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|Specific energy is defined as the amount of work required to break a unit volume of rock and is used to predict the performance of mechanical miners. It is obtained from full-scale rock cutting experiments, which require large block samples, experienced personnel and expensive equipment found in only a few research centres in the world. Estimation of the optimum specific energy, at which a given geological formation is excavated at optimum cutting geometry in the most energy efficient manner, from mechanical rock properties to predict the performance/efficiency of roadheaders is the basic aim of this study. The mechanical rock property tests require only core samples, which are easier to obtain and to test. In this context, full-scale rock cutting tests are performed on 23 different rock, mineral and ore samples including sandstone, claystone, tuffite, chromite, trona and copper collected from some operating mines in Turkey. The optimum specific energy values are obtained for each sample. Physical and mechanical property tests are performed on the core samples obtained from the same samples to determine uniaxial compressive strength, indirect (Brazilian) tensile strength, static and dynamic elasticity moduli, Schmidt hammer rebound values, density, and Cerchar abrasivity index. The relationships between the optimum specific energy and the mechanical rock properties are analysed using statistical methods. The results indicate strong relationships between the optimum specific energy and the mechanical rock properties. The strongest relationships are found by using uniaxial compressive strength and tensile strength. The performance models developed in this study are in good agreement with the empirical models previously developed for roadheaders and can be used reliably for prediction purposes. Keywords: Mechanical excavation, roadheader, performance prediction, rock cutting, optimum specific energy, mechanical properties of rocks.|