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Prediction of Longwall Support Loading at Southern Colliery, Queensland


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Author Klenowski G, Ward B, McNabb KE, Dyer G


Roof conditions at Southern Colliery, the second longwall mine to be established at German Creek, were found to be much stronger and more massive than at the earlier longwall mine on the lease. Investigations were made to ascertain the level of face support required for longwall extraction under the changed geological conditions. Geotechnical information was provided from drillholes and highwall exposures. Downhole geophysical logs, notably the sonic velocity log, were used to obtain a distribution of the major lithological units over the mine area. A representative type section of the strata and geomechanical properties was compiled to form the basis for numerical modelling. Two-dimensional finite element methods were used to predict strata movements and chock loads under cantilevered roof conditions. The model incorporated a 6.3 in thick roof beam either bonded or detached, with either a 2 in or 5 in overhang. The solid rib, immediate roof, chock support and goaf were modelled as distinct parts, in addition a front abutment stress profile, derived from three-dimensional displacement-discontinuity analysis, was superimposed on the model.