Effect of the Approaching Longwall Faces on Barrier and Entry Stability

Beck, Klaus-Dieter
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 7
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2004
RAG American Coal Holding, Inc. affiliates operate two longwall mines in the Pittsburg seam in Pennsylvania, the Cumberland mine and the Emerald mine. A unique situation in longwall operation occurred at these mines as the mining activities reached the property boundary between the two mines. The retreat direction in the longwall panel in Cumberland mine is West-to-East while in Emerald mine, it is East-to-West. This unique condition required an adequate design for barrier pillar between the two mines to minimizing the mutual effects of longwall retreat when both longwall faces met and an adequate roof control plan for gateroads. Field studies that involved mainly roof-to-floor convergence monitoring were conducted to assess the effectiveness of the employed barrier pillar in isolating the mutual effect of longwall retreat. Three-dimensional finite element numerical modeling was used to evaluate the gateroad roof and pillar stability. The modeling was conducted such that it duplicated the actual mining process as realistically as possible. The modeling results predicted that the employed barrier pillar and the roof control plan would ensure stable gateroad systems in both mines during and after the two longwall faces met. The prediction was confirmed because mining operations in the two longwall panels were completed without any noticeable ground control problems.
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