Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
Print version ISSN 0038-223X
HAND, P.E.. Sampling the coal chain. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2014, vol.114, n.1, pp.39-46. ISSN 2411-9717.
Coal is a complex heterogeneous commodity that can be mined in a number of ways and needs to be processed to a homogeneous quality that satisfies the customer's requirements, while attempting to maximize revenues. Only a small proportion of coal is suitable for metallurgical use. Export coals cover a wide range of qualities and some coals can be used optimally in the raw state for energy production. Critical quality parameters vary and can be a combination of heat value, ash, volatiles, sulphur, phosphorus, sizing, amongst others. The level of beneficiation is generally dictated by the washability of the coal, mining contamination, and the target product quality. The steps in the coal chain covered in this paper comprise exploration, mining selections, production, the washing process, and product delivery. Many points of sampling are needed to maximize yield at the correct quality, and some of these will be described in the paper.
Keywords : coal chain; coal beneficiation; sampling.