Whitehaven Coal successfully completed its second longwall chageout in Q1 – on time and on budget. Mining in the second panel was completed in mid-January and cutting in the third panel (LW03) recommenced in early-March, the miner said in its quarterly production report.
The configuration of LW03 installation differed to that of the previous longwall panels in that two additional roof supports were added to the tailgate end of the longwall. This modification was made to improve safety and reduce costs by eliminating the need to install additional secondary support in the tailgate.
However, as the longwall retreat progressed with this revised configuration, the floor horizon control at the tailgate end of the longwall face-line was lost, resulting in a difference between the floor levels of the longwall face-line and the tailgate development roadway. At this point management took the decision to stop production.
A recovery plan has now been developed and implemented; however, the incident is expected to hit Narrabri’s ROM coal production for the financial year with the mine currently forecasting production of 4.8 – 5 million t, down from 5.5 million t.
In future, the extended longwall panals will allow the company to limit longwall moves at Narrabri to one per financial year in future. “With less time lost to changeouts, an increase in annual coal production can naturally be expected,” said the company.
Adapted from press release by Jonathan Rowland
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/mining/02052014/whitehaven_coal_complete_second_longwall_move/