Determination of Groundwater Inflow Rates for Longwall Mining, German Creek, Bowen Basin, Queensland

Phillips RN,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 9
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1988
Semi-confined, trachy-andesite sills which overlie the German Creek Seam, within the critical tensile strain zone, form major groundwater hazards to longwall mining at the German Creek underground mines. The water contained in these aquifers is normally neutral, but highly saline. Techniques used to detect aquifers include routine air-lift pumping in exploratory drill holes, downhole geophysical and geological logging and upstage packer testing. Hydraulic constants are calculated from pump-out and pump-in test results. Hydraulic parameters for the calculation of mine inflow rates are determined from pump-out test results because these tests appear to be more representative of aquifer drainage during goat dewatering than pump- in testing. During mining of the first longwall block at Central Colliery, caving fractures intersected overlying aquifers after the longwall had retreated 40m, and mine water inflow rate rapidly increased from less than one litre/sec to 25 litres/sec. The amount of water pumped out of the mine during first panel extraction was 140 megalitres with drawdown occurring over an area of 168 hectares. In the Southern Colliery area approximately 324 megalitres of highly saline water which is actively stored in the Aquila Sill area will be pre-drained from six well points prior to longwall mining. With effective pre-drainage from surface drill holes, maximum inflow rate into the mine during initial goafing can be reduced from 165 litres/sec to about 45 litres/sec.
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