Following a dialogue in the Technical Forum meetings in late 1998, a geotechnical assessment project was established. Its objective is to establish a best practice' baseline for both conducting geological and geomechanical assessments and to apply findings in geotechnical design and operation of underground coal mines in Canada and to make the findings readily available via computer database/Internet. It comprises three components: geological assessment, geomechanics baseline study and a web-based geotechnical database. The paper reports on the first two components of the geotechnical assessment project. The work forged further international co-operation between the coal industry and CANMET in Canada and NIOSH in the United States. The paper firstly outlines the underground coal operations in Canada in the late 1990s. It then summarizes the geological assessment, followed by an application of NIOSH geotechnical methodology in a Canadian geotechnical baseline study. The paper concludes with a brief summary and an indication of future direction of the work.
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