Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

B. Smith and P. Hagan, Analysis of the Macquarie monorail system in development of gate roads at Mandalong Mine, 12th Coal Operators' Conference, University of Wollongong & the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 2012, 102-108.


Gate road development lies on the critical path in the longwall production process. To address this issue industry has invested substantial resources in developing technologies such as continuous haulage and bolting cycle automation. There has been limited focus on improvement of ancillary development processes and technologies such as the provision of face and panel services and the panel advance process. A monorail system has been in use for some years at Mandalong Mine near Lake Macquarie in N.S.W. The Macquarie Monorail system is an integrated gate road development services unit and differs from many existing monorail units employed in underground operations as it is designed to manage all face services while as well as carrying heavy panel plant such as the section load centre and auxiliary fan. Use of the system at the Mandalong Mine has resulted in increased productivity and safety performance during gate road development. Reductions in service move and operating delay times of 32% and 25% were observed respectively along with a 70% reduction in manual handling injuries. The system is not without its disadvantages chief being significant manual handling is necessary in the erection of the relatively heavy monorail structure and replacement of the flexible ventilation ducting. Despite these minor limitations of the system, the overall safety and productivity performance of gate road development was found to be superior to conventional development units.