West Wallsend Colliery has been mining coal using the longwall method since 1989. Through this long history of mining at West Wallsend Colliery, subsidence management and mitigation measures have become integrated into the operation. The process of mine design and layout of the longwall mining blocks has included, as an important parameter, the location and character of surface and sub-surface features identified as part of the Extraction Plan/Subsidence Management Plan (EP/SMP) process.
Subsequently, West Wallsend Colliery has submitted and gained approval for its Longwall 46 EP by the relevant regulatory authorities. The objectives of the EP are:
- identify and characterise the features to be impacted by subsidence;
- predict subsidence;
- assess subsidence impacts; and
- manage the subsidence impacts to produce acceptable outcomes.
These objectives are achieved through management plans and procedures which are prepared and approved as part of the EP process.