First longwall face for unmanned mining commissioned in Russia

13 August 2015

The Polysaevskaya Mine of OJSC SUEK-Kuzbass has commissioned a new longwall panel No. 1747 in 1.6-metre thick Breyevsky seam with 2.1 million tonnes of reserves. The total investment in the technical upgrade of the mine is RUB 1.6 billion.

This longwall is unique in the Russian coal mining industry. It is based on a cutting edge technology which enables unmanned mining and was co-developed by OJSC SUEK-Kuzbass and two German companies Marco and Eickhoff. The face equipment is controlled by an operator from the adjacent gateroad by utilising multiple sensors installed on the shearer, power hydraulics on roof supports as well as special infra-red surveillance cameras which can work in the dark The software automatically controls the most efficient movement of the shearer, pulling in of the roof supports and operation of the face conveyor.

The major advantage of unmanned longwall mining is safety – there are no people working in potentially hazardous areas. According to the designers, only one coal mine in Australia is currently using this ground-breaking technology.

A new above-ground coal handling facility has been commissioned at the mine to operate with this and future longwalls. The new facility includes a shaft head, an inclined shaft with a belt conveyor gallery, a coal warehouse and a weigh house. A set of new belt conveyors has been installed for transporting coal from the longwall face to the warehouse. The belt’s total length is 5 km, and the width is 1,200 mm.

The longwall face itself features 176 Polish FRS Glinik-12/25 powered roof supports which have been manufactured to suit the mining conditions in the Breyevsky seam. The Polish longwall set also includes a FFC-9 Glinik face conveyor, a FSL-9 Glinik gateroad stage loader, a FBE-1200 Glinik turning and travelling unit, a FLB-10G Glinik crusher and pumping stations. Coal is extracted with a German SL 300 Eickhoff shearer.

The expected monthly longwall coal production is 300,000 tonnes.

Tags: kemerovo production
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