Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Middleton, R and Elliott, M, Designing for Efficient Installation and Relocation of Trunk and Panel Conveyors at Donaldson Coal, Tasman Mine in Aziz, N (ed), Coal 2008: Coal Operators' Conference, University of Wollongong & the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 2008, 224-230.


Mining operations at Donaldson Coal’s Tasman Mine were planned around maximizing the efficiencies in road way development and panel extraction within a mine to be established on traditional bord and pillar mining methods. Of particular relevance in early mine development, was that the installation of trunk conveyors stopped all coal production. Further, the mine plan required repeated relocation of production panel systems in relatively short cycles over the life of the mine. A key element of the requirements identified by mine management was to minimize the non productive time that occurred during installation of trunk conveyors and the installation and relocation of panel conveyors. Aggressive targets were established for the time to be taken from hand over of a completed heading by the Mining team to Engineering team until hand back with an installed and operational conveyor. These targets, amongst others, necessitated a specific approach to the design of equipment with particular emphasis on simplicity of transport, minimized underground assembly and electrical termination, standardisation of parts and the ability to efficiently add to the installation following initial operation. A collaborative approach between mine engineering staff and the equipment supplier was established to share operational and design experience and develop practical design solutions to meet management’s targets. This paper presents the criteria that were established for design constraints and required operational outcomes, the review of existing methods and the ultimate designs deployed at the mine. Several innovations were incorporated in the final designs to achieve the desired outcomes and these are presented. Whilst the design criteria were specific to the Tasman operation, the results of the process and equipment features have likely applications in other mine operations seeking to improve development efficiencies and minimize conveyor installation times.