Pick plays production part

A NEW heavy-duty radial pick system installed at the Beltana mine in New South Wales has played a part in the mine’s recent record-breaking effort.
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Hydra Mining Tool's radial cutting system

Staff Reporter

The new system was supplied to the Xstrata Coal operation by UK-based Hydra Mining Tools at the start of the year.

“We are delighted to be associated with the outstanding performance at Beltana,” said Hydra boss Gordon McShannon

“The heavy-duty radial shearer drums have helped to break production records at Beltana throughout the year but November was an exceptional performance and reflects the benefits of using the Hydra-designed radial shearer drums incorporating Hydra’s proprietary Riblock spray and pick system.”

He said the Riblock cutting system enabled the mine to operate at faster haulage rates, with lower dust levels attributed to the pick and spray combination.

According to Hydra, the radial pick system also allows the operation the flexibility to move between 100mm and 130mm reach picks to maximise pick penetration and optimise cutting performance depending on geological conditions. This feature is unique to the radial cutting system and cannot be replicated by the commonly used point attack system, the supplier said.

Other benefits of using the radial cutting system is that less power is required to cut with radial picks and with the ITPP (Incendive Temperature Potential Protection) features this reduces the risk of frictional ignition compared with point attack cutting systems, Hydra said.

“With OEM’s manufacturing [of] more powerful and automated shearers and mine operators needing to produce at faster haulage rates [this means] shearer drum manufacturers have to deliver the optimum designed shearer drums and cutting systems to maximise cutting performance and remain in compliance with dust regulations,” McShannon said.

“Beltana mine has been quickest to see the benefits of radial cutting systems and are reaping the rewards for their foresight,” he added.

Hydra Mining Tools is based in South Yorkshire, England and has manufactured shearer drums for over 40 years. In Australia Hydra is represented through agent Australian Mine Services (previously known as Southern Engineering Services).