Strata Control Investigations During Fully Mechanized Coal Pillar Extraction in Indian Coalfield

Singh, Rajendra
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 7
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2014
Considering the importance of a fully mechanized depillaring operation, the Indian coal mining industry has introduced a number of such depillaring operations at depths of cover ranging from 60 m to 377 m. The overlying strata of these depillaring faces vary widely from highly laminated, weak and easily caveable to massive, strong and difficult to cave. Most of these mechanized depillaring operations were carried out in difficult site conditions, however, performance monitoring in the field has showed good production, productivity and safety results. Field studies have shown that the use of roof bolts as breaker line support for this technology worked well for moderate strength overlying roof strata, but experienced difficulties for both extremely weak and strong/massive overlying roof strata. It is observed that the performance of a breaker line support along the goaf edge deteriorated with an increase in depth of cover of the depillaring face. Practice of a straight line of extraction (single row of pillars) during the mechanized depillaring below competent roof strata experienced a considerably large hanging area inside the goaf, which needs to be managed either by induced caving of the roof strata or through an increase in width of the excavation. Observations of good performance of a fully mechanized depillaring face under highly laminated and weak strata at a shallow cover is mainly due to a faster rate of extraction. However, the mechanized depillaring underneath laminated and weak roof strata for a deep-seated coal seam was forced to go for partial extraction mainly due to strata control problems. Discussing the implications of main technical and operational differences between the conventional (semi-mechanized) and fully mechanized depillaring, this paper presents results of different strata control studies conducted at different mechanized depillaring sites with varying geo-mining conditions.
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