Aspects of Structural and Civil Engineering in "Deep Shaft Mine" Construction

Y.R. Rao, General Manager (Retd.) Mine shaft design and construction planning division CMPDIL HQ, Coal India Limited.
The "DEEP SHAFT COAL MINE" consists of essentially two vertical shafts, one to hoist men and materials, and the other for winding coal from deeper seems."MINE SHAFT" surface structures comprises(viz) shaft collar cum head frame foundation, shaft winding plant structures, and mine ventilation structures. The design and construction of these unique structures require specialized knowledge and advances in the state of art and expertise gained through experience.

This paper presents the structural and civil engineering aspects relating to typical design, constructional and operational features of Mine Shafts.

The aspects of mine shaft concrete lining, furnishing out-fittings in structural steel provided in the mine shaft structure underground are discussed and explained.


With exhaustion of minerals at shallow depths the need arises for exploitation of deeper seems from surface. The "DEEP SHAFT COAL MINE" system comprises in general a twin shaft system with shafts situated at 80m-100m distance. The mine shafts currently developed are constructed as circular, concrete lined vertical openings with finished diameter up to 8.0m. to serve the functional requirements. In this system one shaft is equipped with skips for mineral hoisting and the other shaft equipped with "CAGES" serves the function of transport of materials, men and services like power, dewatering etc. The conveyances are hoisted by an ground mounted winding engine by means of ropes passing over pulleys (sheeves) installed over the steel head frame. The ventilation scheme involves providing exhaust ventilation for the mine with fresh air entering the downcast shaft is exhausted through up cast shaft by means of "MINE FAN" installation.

The mine shaft structure elements underground consists of shaft concrete lining, insets, sump and skip loading pocket. The mine shaft is furnished with out-fittings of "STRUCTURAL STEEL GUIDES" and equipments.

The "MINE SHAFT SINKING" (mining operation) is done with a temporary steel head frame for hoisting the buckets (kebble) and steel scaffold (sinking stage).

In this paper, the structural and civil engineering aspects in the construction and commission of typical "DEEP COAL MINE SHAFTS" are presented.

The typical mine shaft structure with permanent winding system is shown in Fig-1. The general system for mine shaft sinking with a temporary steel head frame is shown in Fig-2.

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