Illinois basin

Coal Mine Stability Concerns Due to Slurry Backfilling

Nov 16,19

Surface disposal is used for fine coal refuse by many mining industries as a traditional method. However, the surface disposing causes many environmental issues including contamination of groundwater and fields. One of the effective alternatives for surface disposal would be slurry backfilling which allows injection of fine coal refuse into void area of abandoned room-and-pillar coal mines. Due to the vast mined area in the US, slurry backfilling method has become more common approach for coal waste disposal than surface disposal. Decreasing environmental and health issues and increasing sustainability is one of the most important advantages of slurry backfilling. On the other hand, due to the existence of underground coal in the levels deeper than groundwater aquifers, the disposal material would not jeopardize environmental aspects of water resources. Furthermore, as coal seams in most of the underground mines are nearly flat strata, slurry backfilling would not cause leakage problem for mining industries in most cases. One of the typical lithologies of coal seams consists of weak underclay stratum beneath the coal seam. The ‎immediate weak underclay causes frequent floor instability problems in many underground mines specifically in Illinois underground coal mine regions... ‎

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