SCT Operations (Strata Control Technology)
  • Ken Mills

Welcome to SCT's own publications library which contains a collection of recent publications and other resources with reliable research about our technology. 

  • Development of the ANZI strain cell for three dimensional in situ stress determinations in deep exploration boreholes - Ken Mills - Jesse Puller

    The Australia, New Zealand Inflatable (ANZI) strain cell is an instrument used to determine the three dimensional in situ stresses with a high level of confidence, through the overcoring method of stress relief. The ANZI cell has been used for over three decades at numerous sites around the world, typically in short inclined boreholes drilled from underground mines. Technical advances during the last decade have seen the ANZI cell deployed and overcored in increasingly deeper surface exploration boreholes. Recent development of a downhole electronic data logger, a wireline enabled drilling system and an instrument deployment system has greatly simplified the process of obtaining three dimensional overcore measurements at depth. This paper describes the ANZI strain cell, its operation and recent development for overcoring in exploration boreholes. The capability to deploy ANZI strain cells in exploration boreholes represents a significant breakthrough for the design of underground mines and underground excavations generally. Being able to obtain high confidence measurements of the in situ stresses at the planning stage of any underground construction activity provides the opportunity to take advantage of these stresses. Not only does it become possible to protect key infrastructure by locating it away from areas of stress concentration, advantage can be taken of the major stresses to promote caving through appropriate design. Development-of-the-ANZI-strain-cell-for-three-dimensional-in-situ-stress-determinations-in-deep-exploration-boreholes-K.Mills-J.Puller-2017.pdf887 KB
  • Monitoring of Ground Movements at Sandy Creek Waterfall and Implications for Understanding the Mechanics of Valley Closure Movements - Ken Mills

    BHP Billiton-Illawarra Coal operates Dendrobium Mine in an area 10-20km west-northwest of Wollongong in New South Wales, Australia. The mine recently completed mining the Wongawilli Seam in Area 3A adjacent to a natural rock overhang known as Sandy Creek Waterfall. Illawarra Coal undertook to protect the waterfall and the section of Sandy Creek immediately upstream of the waterfall from the effects of adjacent longwall mining using an innovative management process and an array of very high resolution monitoring systems. This paper describes the results of the high resolution monitoring systems and the implications of these results for general understanding of natural and mining induced ground movements around valleys.

    The program of monitoring conducted at Sandy Creek Waterfall measured closure, stress changes, microseismic activity and shear movements adjacent to the waterfall during mining of Longwalls 6, 7 and 8. These measurements provided insights into the mechanics of both mining induced valley closure and natural erosion processes. At the completion of Longwall 8, the monitoring strategy and the management decisions based on this monitoring have been effective in protecting the overhanging sandstone rock structure that forms Sandy Creek Waterfall and the upstream section of Sandy Creek, as required by the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure.

    The measurements and observations made at Sandy Creek Waterfall and the interpretation placed on these results are considered to provide a coherent understanding of the relatively complex deformation mechanics at this site. These mechanics are consistent with measurements and observations made at other sites. Monitoring-of-Ground-Movements-at-Sandy-Creek-Waterfall-and-Implications-for-Understanding-the-Mechanics-of-Valley-Closure-Movements-K.Mills-2014.pdf3.4 MB
  • A Method of Determining Longwall Abutment Load Distributions for Roadway and Pillar Design - Ken Mills

    This paper describes a method to determine abutment loads on longwall chain pillars and adjacent roadways. The method is based on: observation of subsidence behaviour, field measurements of abutment load distributions, and considerations of total overburden load about one or more longwall panels.

    Surface subsidence data is used to deduce how far the overburden strata can transfer overburden weight and the total abutment load required to be distributed for any particular depth and longwall geometry. To be of practical use in roadway and pillar design, the shape of the abutment load distribution is also required as a function of distance from the goaf edge. Direct field measurement using high quality, three dimensional stress monitoring instruments is considered to provide the most reliable method of determining the magnitude and shape of the abutment load distribution at various stages of longwall mining.

    The abutment load distribution determined at any one site by field measurement can be scaled horizontally to account for changes in overburden depth and vertically to account for changes in total abutment load. Thus, within the limitations of extrapolating data from one site to another, the abutment load distribution can be estimated for different depth and longwall geometries. Pillar loading and the vertical stress acting on adjacent roadways can then be determined from the measured load distributions, or scaled versions thereof, for any particular stage of mining, longwall geometry or depth of overburden. A-Method-of-Determining-Longwall-Abutment-Load-Distributions-for-Roadway-and-Pillar-Design-K.Mills-2001.pdf1.2 MB
  • Impact of Longwall Width on Overburden Behaviour - Ken Mills

    The longwall panels at Clarence Colliery have experienced intermittent sudden weightings on the face that have caused some production delays. These weightings have typically been more severe on the wider faces. A program of surface subsidence and extensometer monitoring was undertaken above Longwalls 4 and 5 to investigate the behaviour of the overburden strata during longwall extraction on two faces of different widths.

    The monitoring indicated that a dome shaped zone of large downward movement extends up into the overburden strata to a height equal to about the panel width. A major strata unit between 50 m and 70 m above the coal seam influences the behaviour of the overburden strata and may be a factor in the observed sudden loading of longwall face supporLo;. Downward movement of this major unit appears to concentrate on vertical fractures. Increased loading on the face supports could then be expected. The downward movement of this major unit appears to be more significant in the overburden behaviour above the 200 m wide longwall compared to the 160 m wide longwall face Impact-of-longwall-width-on-overburden-behaviour-K.Mills.pdf1.8 MB
  • Subsidence Mechanisms about Longwall Panels - Ken Mills

    This paper presents a summary of the components of subsidence about longwall panels that have been observed and inferred from subsidence and other monitoring. The essentially independent components that make up the total subsidence observed on the surface are isolated and discussed. The combination of these components are shown to generate the range of profiles observed at surface level as subsidence.

    Monitoring of displacements within the overburden section provide another dimension to the understanding of subsidence behaviour. The concept of an arch shaped zone of large downward movement over individual longwall goafs is developed in the context of observations of subsidence movements. This concept provides a framework within which to better understand sag subsidence and elastic compression of chain pillars in multiple longwall panels at depth. Subsidence-Mechanisms-about-Longwall-Panels-K.Mills.pdf120 KB
Sign up for Research, Project and Product Updates