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Rapid advance development monorail

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Centennial Coal’s Newstan mine in New South Wales has dramatically increased its development rates, improved ventilation and cut manual handling following the installation of a services management monorail system implemented in June 2005.

Mine management recognised the need for improvement in development panels and set about investigating various equipment and process options with a view to reducing injuries, improving driveage rates, improving longwall continuity and reducing costs.

Rathmines-based Macquarie Manufacturing was commissioned by Newstan to design and manufacture a services management monorail system to assist in achieving these outcomes.

The Macquarie-supplied system encompassed all services-related equipment from the face area, outbye to the incoming services cut-through.

At the face, ducting, cables and hoses directly interface with the continuous miner, with no detachment required during the flitting and tramming process, making it no longer necessary to install or manage vent tubes, as with cables and hoses. The sole requirement is the installation of an easily-managed monorail beam adjacent to the miner. Shuttle car extension cables are also strategically placed on monorail.

The ducting and services then extend outbye to the fan and gate end box, both of which are suspended from the monorail. Incoming services to this area are also accommodated within the monorail system, outbye to the incoming services cut-through and through to the associated travelling road take-off points.

Manual handling of equipment had been reduced significantly, as well as the need for diesel equipment with the panel.

Fan and gate end box management during the section advance is no longer an issue requiring machinery and labour, as both are suspended from the monorail.

The Newstan mine is located in the Newcastle Coalfield of New South Wales.

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