In response to Mr. Murray’s recent letter to the editor of Mining Engineering (ME, Aug, 25) about my paper concerning barrier pillar mining at the Crandall Canyon Mine (ME, Aug, 2015 pp 21), I was disappointed at the lack of objectivity in his remarks about the paper. Mr. Murray has a wealth of experience in underground coal mining that I respect and admire. However, I doubt that he is a qualified critic of numerical modeling in rock mechanics. In my view, until mistakes are recognized, analyzed and lessons learned, they are likely to be repeated. Hence, it is important to do analyses of strata mechanics, especially of catastrophic, wide area failures. In this regard, my paper presents new, three-dimensional results that are in accord with mine measurements. Those results are neither “old”, “stale” or “theoretical.” I would point out that the paper had been through SME’s peer review process and approved for publication by three respected professionals. The paper concludes with the need to educate engineers using computer programs for ground control to select the right tool for the job. Why is this conclusion objectionable, a “disservice?” I’ll let the readers of ME decide for themselves.
Emeritus Professor of Mining Engineering
Department of Mining Engineering
University of Utah