Coping With High Lateral Stresses In An Underground Illinois Coal Mine

Blevins, C. Tom
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 5
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1982
The purpose of this paper is to discuss production and roof control problems associated with directional lateral stresses in an in situ stress field and the approach that Inland Steel Coal Company made in trying to cope with them. Before proceeding, a description of the mine location, product, geology, restraints, and mine history is in order. The mine is located in Hamilton County in Southeastern Illinois. It produces a high volatile metalurgical coal and is slated to produce 2.1 MTY. Product ion is in the Illinois No. 5 seam at a depth of 930 feet, approximately 490 feet below sea level. The scam height averages from 5.5 to 6.0 feet throughout the reserves with height increasing in the eastern reserve area to approximately feet and a 5 Foot average in the West. The scam tends to dip to the North, North East, but is locally very undulating. The Galatia channel washout outlines the eastern boundary of the reserves and there is a split coal area toward the central part of the property than runs south-southeast. The top above the #5 seam is laminated medium gray shale called Dykersburg. Individual shale bedding planes vary locally From ½ to 1" in thickness to a more normal thickness of 1 to 1 ½ with some areas being interlayed by thin carboncous material. The top normally must be considered as materially competent. Even though the mine is still relatively small in area with only 1.3 million tons of total production to (late, we have encountered dense zones of slicker sides and premining, stress cracks (joints). There are also areas of siltstone, that vary from a few inches to several feet thick, and areas of rider coal, clay instrusions, and rolls. We have crossed lineament concentrations that show strong evidence of corelation to localise top problems. These are being monitored closely to see their predictability on our present and future mining conditions. The face cleat runs N 55° E and butt cleat runs S. 25° E. On a regional basis, there are several anticlinal belts that trend in a northerly direction. The one major restraint is that Inland does not own surface subsidence rights. Therefore, a partial extraction mining plan is being followed. The Holland-Gaddy formula for pillar strength design is used to calculate theortical pillar sides. When production began in March of 1979, it was noted that ground control problems occurred as we drove north entries. East-west cross cuts tended to have better working conditions. This phenomia occurred from a couple hundred feet, but seemed to dispate as we got away from the men and material shafts. Once the production shaft was connected and enough entries extended for installation of belts, ground control problems were again experienced in north-south headings. It was also observed that when mining north-south headings with east-west crosscuts, if the crosscut was driven through ahead and supported, the intersection was stable upon entry connection. This held true even where fairly extreme ground control, problems were encountered. The reverse held true. when driving east-west headings with north-south crosscuts. At this time, we started searching in earnest for a working theory to explain this roof phenomia. It also became the first step of what eventually was a four step sequence to derive a workable solu¬tion to the problem. The combination of the many geological changes and the fact that north-south condition was at times intermitent, helped to disguise the stress field. The mine also being in a fairly virgin area with no mines in approximately 25 milt, radius, meant we didn't have a reliable case history to examine. Various theories were researched before it was concluded that our primary ground control problem was a directional lateral stress Field, with the major stress axis in an east-west direction. The second stop of the procedure was then to test. mining methods and determine if these stresses could be modified to a
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