Powerful new DBT shearer for Beltana Highwall Mine

DBT AUSTRALIA has confirmed that the Beltana Highwall Mine longwall project has now ordered an EL3000 shearer.
Powerful new DBT shearer for Beltana Highwall Mine Powerful new DBT shearer for Beltana Highwall Mine Powerful new DBT shearer for Beltana Highwall Mine Powerful new DBT shearer for Beltana Highwall Mine Powerful new DBT shearer for Beltana Highwall Mine

The new DBT EL43 ranging arms under construction in Motherwell, UK. Beltana will be the first Australian mine to receive this version.

Staff Reporter

The latest design EL3000 shearer to be employed at Beltana will incorporate a powerful new ranging arm with the cutter motor rated at 850 kW and a production rate in excess of 3,000 tph using 2.2m diameter cutting drums in what is arguably the most arduous longwall mining conditions in Australia.

The shearer mainframe, which is the major structural element of the Electra range of shearers, has been significantly strengthened to accommodate the higher levels of installed cutting power and the resultant forces imposed upon the machine.

With 2 x 125kW haulage motors and a 40kW pump motor the Beltana EL3000 shearer will have a total installed power of 1990kW making it the most powerful shearer ever ordered by the Australian market, according to DBT.

It will also be the first EL3000 shearer built in Australia under the DBT banner.

“To achieve the performance requirements demanded of this machine the package utilises the highest grade gearing available, and the highest grade casting material. This machine has been designed to meet the requirements of future high-production longwall faces,” said Ray Chadwick, DBT’s capital business unit manager – shearer.

DBT expects to begin assembly of the Beltana equipment at its Argenton facility in November, with delivery scheduled for February 2003. Ranging arms, haulage units, major electric components and control boxes will be manufactured in the UK. The machine will operate on the Jumbotrack 2000 haulage system.

The EL3000 shearer will incorporate a high level of automation, including gate-end profiling. Automation was a crucial requirement of the shearer at Beltana based upon the long term success of the high levels of automation employed on the EL1000 shearer currently in operation at South Bulga Colliery.

In line with this commitment to longwall automation Beltana is the selected site for the first phase of the longwall automation project. South Bulga has already successfully undertaken ACARP-funded trials of inertial navigation technology to locate the shearer in space.

The EL3000 will also be fitted with the new DBT “COMPACT” shearer control system. The new system has increased automation and control capabilities and the use of a “can bus” system has reduced wiring and electrical components by up to 70%, Chadwick said.

A maintenance contract with the Beltana mine will incorporate a service exchange shearer. The two EL3000 shearers will be designated for Beltana, while one machine is operational, the second machine will undergo maintenance and repairs as part of the long term maintenance agreement. This arrangement will enable the mine to reduce change-out times with the shearer pre-installed on the next longwall face ahead of changeout schedules.

Beltana is operated by Xstrata Coal Australia and is being developed as a punch longwall operation developed off the highwall in the Bulga complex in NSW. At full capacity Beltana is planned to produce over 5Mtpa.

“Sales of the EL3000 shearer have been boosted by the new specification and manufacture is currently underway in the UK of an EL3000 shearer for Shenhua’s Shendong Coal Company in China for delivery in December this year and another EL3000 to the same specification as the Beltana Shearer for Solvay Minerals trona mine in Wyoming USA for delivery in early 2003,” Chadwick said.

In addition to the new ranging arm the new shearer control system COMPACT is now completed and being installed into the first EL3000 shearer in Ilkeston (UK).

In other associated shearer news DBT are building an EL1000 shearer to replace the existing AM500 shearer at Southland Colliery in the Hunter Valley. This machine is currently being assembled at the company’s Argenton facility and will be delivered in late September.

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