Chain Valley Coal Mine


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Peter Ross, Managing Director, from Lake Coal & LDO Group delivered this presentation at 2012 Longwall conference in the Hunter Valley Australia. Building on eleven years of excellence it’s rare that such a large gathering of underground coal operators come together under the one roof, providing a great opportunity to catch up with friends, industry leaders, former colleagues and longwall mining specialists.
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Chain Valley Coal Mine

  1. 1. CHAIN VALLEY MINE From Bord & Pillar to Longwall Longwall Conference – 2012 –
  2. 2. Mine Location • Chain Valley is located in the Newcastle coalfield on the southern shores of Lake Macquarie, around 100 klm north of Sydney. • The mine is immediately adjacent to Delta Electricity's Vales Point power station, one of Chain Valley's major customers.
  3. 3. • Mine leases cover an area of 2100 hectares, with access to three mineable seams • Current JORC estimates are 25 Mt of recoverable thermal product. • The mine has had many owners since its commencement in August 1962. • LDO Coal acquired part ownership of Chain Valley in 2009 with full acquisition effected in December 2010. • Current markets consist of both export and domestic with target production of 1.2Mt per annum. Chain Valley
  4. 4. History of Chain Valley
  5. 5. Review of Strata Management System • A full analysis of geotechnical issues at the mine was undertaken in 2010 incorporating: – Establishment of the Authority to Mine process – Regular Strata Control Committee meetings – Extensive strata monitoring and review – Extensive geological mapping – Specialist geotechnical training sessions – Open forum with employees – Audit and Review process to refine strata support plan
  6. 6. From Bord & Pillar to Longwall • Following review of the Strata Management System it became evident the mine could not be successful with place change mining. • In late 2010 a decision was made to change the method of mining at Chain Valley from a bord-and-pillar operation to the Longwall mining method along with utilising bolter miners.
  7. 7. From Bord & Pillar to Longwall • The first bolter miner arrived in December 2010 to drive the Tailgate of Longwall 1 and the second JOY 12CM30 arrived in the first quarter of 2011.
  8. 8. • Capital required • Lead time of Longwall components • Departmental approval • Mine culture toward new mining method of mining • Whole of workforce training in new mining method Challenges for LW
  9. 9. Challenges • Ventilation upgrade to facilitate new mining method
  10. 10. • The mine’s conveyor system, incorporating: – Underground bin capacity – Cable belt throughput – Surface bin throughput – Crushing plant throughput Challenges
  11. 11. Longwall Supplier Selection • Developed a close relationship with a Chinese manufacturer for the supply of mechanical and structural components of a longwall mining system. • The main drivers for this liaison were: 1. Price 2. Availability 3. Design-build to mine requirements
  12. 12. Longwall Build • Business risk assessment was undertaken from the viewpoint of utilising unproven Chinese equipment in Australia. • Use of Chinese motors that required IEC approval. • During construction process audits and design verification were undertaken by a third party. • Supports tested to Consol 30K cycles with an exceptional outcome – previously never undertaken in China
  13. 13. Longwall Specifications Width … 61m – 85m Length … 910m to 1700m Shearer manufacturer … Bucyrus Type … Electra EL 2000 DERDS Drum diameter … MG - 2m – TG – 2m Cutting height / method / web depth … 3.2 – 3.5 m / Uni-di / 750mm Install power … 1275 kW Roof support manufacturer … SIWEI
  14. 14. Longwall Specifications Type Number of supports … 2-leg chock shield / 38-52 Yield load/ working range/ control … 800 t / 1.8 – 3.9 m / Tiefenbach Tip to Face 400mm Face conveyor manufacturer … IMM , SGZ800/200 twin inboard 1000tph capacity Chain speed & manufacturer … 1.2 m/s / Parsons AFC Motors … 1 x 250 kW Beam stageloader … IMM, SZZ800/200, 200 kW Coal crusher … IMM, PLM 2000, 200 kW Coal clearance (to surface) type/capacity … Conveyor / 500tph
  15. 15. Longwall Implementation • 61.5m Longwall commenced MW Block 1 in September 2011 – 10 months from conception to implementation. • Extensive training undertaken for very inexperienced workforce. • Currently mining block 3 with higher than expected reliability and performance being achieved. • In June 2012 block 3 was extended to 85m adding an additional 14 roof supports and AFC components. Chain Valley is the first underground mine to implement and successfully complete a Chinese manufactured longwall in Australia
  16. 16. Chain Valley Extension