Underground » Exploration
In-Seam drilling has been recognised by underground mine operators as a high priority research area. This report seeks to draw together the concerns of those involved in in-seam drilling and provide direction as to where future research should focus. The report includes "experts reports" from Dr Mike Gladwyn on geophysics, Dr Ian Gray on drill monitoring and Dr Ripu Lama on gas drainage.
It details what was seen to be the short term and long term research and development needs of coal operators.
The report concluded that conventional underground gas drainage will continue to rely on holes drilled to a maximum length of 300m for quite some time. Under most stringent conditions, this will require maintenance of holes to + 3m from the planned direction and maintenance. There is a need to develop simple tools which warn the operator if the hole deviation is beyond prescribed limits. Use of natural gamma, coupled with microseismic systems and gyroscopic devices could provide a simpler system to meet the immediate needs of the industry. It is also noted that there is an urgent need to develop systems for the maintenance of post drainage holes in active ground.
Since the submission of this report, ACARP has elected to provide further funding to enable John Hanes to act as project coordinator of in-seam drilling. In this role he will be maintaining a technical overview of seven research projects and facilitating the transfer of outcomes to concerned operators.