Thick seam mining with artificial roof laying support

Gwiazda, J. B.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 3
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1988
Introduction Thick seams constitute a considerable portion of Polish coal reserves. In producing mines and those under construction, the reserves where the height is more than 4.5 m (15 ft) total about 24v0 of all the hard coal reserves. The reserves that are under urban and industrial areas can be extracted using stowing methods for surface protection. About 50v0 of thick seam reserves can be extracted by caving methods. Thick seam mining methods Thick seams are usually extracted by multilift methods. There are some methods of thick seam mining that generally can be divided into caving and stowing methods. The stowing method is more expensive, but must be used when mining to protect surface features. The more known methods of thick seam mining include: • extraction of thick seam in ascending order with stowing; • thick seam mining in descending order with consolidated stowing; • thick seam mining with gob consolidation; • thick seam mining in descending order with roof caving; • sublevel caving thick seam mining system; and • thick seam mining system using an artificial roof. • Thick seam mining with introduction of an artificial roof The most advantageous method of thick seam mining is the method using an artificial roof. The artificial roof usually consists of wire mesh. Such wire mesh must be durable and must prevent small rock fragments from passing through. The mesh is usually made of steel properly protected against corrosion. The artificial roof is placed on the coal floor of the top slice (Fig. 1). Caving rock falls on the artificial roof and is thus separated from the coal. The next slice is extracted under the artificial roof. The producing face of the next slice must progress within 10 m (33 ft) behind the front of the first slice. As the second producing face progresses, the wire mesh moves down on the coal floor and may be used as an artificial roof for the next slice. Thus, one artificial roof allows the extraction of several consecutive slices. Application of the artificial roof allows for clean extraction and reduces coal losses. It also eliminates the hazard of spontaneous combustion. Introduction of the artificial roof has been limited due to a lack of artificial roof laying equipment. Manual laying of wire mesh is a labor-intensive operation, and it delays face progress, resulting in poor productivity. To eliminate these problems, artificial roof laying equipment was designed at the Polish Central Mining Institute. The support and the method of laying operation is covered by a patent. Artificial roof laying powered support To extract thick seams using an artificial roof; four-leg shield supports with lemniscate linkage were developed (Fig. 2). This shield is used in the first top
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