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Ground control design for highwall mining.
Trans Soc Min Metall Explor 2006 Jan; 318:226-235
Highwall mining is an important surface coal mining method, accounting perhaps for approximately 4% of total U.S. coal production. Highwall stability is the major ground control-related safety concern. Ground control plans for highwall mining should specify hole width, web pillar width, barrier pillar width, and number of holes between barriers. This paper offers simple design charts for these parameters aimed at providing "ballpark" checks. Web pillars containing preexisting auger holes are analyzed, and a design chart for estimating their minimum width is also presented. Finally, close-proximity multiple-seam highwall mining, which may have caused several serious highwall failures, is analyzed. Web and barrier pillar recommendations for this special situation are presented.
Mining-industry; Ground-control; Surface-mining; Safety-research; Highwall-mining; Geology; Hazards
NIOSH Pittsburgh Research Laboratory, P.O. Box 18070, Pittsburgh, PA 15236
Transactions of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division