LTCC shield a hit at QME

DBT’s longwall top coal caving shield was attracting plenty of attention on the first day of the Queensland Mining and Engineering Exhibition in Mackay as attendees took a first hand-look at the new technology about to be deployed at Yancoal Australia’s Austar mine.

Angie Tomlinson

On show at the DBT stand was a 1.756m LTCC shield support, PF5/1142 and PF6/1142 armoured face conveyor line pans.

LTCC technology incorporates a conventional longwall shearer, typically mining at a height of about 3m, but can be used to extract coal in seam heights of 4.5-12.5m. The top coal is caved and removed by a conveyor at the rear of the specially designed shields.

The Austar Coal Mine is scheduled to begin cutting coal with the new technology September 1. Currently the DBT system is partially delivered to the mine and a mini-build has been completed for training purposes at DBT’s Hexham facility.

One more week of training will take place at Hexham before the equipment is delivered to the mine for surface and then underground training.

DBT longwall general manager Hugh Paul told International Longwall News much of the training centrered around the operation of the rear conveyor. The technology uses 56 sequences in its automation, compared to a normal longwall operation which uses 30.

The LTCC shield support extends from 1900mm to 3500mm and provides a total support capacity of 1040 tonnes.

The shield is fully automated with DBT's latest generation PMC-R controls.

The front conveyor is a PF6 line pan with a replaceable deckplate, thicker sections and bottom plates to ensure extremely high wear-resistance and a dogbone breaking strength of 4500kN – and ideally complements the LTCC shield.

The rear conveyor is a PF5 line pan especially designed for the LTCC application.

Paul said there had been a lot of interest from the Australian industry in the technology, in particular the potential it had for the Goonyella seam. In Australia, underground proven reserves totalling 6.4 billion tonnes are in the range 4.5-9m.

Also on hand at QME was part of the Austar team – who hold extensive LTCC experience in China, and mine owners Yanzhou Coal Mining Company. Yanzhou is an international leader in applying the LTCC technology and has six underground mines each producing in excess of 7 million tonnes per annum using the LTCC method.

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