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Use of subsidence to estimate secondary extraction of trona

Mining Engineering , 2018, Vol. 70, No. 4, pp. 37-42

West, N.; Conrad, P.W.; Kramer, R.; Todd, C.



Surface subsidence caused by underground room-and-pillar mining operations and by solution mining operations have been studied separately but never in combination. In 2008, FMC Minerals began using solution mining at its Westvaco Mine as a secondary extraction method in an area that had been previously mined using the room-and-pillar mining method. Mining regulations require that subsidence associated with underground mining activities be monitored and measured annually. Using Salt_Subsid, a subsidence software package from the Solution Mining Research Institute, and ArcGIS, Esri's mapping platform, researchers at Montana Tech were able to develop a relationship between measured surface mine subsidence and solution mining that can be used at the Westvaco Mine to estimate the production of trona from solution mining operations.