Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

C. Donnelly, G. Ramage and M. Donghi, Alternative excavation methods in undeground coal mining, 14th Coal Operators' Conference, University of Wollongong, The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy & Mine Managers Association of Australia, 2014, 216-223.


With the recent turbulent nature of the global financial environment, project drivers have been challenged with the emphasis being placed on methods to gain early access to ore bodies, rapid development techniques, lower capital costs and reduced labour requirements to name a few. Recently work commenced on a project that is challenging the norm and implementing an alternative excavation method into the Australian coal mining industry by the use of a tunnel boring machine. The tunnel boring machine will mechanically excavate both the Conveyor Drift and Transport Drift at Anglo American’s Grosvenor Mine in Moranbah, Queensland. This paper will review this project and provide technical and operational insight into some of the challenges faced in implementing this and other alternative excavation methods in the Australian underground coal industry.