Ground Control in Mining conference

REPORT on the 20th International Conference on Ground Control in Mining, held August 7-9 in Morgantown, West Virginia. By Christopher Mark.*
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Staff Reporter

Buoyed by optimistic coal markets, the conference was attended by a record 240 participants from nine coal producing countries. A total of nearly 50 papers were presented during the three days, covering such topics as:

- Hydraulic fracturing of massive sandstone for roof control at Consol's Enlow Fork mine

- New methods for testing roof and cable bolts

- Applications of roof rating systems to ground control

- Studies of mining-generated seismicity

- Sizing of final stumps for pillar extraction

- Ground control considerations when implementing continuous miner systems

- New technology for longwall recovery

Australian research was represented by papers by UNSW (Vasundra and Hebblewhite), CSIRO (Kelly), and Seedsman Geotechnics.

(See the related story on Kelly’s paper.)

The theme of the conference was the 20th anniversary, and looking back over two decades of advances in the field of ground control. The conference has provided a link between research and practitioners, and has provided a forum for sharing ideas between mine operators, consultants, regulators, equipment manufacturers, and other professionals concerned with ground control.

The conference banquet honoured Professor Syd Peng of West Virginia University, the founder and chairman of the conference. Plans were also laid to maintain liaison between the conference and the newly formed Australasian Mining Rock Mechanics Society (AMRMS). The first Australasian Ground Control Conference is planned for September 2002.

* Chris Mark is rock mechanics section chief, NIOSH Pittsburgh Research Laboratory .