Stage Three Report: Automated Bolting And Mesh Handling On A Continuous Miner

Underground » Roadway Development

Published: March 14Project Number: C17018

Get ReportAuthor: Stephen van Duin, Peter Donnelly, Ian Oxley, Luke Meers, Daniel Gailer | University of Wollongong

Roadway development rates across the Industry are failing to keep pace with modern longwall systems and are unlikely to sustain further improvements in longwall productivity unless step change improvements to roadway development equipment and practices are realised. Bottlenecks which constrain improved production and impact the safety of operators have been identified through a series of industry surveys, with the manual installation of strata support materials off the continuous miner being identified as a major inhibition to improved development performance.  

Stage 1 of Project C17018 Automated Bolt and Mesh Handling commenced the development of first generation enabling technologies with the objective of automating current roadway development roof and rib support installation processes, with the joint aim of developing a high capacity roadway development system (10 MPOH advance rate) and removing personnel from hazards in the immediate face area, particularly those associated with working in a confined working environment in close proximity to rotating and moving equipment.

Stage 2 of the project continued development of these enabling technologies and culminated in a series of laboratory trials and demonstrations early 2011 that successfully demonstrated the various prototype manipulators that comprise the integrated strata support consumables handling system. Whilst these trials clearly demonstrated that the entire consumables handling function could be automated, they also identified a number of refinements which could improve both cycle times and system reliability. These refinements were progressively developed over the balance of Stage 2, including fully detailed engineering design and computer simulation of the second generation enhancements.

Stage 3 of the project extended the earlier stage objectives to manufacture and demonstrate the second generation automated bolt and mesh handling technologies and include additional automation which would simulate an entire one metre advance cycle (installation of 23 consumables) for both left and right sides of the machine. During the three month period between December 2013 and February 2014 a series of industry and academic above ground demonstrations where conducted to demonstrate and validate a complete full cycle, simulating five metres of unmanned roadway, and to bring the project to a point of "technology transfer" to industry. The demonstrations conducted were successful, with many key representatives from industry having the opportunity to view the operation in its entirety, provide feedback and express interest to progress the technologies commercially.

After the final surface demonstration using the mobile platform and simulated roadway, the University of Wollongong now aims to assist the transfer of intellectual property to parties interested in commercialising the technologies.


Health and safety, productivity and environment initiatives.

Recently Completed Projects

C27039True Triaxial Strength Of Coal Measure Rocks And Its Impact On Roadway Stability And Coal Burst Assessment

Rocks in the ground are subject to a range of stresses. The stresses...

C3063Underground Vehicle Design Standards And Statutory Implications

The Australian underground diesel vehicle fleet has evolved since di...

C3064Conveyor Belting And Lagging Shear Characteristics - Drive Drum Slip

The primary aim of this project was to investigate the relationsh...


Open Cut

Safety, productivity and the right to operate are priorities for open cut mine research.

Recently Completed Projects

C26029Geological Controls On Fluorine And Phosphorus In Bowen Basin Coals

Increasing global restrictions on fluorine in product coal prompted ...

C28033Raw Ash To Yield Relationships

Correct outcomes in yield predictions for product ash from coal bore...

C27038Establishing Self-Sustaining And Recognisable Ecological Mine Rehabilitation

In recent years an increasing interest has been placed on mining ope...

Open Cut

Coal Preparation

Maximising throughput and yield while minimising costs and emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C27064Dry Beneficiation Using FGX And X-Ray Sorters

Conventional dry processing methods engage a single beneficiation de...

C26010Multi-Sloped Screening Efficiency With Changing Strokes, Frequencies, Feed Solids And Feed Rates-Pilot Plant Study

Optimising multi-sloped screens is often described as an art and the...

C28059Impact Of Water Quality In Coal Handling And Preparations Plants

The objective of this project was to deliver a concise reference do...

Coal Preparation

Technical Market Support

Market acceptance and emphasising the advantages of Australian coals.

Technical Market Support

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from the production of coal.

Recently Completed Projects

C23052Novel Stone Dust Looping Process For Ventilation Air Methane Abatement

This multi‐phase project is concerned with the mitigation of m...

C27054Optimisation Of A Thermal Flow Reversal Reactor For Ventilation Air Methane Mitigation

Ventilation air methane (VAM) generally accounts for 50-85% of the t...

C28076Selective Absorption Of Methane By Ionic Liquids (SAMIL) - Phase 2 Demonstration In A Packed Bed Reactor

An alternative approach to high temperature oxidation of ventilation...

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Low Emission Coal Use

Step-change technologies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C17060BGasification Of Australian Coals

Four Australian coals were trialled in the Siemens 5 MWth pilot scale ga...

C17060AOxyfuel Technology For Carbon Capture And Storage Critical Clean Coal Technology - Interim Support

The status of oxy-fuel technology for first-generation plant is indicate...

C18007Review Of Underground Coal Gasification

This report consists of a broad review of underground coal gasification,...

Low Emission Coal Use

Mining And The Community

The relationship between mines and the local community.

Recently Completed Projects

C16027Assessing Housing And Labour Market Impacts Of Mining Developments In Bowen Basin Communities

The focus of this ACARP-funded project has been to identify a number...

C22029Understanding And Managing Cumulative Impacts Of Coal Mining And Other Land Uses In Regions With Diversified Economies

The coal industry operates in the context of competing land-uses that sh...

C23016Approval And Planning Assessment Of Black Coal Mines In NSW And Qld: A Review Of Economic Assessment Techniques

This reports on issues surrounding economic assessment and analysis ...

Mining And The Community


National Energy Research,Development & Demonstration Council (NERDDC) reports - pre 1992.

Recently Completed Projects

1609-C1609Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

1301-C1301Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development...

Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development and Extraction Operations

0033-C1356Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals...

Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals - An Industry Handbook