Komatsu addresses room and pillar mining challenges with new innovations at MINExpo

To demonstrate its continued support of, and collaboration with, soft-rock operations, Komatsu has introduced new machine features and a next-generation conveyor chain to help mines maximise uptime and achieve productivity goals.

These offerings debuting at MINExpo 2021 include the 12HM46 continuous miner with the new Titan Cutter Head, the BH-18A battery hauler with new lithium-ion battery technology and the NXT Single Sprocket Conveyor Chain – all designed to help operators make progress with automation and solve common issues experienced by today’s mining companies, the company says.

“Productive room and pillar mining comes down to having the machines and parts that can help soft-rock mining operations extract and haul more coal and industrial minerals in less time,” Jim Haughey, Product Director, says. “With these new features and a next-generation conveyor chain design, operators have tools that can help them hit their productivity targets while making inroads into automation.”

Engineered for the rigors and unique challenges of underground room and pillar mining, these three offerings provide distinct advantages, Komatsu says:

  • The 12HM46 continuous miner with Titan Cutter Head is Komatsu’s largest and most powerful drum-style continuous miner with 50% more cutting power and 70% more productivity potential than the company’s other continuous miners. The machine is engineered specifically for industrial mineral applications, like trona, gypsum, potash and salt;
  • The BH-18A battery hauler with new lithium-ion battery technology is designed to deliver improvements in productivity, sustainability and cost compared with traditional lead-acid battery technology. Lithium-ion batteries can power a hauler up to 136,000 ft (41,453 m) per charge versus 115,000 ft for lead-acid batteries, and charge in less than 2.5 hours; and
  • The NXT Single Sprocket Conveyor Chain features a new patented chain link with dirt relief technology that is 46% stronger than previous models for improved reliability. Dual scraping flights are designed to solve issues that could lead to premature chain failure, and other innovations improve the time necessary to change flights and connecting links. This part is designed for both continuous miners and shuttle cars.

Brian Thompson, Vice President, Mining and Crushing Systems, says: “These three offerings represent our ongoing commitment to collaborating with our valued customers to help them solve today’s room and pillar mining challenges, hit coal and industrial mineral extraction and haulage targets and further their automation efforts. They also reflect our dedication to detail by bringing engineering innovations to something as simple, yet critical, as a conveyor chain.”