Assessment of Experimental Longwall Recovery Rooms for Increasing Productivity and Expediting Equipment Removal Operations
Description:The U.S. Bureau of Mines, in cooperation with a southwestern Pennsylvania coal mining company, BethEnergy Inc., Mine No. 60, Eighty-Four, PA, recently assessed the feasibility of using pre driven recovery rooms (open entry recovery) when longwall mining to increase the productivity of the coal extraction process. Two recovery entries, one 200 ft long and another 600 ft long, were supplementally supported with bolts, channels, and wire mesh, and either fly ash-cement piers or fiber cribs, then mined into by the longwall face. The recovery entries showed little deterioration as the supports provided adequate resistance to the front abutment loading. Compared with conventional recovery methods, the fullface recovery room allowed for panel extraction to be completed nearly 17 days faster and to reduce face equipment move time by 1-1/2 days. The potential productivity increase accompanying recovery rooms is greater than the cost of supporting a fullface recovery room. The fullface recovery room provided over 18 additional production days and the opportunity to mine nearly 68,400 st of coal per year per panel mined.
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