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Design practices for multiple-seam room-and-pillar mines
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  • Description:
    "The objective is to provide room-and-pillar operators with practical information and guidelines concerning multiple-seam mine design to reduce ground problems associated with the interaction of adjacent workings. Interactions of multiple-seam operations can cause ground problems resulting from the transfer of stress, strata displacement, and caving due to subsidence. Such interactions are a common occurrence, resulting in loss of coal reserves and increased operating costs. Studies estimate that 140 billion metric tons of coal, representing 68 percent of the minable reserves in the United States, are subject to multiple-seam mining. In many instances, mining sequence is based primarily on availability and economics, with little regard for the effects mining would have on coalbeds above and below the one being mined. These practices could have strong implications for resources conservation. For instance, West Virginia, Virginia, and Kentucky have over 90 minable coalbeds, many of which are classified as "low sulfur." Many coal analysts speculate that the 1992 Clean Air act and new compliance coal standards may shift future mining to these reserves. But without competent design strategies, interactions between vertically adjacent operations will increase the difficulty and expense of mining." - NIOSHTIC-2

    NIOSHTIC no. 20022847

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