The conference was attended by 235 participants from coal producing countries USA, Australia, UK, Canada, Germany, South Africa and China.
Conference organisers said a highlight was two presentations by Winton Gale from Australian consulting company Strata Control Technology. Gale co-authored a report on an international collaborative project involving NIOSH, SCT and RAG Coal’s Emerald Mine.
The project was conducted to investigate ground behaviour, reinforcement performance, and stress redistribution in a coal mine entry subjected to a severe horizontal stress concentration. The paper focused on the computer simulation that was undertaken to provide more insight into the roof behaviour and rock bolt interaction during mining.
Gale also presented a paper on the use of computer simulation in modelling longwall caving mechanics, as applied in Australian coal mines.
The keynote address was given by Dr Lew Wade, associate director of NIOSH. Wade, who is retiring at the end of the year, looked back over his 35 years of involvement in ground control.