SUEK has commissioned a new longwall face in the Yalevskogo mine (Kuzbass), which is unique for the Russian coal mining industry.
Longwall panel 5003 has the average extraction height of 3.86 metres and 4.8 million tonnes of reserves. The width of the face is 400 metres, which is 100 metres wider than any previously extracted longwall panels in Russia. It is operated using 233 DBT 2500/5000 roof supports instead of conventional 175 units. Wider face means more coal per operating cycle (shear). To produce the same amount of coal as on a 300-metre face, the 400-metre face requires fewer face-end operations. All of these factors contribute to much higher productivity of the face.
The longwall features a new generation Eickhoff SL 900 shearer which is capable of producing up to 4,000 tonnes of coal per hour. The shearer has four video cameras, methane, vibration and tilt sensors, a data transmission system for visualising the operations as well as automated controls for memorising the route and cutting coal at a pre-defined velocity and direction on its own.
Because of the wider face the SH PF 6/1142 armoured face conveyor has been extended.
The longwall also features a beam stage loader, a crusher, high-pressure hydraulic pumps, a water separator, and RMS mining machinery control system.
The coal haulage system from the face to the surface coal stockpile features 1,600 mm wide belt conveyors running at 4,000 tonnes per hour.
The special focus has been on ensuring safety on this high capacity longwall. The combined ventilation system is complemented by degassing of the goaf using two vertical 720 mm diameter boreholes to reduce methane emissions. These solutions ensure the daily average production rate up to 35,000-40,000 tonnes per day.
SUEK has invested over $23m in equipping longwall 5003.
The head of the longwall team is Evgeny Kosmin, the Hero of Kuzbass. By the way, in 2016 his team broke two Russian coal production records – 1,050,000 tonnes of coal in August and 4,810,000 tonnes at year-end.