Semester

Spring

Date of Graduation

2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Type

MS

College

Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources

Department

Mining Engineering

Committtee Chair

Syd S. Peng

Committee Co-Chair

Yi Luo

Committee Member

Brijes Mishra

Abstract

Longwall mining is the preferred method in coal mining to maximize production and reserve recovery by extracting large blocks of coal that have been outlined with a set of continuous miner development entries. In the US, technological advances and system enhancements have steadily improved productivity more in the longwall retreat process as compared to the improvements in continuous miner gateroad development process. Consequently, longwall extraction rates have outpaced gateroad development mining advancement.;This thesis addresses the factors considered for increasing panel width and the solutions to the technical concerns for increasing the longwall face width from the current accepted industry standard of 1050 feet to 1600 feet (320 m to 488 m). The process of increasing the width of longwall panels, while helping to increase coal production, reducing continuous miner development, and increasing coal reserve recovery, will result in additional design considerations for equipment, roof control, ventilation design, infrastructure, and longwall moves. This thesis will discuss the areas for design considerations and solutions to the technical concerns.

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