Determining coal seam thickness with greater accuracy

In coal mining, one of the goals is to produce coal with as much energy content as possible. This is established by strategically optimizing extraction of varying quality of coal in the logistical chain. The more information that miners have in advance regarding the quality of coals seams, the better the extraction will take place. This information includes depth, thickness and grade of coal seams, such that better decisions downstream can be made. Technical and economic feasibility studies and business cases are evaluated based on the coal seam continuity, thickness, structure, quality and depth.

T&A Survey’s 3D Borehole Radar (3D BHR) can be applied in vertical and horizontal drillings into the ore bodies to detect transitions between mineralized and unmineralized rock, disturbed and undisturbed material and to detect cavities, faults and fractures. The BHR operates on the basis of GPR technology to detect contrasts and structure of the coal seams. Recent improvements in mining procedures have been to automate measurements by integrating the GPR device into a coal scoop or bucket wheel of a mining machine. This system is mounted on the back of a bucket on a wheel and measures and transmits GPR signal in realtime from the mining face to a monitoring station. There, the data is processed in realtime and novel interface detection algorithms analyze the data for coal interfaces.

Another possibility is having the BHR tool available in sites ahead of the mining machines and detecting coal seams well before the mining machine location. One can think of the 3D BHR tool for this task, inserted in drilled holes some distance away from the mining face into the coal seams. With proper data analysis, 3D images of the coal-interfaces ahead are made on which the approaching coal seams can be judged in quality.

Please contact T&A to learn more about our 3D Borehole Radar innovative technology and how it might fit with your current suite of investigatory tools.