Strength of coal from the Star-Key Mine near Edmonton, Alberta

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 72, No. 802, 1979

M. L JEREMIC Department of Mineral Engineering, D. M. CRUDEN, Department of Civil Engineering and of Geology University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta

Altered and unaltered coal from the Star-Key Mine near Edmonton, Alberta has been tested under compression and under tension.The test results showed that altered coal samples have an appreciably lower strength than unaltered coal. Altered coal samples do not give a linear load-displacement curve, peak strengths are poorly defined and yielding is observed over a range of loads, so the material can be regarded as relatively plastic. However, unaltered coal samples produce a linear loading curve with a high tangential modulus and an easily distinguished peak strength at which there is a sudden brittle failure. These findings lead to important differences in the theoretical design of ribs and pillars in underground mines in the two coal types.The substantial differences in the strength properties and behaviour of the two types of coal are governed by a higher intensity of cracks in the weathered coal. Two causes of the additional cracking can be suggested—subaerial weathering and subterranean weathering of the coal.
Keywords: Coal mining, Coal strength, Rock mechanics, Star-Key mine, Compression, Tension, Weathering, Pillars