Toward Pillar Design to Prevent Collapse of Room-And-Pillar Mines
In some instances, extensive room-and-pillar workings can collapse with little warning and pose a serious risk to underground miners. Traditional strength-based pillar design methods applicable to coal or hard-rock mines use a factor of safety defined as pillar strength divided by pillar stress. Factor of stability, defined as local mine stiffness divided by post-failure pillar stiffness, may offer a way to design room-and-pillar mines and eliminate collapses. Three alternative design approaches to decreasing the risk of large-scale catastrophic collapses are described: the containment approach, the prevention approach, and the full-extraction approach. Until good data on the post-failure behavior of pillars become available, the containment and full-extraction options are the safest. The limitations in our ability to evaluate both the stability of old workings and the long-term performance of room-and-pillar mines are described.
R. K. Zipf, "Toward Pillar Design to Prevent Collapse of Room-And-Pillar Mines," 108th Annual Exhibit and Meeting Proceedings, Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (SME), Jan 2001.
108th Annual Exhibit and Meeting
Mining and Nuclear Engineering
Article - Conference proceedings
© 2001 Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (SME), All rights reserved.