Characterization of chain pillar stability in a deep western coal mine - A case study

DeMarco, M. J. ; Koehler, J. R. ; Lu, P. H.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 5
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1987
Beginning in late 1985 and continuing through 1987, US Bureau of Mines personnel investigated longwall chain pillar and entry design in two and three-entry gateroad systems at a deep underground coal mine in central Utah. To evaluate their respective stability characteristics, four chain pillars and two longwall panels within the two separate entry systems were instrumented with Bureau hydraulic borehole pressure cells to continuously monitor vertical and horizontal pillar and panel stresses through adjacent panel retreat. In addition, supplemental entry closure information was obtained from sites located in the vicinity of the instrumented pillars. The findings presented in this report demonstrate the practicality of evaluating mine pillar stability using in situ methods and support three significant conclusions regarding ground control aspects of the investigated two-entry system: (1) Total areal entry loading was considerably less for the two-entry system, as opposed to the three-entry system, (2) a smaller percentage of opened ground in the two-entry system contributed to a marked reduction in rooffalls, and (3) lower areal loading in the two-entry system suggests improved ground conditions when mining the underlying seam.
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