Drilling hard siliceous sandstone strata effectively

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 72, No. 803, 1979

JOSEPH J. LARRY Marketing Manager, FMC Corporation, Mining Equipment Division Fairmont, West Virginia

In hard siliceous sandstone strata overlying coal seams, roof bolting is often the bottleneck in the coal production cycle. In the past, these strata have been drilled by pneumatically operated stopers. Although slow drilling is cumbersome and uncomfortably noisy, the stoper was the most effective drill in these harder strata. However, because of the (U.S.) Coal Mining Safety Act, which limits noise levels for operating drills, FMC Mining Equipment developed the water-through-the-drill-steel method of drilling high-compressive-strength strata.Although water-through-the-drill steel had been developed earlier, the real impact of wet drilling techniques surfaced when the dual-boom roof drilling machines were installed at the Virginia-Pocahontas Division, Keen Mountain, Virginia, in 1974.This paper covers some of the technical details of the water-through-the-drill-steel design and its application.
Keywords: Drilling, Sandstone, Roof bolting, Underground mining, Coal mining, Penetration rates, Water-head drills, Stopers.