Mining Methods & Design Simulation
Mining Methods & Design Simulation

HoRG :   Dr. Satyendra Kumar Singh


Please put your geotechnical problems aside for us. This research group is here to provide solutions after making you understand the science behind the conceptual approach in each case with savour. The group has 8 Group-IV scientists (5 PhDs and 3 M. Techs), who have been proving their mantle not only in problem-solving after due understanding of the assorted geotechnical problems, but are also involved in training, knowledge-dissemination related to Feasible mining methods; Rock mechanics & Ground control; Caving & Rib mechanics; Subsidence engineering; Strata evaluation & management with the help of geotechnical instruments; Numerical simulation of mine workings & Support design. The scientists are assisted by 2 well-qualified and experienced Group-III staff and 2 diligent and ready-to-work Group-I staff. The group exude confidence in solving geotechnical problems encountered by the mine operators on a targeted time-frame. As a usual practice, comprehensive understanding of the mining-related problem(s) is first undertaken after visit(s) to the study-site and discussion with the mine operators/ the officers concerned about the research approach in each case along with the impacts of the proposed study and likely benefits to the industry as a whole and the mine in particular.

Two sections, namely, (a) Mining Methods and (b) Mine Design Simulation, are well-ensconced in this research group. 

Section 1: Mining Methods


a.       Feasibility study and on-site implementations of various coal mining methods, including high-production ones e.g. with deployment of continuous miners (CM) and accessories.

b.      Design of supports-natural (ribs/sills, pillars/remnants etc.) as well as artificial (roof bolts, mobile supports and other conventional supports), especially during underground extraction and subsequent validation with emphasis on underground coal mining.

c.       Aspects of Rock mechanics, Subsidence & Mining engineering, Caving & Rib mechanics and Ground control, including their impact-assessments on methods of mining and requisite modifications.

d.      Design of pillars and arrays of pillars for different mining methods including chain-pillars/barrier pillars design for sectionalization, subsidence control or other purposes.

e.       Study and advice related to strata evaluation and management for better safety and ground control outcomes.

f.       R&D back-up for safe production and enhanced recovery, especially below important sub-surface (overlying goaves, developed workings, water-bodies, aquifers) and surface properties (human settlements, forest land, Aerotropolis etc.) without any adverse subsidence-related impacts on them.

g.      Stability analysis of an underground mining excavation with the help of empirical and numerical modelling approaches.

h.      Inter-disciplinary and/or collaborative approach in dealing with geo-technical issues related to a mining proposition, sometimes inter-institutional and trans-disciplinary in nature.

i.        Retrospective analysis of various mine-accidents, as done in past assisting the constituted enquiry committee.

j.        Skill development and knowledge dissemination with special emphasis on monitoring and analysis of strata control parameters and strata management in high-production method of mining e.g. with deployment of continuous miner and accessories during development and extraction.

Important achievements

The technical reports (about 200 in numbers) related to externally-funded projects and also some notables (out of total: 10 no.) Grant-in-aid projects mentioned below could help in generating a new ideas/methods of mining and/or support for better ground control, safety, coal recovery and production and therefore cited/referred by the mine operators, the inspectorates, the trainers and academician extensively.

1.      A comprehensive approach for a coal or non-coal deposits, consists of field-observations, laboratory and site evaluation for physico-mechanical properties of parametric analysis, numerical modelling and engineering judgements with an aim to `zero in’ on a viable, safe and feasible mining methodology and support design based on stability-analysis in each case.

2.      The design-approaches, (predictive) formulations and safe-limits were developed by the department are being gainfully used by a mine-operators, experts, inspectorates (Directorate General of Mines Safety) and academia. Most of the studies were implemented, depending on the production programme by the mine operators and then subsequently validation made by the department regarding methods of development, extraction and support in different (many times complex) geo-mining situations  and stability analysis for better safety & economy

3.      It was possible to extract coal safely below surface and sub-surface properties like buildings, forest, water-bodies, aquifers, waterlogged workings/ goaves etc. These important properties could be protected, as well as the extraction/recovery of coal belowground was optimized/ maximized in definite term.

4.      In underground coal mining, the increasing width and/or height of gallery were implemented with mass production technology using continuous miner and accessories, for example, Jhanjra colliery, ECL the first such application in Ranigunj coalfields (RCF) and also at many locales in SECL, WCL, e.g. at Vijay West, Haldibari, Churcha at SECL; Tandsi & Kumbharkhani at WCL; Sarpi at ECL. The mine could set a production record in India.

Completed Grant-in-Aid Projects (GAP)

(i)     Development of support guidelines for depillaring panels in Indian coal mines

(ii)   Development of suitable subsidence prediction model for multi-seam working

(iii) Development of suitable subsidence prediction model for single seam working in SECL, taking into consideration about the anomalous subsidence behavior found during earlier GAP “Subsidence subsidence in Mining Areas”.

(iv) Stability of parting between coal pillar workings in level contiguous seam during depillaring

Note: All the above 5 projects are funded by Ministry of Coal S & T Grant, Govt. of India

(v)   Caving mechanics and related geo-technical issues associated with coal extraction beneath massive roof strata, the HoRG as one of the Principal Investigator, included two underground case-studies validation with instrumentations in Australia with relevance to Indian Mining Situations: funded by Australian Research Council (ARC) -Strategic partnership with Industry Research and Training (SPIRT) and as a part of Ph.D. research programme at University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

(vi) Goaf encroachment in working areas, Australia- a project from Joint Coal Board, Australia, the HoRG as one of the Principal Investigator, included the first application of bolted-breakerlines in an Australian mines- now being designed by the members of the section and implemented at Indian mine-sites.

Section 2: Mine Design Simulation


Projects Related with Coal Mines:

1. Design of CM panels, its extraction pattern with support system and strata monitoring

2. Design of development and depillaring including strata monitoring of caving panels of CIL/SCCL/SAIL/TISCO and private mines.

3. Design of development and depillaring for steeply inclined mines with caving for CIL/SCCL/SAIL/TISCO and private mines.

4. Design of partial extraction methods to protect the surface and sub surface structures / properties without stowing.

5. Shaft pillar design for coal mines.

6. 2D & 3D Numerical modeling for design of mining methods, stability assessment and support design of coal mines.

Projects Related with Metalliferous Mines

1. 2D & 3D Numerical modeling for design of mining methods, stability assessment and support design Metalliferous mines.

2. All types of underground rock mechanics problems for Metalliferous mines (HZL, Vedanta, HCL, MOIL, UCIL, Chromite mines, Mica Mines, etc) related to:

  1. Design and stability assessment of shaft and decline.
  2. Design of support system for decline and other drivages used for mining purposes.
  3. Design and stability analysis of crown pillar, sill pillar, rib pillars, stope back.
  4. Design of various stoping methods with paste fill, CRF (Cemented Rock Fill) and RF under different geo-mining conditions.
  5. Design of mining methods below open pit in metalliferous mines.
  6. Ground Control Management Plan and Geotechnical monitoring of metalliferous mines.

Important achievements

  1. Development of "Pillar strength equation for underground coal mines",  "Area of main fall prediction equation" during depillaring of Bord & Pillar workings under Indian Geo-mining condition.
  1. Development of "Rock failure criteria for stability analysis of rock mass"
  1. Development of "Guidelines for support design at the depillaring faces in developed Bord & Pillar workings in Indian Coal Mines".
  1. Development of "Guidelines for designing of support system for parting stability between contiguous seam workings during development and depillaring in Indian Coal Mines".
  1. Development of "Pillar strength equation in the presence of non-coal bands in coal seams for underground coal mines "
  1. Design of special method of mining such as "Goaf Pillar Method of Mining", "Non-effective Width Method of Mining", and "Wide Stall Method of Mining" for Bord & Pillar workings below surface or sub- surface structures.
  1.  "Pillar design and extraction methodology for Multi-seam Workings and Steeply Incline coal mines".
  1. Expertise in the design of extraction methodology for developed/virgin  "Bord & Pillar Workings" in underground coal mines using "Mass Production Technology" such as Continuous Miner Technology, Shortwall Mining and Blasting Gallery Method.

NameDesignationEmail & phonePhoto
Head of the Research Group
Dr. S. K. Singh

Chief Scientist & Head of the Mining Methods E-mail : satyendraksingh[at]cimfr[dot]nic[dot]in, satyendraksingh[at]yahoo[dot]com
Phone : +91-326-226135 (O), 09431125005 (M)
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Section 1: Mining Methods
Dr. Lalan Kumar

Principal Scientist
Research Group: Mining Methods & Design Simulation
E-mail : dr_lalan[at]cimfr[dot]nic[dot]in, lalan_lit[at]yahoo[dot]com
Phone : +91-326-2296190 (R)
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Mr. A. P. Singh

Principal Scientist E-mail : apsingh[at]cimfr[dot]nic[dot]in, apsingh_bhu[at]yahoo[dot]com
Phone : Extn: 4232 (O), 09431124272 (O)
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Mr. R. Bhattacharjee

Sr. Tech.Officer(1) E-mail : rana_b[at]cimfr[dot]nic[dot]in, rbjeein[at]yahoo[dot]co[dot]in
Phone : +91-9431723528 (M)
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Mr. Debabrata Sikdar Lab Assistant E-mail : dsikdarcimfr[at]rediffmail[dot]com
Phone : +91-9031944227 (M)
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Section 2: Mine Design Simulation
Dr. P. K. Mondal

Sr. Principal Scientist & HOS E-mail : pkmandal[at]cimfr[dot]nic[dot]in, pkmandal[at]gmail[dot]com
Phone : +91-9431727200 (O)
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Dr. Raghvenra Singh

Sr. Principal Scientist E-mail : drraghwendra[at]cimfr[dot]nic[dot]in, ragh62_singh[at]yahoo[dot]co[dot]in
Phone : +91-9431723636
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Mr. Arka Jyoti Das

Scientist E-mail : arkajyoti19[at]gmail[dot]com / ajdas[at]cimfr[dot]res[dot]in
Phone : +91-8902461329 (M)
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Mr. Subhashish Tewari

Sr. Tech. Officer(1) E-mail : tewari_s[at]yahoo[dot]com
Phone : +91-9431158865 (M)
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Mr. Sajal Kr. Das

Sr. Technician (1) E-mail : sajaldas62[at]yahoo[dot]com
Phone : +91-9431723367 (M)
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10 Results
Sl. No.A brief description of Facilities/ Equipment/Tools/software with photos
Section 1: Mining Methods

Block safety factor contours (1.0 and less) of overlying formation and adjoining areas during extraction of third rows of pillars (Churcha Colliery, SECL) with deployment of Continuous Miner


Depillaring of panels P9 & P12 (partial) and panel P13 (with caving) [Sarpi Colliery, ECL] with deployment of Continuous Miner


Dimensional details of possible method of depillaring of a pillar by continuous miner (Vijay West u/g mine, SECL)


Design of Support System for Kumberkhani mine, Wani Area, WCL after assessing make of water by a comprehensive hydrogeological study 


GIS-based Management Information System  for Drinking Water under Sector Reform Pilot Project at Dhanbad 


CIMFR Physical Optical Fiber Cable Layout

Section 2: Mine Design Simulation

FLAC3D and FLAC2D are numerical modeling codes for advanced geotechnical analysis of soil, rock, and structural support in three and two dimensions. FLAC3D and 2D are used in analysis, testing, and design by geotechnical, civil, and mining engineers. It is designed to accommodate any kind of geotechnical engineering project where continuum analysis is necessary


3DEC is a numerical modeling code for advanced geotechnical analysis of soil, rock, and structural support in three dimensions. 3DEC simulates the response of discontinuous media (such as jointed rock) that is subject to either static or dynamic loading.

Sl. No.NameSponsorDurationObjectiveMajor output(if any)
Section 1: Mining Methods
1Design of Pillars for Different Mining Methods in Deep Coal Mine WorkingsGrant-in Aid project in collaboration with ISMSubmitted
2To Find a Methodology of Safe Liquidation in Thick Seams of Raniganj Coalfields: Design, Development & Show-casing Demonstrative Trials at Khottadih Colliery, ECLGrant-in Aid project in collaboration with ECL21.08.2014 - 19.08.2016

Design and develop methodology of safe liquidation in thick seams of Raniganj coalfields

Tandem approach of coal extraction along with  ventilation control has been used which have resulted in increased coal production form the panel with minimal strata control issues within the incubation period of coal seam

3Evaluation of roof rock behavior for depillaring T9 panel at Tandsi ¾ Incline, Kanhan Area, Western Coalfields LimitedWCL11.02.14-10.02.15

Evaluation of roof rock behaviour for depillaring T9 panel at Tandsi 3&4 incline, with analysis of data for change of stress, deformation and observations

4Scientific study for cavability aspect of massive Deccan trap roof formation and installation of suitable geotechnical instruments at Mauri Mine, Kanhan AreaWCL13.02.15-11.02.17

Design of layout of the panels, height of extraction, barrier pillars and method of induced blasting to ensure the complete filing of the goaf, study for cavability aspect of massive Deccan trap roof formation at Seam-I at Maori Incline, Mohan colliery, Isolation of vast areas of standing goaves in eastern and western part of the Incline in a manner to obviate any dynamic/catastrophic failure of the roof rocks

The drill holes are to be made by WCL and then only the study will start

5Extraction strategy in 3 workable seams, namely XIV seam (topmost), XIII seam and XII seam at Lohapatti underground mine, BCCLBCCL19.02.15-18.10.15

advice on the proposed method of development and extraction as not to have no adverse subsidence impact on the surface properties and land over the seams

The subsidence impact assessment done by the department meeting the objective was accepted by BCCL Board. The discussion on draft report is to take place before submitting final report.

6Advice on extraction of developed pillars in 124 LW panel of Churcha (RO) Mine, SECL with continuous Miner deployment and support designSECL19.02.15-18.02.16
7Scientific study for safe depillaring in R-VI seam with the deployment of Continuous Miner: Increase in height and width of extraction and related mining induced stressesECL10.03.15-09.09.15

Advice for depillaring of R-VI seam with deployment of continuous miner with increased height and width of extraction at Khottadih Colliery, ECL

The drill holes are to be made by ECL and then only the study will start

8Scientific study for method of working and sequence of extraction of existing developed and virgin section of HR seam at Hirakhand Bundiya Mine, Orient Area, MCLMCL16.03.15-14.03.16

The existing HR seam of Hirakhand Bundiya mine has 5 sections, where MCL has acquired surface land and there are no surface properties to be protected from mining subsidence. To advice on method of working and sequence of extraction. the method of development is to be advised in virgin areas. To decide parting stability among the sections of the seam and to suggest a suitable method of development and simultaneous contiguous depillaring

The drill holes are to be made by MCL and then only the study will start

9Advice on selection of a suitable mining method for all workable seams at Thesgora underground mine, Pench Area, WCLWCL19.03.15-17.12.15
10Advice on design of stooks, slices and ribs in the proposed CM Panel in R-VII Seam, Sarpi Project of Bankola area for the extraction of developed pillars with deployment of CM, using 3D numerical modelling and related rib- mechanicsECL19.03.15-17.03.16
11Scientific study for strata behaviour evaluation and strata management in 124LE panel of East Block of Churcha (RO) mine with Continuous Miner deployment.SECL05.05.15-05.05.18
12Scientific study for caving behavior of Adriyala LW Panel No. 1 of Adriyala project Area, SCCL by installing the peizometer for continuous monitoring at Adriyala LW Panel, SCCL (Part B).SCCL21.05.15-19.05.17

Site selection for a peizometric well and observation borewells (total three) and surface water bodies/drainage identification in investigation area, Collection of geological information at the site and nearby area, Conducting long duration Pumping tests at one borewell, 

13Advice for development of Haldibari underground mine with deployment of Continuous Miner (CM) in Hasdeo area of M/s SECL (C.G.).SECL21.7.15-20.7.16
14Advice for extraction of developed pillars by the Continuous Miner in the proposed CM Sub Panels-14, 15 & 16 in R-VII Seam of Sarpi Project, SSPur Colliery, Bankola Area, ECLECL21.3.16-20.3.17
15Advice for possible method of coal extraction in Dishergarh seam (R-IV) at Chinakuri Mine No. 1., ECLECL25.03.16-24.03.17
16Scientific study for strata evaluation including convergence, load on support with a suite of geotechnical instruments in 124LW CM panel at Churcha RO, SECL.SECL30.3.16-29.3.18
17Advice on caving characteristics and ground movement behaviour in 124LW panel with Continuous Miner deployment at Churcha RO, SECLSECL30.3.16-29.3.17
18Advice to assess and design the barrier thickness between the running Gopinathpur O/C working and Pusai & Khoodia river nearby with suitable stability aspects31.3.16-29.9.16
Section 2: Mine Design Simulation
1Development of a technology for optimal extraction of locked-up coal from underground mines using artificial pillars (a CSIR 12th FYP network project) (ESC 0105)CSIRFrom September 2012 to March 2017

Numerical modelling and stability analysis, method of work, laboratory scale demonstration.

Extraction methodology by erecting artificial pillar has been designed for locked-up coal 

2Development of suitable design methodology for extraction of coal at depth (>300m) for Indian Geo-mining condition (a CSIR 12th FYP network project) (ESC 0303) CSIRFrom April 2013 to March 2017

Numerical simulation of coal pillar extraction using Continuous Miner technology

Methodology for extraction and support system for coal seams lying more than 300 m depth of cover 

3Robotics and Micro Machines, (a CSIR 12th FYP network project) (ESC 0112)CSIRFrom May 2013 to March 2017

Development of a system for early detection of fire including real time monitoring of fire associated gases for underground coal mines.

Development of an online gas monitoring system

4Development of tele-robotics and remote operation technology for underground coal mines. (GAP/MT/MOC/96/2012-13)Ministry of Coal, Govt. of India).October 2012 to October 2016

Development of wireless technology for monitoring of roof/strata condition

Development of wireless module and integration of vibrating wire type geotechnical sensors with wireless module

5Assessment and advice on strata behaviour during extraction of develop pillars in CMP-8 panel at VK-7 Incline, SCCL. (SSP/53/2015-16).SCCLFrom 13/7/2015 to 11/1/2017

Instrumentation plan prepare and strata monitoring during extraction of pillars in CMP 8 panel

Based on scientific study and day to day monitoring of the panel, it has been completed successfully. 

6Monitoring of strata behaviour under Dhanbad-Chandrapura Railway line (X) seam, Gopal gareria fire area, at Sendra Bansjora Colliery, Sijua area, BCCL. (SSP/55/2015-16).BCCLFrom 13/8/2015 to 03/8/2016

Scientific study for monitoring the subsidence of different strata lying below Dhanbad - Chandrapura Railway line over 10 seam fire affected area at Gopal Gareria section of Sendra Bansjora colliery

Based on subsidence monitoring of different strata and on surface, no movement of  strata was observed, found rail track unaffected due fire and safe for running the rail.

7Instrumentation plan and strata monitoring during extraction of pillars in the proposed BG U-S panel using blasting gallery method at 21 Incline, Yellandu Area, SCCL. (SSP/87/2015-16)SCCLFrom January 2016 to April 2017

Instrumentation plan prepare and strata monitoring during extraction of pillars proposed BG U & S panels using Blasting Gallery method

8Instrumentation plan and strata monitoring during extraction of pillars in the proposed CNP-9 panel, [sub panels CMP-9A(1) and CMP-9A (2)] using continuous miner technology at VK-7 Incline, Kothagudem area, SCCL. (SSP/88/2015-16)SCCLFrom January 2016 to June 2017

Instrumentation plan prepare and strata monitoring during extraction of pillars in CMP 9 panel

Strata monit-oring was done throughout the panel extract-ion period and finally success-ful extraction was completed with > 80% coal recovery

9Geotechnical monitoring of u/g working stability of Rampura Agucha Mine of M/S HZL. ( SSP/127/16-17)HZLMarch 2016- Feb 2017

Geotechnical monitoring of u/g working stability at Rampura Agucha Mines.

Monitoring of the roadways stability is continued

10Scientific study for design of a suitable method for systematic liquidation of already developed contiguous working and further developing of Orient Colliery, Mine No. 3 Orient area , MCL. (CNP/4272/2015-16)MCLFrom 21/9/2015 to 25/6/2016

Scientific study for design of suitable method of extraction of already developed contiguous seam workings and further developing workings.

From scientific study was conducted for all the existing seams in the area and finally wide stall method of mining was recommended for upper seam to protect the surface.

11Scientific study for design of continuous miner panel in No. 2 seam for odd patches of Salarjung seam of Shantikhani Mandamari area, SCCL. (CNP/4322/2015-16)SCCLFrom January 2016 to September 2016

Scientific study  for design of development of  Continuous Miner panels and design of suitable extraction of Continuous Miner  

Report has been prepared and draft copy is under review.

12Scientific study for designing method of extractions, support system and strata monitoring during extraction in the proposed BG U-S panels at 21 Incline, Yellandu Area, SCCL. (CNP/4324/2015- 16)SCCLFrom January 2016 to September 2016

Scientific study for design of extraction by Blasting Gallery method in the proposed U and S Panels.  

Scientific study has already been completed and monitoring work is going on.

13Scientific study for feasibility of extraction of developed pillars in the proposed CNP-9 panel, [sub panels CMP-9A(1) and CMP-9A (2)] in King Seam using CM technology at VK-7 Incline, SCCL, (CNP/4325/2015-16)SCCLFrom January 2016 to August 2016

Scientific study on the feasibility of suitable extraction of CMP 9 panel developed Pillars in king seam below caved LW panels and caved goaf of top seam at VK-7 Incline.

Scientific study has been completed and pattern of extraction has been recommended to implement in the mine.

14Scientific study to examine the feasibility of extraction of coal in 1 seam and 2 seam below Bhupalpalli village having surface structure and residential buildings and give the suitable method of extraction, support design at KTK-2 Incline, Bhulpalli area,SCCL (CNP/4358/2015-16)SCCLFrom March 2016 to January 2017

To examine the feasibility of extraction of coal in 1 seam and 2 seam below Bhupalpalli village (having surface structures and residential buildings) and give the suitable method of extraction and support design

Geo-mining data has been collected and study is under progress.

15Scientific study for depillaring of panels with hydraulic sand stowing using LHD/SDL/Manual loading in XVI seam at Digwadih colliery ,Tata steel(CNP/4387/2016-17)TATA STEEL 23/05/16 to 22/08/2017

Design of depillaring method below surface features

Geo-mining data has been collected and study is under progress.

16Scientific study for review of “Ground Control Management Plan” of Rampura Agucha Mine of M/S HZL. (CNP/4395/16-17HZLMarch 2016 to Feb 2017

Audit of RAM U/G ' Ground Control Management Plan' , Rampura Agucha Mines.

First visits has been perform-ed and design of support syst-em in different level has been designed, three more visit for final

17Scientific study for auditing of “Ground Control Management Plan” of Kayad mine of M/S HZL. (CNP/4398/16-17)HZLMarch 2016 to Feb 2017

Audit of U/G 'Ground Control Management Plan' , Kayad  Mines

First visits has been perform-ed and design of support syst-em in different level has been designed, two more visit for final

18Feasibility of extraction method for 13 seam contiguous with 14 seam below the developed gallery of No. 14 seam (Top) and maximize percentage of extraction of 13 & 14 seam with controlled effect on the floor of upper workout seam at Bhelatand (A) Colliery , Tata Steel. (CNP/4404/2016-17)TATA STEELJuly 2016 to Feb 2017

Design of methodology for 13 seam contiguous with 14 seam below the developed gallery of No. 14 seam (Top-17)

One visit has been performed and partial data has been collected. After complete data designing will be performed. 

36 Results