Bleeder entries are critically important to longwall mining for the moving of supplies and miners as well as the dilution of mine air contaminants and must stay open for many years. In this study, standing supports in moderate cover bleeder entries were observed, numerically modeled and instrumented by researchers at the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The measurements of the installed borehole pressure cells (BPCs), standing support load cells and convergence meters, and roof extensometers are presented in addition to the numerical modeling results and visual observations made by the NIOSH researchers in the bleeder entries. The results include the effects of multiple panels being extracted in close proximity to the instrumented site as well as over one and a half years of aging. As expected, standing supports closer to the longwall gob showed the greatest load and convergence. The roof sag appeared generally independent of the proximity to the longwall gob. The BPC readings were driven by both the proximity to the gob and the depth into the pillar. The results of this study demonstrated that the entry roof can respond independently of the pillar and standing support loading. In addition, the rear abutment stress experienced by this bleeder entry design was minimal. The closer the mine development, pillar or supports are to the gob, the greater the applied load due to rear abutment stress.
Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (2021) 38:885–896, https://doi.org/10.1007/s42461-020-00369-5