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Ground condition mapping: a case study

Transactions of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration , 2013, Vol. 334, No. 1, pp. 420-426

Lawson, H.; Zahl, E.; Whyatt, J.


The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) issued Program Information Bulletin P09-03 in April of 2008, providing formal guidance on using programs that model the redistribution of stress during underground mining of coal. A key part of this guidance is visual observation and mapping of ground conditions. If a correlation between ground conditions and model output can be established, the model is considered to be verified, and can be used to guide mine design in similar ground. A simple scale is recommended for ranking observed roof, rib and floor conditions. This paper discusses optimization and implementation of a ground condition rating scheme in the gateroads of a deep underground longwall coal mine. Roughly 80% of each gateroad length deteriorated in a fairly uniform manner. However, this manner varied between gateroads, as did pillar size. The implementation of a ground condition mapping program, similar to that recommended in PIB P09-03, was successful in characterizing the ground response to mining in gateroads of a longwall coal mine.