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Conference Paper

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This conference paper was originally published as Hoelle, J, Exploration for Results: Moura Coal Mine, in Aziz, N (ed), Coal 2004: Coal Operators' Conference, University of Wollongong & the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 2004, 85-89.


Moura Coal Mine operates 3 draglines, 2 excavators, and 2 highwall mining systems producing 6.5 million tons per annum for 3 products from 7 different seams and operates a commercial seam gas recovery operation - with active mining spread over 40 kilometers of strike length and dips up to 20-degrees. To minimize the impact of geological-geotechnical problems, the exploration program has to be thorough and comprehensive since the data may be used for several different types of operations. For open cut mining, strength data is obtained on overburden and floor strata for low wall stability design. Strength information of the overburden strata and fracture data are used in the design of pre-split and overburden shots and highwall stability analysis. Successful highwall mining requires geotechnical data for analysis for roof, pillar and floor stability analysis. Once mining commences the feedback on the response of strata to mining is hazy; adequate information is required to lessen the possibility of unpleasant surprises. The impact of seam gas content on highwall mining production is analyzed using routine seam gas sampling. Samples of coal seams are obtained routinely for seam gas data for the seam gas operation and highwall mining.

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