2005 SME Annual Meeting, February 28 - March 2, Salt Lake City, Utah, Preprint 05-82. Littleton, CO, Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc., 2005 Feb; :1-12
Highwall mining is an important surface coal mining method, and it may account for approximately 4% of total U.S. coal production. Highwall stability is the major ground control-related safety concern. Ground control plans for highwall mining should specify hole width, web pillar width, barrier pillar width, and number of holes between barriers. This paper offers simple design charts for these parameters aimed at providing "ballpark" checks. Web pillars containing preexisting auger holes are analyzed, and a design chart for estimating their minimum width is also presented. Finally, close-proximity multiple-seam highwall mining, which hay have caused several serious highwall failures, is analyzed. Web and barrier pillar recommendations for this special situation are presented.