Longwall Mining-Induced Abutment Loads and Their Impacts on Pillar and Entry Stability

Chen, Jinsheng
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 7
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2002
Longwall mining-induced abutment loads on the surrounding coal pillars can be grouped into two categories in terms of the relative position of the coal pillars and the longwall face. They are the front and side abutment loads. Even though a lot of research and efforts have been made to study the nature and behavior of these longwall mining-induced abutment loads, their influence zones and magnitude are still not well defined and fully understood due to the complexity of geological conditions and the longwall muting-induced overburden strata movement. The uncertainty about the mining-induced abutment loads often forces consultants and mining engineers to employ a conservative approach in designing coal pillars and entry roof control plans. The problems with this approach are that: (a) it increases CM development¬longwall retreat footage ratio, (b) it decreases coal recovery, and (c) it increases !Ill' operating costs. However, a more liberal approach may create safety issues and result in loss of production. Therefore, the importance of accurately defining the influence zones and magnitude of the front and side abutment loads induced by longwall mining can never be over emphasized. The authors in this paper attempt to define the influence zones and discuss the magnitude of the longwall mining-induced abutment loads by analyzing the field data measured at RAG American Coal Company's longwall mines. In addition, the relationship between entry stability and the balance among roof/floor conditions, pillar design, and roof control plan is also briefly discussed.
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