Conceptual Approach to Mine Mountaintop Thin-seam Coal Resources from Highwalls.
Ducarme-JP; Mayercheck-WD; Farrar-RB
The U.S. Bureau of Mines is conducting research aimed at providing technology for a low-cost, high-recovery, environmentally acceptable mining system to recover the vast thin-seam coal resources existing in the mountainous areas of the Appalachian region in the eastern United States. Approximately 1 trillion tons of U.S. coal resources are located in seams 14 to 28 in thick that cannot be fully mined with conventional technology. Approximately 40 pct of the mineral coal reserves in appalachia exist in 28- to 42-in-thick seams. These coal seams represent a huge energy resource that has been left largely untapped, owing mainly to unavailable technology for commercial exploitation. The Bureau is evaluating new techniques to eventually convert some of the present subeconomic coal resources into demonstrated thin-seam coal reserves. The paper describes a worldwide technical search on thin-seam coal mining, information on current small-scale modeling of the Bureau slot-mining concept, and projected work with full-scale prototype equipment at Bureau test facilities to address coal seams 6 to 42 in thick.
Proc 1990 Mng & Reclamation Conf & Exhibition. Am. Soc. Surface Mng & Reclam., 1990, PP. 31-48