Extraction Panel for High Production Underground Auger Mining in Australian Conditions

Underground » Mining Technology and Production

Published: September 20Project Number: C11041

Get ReportAuthor: Paul Buddery, David Hill | Strata Engineering

Underground augering has the potential to recover isolated, irregular pockets of coal that would ordinarily be discounted from reserves as being uneconomic or impractical to extract using the main mining system. A key design issue is the stability of narrow coal webs between auger holes and overall panel geometry.

Accordingly, the overall objective of this project was to d evelop credible guidelines for the design and operational management of safe and productive underground augering layouts utilising a systematic process of initial extraction design, performance monitoring, back-analysis and re-assessment ?

An analytical methodology was developed for the initial design of augering panels, which recognises the contributions of the various structural elements (ie coal webs and intra-panel pillars), as well as likely overburden behaviour.

The project involved monitoring ground behaviour during augering, with the intention of monitoring several sites with varying geotechnical environments and developing guidelines from these to assist in future layout design. This approach is appropriate where the mining layout involves the complex interaction of several components that cannot be readily simplified to the extent necessary for numerical or physical models to play the primary role. For reasons unrelated to geotechnical aspects, only one site was secured within the project time frame. Consequently, the project has utilised the results from a Southern Colliery augering trial, coupled to the outcomes of numerical and physical modelling tests.

The auger mining operations themselves were carried out by a Joint Venture ( Coal Recovery Australia Pty Ltd ) between Cutting Edge Technology Pty Ltd and SBD Services Pty Ltd.

The underground trial indicated that empirical design methodologies involving pillar strength equations coupled to abutment angle models can be used to design stable augering layouts. Although the designed hole configuration was not fully achieved, there is, nonetheless, a suggestion that a layout so determined will be conservative, holding out the possibility of future optimisation on the basis of actual performance. Monitoring and re-appraisal in the context of a formal strata management process are critical to the success of any such approach, particularly in terms of optimisation.

The two-dimensional UDEC numerical modelling code was used to model augering webs, but seemed to underestimate the stability of an auger mining panel, while over -estimating the strength of individual auger webs. Physical tests appeared to give a realistic quantification of the size effect (ie the beneficial effect on web strength of the hourglass shape when compared to a rectangular web of equivalent minimum width). The tests suggest that determining the strength of an hourglass web by increasing the strength of an equivalent rectangular web by 25% would be a justifiable step at this stage (ie this is a conservative preliminary conclusion for design purposes). It would be worthwhile to conduct further physical tests on differing materials and with various configurations to improve the quantification of the shape effect.


Health and safety, productivity and environment initiatives.

Recently Completed Projects

C34019Longwall Bretby Cable Handling Monitoring With Fibre Optics

This project examined the potential of using fibre optic sensing tec...

C27049Mine Machine Radar Sensor Integration

The aim of this project was to develop an integrated radar sensor an...

C29007Innovative Coal Burst System To Investigate The Influence Of Confinement Loss And Pre-Conditioning On Coal Burst Mechanism

The challenges associated with designing and operating a safe and pr...


Open Cut

Safety, productivity and the right to operate are priorities for open cut mine research.

Recently Completed Projects

C33035High Water Recovery, Low Cost Desalination Using PV-Powered Membrane Capacitive Deionisation (Mcdi)

Capacitive deionization is a robust, energy efficient and cost effec...

C28035Topsoil Deficits In Site Rehabilitation Accelerated Transformation Of Spoils To Functional Soils

The incorporation of commercial biological amendments (compost, worm...

C34036Tyre Handler Testing Rig Stage 2: Lifting Trials

Tyre handling is a major source of risk in surface mining operations...

Open Cut

Coal Preparation

Maximising throughput and yield while minimising costs and emissions.

Coal Preparation

Technical Market Support

Market acceptance and emphasising the advantages of Australian coals.

Technical Market Support

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from the production of coal.

Recently Completed Projects

C28076Selective Absorption Of Methane By Ionic Liquids (SAMIL)

This third and final stage of this project was the culmination of a ...

C29069Low-Cost Catalyst Materials For Effective VAM Catalytic Oxidation

Application of ventilation air methane (VAM) thermal oxidiser requir...

C23052Novel Stone Dust Looping Process For Ventilation Air Methane Abatement

This multi‐phase project is concerned with the mitigation of m...

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Low Emission Coal Use

Step-change technologies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C17060BGasification Of Australian Coals

Four Australian coals were trialled in the Siemens 5 MWth pilot scale ga...

C17060AOxyfuel Technology For Carbon Capture And Storage Critical Clean Coal Technology - Interim Support

The status of oxy-fuel technology for first-generation plant is indicate...

C18007Review Of Underground Coal Gasification

This report consists of a broad review of underground coal gasification,...

Low Emission Coal Use

Mining And The Community

The relationship between mines and the local community.

Recently Completed Projects

C16027Assessing Housing And Labour Market Impacts Of Mining Developments In Bowen Basin Communities

The focus of this ACARP-funded project has been to identify a number...

C22029Understanding And Managing Cumulative Impacts Of Coal Mining And Other Land Uses In Regions With Diversified Economies

The coal industry operates in the context of competing land-uses that sh...

C23016Approval And Planning Assessment Of Black Coal Mines In NSW And Qld: A Review Of Economic Assessment Techniques

This reports on issues surrounding economic assessment and analysis ...

Mining And The Community


National Energy Research,Development & Demonstration Council (NERDDC) reports - pre 1992.

Recently Completed Projects

1609-C1609Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

1301-C1301Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development...

Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development and Extraction Operations

0033-C1356Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals...

Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals - An Industry Handbook