Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Fergusson, DA, Coal Seam Modelling and Mine Plalnning Using Results of a 3D Seismic Reflection Survey - An Example from Huntly Coalfield, New Zealand, in Aziz, N (ed), Coal 1998: Coal Operators' Conference, University of Wollongong & the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 1998, 111-125.


Geological hazards such as faulting, basement ridges, and zones of "thin" « 6m) coal have a major impact on mining economics of underground operations at Huntly Coalfield. Experience has shown that drillhole-based investigations do not yield sufficiently detailed models of the coal seam to allow management of the planning risks associated with these hazards. Consequently, operational performance is affected by unplanned costs associated with lower productivity , loss of coal reserves, and expensive strata control remedies in problematic ground conditions. Huntly Coalfield is a challenging environment for acquisition of good quality seismic reflection data due to the very thick (l0-85m) weathering layer. Since 1994, successful acquisition of 2D and 3D data has bef:n achieved through a combination of careful testing of technical parameters and experimental trials prior to committing to production recording. High resolution seismic reflection (HRSR) is proving to be an investigations technique which results in accurate and reliable models of the coal seam and associated structures such as normal faults and paleo-topography of the surface on which the coal seam rests. The HRSR technique has been applied and developed in the Okowhao Sector where Huntly East Mine is developing and extracting coal reserves. Results of a recent 3D survey demonstrate that this technique is capable of revolutionising risk management in mine planning for underground mines in structurally complicated coal deposits.