Horizon control technology for selective mining in underground coal mines

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 93, No. 1040, 2000

A.L. Craven, Associated Mining Consultants Ltd., Calgary, Alberta I.R. Muirhead, formerly PI-ja Resources Inc., Edmonton, Alberta

The trend in mining thermal coal is only to mine coal with the lowest sulphur content. In many coal seams, bands of coal with high sulphur content are often present, generally occurring either at the roof or floor level. Methods of selective mining are, therefore, necessary to recover only the low sulphur coal. This paper examines the methods currently in use in mines and the alternative methods that are able or have potential to offer control of shearers and continuous miners where greater thicknesses of coal have to be left in the roof and floor. These alternative methods rely on such characteristics as neutron gamma radiation; electromagnetic waves; vibration; infrared; optical; pick force; X-ray fluorescence; conductivity; gyroscopes and laser systems.
Keywords: Coal mining, Mining methods, Underground mining, Thickness measuring methods, Neutron gamma radiation, Electromagnetic waves, Vibration, X-ray fluorescence.