Longwall Mining-Through the Backfilled In-Panel Entries at Cyprus Emerald Mine

Chen, J.
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1997
In recent years, improvements made to the longwall system have accelerated at a faster pace than those made to the gate entry development system. As a consequence, unless planned years ahead of time, extending the panel length is nearly impossible without some innovative approach. At Cyprus Amax Coal's Emerald mine the G panel length was extended by 3,500 ft- by developing three entries across it to facilitate development of its headgate and tailgate entries simultaneously when the adjoining F panel was in operation. After evaluating alternative supporting methods and associated risks, determination was made to backfill these entries and crosscuts using a low strength flyash cement mixture prior to mining thru. Instrumentation was also used to monitor the stress change or front abutment stress in both the coal and the backfilled material ahead of the face. Longwall mining thru these three entries took about four eight-hour shifts and proved to be very successful. The designed flyash cement mixture provided adequate roof stability and caused no difficulty in the shearer's cutting while eliminating an in-panel longwall face move and minimizing the risk of roof or floor failure in the in-panel openings, or in the worst scenario loss of the face during the longwall cutting thru. This approach provided the intended result of extending G panel and recovered about one million tons of coal. This paper summarizes the engineering design of the cutting-thru project and flyash cement mixture, front abutment stress changes within the longwall coal block, backfilled material, and coal pillars ahead of the longwall face, and our underground observations
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