Room and pillar mining Wikipedia
Room and pillar (variant of breast stoping), is a mining system in which the mined material is extracted across a horizontal plane, creating horizontal arrays of rooms and pillars. To do this, "rooms" of ore are dug out while "pillars" of untouched material are left to support the roof overburden. Calculating the size, shape, and position of pillars is a complicated procedure, and is an area of active research. The technique is usually used for relatively flat-lying deposits, such as those that follow a particular stratum.