Shortwall Mining Equipmen

Erickson, Carl
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 3
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1982
The term shortwall mining is somewhat of a mis¬nomer. It may infer a longwall mining system, but of much shorter face length. Actually, continuous pillar mining is a more descriptive term. Coal is mined using a continuous miner as would be done in pillar extrac¬tion, but with the addition of roof supports to control the caving. Face length on such a system typically is 46 to 61 m (150 to 200 ft). The coal is cut in front of the roof supports in the same direction as with a long¬wall shearing machine or plow, but it is mined with a continuous miner and shuttle cars of the same type as used in continuous mining. ROOF SUPPORTS Roof supports for shortwall mining must be con¬siderably larger than those used for longwall mining because of the additional roof to be supported by the wider 2.6- to 3.4-m (81/2- to 11-ft) cut of the continuous miner. Capacities of shortwall chocks in current use vary from about 454 to 726 t (500 to 800 st). The higher capacity as compared to longwall roof supports is needed primarily because of (1) the greater support length, hence more roof weight, and (2) the presence of draw slate in the eastern coal seams, where shortwall is being used. The most popular shortwall support currently used is the four-leg 590 t (650 st) model. This support is shown in Fig. 1. The price of this support is approxi¬mately $25,000 each. As shown in Fig. 1, the shortwall chock incorporates an unusually long forward bar that has an additional hydraulically operated extension bar to provide face support for the wide miner cut. METHOD OF OPERATION Mining Sequence In shortwall mining, two or three (depending upon the chock design) move up cycles of the chock are needed because of the miner cut width. Fig. 2 depicts the five steps required to complete the move of chock and spill plate using a miner that takes a 3.3-m (10-ft,
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