ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY MINING TECHNOLOGIES IN POLISH COAL MINING INDUSTRIES

World Mining Congress
Hard coal, mined in Silesia Region as well as in the eastern part of Poland, is a key national resource. In Polish underground coal industry, modern mining technologies have been successfully tested and used in the last 50 years. More than 98% of the coal produced underground is extracted by longwall mining method. Current underground coal mining expands into increasing depths. The use of conventional coal extraction methods – room and pillar and longwall with caving - is becoming increasingly difficult. The coal mining is modifying existing methods and is testing innovative technologies. Backfill is an important component of modern underground mining operations. In Polish underground mines, backfill is recognized as an integral component for extraction of coal from greater depths in a densely populated environment. The modifying and innovative methods require the use of backfill or grouting of caving to provide structural support in underground excavations and to ensure that the mining operations are safe. Depending on the geological structure, mining conditions and environmental requirements there are several variations of longwall methods used in underground coal mining in Poland, in particular: longwall with caving, longwall with backfill, longwall with grouting of caving area. This paper will discuss the different components of an effective longwall production and filling process of caving area. The paper will give a overview of the current application of backfill technology, focusing on Polish coal mining operations. This paper will also briefly describe how backfill contributes to an innovative method – underground coal gasification. The paper discusses specific requirements for fill materials and the technology of backfilling for underground coal gasification (UCG) operations and problems of implementation and correlation of backfill parameters with other processes that occur during thermal processing of coal.
Keywords: Grouting; Backfill; Backfills; Operation; Water; Waters; Coal; Process; Processes;
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