Overview of Current US Longwall Gateroad Support Practices: an Update
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Overview of Current US Longwall Gateroad Support Practices: an Update
  • Published Date:

    May 07 2019

  • Source:
    Min Metall Explor. 36(6):1137-1144
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  • Alternative Title:
    Min Metall Explor
  • Description:
    In 2015, 40 longwall mines provided nearly 60% of the US coal production from underground mining methods. This represents a substantial yet gradual increase from just under 50% over the last 5 years. As a result of this increased production share, the percentage of ground-fall-related fatalities in longwall mines has also increased when compared to all US underground coal mines. Additionally, about 80% of ground-fall-related fatalities have occurred in areas where the roof was supported. In an attempt to better understand the status quo of current US longwall support practices, a sample of 25 longwall mines were visited representing nearly 50% of the currently active longwall mines representing all of the major US longwall-producing regions. The resulting data was obtained from a wide variety of overburden depths, geologic conditions, mining heights, ground conditions, support practices, and gateroad configurations. The data collected is reported using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Results from the research update previous efforts in classifying mining accidents and injuries as well as current support practices presented by this author at the 2017 Society for Mining, Metallurgy, & Exploration Annual Meeting. This data provides a necessary background for future research aimed at further reduction of ground fall accidents and injuries.
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