Pillar Extraction in Thick Coal at Canmore, Alberta, on Gradients Between 5 and 30 Degrees
This article describes the methods used for pillar extraction in the Wilson Seam at Canmore Mines, Alberta. The Wilson Seam is extremely gassy and varies in thickness between 7 and 30 ft, with an average of 12 ft. The gradient varies from 5 to 30 degrees, with an average of 15 degrees. The seam was developed using Lee Norse miners to form pillars which the company intended to extract using the same machines. Before pillar extraction commenced, an abandoned and inaccessible mine 160 ft above the Wilson had to be drained of 360 million gallons of water. When this was done pillar extraction commenced. Conditions in the mine slowly deteriorated and after 6 months the decision to withdraw the continuous miners was taken. Slusher hoists were installed to replace the continuous miners, with the result t hat roof conditions and safety steadily improved.
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