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Abstract

The Wits-Ehac index was developed in 1987 at the School of Mining Engineering, University of Witwatersrand. In this research, several tests were done for a colliery in the Waterberg coalfield using a Wits-Ehac index apparatus and were compared with the Glasser test. There was a good correlation between the two test types. Another data set was acquired from a risk assessment study of the Witbank coalfield using Geographical information Systems (GIS). This study used several types of data, including type of coal, overburden thickness, Wits-Ehac index, and chemical properties of coal. The research concluded that the Kleinkopje area is the most prone to spontaneous combustion, which agrees with historical observations. Improvements have been made on the apparatus that measures the Wits-Ehac index, with future applications highlighted. Because of increasing spontaneous combustion events in the Witbank coalfield, there is a need for more in-depth research about the process.

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