Mining Publication: Application of the Coal Mine Roof Rating (CMRR) to Extended Cuts
Since it was first introduced, the Coal Mine Roof Rating (CMRR) has been widely accepted as a tool for geologic characterization and mine planning. This paper discusses the application of the CMRR to another practical ground control problem. Extended cuts (cuts greater than 6 m (20 ft) in length) are commonly used with remote control continuous miners. Extended cuts can greatly increase productivity, but they have been associated with a number of fatal roof fall accidents. When extended cuts are attempted in weak roof, the roof may collapse before it can be bolted, causing hazardous conditions. Until now, it has not been possible to predict where conditions may not be suitable for extended cuts. In this study, data on the CMRR and extended cut experience were collected at 36 mines in 7 states. It was found that when the CMRR was greater than 55, deep cuts were routine in nearly every case. When the CMRR was less than 37, extended cuts were almost never taken. Between 38 and 55, extended cuts were feasible sometimes but not others. The data also shows that extended cuts are less likely to be stable if either the entry span or the depth of cover increases.