Cyprus Shoshone Tailgate Roof Control: Case Study

Schissler, Andrew P.
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 3
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1993
Cyprus Shoshone is an underground coal mine in southern Wyoming owned by Cyprus Coal Company, a subsidiary of Cyprus Minerals Company. To date, seven longwall panels have been extracted from the pitching seam under increasing depth of cover from 150 ft to 1200 ft. The purpose of this paper is to describe the geology, rock mechanics needs identification, design, testing and successful application of the current headgate/tailgate cribbing system. The immediate roof of the Shoshone is unique in that the first 50 ft of lithology is interbedded mudstones. The mudstone is slickensided, highly friable and has characteristics of unconsolidated fill relative to self-spanning and beaming abilities. Finite element modelling analysis of the overall geomechanical environment showed the mudstone to yield under applied longwall abutment stress. Roof bolt system design methodology also pinpointed the relative weakness of the mudstone roof. In-mine entry vertical convergence and weight response from the mudstone identified the need to design a crib which had superior weight capacity over a wide range of convergence. Design of a structure ensued to achieve the superior strength properties of wood parallel to the grain and the displacement properties of wood perpendicular to the grain. Testing of the prototype structure along with other alternative wooden cribs was done at the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation facility in the Denver Federal Center, Colorado. The test results verified the design. Crib placement pattern was chosen to maximize support with a confined core crib under the high convergence area. The design has been successfully installed in over 5,000 ft of headgate entry in the 11 left panel.
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