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Developments In Coal Pillar Design At Smoky River Coal Ltd., Alberta, Canada; Proceedings Of The Second International Workshop On Coal Pillar Mechanics And Design
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    Smoky River Coal Ltd. mines low-volatile metallurgical coal by surface and underground methods in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Canada. Current underground operations are confined to the 5B-4 Mine. Development of 5B-4 began in January 1998; production from depillaring sections commenced in July 1998. This paper describes the history of underground mining on the Smoky River property in terms of extraction methods and pillar design. The development of the present pillar design guidelines is discussed in this context. Recent work to prepare a number of case histories for back-analysis using the Analysis of Retreat Mining Pillar Stability (ARMPS) method is described, along with the modifications developed for calculating the ARMPS stability factor for retreat extraction of thick seams. The design criteria are described, as well as the geotechnical program implemented in order to verify its applicability.
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