Geological Conditions At Continuous Miner Sections; Examples From Marrowbone Development Company, Mingo County, West Virginia

Coolen, J. Marc
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1999
Marrowbone Development Company operates a large drift mining complex in the central Appalachian coal field. In 1997, five continuous miner supersections produced close to 9 million tons of raw plant feed. All production is from the Coalburg seam, a 5 to 10 ft thick coal seam with multiple coal benches and shale binders. The immediate roof lithologies consist of laminated shales, sandstones, or a mixture of sandstones and shales. The mine area is bisected by the regional Warfield anticline and associated Warfield fault. Mining conditions vary considerably due to frequent changes in seam and roof geology. The following geological categories can be distinguished: 1) presence of coal riders in the immediate shale roof, 2) excessive seam slopes around the Warfield fault, 3) splay faults associated with the Warfield fault, 4) zones of abundant slickensides, 5) abrupt roof lithology changes (sandstone - shale), 6) splitting and merging of different benches of the Coalburg seam, 7) sandstone washouts, 8) excessive roof dilution, 9) pillar sizing problems due to seam anomalies (soft fireclay binders). Several examples of these features are discussed in detail. Also, their relationship to roof fall occurrences is evaluated. Early recognition of potentially adverse geological conditions is of prime importance for the economic viability of the mining plans. Detailed core drilling in advance of the mining faces and coordination of the core data with underground mapping are the main forecasting tools.
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