Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Gow, N, Gateroad development - the correct method, the correct machinery, in Aziz, N (ed), Coal 1998: Coal Operators' Conference, University of Wollongong & the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 1998, 374-386.


Longwall mining in Australia is approaching maturity .Longwall production from 'state of the art' AustrdJian longwall mines now rivals similar US based longwa11 operations. RegrettabJly however, Australian gate road development rates in general fall short of the required development to longwall production rntios that are required to sustain annual longwall production capabilities. By contrast, most US based longwa11 nllines achieve the required development to longwall production rntios to sustain their longwalls. This is despite man;y having to drive three heading longwall panel gate headings to meet regulatory requirements. In Austrnlia the focus in recent years has been on the improvement of roadway support capabilities of continuous miners. The goal has been to integrate coal cutting and loading with roadway support. Notable products resulting from this focus have been the Joy 12CM 30, Jeffrey 2048 and more recently the Voest Alpine ABM20. Other innovations in this arena have been designed and some have been trialed as prototypes. The:se machines have included the Joy Sump Shearer and Long-Airdox KB2 miner. Despite these improvements, development rates generally still lag behind those needed to meet improved longwall capabilities.