Roof Bolting for Long-Term Entries in Underground Coal Mines

Zhang, Peter
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2011
As simpler and easier reserves are exploited to depletion, underground coal mining continues in more complex geologic settings and conditions. Roof bolting for long-term entry stability is always a challenge. For long-term entries of a mine such as belt, track entries and return airways, roof could be under-supported if one uses the same bolting plan as in short-term entries or even seem over-supported with increasing use of longer, stronger bolts along with mesh, pans, straps or trusses. In most underground coal mines, roof deteriorates over time with cutters developing deeper in entry corners; roof sagging and popping out between bolts; entry width increasing due to rib sloughage; and separations developing deeper up into the roof. In deteriorated long-term entries, roof falls could occur at certain locations and re-bolting could be costly or sometimes unfeasible. Therefore, it is important to choose an appropriate bolting plan during development based on mining and geologic conditions if the entries will be used for the long-term. In both short-term and long-term entries, primary roof bolting is critical in building a strong and effective beam. But in long-term entries, supplementary bolting is necessary in certain cases to ensure roof stability can still be maintained even if a roof failure develops beyond the primary bolted horizon. This paper deals with roof bolting for long-term entries based on studying the progressive roof failure and roof falls under different geologic conditions. The paper presents bolting considerations in terms of bolt type, length, diameter and spacing as well as bolting strategy to minimize the risk of roof falls in long-term entries.
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