Transactions of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc.
Transactions home

  SME FaceBook SME Twitter SME LinkedIn RSS Feed

Theory and practice of fully mechanized longwall mining in steeply dipping coal seams

Mining Engineering , 2013, Vol. 65, No. 1, pp. 35-41

Wu, Yongping; Xie, Panshi; Wang, Hongwei; Yun, Dongfeng; Ren, Shiguang; Chen, Xioaokun


Mining steeply dipping coal seams is a difficult task. Prior to 1996, fully mechanized longwall mining methods along the seam strike direction were tried in China and other countries. Due to its larger coal reserve in steep seams, China made more, but still limited, progress on mining such seams than other major coal-mining countries. In the last two decades, accelerated research efforts have tried to improve the mining technology in steeply dipping coal seams. Based on this work, a dynamic model of a roof-support-floor (R-S-F) system under asymmetrical constraints in mining steep seams is established here, and a theory of strata control and hazard prevention is formed. The key technologies for mining steep coal seams include global and regional strata control methods in the longwall face; methods for the longwall face machines to sustain static and dynamic loads; and flexible protection technology. These theories and technologies have been successfully applied in China to the mining of steep coal seams of varying thickness and hardness, with hard and soft roof and floor, and with a high potential for spontaneous combustion. In recent years, the technology has been introduced to Russia, India, Uzbekistan and other countries where steep coal seams are mined.