Peabody Energy’s newest longwall at the North Goonyella mine in Queensland, Australia, has started up and will soon benefit from automated steering and the requirement for less maintenance, according to Peabody’s Australia President George Schuller.
The North Goonyella South project will extend the mine’s life to at least 2026, mining around 71 million short tons of high quality coking coal. The longwall installation is expected to be completed this quarter.
To support the mine’s extension, Peabody has invested in a new longwall system from Caterpillar that includes roof supports and a face conveyor for a 300-m face, shearer and beam stage loader.
The system features automated shearer steering and face alignment, reduced exposure of operators to dust, and less maintenance, according to Cat. Full delivery of the system is expected in the June quarter of next year.
Schuller said: “Not only does that (automation) improve safety for our operators, it enables faster haulage speeds of our high-quality reserves.”
The Cat EL3000 shearer for North Goonyella will be equipped with the proven Cat PMC™ Evo-S control system, intelligent software modules and advanced measuring technology. The automation package enables the shearer to be operated by a single operator using remote control. This package includes automation logic to minimise overload situations and diagnostic tools to maximise uptime.
Cat’s current longwall at North Goonyella was instrumental in achieving record production from the mine in 2017.