A simulation model for roadway development to support longwall mining
The practice of longwall mining is potentially an efficient and cost effective means of extracting coal from underground seams. However, for production targets to be achieved not only must the longwall perform as expected but roadway development must be kept ahead of the longwall advance. The evaluation of development options is a challenging exercise due to the interactions between mining, tramming and clearance operations. In particular, the high levels of variability and uncertainty in operations make it difficult to assess how a particular configuration may perform. A simulation model RoadSIM using the ARENA modelling system has been produced to assist in the analysis of the roadway development process. The RoadSIM simulator provides means for assessing the operational limitations of roadway development practices at a particular coalmine. The simulation model provides a what if tool to allow a range of equipment, configuration and operating practices to be assessed in terms of achievable advance rates and equipment utilisation. Output from the simulator is in the form of a dynamic visualisation as well as summary reports and detailed logs of operations over time.