Multi-seam mining of the deep Waterberg resources.

Chabedi, C.K.
Zvarivadza, T.
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The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.
This paper discusses the difficulties associated with the potential exploitation of the deep multi-seam resources east of the Daarby fault in the Waterberg coalfield. The resources occur at a depth greater than 250 m and the thickness of the coal is roughly 110 m, but the top 50 m comprises coal intercalated with shale and the bottom 60 m contains five seams with sandstone and shale partings. Various factors affecting multiple seam mining at these great depths are discussed with reference to lessons learned from local and international experience on multi-seam mining. Field geological and geotechnical data was utilized to assess the stability of the roof of the seams. There is no specific rock mass rating for the Waterberg area, therefore approximate coal mine roof rating (CMRR) values were used to propose appropriate support strategies. Analysis of Multiple Seam Stability (AMSS) was used to analyse the strength of the parting or interburden between the various seams, the mining sequence, and the interaction between the various seams. The research indicated that it is possible to mine seams with a low CMRR at high mining rates using longwall mining, although support for gateroads is expected to be expensive, time-consuming and onerous to install, and will impact gateroad development rates. It will not be possible to simultaneously mine zones in close proximity and failure of the interburden is predicted, thus dangerous mining conditions are anticipated. However, it will be possible to mine just two of the eleven zones using longwall mining.
Analysis of Multiple Seam Stability, AMSS, CMRR, Coal mining, Longwall, Multi-seam mining, Waterberg, Coal deposits, Coal mine roof ratings
Chabedi, C.K. and Zvarivadza, T. 2016. Multi-seam mining of the deep Waterberg resources. Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. 116(11), pp.1037-1042.