Publication Details

Raghavendra Rao, S., Cook, C., Baafi, E. & Porteous, R. (2010). Design and simulation of roadway development operations to improve productivity. Transactions of the Institutions of Mining and Metallurgy, Section A: Mining Technology, 119 (2), 79-87. Copyright Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and The AusIMM.


A typical Australian 3–5 Mt/year longwall requires 9 to 15 km of roadway to be developed every year (G. Lewis and G. Gibson: Proc. 13th Austr. Tunnelling Conf., Melbourne, Australia, May 2008, ATS, 317–326.). One of the major challenges faced by the Australian longwall mining industry is that roadway development has been unable to keep pace with improvements in longwall extraction rates. This has affected the profitability, viability and future of underground coal mines (M. Kelly: 'Coordination of roadway development strategy', ACARP report no. C5013, ACARP, Brisbane, Australia, 1997.). Gibson (G. Gibson: 'Australian roadway development– current practices', ACARP report no. C15005, ACARP, Brisbane, Australia, 2005.) proposed the development of an integrated suite of management tools and procedures to study how roadway development rates can be improved. A computer based process mapping, management and monitoring system would help the adoption of a systems/process control approach. The objective of this study was the development of a simulation model to better understand, analyse and improve the planning and execution of current roadway development. The models developed were able to demonstrate the utilisation of the self-drilling rock bolt technology could improve advance rate of roadway developments.

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