Engineering & Mining Journal

JUN 2018

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NEWS - THIS MONTH IN COAL JUNE 2018 • E&MJ 37 www.e-mj.com tion rates from the coal seam ahead of the shearer and from longwall gob. "The abili- ty to accurately collect, record and analyze methane concentrations at multiple loca- tions will immediately improve mine safe- ty and will ultimately lead to better models and design methods to prevent methane and dust explosions," Johnson said. The second team, led by Ihsan Berk Tulu, assistant professor of mining en- gineering, will look at ways to reduce ground control-related injuries and fatali- ties in the mining industry by developing a practical, mechanics-based approach to pillar design. The research team, which includes Brijes Mishra, associate professor of mining engineering and graduate re- search assistant Deniz Tuncay, will work to develop a geology-based laminated overburden model. "The recent Analysis of Retreat Min- ing Pillar Stability LaModel program — or ARMPS-LAM — which was developed at WVU, was an initial step toward incor- porating mechanistic overburden behav- ior into pillar design," said Tulu. "We will build upon previous WVU research and incorporate the specific geology and structural competence of the overburden and the in-situ horizontal stresses into the mechanical response of the overburden." Tulu noted that this new mechanis- tic mode will be an important step to- ward reducing the risk factors for the underground mine workers by further understanding the role of the overburden mechanics in pillar design, thereby im- proving mine stability. Ground control-related incidents are still one of the leading injury and fatality reason in underground coal mines. Ac- cording to statistics from the Mine Safe- ty and Health Administration, there were 35,228 underground coal mine workers in 2015 working either in a longwall or re- treat room-and-pillar mine. Between 2011 and 2015, there were 1,037 nonfatal lost- time ground control-related injuries and from 2014 to 2017, 20% of the all the fatalities were ground control related. The Alpha Foundation for the Im- provement of Mine Safety and Health is a private foundation with the mission to improve mine safety and health through funding research and development pro- jects at qualified academic institutions and other not-for-profit organizations. Thiess Secures Curragh Contract Thiess has been awarded a A$160 million contract extension by Coronado Curragh to continue to provide mining services at the Curragh coal mine in Queensland, Australia. Thiess has a long record of ser- vice at Curragh having operated at the project since 2004. "This is the fifth successive contract that Thiess has won to deliver mining services at the Curragh Mine," said Mi- chael Wright, CEO, CIMIC Group, which owns Thiess. "Our team has a strong re- cord of consistently meeting production targets through operational excellence and a commitment to strong safety per- formance. This extension recognizes our depth of expertise and the consistency of the service that our team has brought to this operation." "We've developed a deep understand- ing of the site and its operations and built a strong working relationship with the Curragh team," said CIMIC Group Executive Mining and Mineral Processing and Thiess Managing Director Douglas Thompson. "We look forward to continu- ing this excellent record of delivery for Coronado Coal." Under the contract extension, Thiess will mine approximately 45 million bank cubic meters (BCM) of waste and coal at Curragh's North Pit, located 30 km north of Blackwater, until June 2019. In addition, Thiess will continue deliv- ery of its existing scope of works under its current $1.1 billion contract until 2021. This includes waste and coal min- ing truck excavation works, run of mine re-handling services, maintenance of a client owned shovel and heavy medium earthmoving equipment. Thiess will mine approximately 45 million BCM of waste and coal at Curragh's North Pit between now and June 2019.

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