Continuous improvements in room and pillar operations

Christian Umundum

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis (University Course)


A continuous mining system consists of the cutting machine itself, the coal clearance system behind the continuous miner (shuttle cars, ramcars, continuous haulage systems) and the stationary section conveyor belt normally including a feeder breaker. The optimization of the coal production process and production output includes the optimization of the equipment itself , the mining layout as well as the haulage and cutting sequences and styles. Shuttle car routes and cycles should be optimized and well planned to get to the expected production rates. The continuous miner should be in cutting operation as much as possible to optimize the production output. A “2-shear” cutting style is absolutely preferred compared to the “1-shear” style because of the bunkering ability during the away time of the shuttle car and the reduced loading time for the shuttle cars. A continuous miner should also have a fast tramming speed to minimize the time needed for place change and a high throughput rate of the installed conveyor. The higher the conveying capacity the less is the loading time per shuttle car. The term “continuously” is not really true when using a batch haulage system behind the cutting machine because delays are inherent in such a system. Typically two or three shuttle cars are in operation for one cutting machine, the calculations done show a much higher achievable production rate when installing a 3-car shuttle car cycle. Surge cars and especially continuous haulage systems could remove the delays occurring in batch haulage systems and would lead to an increase in utilization time of the continuous miner. Haulage capacity is the parameter with the most significant effect on mine production. A 30 t shuttle car would increase the theoretical production output by up to 30 % compared to a 20 t shuttle car. Battery powered shuttle cars would increase the flexibility of the haulage system and would therefore increase the haulage efficiency. Development of high production batch haulage systems in the face area should be given the highest priority, also a surge car concept should be considered and analyzed.
Translated title of the contributionContinuous improvements in room and pillar operations
Original languageEnglish
  • Moser, Peter, Supervisor (internal)
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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