Coal Age

JUN 2018

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June 2018 15 news continued ahead of the shearer and from longwall gob. "The ability to ac- curately collect, record, and analyze methane concentrations at multiple locations will immediately improve mine safety and will ultimately lead to better models and design methods to prevent methane and dust explosions," Johnson said. The second team, led by Ihsan Berk Tulu, assistant pro- fessor of mining engineering, will look at ways to reduce ground control-related injuries and fatalities in the mining industry by de- veloping a practical, mechanics-based approach to pillar design. The research team, which includes Brijes Mishra, associate professor of mining engineering, and graduate research assistant, Deniz Tuncay, will work to develop a geology-based laminated overburden model. "The recent Analysis of Retreat Mining Pillar Stability LaMod- el program — or ARMPS-LAM — which was developed at WVU, was an initial step toward incorporating mechanistic overbur- den behavior into pillar design," said Tulu. "We will build upon previous WVU research and incorporate the specific geology and structural competence of the overburden and the in-situ horizon- tal stresses into the mechanical response of the overburden." Tulu noted that this new mechanistic mode will be an im- portant step toward reducing the risk factors for the underground mine workers by further understanding the role of the overbur- den mechanics in pillar design, thereby improving mine stability. Ground control-related incidents are still one of the leading in- jury and fatality reasons in underground coal mines. According to statistics from the MSHA, there were 35,228 underground coal mine workers in 2015 working either in a longwall or retreat room-and-pillar mine. Between 2011 and 2015, there were 1,037 nonfatal lost-time ground control-related injuries and from 2014 to 2017, 20% of the all the fatalities were ground-control related. The Alpha Foundation for the Improvement of Mine Safety and Health is a private foundation with the mission to improve mine safety and health through funding research and develop- ment projects at qualified academic institutions and other not- for-profit organizations. NMA Files Brief Opposing Washington's Decision to Deny Permits for Millennium Bulk Terminal The National Mining Association (NMA) recently filed an amicus brief supporting Lighthouse Resources Inc.'s challenge to the state of Washington's denial of permits required to build the Millennium Bulk Terminal. Lighthouse's suit alleged that efforts by Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee and members of his administration to block coal mined in Wyoming, Montana and other western states from being exported through a terminal in Washington state, is in violation of the U.S. Constitution's Commerce Clause and other federal statutes. "Washington state's actions are an illegal effort to interfere and obstruct interstate and foreign commerce of an essential en- ergy commodity, in violation of the commerce clause," said Hal Quinn, NMA president and CEO. "If states are ultimately given a veto over commodities that can be traded from the U.S., it would open the floodgates for states located at strategic export locations to disrupt national and international trade policies."

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