Strata Control Advances At Jim Walter Resources, Mining Division
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Jan 1, 1988
Jim Walter Resources, Mining Division, employs the retreat longwall mining system as the primary method of coal production. The strata control aspects of developing and maintaining roadways for retreat longwall mining have continued to improve and advance at Jim Walter Resources. New and innovative concepts in pillar design, roof and rib support, as well as longwall face support, have been combined to provide better strata control. Control of immediate roof breakup in the headgate and tailgate entries has been a problem at Jim Walter Resources' mines. The application of roof trusses as supplemental roof support failed to provide the desired strata stability. The immediate roof deterioration has been controlled through the installation of increased density of roof bolts in the affected roadways. Control of the rib sides has been a documented problem at Jim Walter Resources' No. 4 Mine since its start-up. The installation of 3/4 inch diameter roof bolts at 2 ft. spacing failed to control rib rolls. The development and application of a yieldable rib support system provided the desired results. Rib rolls have been virtually eliminated where the yieldable system of rib support has been installed. An evaluation of longwall panel development using the total yield pillar mining plan has been completed. Results of the strata stability and other operational data have been compiled. Coal production and gate entry stability were not adversely affected using the total yield pillar mining plan for longwall panel development. Strata Control on the longwall face is provided by the face support system. Excessive convergence and roof breakup along the longwall face have been experienced at several of the Jim Walter mines. In an effort to eliminate this problem, an evaluation of higher setting pressures for longwall face supports is being conducted. Results have been inconclusive to date. Each of the above strata control projects will be presented as case studies. Since Jim Walter Resources business is coal production, emphasis will be directed toward the application rather than the theoretical aspect of the projects.