Shield Monitoring To Forecast Severe Face Weightings At The South Bulga Colliery, NSW, Australia

Sandford, Jim
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 12
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1999
The South Bulga Colliery longwall operation, owned and operated by Cyprus Coal Australia. Oakbridge Pty. Ltd., and located near Singleton, NSW, is currently operating under an average 80-ft-thick (24-nt) sandstone unit residing immediately above the coal seam, resulting in sudden and severe face weightings. To date, nine severe weightings have occurred at the property (within Panels 3, 4. and 5), three of which resulted in face closures accompanied by significant equipment damage and several weeks of downtime. The remaining six events nearly resulted in face closures, incurring single-pass vertical convergence of up to 8 in (200 mm) along the pan line. In an effort to mitigate and/or eliminate the occurrence of these severe weighting events, mine management has established an in-house program to immediately address the geotechnical and operational mechanisms underlying rapid weightings, as well as specific measures to mitigate these events on future panels. In support of this in-house effort. NSA Engineering Pty. Ltd., is assisting the engineering staff at South Bulga in developing a more aggressive face monitoring program. The aim of this program is to provide weighting occurrence predictions sufficiently ahead of time to ensure that operational controls are optimized prior to attempting to mine through potential weighting areas. This paper reviews the occurrence of weightings to date at the South Bulga Colliery as well as the latest developments in shield monitoring technologies to forecast these events in near-real time.
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