The effects of geological features on coal mining, Sydney coalfield, Nova Scotia

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 79, No. 891, 1986

STEVE FORGERON, BRENDAN MacKENZIE, and KEVIN MacPHERSON, Cape Breton Development Corporation, Sydney, Nova Scotia

The geological composition of strata immediately adjacent to coal seams has a significant effect on the safe and efficient extraction of coal from underground mines of the Sydney coalfield. Geological features such as paleo-sandstone river channels, seam splits, floor rolls, paleo-soils and stone-filled rupture features can rapidly alter the competency of immediate roof and floor strata, significantly reduce the height of the coal seam, cause rapid variations in seam gradient and influence the in situ and run-of-mine quality of the coal. The impact of these features on the over-all mining operation can be significantly reduced if mine management can be forwarned of their impending occurrence. Using the information acquired from boreholes, geological mapping, x-ray diffraction analyses, microscopic studies, geophysical logs and seismic surveys, sedimentary models have been constructed which enable the mine geologist to predict, with increasing accuracy, the future occurrence of deleterious geological features ahead of the working face.
Keywords: Coal mining, Coal extraction, Mine geology, Paleo-sandstone river channels, Seam splits, Floor rolls, Paleo-soils, Ruptures, Sydney coalfield.