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New Techniques for Mining Thin-Seam Mountaintop Coal Reserves
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  • Description:
    The U.S. Bureau of Mines explored new methods and technology for extracting coal from the Appalachian Mountain region of the Eastern United States. These methods were aimed at extracting coal from thin seams and focused on the use of "roof-fall-tolerant" (RFT) mining concepts. These methods could be used on existing, abandoned highwalls or in conjunction with new highwall mining. The research was conducted using small-scale and quasi-full-scale physical models to obtain experimental results. Details are provided on (1) the quasi-full-scale model for cross-ridge mining, (2) the quasi-full-scale model for down-ridge mining, (3) the test results of these models, and (4) recommendations for future research. Significant results include demonstration of the RFT concept, a discussion of expected coal produced from these methods, and recommendations for future research.

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