Coal Mining and Mine Gas Risk Assessment

Introduction:

In an area of extensive historical mining, a detailed Coal Mining Risk Assessment by ESP allowed the identification of a suitable development location by demonstrating the absence of shallow mine workings in a selected area of the site.

Additional investment in the investigation phase avoided significant remediation costs to mitigate potential subsidence risks and allowed the development to proceed in accordance with its desired programme to the Client’s satisfaction.

Services Provided:
- Detailed Coal Mining Risk Assessment
- Mine gas risk assessment
- Collation of historical and recent investigation findings
- Rotary borehole drilling investigation with coring of the 9ft seam
- Assessment proving a low subsidence risk and enable development

Details:

Economically viable and accessible coal seams were identified beneath the study site at depth of less than 40m. The 9ft coal seam (indicated to be around 2m to 5m thick where disturbed) was shown on geological maps to crop out close to the northeast boundary of the site. This seam is underlain by the Bute and a series of other seams which are indicated to dip beneath the site. We implemented a Coal Mining and Mine Gas Risk Assessment to understand development hazards and risks.

Extensive mining of the 9ft coal seam and others has occurred in the general area with many old levels indicated to the north/northwest accessing the seam. A large opencast is also present to the northwest.

No recorded workings were identified beneath the study site in the 9ft, however investigation of the originally proposed development area identified potential evidence of mining at multiple depths and a high risk from subsidence.

Following project team discussion and review of all available information, an alternate location was explored and 11 boreholes constructed on an approximate 6 to 8m grid spacing did not encounter indications of mine workings within the 9ft or a shallower and thinner identified seam e.g. broken ground, voiding, loss of flush or significant water strikes.

Investigation included targeted coring of the seam and roof rock, to ensure that coal was intact (not mined).

 

Through detailed desk-based and intrusive investigation works, our Coal Mining and Mine Gas Risk Assessment was able to conclude a low risk from mining/subsidence and recommended standard foundation reinforcement to limit any residual risks.

 

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