P. Spira, Centre de technologic Noranda, Pointe Claire, Quebec
Self-heating of broken sulphide ore or waste rock underground can lead to ignition and cause serious problems in a mine operation. An extensive study has demonstrated that it is caused by oxidation of certain species of pyrrhotite. Self-heating was found to take place in two stages, first progressing from ambient temperature to 100°
C with exothermic formation of elemental sulphur in the presence of moisture and oxygen, and proceeding to a second stage in which the sulphur oxidizes to SO2. Ignition may eventually follow. An apparatus was developed to assess the propensity of sulphide rock to self-heating and the potential for hazardous behaviour. The effect of temperature, time, rock size, and surface treatment with chemicals is presented. On the basis of these results, possible approaches for preventing a runaway reaction are suggested for further investigation.
Keywords: Safety, Sulphide ore,
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