SUEK upgrades mine heading through higher-performance equipment

3 April 2019

In March, Sergei Bezuglov’s crew at the Kirov mine excavated 502 metres in one month with Sandvik MB670 bolter miner. Moreover, the team began to operate the new continuous miner only in the second half of January, and since the beginning of the year has already sank more than 1,150 metres.

‘A front-type heading miner is more convenient and safer to work with. It features six bolters: four roof bolters and two rib bolters. Now we do not need to carry heavy manual drilling devices to support the excavated area. Of course, we had no experience of operating such equipment, but the guys in the team are young and clever. They are keen on new technologies,’ Sergey Bezuglov says.

Vadim Valishin’s crew of the Yalevsky mine also delivered good results in March: 450 metres. This team, using Sandvik MB670 bolter miner, has mined 1,170 metres since the beginning of the year. Another team, the one of Alexander Kel at the Kirov mine, using the same type of equipment, has excavated 1,030 metres since January.

Today, the company operates eight Sandvik heading miners. Seven of them arrived in 2018 and early 2019 as part of SUEK’s investment programme aimed at upgrading and renovating the equipment involved in working face preparation. Let us recall that, in November 2017, SUEK purchased eight heading machines from SANDVIK MINING. The total investment amounted to over 27 million euros.

This year, SUEK continues the programme for updating its heading machinery. Contracts have been signed for the supply of 15 more Sandvik MB670-1 and Sandvik MB670-1LH miners for the Kuzbass mines (for low and medium thickness beds), along with four Sandvik MH621 roadheaders (for hard and abrasive rocks). Workers who will use this equipment are already being trained in the operation of front-type miners. The total number of trainees will exceed 180 people.

According to the programme, ten people from each team undergo three stages of training. During the first five-day stage, including theoretical classes at the Personnel Training and Development Centre with the participation of SANDVIK MINING professionals, and practical training in one of the longwalls, workers learn the basic safety concepts, the design of miners, their main components and operation. The second stage provides for an in-depth study of these machines at the manufacturing plant in Austria, including training on dedicated simulators. The third stage of training will be held at the company’s sites upon the arrival of these machines.

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