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SMOKE EMISSIONS FROM SHINAS MINE NOT HAZARDOUS: PUBLIC AUTHORITY FOR MINING.

The Public Authority for Mining (PAM) has said that smoke emissions from one of the non-operational mines in the wilayat of Shinas is not hazardous.

This follows recent rumours spread on social media. The authority has said that it is coordinating with a team comprising representatives from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs, the company operating the mines, under the supervision of the Public Authority for Civil Defence and Ambulances and members of Majlis A'Shura in the wilayat of Shinas.

This team is inspecting into the safety measures agreed upon, such as repairing the fencing around the mine, flooding the site with water and ensuring constant follow-up of any developments at the site. Meanwhile, experts from the Earth Science Research Centre at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) have come up with a scientific explanation for these emissions.

Prof Sobhy Nasr, director of the Earth Science Research Centre at SQU, said the smoke in the area is due to burning of sulphides in the closed mine due to humidity of atmosphere, oxygen uptake and other natural conditions.

Prof Nasr said that several previous studies about copper sulphide mine residues have shown that moisture in the air and ambient temperature can be increased due to self-combustion of the sulphides in such mines.

This occurs as a result of self-heating and reaction of these minerals with the water in the mines for a long period and with precipitation and high water level.

Quoting past studies, Prof Nasr said that humidity of air and ambient temperature can increase self-heating of sulphides and may increase the temperature and may lead to spontaneous combustion, which is particularly difficult to control.

Active ores, left in underground mines for a prolonged duration, oxidise rapidly and get self-heated. Problems are also encountered during crushing and handling processes, where sulphide ores are commonly introduced to humid air and oxygen, promoting self-heating.

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Publication:Muscat Daily (Muscat, Oman)
Date:Dec 13, 2018
Words:353
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