In the late 1980s, coal mining companies required machines that would able to cut the coal and install roof support simultaneously to reduce the development time for longwall panels. Sandvik (formerly VOEST Alpine) developed the Bolter Miner which served this twin purpose and was successful since its introduction all over the world. The Australian market was a core market initially but China emerged as a key market in the early 2000s because of the coal mining boom in that country. However, Australia remains an important market beside the USA, South Africa and Russia. The Bolter Miner is designed to suit different mining conditions in all over the world. Bolter Miners are mainly utilized in longwall development but are also utilized in some room and pillar applications, especially in South Africa where production records of up to 180,000 tonnes of coal per month have been achieved. In longwall development the Bolter Miner is more commonly used because it is capable of cutting and bolting simultaneously and therefore has quicker advance rates than a single drum continuous miner. A benefit of the bolter miner is that the entire bord width could be cut in one pass whereas the continuous miner with its smaller cutting drum would require at least double pass to complete a 6 – 7 meters roadway. In Australia, the Australian Coal Association Research Program (ACARP) has an objective of advancing 10 meters per operating hours (MPOH) in their longwall development. This means that the bolter Miner has to be upgraded and redesigned with the latest technology in order to achieve this set target of 10 MPOH. The best practice in Australian mines show that the current advance rates of longwall development are around 8 MPOH and therefore, there is a gap that has to be closed by a new the Bolter Miner. Besides the necessary changes that have to be done on the Bolter Miner itself it is necessary to ensure that utilized coal clearance systems behind the Bolter Miner is at least matched with the BM’s advance rate. Therefore, the batch haulage systems such as shuttle cars or battery haulers may need to be substituted by a continuous haulage system.
|Translated title of the contribution||Improvement of Bolter Miner Utilization|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|