Publication Details

Cai, D., Baafi, E. & Porter, I. (2014). Shuttle car network for roadway development. 2014 SME Annual Meeting & Exhibition: Leadership in Uncertain Times (pp. 1-4). United States: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration.


Australian underground coal mines predominately use the longwill method for coal extraction. In longwall mining at least two parallel roadways known as gateroads are mined to delineate the sides of the longwall block, a longwall installation face is then driven connecting the gatheroads to enable the longwall mining equipment to be installed. Roadway development should ideally be ahead of the longwall so that the longwall equipment can be installed into the newly developed panel with minimal delay to coal production. A discrete event mode of roadway development can help asses how a particular configuration may perform with high levels of variability and uncertainty in operations.

One of the major delays assoicated with roadway development is caused by the shuttle car due to its cyclic stop-start nature. Shuttle car travelling paths and machine interactions are normally constraint by the mine's roadway layout and mine safety issues. This paper presents simulations of shuttle car route operations which can be considered at the design stage to minimize the cycle time of a shuttle car as part of a general roadway developemnt simulation model developed using 3D flexsim.