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University Of New South Wales Coal Pillar Strength Determinations For Australian And South African Mining Conditions; Proceedings Of The Second International Workshop On Coal Pillar Mechanics And Design
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    A series of mine design accidents in the late 1980s resulted in a major research program at the University of New South Wales, Australia, aimed at developing pillar and mine design guidelines. A database of both failed and unfailed Australian underground coal mine pillar case studies was compiled. A procedure was developed to enable the effective width of rectangular pillars to be taken into account. The database was analyzed statistically using the maximum likelihood method, both independently and as a combined data set with the more extensive South African database. Probabilities of failure were correlated to factors of safety. It was found that there was less than a 4% variance in pillar design extraction ratios resulting from each of these approaches. There is a remarkable consistency between the design formulas developed from back-analysis of the two separate national pillar databases containing many different coal seams and geological environments.
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