Mine Panel Collapse - Two Case Studies

Chen, Hanjie
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 11
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1999
A mine panel collapse may occur when pillar sizes are too small or the surrounding rock strata (roof or floor) yields. After a small pillar fails, its loading is rapidly transferred to adjacent pillars that in turn fail. If the surrounding rock strata yield, the loading on pillars will redistribute. which may result in some pillars under high stress. This paper analyzes the causes of two cases of mine panels failures in two room and pillar mines. One case of massive pillar failure occurred in a phosphate mine and the other, mine panels failure, is in a coal mine. In the phosphate mine, both the roof and floor strata were a thick competent shale stratum. The finite element analysis shows that the major reason for the massive pillar failure is that the pillar sizes were too small in a panel. In addition, the high cliff topography has some influence on the failure. In the coal mine, the failed area was about 1,000 ft long by 760 ft wide (covering more than 3 panels) involving 390 pillars. The harrier pillars between the panels were punched on retreat into small chain pillars and the extraction ratio in this failed area was more than 80%. The roof remained intact, and pillars were crushed and punched into the floor. Based on the stress analysis, it is found that multiple panel collapse occurred because the barrier pillars were punched into small pillars and the loading on panel edges increased due to floor failure.
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