Peng compiling disastrous new book

“THIS is all scary stuff,” West Virginia University professor Syd Peng said of a new book he is penning on some of the worst roof falls and ground control failures in North American mines.

Donna Schmidt

Peng, who spoke with International Longwall News late last week, is still compiling photographs from his own collection of these incidents for Ground Control Failure: A Pictorial View; which he is aiming for a release date in July 2007. The book will be self-published just like his other recent release, Longwall Mining: Second Edition, earlier this year.

In his many years of experience, Peng estimated he has taken upwards of 9000 images from these failures at underground operations – of which many, he said, are no longer producing, but a few of which are still active.

However, Peng said no mine operation names, locations or other identifying information will be used in the book, which is being organised by type and in case study form. He will only tell readers the seam name from which the operation was extracting at the time of the failure.

The hardback book, he said, will include about 50 of the more than 100 historical incidents when all is said and done, and while he’s still hard at work putting the book together, he has a clear view of what it will include.

Some chapters already completed include “Massive Pillar Failure”, “Massive Roof Fall”, “Cutter”, “Multiple Seam Interaction”, “Floor Heave” and “Roof Bolt Failure”, each of which includes photos which every mine hopes they’ll never have to take within their own walls.

The next portion of the book he’ll be compiling, he said, will encompass case studies that all include longwall operations, including longwall collapse. Other planned chapters include gate road stability and longwall roof falls.

Peng said he has “just about every major coal seam” in photograph form in his image archives and that every one has a story to tell. “It’s [all about] seeing how the roof works from a roof fall.”

Check out American Longwall Magazine in 2007 for more information about Peng’s book, release information, and how the work unfolds.