Title

Toward Pillar Design to Prevent Collapse of Room-And-Pillar Mines

Abstract

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.

Meeting Name

108th Annual Exhibit and Meeting

Department(s)

Mining and Nuclear Engineering

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version

Citation

File Type

text

Language(s)

English

Rights

© 2001 Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (SME), All rights reserved.

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