Industry sets agenda for development R&D

PARTICIPANTS at last month’s Mackay, Pokolbin and Penrith ACARP Roadway Development workshops identified a number of research and development priorities industry should work on into the future to achieve improved development rates.

Angie Tomlinson

Participants named the following as priorities:

Development and application of forcing ventilation systems;

Development of monorail mounted services management systems;

Development of system components matched to individual mines rather than development of “one size fits all”;

Integrated continuous mining system, from surface to face;

Design of continuous miner to required roadway dimensions;

Belt moves;

Road construction and maintenance;

Water management;

Self-drilling roof and rib bolts;

Ergonomics due to ageing workforce;

Automation of bolting including associated materials handling systems;

Continuous coal clearance; and

Diesel particulate (ventilation).

The immediate next stage in the ACARP Roadway Development Improvement project will be a review of the Australian civil tunnelling and underground metalliferous sectors with the objective of identifying technology, equipment and systems from those sectors that may have potential application in the underground coal mine roadway development process (from mine mouth to the working face).

The study includes a review of relevant literature and contact with member organisations to identify relevant industry technologists, OEMs, researchers, operators and contractors within those sectors. A limited number of meetings will then be held with key personnel to identify potential technology, equipment and systems applications, and to also identify best practice applications within these sectors.

A report will then be developed for ACARP and is to include an action plan to progress a series of field studies in the event that appropriate technology, equipment and systems are identified.

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