Dewatering at Western No. 7 Colliery

Boyd G,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 9
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1988
Deep mining in the Collie Basin has suffered with high levels of water flow and sediment in-rushes throughout its 90 year history. Current day experience in working conventional bord and pillar by mainly mechanised means is that advance to the dip is impeded at about the 150m depth of cover by excessive water flow and pressure bursts. Extensive analysis of exploration borehole data and reconstruction of depositional environments helped define important hydrogeological characteristics of roof and floor aquifers, aquitards and aquicludes. Hydraulic parameters were estimated with some accuracy using indirect methods, and later confirmed by pump testing. Groundwater flow modelling showed that mine scheduling would have to be a balance between down dip and lateral development if aquifer pressure heads were to be decreased to suitable levels. Since pressure reduction in aquifers immediately above and below the mine opening was. identified as the key aim in groundwater control, a series of trial in-pit dewatering holes were installed, and demonstrated pressure heads could be reduced at rates compatible with a mine extraction sequence which, in turn, controlled the rate of down dip mine advance. A case history of the successful application of in-pit dewatering systems within difficult hydrological conditions for mining is described, with emphasis on the close collaboration required between hydrologists, mine planners and operations personnel.
Full Article Download:
(128 kb)