Extraction Ratio In Thin Seams Assuring No Surface Subsidence

Unrug, Kot F. v.
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 9
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2001
The depletion of thicker coal reserves has resulted in the thinner seams being economically attractive. Surface protection against subsidence limits the extraction ratio to 50% for the room and pillar method as a "no subsidence condition". That rule was developed for pillars with smaller width/height ratio because seams mined at the time were commonly 6 feet thick. Over time pillar ribs deteriorate around the pillar perimeter and thus decrease the area of the pillar. Using 50% extraction as the no subsidence condition in the squat pillar category (below 42 in with w/h > 7) causes unnecessary losses of reserves because squat pillars are stronger. In this paper a method is presented for design of long-term pillars. Based on the analysis of pillar deterioration and field observations, an increase of the "no subsidence" extraction rate to 60% for squat pillars is proposed.
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