Report: APP CMHS Project 1

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3.4.3. Strata Control

Roof fall accidents are a major safety concern in underground coal mines in India. Design of adequate roadway support in Bord and Pillar development and pillar recovery will reduce the accident rates in this category.

Current Technologies

A rock mass rating (RMR), developed by the Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research (CIMFR), is used to design the roof support system in each underground coal mine in India. A Systematic Support Rule (SSR) is established based on the RMR and knowledge obtained from the previous workings. Permission to extract pillars is required from the Chief Inspector of Coal Mines and in accordance with established standards. The DGMS has stipulated the standard pillar dimensions for various depths of mining for Bord and Pillar workings. The maximum allowable roadway dimension is 4.8 m in width and 3.0 m in height.

The SSR indicates the type and specifications of supports including rock bolts, props, hydraulic chocks, and powered supports.

Application Sites

The supplies for advanced roof support technologies like steel roof bolts with resin capsules exist in India but are used limitedly in some mines, and the supplies are inadequate to cater to the needs of the entire coal mining industry. The central data base on mine geotechnical conditions and strata support is available at DGMS and CIMFR.

Technology Gaps/Needs

Mechanised roof support equipment like bolter machines and use of resin bolts is viewed as a dire necessity for increased strata control standards in India. Wide use of numerical methods to design the support system is required. Transfer of technological tools and equipment for design of roadway support and longwall face supports will be encouraged through collaboration between scientific agencies.

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