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|Surface lakes or water accumulation present a possible threat for the flooding of the underground mining works. Therefore, the criteria that define the conditions under which no flooding of the mining works can occur are of vital interest to the miners. The authors present the criteria that they developed for the Velenje lignite mine, Yugoslavia, and that take into account the elastoplastic behaviour of the rocks and the natural stresses involved in the deformable strata between the bottom of the lakes and the mine works as well as the extent of the direct caving-in process resulting from longwall mining activity. Fi- nally a generalization of these criteria to the other rock and stress conditions is discussed.|