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High Capacity Underground Coal Mining (L15)


... management and technology Integrated approach to hydro-geology and geotechnical aspects Underground ... engineering controls for dust ... underground coal mine ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Date added: 11 December 2019
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Title: High Capacity Underground Coal Mining (L15)

High Capacity Underground Coal Mining (L15)
  • A joint project (Scoping Study) between CSIRO
    Exploration Mining and University of
    Queenslands Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI)

Scoping Study Objectives
  • Benchmark current practices and determine what is
    needed to achieve a high capacity underground
    coal mine (15Mtpa) and optimisation of existing
  • Report on strategic research directions needed to
    support future high capacity mining.
  • Identify specific, high impact research and
    development projects to facilitate high capacity
  • Identify opportunities for operational, technical
    and postgraduate training in areas relevant to
    high capacity coal mining

  • Develop a predictive model (15Mtpa coal mine) on
    which comprehensive research proposals would be
    dependent. Incorporates LW productivity,
    utilisation, seam characteristics, development
    requirements, sensitivities and cost model.
  • Considerations included 1.8 4.5m seam
    thickness LTCC and multi-seam operation
  • Segregate the overall strategy into 7
    sub-categories for further study, under the
    respective objectives
  • Provide separate reports addressing the
    requirements of the scoping study

15Mtpa model identified key issues
  • Criticality of system uptime
  • High shearer speed/power to deliver tonnages
  • Support hydraulics for rapid support cycle times
  • Optimise cutting cycle uni-di bi-di half web
  • Development rate increase
  • Improved coal clearance for minimal bottlenecks

Coal Resources and Deposit Delineation
Coal Resources and Deposit Delineation
Update of UNSW thick seam database from public
sources (113 mines-330 point source data)
Research Direction
  • To create confidence that a deposit will be able
    to host a 15Mtpa operation requires integrated
    analysis of geologic data across company
    boundaries at the district scale, similar to that
    in the ACARP Supermodel 2000 project
  • High tonnage longwall operation will require
    enhanced interpretation of structure and
    interburden characteristics
  • Multi-scale modeling of fault geometries and
    simulation of behaviour under variable rock mass,
    stress and mining methods

Geological and Geotechnical Assessment and
Current Status
  • Greater propensity for stability problems in
    thick seams operations
  • Geotechnical downtime generally occurs
    comparatively more frequently on the face (a
    shift from gateroads)
  • Geophysical methods of rock mass characterisation
    are preferred but there is a lack of experienced
    people to interpret the information
  • Typically 1-2 normal faults per panel

Research Direction
  • Implementation of real-time face and gate road
    Smart monitoring which includes interpretation
    and control measures
  • Determination of interaction between cutting
    height and operational characteristics
  • Interaction of seams in multi-seam operations
  • Enhanced fault detection and definition for
    mining through in-panel faults possibly
    utilising microseismic technology

Roadway Development Systems
Current Status
  • Later generation, best practice mines with good
    conditions could attain 15Mtpa mines without
    major developments in mining equipment and
  • Infrastructure limitations will constrain older
    mines from making major improvements in mine
    capacity, while adverse conditions generally
    associated with depth pose additional
    productivity challenges to these mines (and to
    later generation mines as they mature)
  • Technology developments are currently underway
    that are likely to address a number of key
    process constraints in the short to medium term,
    thus providing the potential to improve system
    capability across all mines

Specific Research Projects
  • Extensible (monorail mounted) face services (e.g.
    ventilation, power, water, compressed air, pump
  • Integrated development mining system
  • Extensible, self advancing coal clearance system
  • Alternative skin reinforcement and confinement
  • Complementary technology developments including
    automation and robotics, machine guidance
    systems, light weight materials, face pumping
    systems, roadway construction and consolidation

Projected Gains
Gas and Ventilation
Longwall Gas Emissions Related to Face Production
Research Direction
  • Gas Drainage
  • Extensive pre-drainage of gas including
    optimisation of MRD gas holes for
    pre-drainage/deep gas drainage technology and
  • Coordination and cooperation with petroleum and
    gas developers to utilise/reduce gas reservoir
  • Optimise goaf inertisation strategies for
    operational use including exclusion foams

Research Direction
  • Spontaneous Combustion
  • Development of low impact inertisation systems
  • Heat
  • Development of heat extraction techniques for
    fixed and possibly mobile plant
  • Dust
  • Optimise coal seam water injection techniques
    prior to mining

Water Management
Current Status
  • Water Consumption
  • Highest users have the highest losses lowest
    users have the lowest losses
  • Water Inflow
  • Typical inflows range from 3-5 Ml/day some up to

Water use ML/Mtpa Water loss ML/Mtpa
Range 55 192 29 180
Average 130 90
Strategic Research Directions
  • Reduction in water consumption and variability
    through integration of research into water usage,
    management and technology
  • Integrated approach to hydro-geology and
    geotechnical aspects
  • Underground water recycling and reuse technology

Longwall Face Equipment and Coal Transport
Current Status
  • Current equipment is capable of delivering at or
    about the 15Mt target
  • Average production from the top 5 mines based on
    the last 3 years was 4,647,660 tonne
  • The average cutting hours per year calculated
    from the 8 mines studied over the last 3 years
    was 2745 hours
  • The average output per hour from the longwall
    faces was 1693 tonne

Current Status
  • Longwall faces cut for only 31 of the total time
    in a year
  • Breakdown maintenance outweighs planned
    maintenance by 4 to 1
  • The shearer, panel belt and AFC, respectively,
    are the largest contributors to down time
    totalling over 50
  • Planned maintenance effort does not reflect the
    downtime statistics and is ad-hoc

Downtime Breakdown
Research Directions
  • Further development and implementation of face
  • Effective analysis of monitoring data on a real
    time basis for maintenance purposes
  • Real-time maintenance prioritisation system
  • New sensors and systems for condition monitoring

Licence to Operate
Specific Research Projects
  • Assessment, prediction and validation of the
    impact of increased mining height and width on
    local and regional water resources and catchments
  • Development of realistic and achievable
    engineering controls for dust, noise and heat
  • Assess and validate current subsidence prediction
    methodologies for high capacity contexts
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