Tag Archives: coal mine

Technical Audit offers Anzherskaya-Yuzhnaya coal mine support

Technical Audit Sp zoo has been awarded a tender for the provision of design, technological and production audit services for the UK Anzherskaya-Yuzhnaya coal mine, in Russia.

The tender, which also includes the production and contract execution audit (control), involves the audit of the delivery of 120 powered roof supports for the mine.

Having been formed in December 2017, Technical Audit’s first order, in 2018, was an audit of the production of a longwall system for the Denisovskaya mine, owned by Russian coal company KOLMAR.

Since then, it has also audited the longwall system at Russian coal company Sibirskaya’s Uvalnaya mine, powered roof supports for Polish coal company LW Bogdanka, and a second longwall system audit for KOLMAR at its Inaglinskaya mine.

In 2019, the company also assisted Raspadskaya coal company with a tender process to select a supplier of the powered roof supports for its Uskovskaya mine.

Paringa Resources in ramp-up mode at Poplar Grove coal mine

Paringa Resources says production ramp-up at its Poplar Grove coal mine in the Illinois Coal Basin of Kentucky, US, has begun with the commencement of higher productivity, continuous underground mining operations.

Raw coal is being brought to the surface and has been processed by Poplar Grove’s coal handling preparation plant (CHPP), the company reported.

The commencement of mining using company-operated equipment follows approval from the US Mining Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) for the recently amended development ventilation scheme, the company said.

Mining to date at Poplar Grove has been undertaken by Paringa’s mining contractor as part of the bottom development using drill and blast techniques. These development activities have included creating a void for the installation of underground infrastructure at the bottom of the slope and a turnout area to enable the efficient movement of underground mining equipment. “This mining activity has produced raw coal which has been run through the CHPP as part of the testing and commissioning of the surface infrastructure,” Paringa said.

The mining contractor’s last piece of work is to undertake 80 ft (24 m) of development mining via drill and blast over the next month, which will occur in tandem with Paringa’s operational teams.

The next underground mining development activity is the connection of the return and intake air shafts to establish the permanent ventilation system. The connection is being made by Paringa-owned continuous miners in the coal seam, from the turnout to the base of the intake shaft and then to the base of the return shaft. This mining is producing raw coal for processing and subsequent sale to Paringa’s cornerstone customer LG&E. Paringa commenced this activity using the recently commissioned company-operated mining equipment, it said.

Paringa said: “The bottom area ground conditions look good with slightly less water and a more competent roof than was expected, although initial mining with the continuous miner has encountered an area of very hard rock which will slow advancement marginally only in the very near term.

“Once the permanent ventilation system has been established, the company will commence a typical underground room and pillar mining sequence. All other underground infrastructure, including the bottom sump, temporary slope belt tailpiece and tramp iron magnet, will be commissioned in the coming month to enable the commissioning of the ventilation system needed to begin the room and pillar mining sequence, subject to customary MSHA permanent ventilation system approvals.

The company is targeting delivery of first processed coal to LG&E in the second half of March, and has progressed initial shipments activities, including a 2019 shipping schedule and invoicing and payment procedures.

On surface, the CHPP is fully commissioned and has been run several times, processing raw material from the mine, with feed comprised of raw coal and waste rock material, Paringa said. “The proportion of raw coal in the plant feed will significantly increase in the coming weeks as mining activities continue using the company operated continuous miner in the coal seam as part of establishing the permanent ventilation system.”

Initial raw coal stockpile development has commenced using material produced by company-operated mining equipment, conveyed from the underground mine portal to the preparation plant stockpile area.

All other surface infrastructure including the workshops, bath house and river dock has been commissioned.

Hastings Deering tunes up New Acland coal mine’s Cat 793F fleet

Caterpillar dealer Hastings Deering has recently completed a full component change out on five of New Hope Group’s Cat 793F haul trucks working at the New Acland coal mine in Queensland, Australia.

The miner used the local Hastings Deering workshop in Toowoomba, Queensland, for the six-month undertaking, New Hope said.

“At A$2.2 million ($1.6 million) per truck, it sounds an expensive exercise but, with each truck costing almost A$5.5 million new, it was worth the expense,” New Hope said.

New Acland Maintenance Supervisor, Rob Trapp, said it was the first time the company had sent an entire fleet to the Toowoomba workshop.

“The guys and Hastings Deering have done work for us before, but this was by far the biggest job they have done for us,” he said. “It was a huge job, replacing basically every component on the truck. The fleet is only six years old but each had done about 24,000 h of work at the New Acland site. That’s slightly above industry standard so they were due for a tune-up.”

Service Manager at Hastings Deering Toowoomba, Justin Butcher, said: “This was a great win for us. We have around 100 workers at the Toowoomba Service centre and, of that, about 12 worked on this project basically around the clock.

“Each truck took three weeks and we had a week break in between each truck. We did what is known as a certified power train rebuild, which means we effectively stripped the trucks bare and replaced all the drive train components including the engine.

“In fact, apart from the cabin, tray and tyres, there isn’t much we didn’t either remove or replace.”

To get the 170 t trucks from Acland to Toowoomba, the company took off the cab, tray and wheels and loaded it into another big truck, according to Trapp.

Terrequip Mining drafted in at Australian Pacific Coal’s Dartbrook project

Australian Pacific Coal, on its way to re-commencing underground mining at its Dartbrook mine in New South Wales, Australia, has appointed a new contractor.

In its latest quarterly results released earlier this week, it said Terrequip Mining had replaced former contractor UGM Mining with principal responsibilities for care and maintenance activities at site.  The change was to “enhance preliminary site preparation and readiness activities”, the company said.

Australian Pacific Coal became the owner of Dartbrook in 2017 after agreeing a A$30 million ($22 million), plus royalties, deal with Anglo American and Marubeni Coal. The underground thermal coal mine, which includes a coal handling preparation plant and train load out facility, has been on care and maintenance since 2006.

Earlier this year, AusPac made an application to modify Dartbrook Mine’s Development Consent. The modification proposed limited bord and pillar mining in an area of the Kayuga coal seam currently approved for longwall mining. The bord and pillar mining was proposed as an alternative in addition to approved longwall mining activities.

The company said the modification would facilitate the extraction of up to 10 million tonnes of run of mine coal at a maximum production rate of 1.5 million tonnes per year.

The request has since been through a public assessment phase and AusPac is hopeful the relevant New South Wales department will be able to make a determination of the application by October 2018.

In addition to changing the main contractor at Dartbrook, the company said it is continuing discussions with potential mining contractors, equipment suppliers and coal end users to support the recommencement of mining at Dartbrook.

MSHA checking up on coal dust in US mines

The US Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is re-examining its own coal dust rule to see if it is providing miners with the necessary protection they need.

MSHA, via a request for information (RFI) in the Federal Register, is soliciting comments, data, and information from industry, labour, the US Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and other stakeholders related to the rule entitled ‘Lowering Miners’ Exposure to Respirable Coal Mine Dust, Including Continuous Personal Dust Monitors’.

The organisation is also seeking information and data on engineering controls and best practices that mine operators find effective to achieve and maintain required respirable coal mine dust levels, particularly those practices that can be replicated throughout mines nationwide to achieve similar results.

MSHA said: “Due to the significant latency period between exposure and disease, MSHA anticipates the agency will not likely be able to fully evaluate the health effects of the rule for a decade or more.”

David Zatezalo, MSHA Assistant Secretary, said the study had been initiated to determine if the rule was meeting its intended result, and warned mining companies that the organisation had “no intention of rolling back the protections afforded to coal miners under the final dust rule”.

The new rule, which originally took effect on August 1, 2014 and has since been updated, sought to:

  • Lower the concentration of dust in the air that miners breathe and improve sampling practices
    to better reflect actual working conditions and protect all miners from overexposure
  • Increase sampling and make use of cutting-edge technology developed for the mining environment to provide real-time information about dust levels
  • Provide a common sense phase-in over a two-year period to give the industry the time it needs to
    adjust to the new requirements, acquire monitoring equipment, and obtain compliance
    assistance from MSHA.

On August 1, 2016, Phase three of MSHA’s respirable dust rule went into effect. This saw the concentration limits for respirable coal mine dust lowered from 2 mg per m³ of dust to 1.5 mg/m³ at underground and surface coal mines, and the concentration limits for respirable coal mine dust lowered from 1 mg/m³ to 0.5 mg/m³ for intake air at underground mines and for part 90 miners (coal miners who have evidence of the development of pneumoconiosis).

Africa’s longest single flight conveyor up and running at Sasol’s Shondoni coal mine

Sasol has inaugurated its new Shondoni coal mine in Mpumalanga, South Africa, as part of a ceremony attended by Minister of Mineral Resources Gwede Mantashe.

Shondoni is part of the company’s ZAR14 billion (US$1.03 billion) mine replacement programme, which is geared towards keeping its southern African power facilities operational until 2050.
Meaning ‘a place of wealth’, Shondoni replaces Sasol’s Middelbult mine, which has reached the end of its life.

The mine is modern in many respects, according to Sasol, and is differentiated from the rest of its other five coal mines in its use of renewable energy, which includes the use of solar geysers to heat pumps.

The mine also holds the record of having the longest single flight conveyor without an intermediate booster drive in Africa, at 21km. The whole mine site has seven conveyors with a total approximate length of 30km, which require some 5MW of energy, according to one of the project contractors ELB Engineering.

Over the next 30 years, Shondoni is expected to deliver between 8-9 million tonnes of coal per annum.

Sasol Mining is South Africa’s third largest coal producer and runs one of the world’s largest underground coal-mining complexes. It produces over 40Mt of coal annually of which more than 90% is used as critical feedstock for the production of Sasol’s high quality synthetic fuels and a wide range of chemicals.