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Everything you need to know about the WVTCC Simulated Mine Lab

Everything you need to know about the WVTCC Simulated Mine Lab

Give your team a unique hands-on training experience at the West Virginia Training and Conference Center’s (WVTCC) Simulated Mine Lab. The lab provides a variety of “what-if?” scenarios to help mine rescue emergency response teams, trainers, and rescue services train for emergencies. In this interactive lab, miners can explore and solve various problems they may encounter in the field — all in a safe, simulated environment. 

The simulated mine lab covers an area of nearly 100,000 square feet. The space features eight entries and seven crosscuts, each 20 feet wide. Within the space, there are also two classrooms. Each classroom is 20x 20 feet and features tables, a podium, an overhead projector and screen and audio capabilities. Additionally, Wifi is available throughout the entire simulated mine lab. 

Are there different types of simulations that can be run in the lab?

The simulated mine lab can run live-fire training, water inundation, and smoke inundation scenarios. The lab is also available for firefighter and ventilation training exercises. 

A designated area is available with a live propane burn for live-fire training. However, this simulation must be treated as a live-fire and requires proper training and PPE. Additionally, safety shutoff valves are available, and our trained personnel can control the live burn with remote control access. 

There are two designated areas for water inundation. It is possible to flood out an intersection, causing it to be impassable without getting your feet wet. 

In a smoke inundation training, any area of the simulated lab can be used. Additionally, a specific smoke room is also available for smoke training.

A fire hydrant is available outside the simulated mine lab for firefighter training. A waterline with multiple fire taps is located in the belt entry of the lab and trainees can also access three hydrants placed inside the simulated mine lab. 

If your team needs ventilation training, a mine fan is available and can produce enough air to mimic a working section of an underground mine. 

Is there operational mine equipment in the simulated mine lab?

The simulated mine lab has a continuous miner machine, roof bolting machine, shuttle car machine, and an underground forklift. The lab also features an operational conveyor belt that can be started and operated. Multiple safety devices are installed for safety training and troubleshooting purposes. 

Although the equipment is available, the WVTCC only trains for safety, and the mine lab is not a training facility for first-time or inexperienced equipment operation.

Are there any refuge alternatives in the simulated mine lab that can be used for training?

Yes, training groups can have access to two Strata training refuge alternatives. 

What voltage of power is available in the simulated mine lab? 

The lab offers 12,470 Volts and transformers to provide the needed voltages for the equipment on the premises. The lab also features a splitter box, so two power centers are in place to distribute the power. 

Can the lab simulate the environment inside a mine?

When the lights are off and the doors are closed, participants can only see small lights on the network equipment mounted to the ceiling. Additionally, the flooring is gravel, and the trainee’s shoes and clothes may get dusty during the exercises. 

Can you customize the set-up in the simulated mine lab?

If your team needs a training program tailored to your needs, the WVTCC can develop a comprehensive program or customize classes to fit your needs. Our team can work with you to ensure roof supports, including timbers or cribs, can be included in training exercises. Additionally, metal Kennedy stoppings or traditional cinder block stoppings can be built in designated areas. 

Are there designated entries for competition mine rescue fields?

The WVTCC has designated entries 5, 6, and 7 specifically for competition mine rescue training. 

About the West Virginia Training and Conference Center

The West Virginia Training and Conference Center (WVTCC) is a part of the WV Office of Miners’ Health Safety & Training, an agency of the WV Department of Commerce. 

The WVTCC is equipped with banquet rooms, classrooms, electrical training labs and a 96,000-square-foot underground-simulated scenario mine training lab. The multi-purpose center can accommodate events for communities, companies, government and other organizations. To learn more about the WVTCC, visit or call 1-304-369-7823.

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