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Regional Geotechnical Studies as an Aid to Surface Mine Planning – A Case Study from the Bowen Basin, Queensland, Australia


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Author Mallett CW, Grimstone LR, Leach JHJ


An analytical technique is described to identify areas of structural disturbance to coal and interseam strata in coal measures. It is based on exploration borehole data which records seam intersections and interseam lithologies. Computerised data bases have been developed to allow processing of large quantities of borehole records. The case study discussed is located in a tectonic setting dominated by thrust faulting. It provides a mechanism for the identification of low angle and bedding plane faults. In addition it allows the preparation of plans showing the areal distribution of the thrust sheets in the statigraphic section throughout the mine prospect. The technique requires the identification of normal undisturbed depositional thickness of coal seams and interseams to be determined. This is done for coal by the identification of coal ply distribution over the area. For interseam lithologies it is based on sedimentological modelling of lithology distributions, related back to the original depositional environments. Variations from the expected values are interpreted as structural Deformations.