Maingate roadways mined to accommodate longwall conveyors at Glencore’s Oaky No. 1 underground coal mine can vary from a few hundred meters to over 4 kilometres in length. Transporting vast quantities of coal over long distances requires a significant amount of power. In some cases the drive-head power is insufficient or is constrained by the allowable belt tension and an additional drive/ power source is required to meet the required operating capacity. Commonly this additional power will come in the form of a driven conveyor tripper installed at a nominal point along the conveyor, which requires the appropriate excavation for the tripper installation inclusive of drives, tripper frame, braking and belt starter.
The design process began by using the client’s existing mine plan to position the new tripper chamber. Orana Engineering design drafting staff then worked in tandem with the engineers to assess the required chamber dimensions, taking into consideration factors such as the size and orientation of equipment to be installed, appropriate and safe access, ventilation (e.g. drives and starters), while simultaneously minimising the material that was to be excavated during development. Additionally, consideration had to be given to having an operating development conveyor over the tripper installation area due to mining schedule constraints.
From this design, Orana Engineering used AutoCAD to produce a drawing set that detailed out the extents of the mining required, as well as an overlay showing the future equipment installations within the new chamber(s). These drawings enabled the client to efficiently complete the chamber mining with a suitable design, minimising the requirement for rework at a later date. By nurturing this relationship, Orana Engineering has been able to build on experience from previous installations to produce new designs of similar scope, leading to quicker turn-around and peace of mind for our client.