Status of computer applications for underground coal mining methods evaluation

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 74, No. 836, 1981

B. DAS, Research Scientist, Western Office, Mining Research Laboratories, CANMET, EMR Canada, Calgary, Alberta

Computers have been used extensively in the mineral industry in exploration, reserves calculation, mining technology, mineral processing, etc. With respect to coal mining, there are also various applications for evaluating rock slope stability of open pits, design of open pits, underground operations, mine ventilation, ground control, data processing and management information, operations control and certain technological applications. Mine ventilation appears to be the field in underground coal mining touched on most; on the other hand, underground coal mining methods evaluation is represented only sparingly.It is therefore essential to review the status of the computer in underground coal mining methods evaluation in order to define its scope for further application. The paper discusses the roles of the mining engineer, programmer, computer operator and analyst as well as that of the computer. The important parameters will be identified and discussed along with their application for different underground coal mining methods, with their individual unit processes. Mainly, longwall face operations have been covered. Although many models have been of academic interest, they can be considered as important steps in a transition stage which will be followed by more practical applications for computers for underground coal mining method evaluations in the future. This calls for a coordinated effort from all concerned.
Keywords: Computers, Process control, Underground mining, Coal mining, Mining methods, Simulation, Mine planning, Longwall mining.