The project was made possible through the cooperation and support of Centennial Coal’s Mandalong mine in New South Wales and Sandvik personnel.
“This outcome represents the achievement of a significant technical milestone which has important implications for longwall operations and roadway development for the Australian coal industry,” ACARP said.
The report describes hardware and software system development, design of the testing campaign evaluation and results of a sustained 10 week underground evaluation at Mandalong.
Further development activity needs to be undertaken to address specific technical and operational aspects encountered during the project, the report stated.
Mandalong coal clearance system was designed to handle the coal from the mine’s new longwall and three continuous miner units.
Coal is conveyed from the seam via 350 metres of stone driveage to the top of the 2000 tonne capacity surge bin some 35m above.
The coal is then metered via a conical hopper system into 2x2000t/hour vibro feeders that control the coal flow to external power stations.
The Eraring power station utilises the old Cooranbong workings to deliver the coal into the screening plant on the Cooranbong surface some 12km away, before being sent to the power station via the overland conveyors.
Coal for the Delta power station goes via the 4.5km underground conveyor system to be screened and delivered onto the overland conveyor system at the train unloader station on Rutleys Road.
The project was divided into several major mining contracts. Surge bin access roads, surge bin shaft construction, manufacture and installation of the surge bin metering hoppers and feeders and the extension of the Delta production unit workings to intercept the surface drift.