Coal Auger Services – Mining Technology


The problem – the final excavation must be rehabilitated according to regulations and without further income.

The Opportunity – The use of an auger provides cost-effective recovery of additional coal from exposed layers without increasing the liability for remediation and helps offset the high cost of final remediation.

Auger mining operations drill a series of parallel holes perpendicular to the high wall, leaving properly sized pillars between the holes to maintain the stability of the high wall and overlying surface. The technique is also commonly used to recover coal below surface features that limit surface mining, such as rivers and roads.

Contract auger mining can be used by coal mine operators looking to access additional coal reserves without employing additional capital or diverting any of their resources from current mining activities.

The extra tonnes that low-cost contract auger mining can provide can dramatically improve the profitability of the host mine.

Self-contained auger extraction capacity

Our augers are self-contained diesel powered machines, capable of operating with minimal assistance and relatively isolated from other equipment.

One of the main strengths of our augers is their operational flexibility, which makes them very attractive to customers as they disrupt existing on-site operations as little as possible.

The AM 1500 Coal Recovery Auger has a maximum cutting head diameter of 1.83m, a vein penetration depth of up to 200m and a production capacity of over 40,000t per month from ‘an autonomous operation. Additional features include:

  • Vertical auto-jacking up to 2.6m to allow dual auger extraction in thick coal seams
  • Ability to operate in seams that dip up to 20 ° from horizontal from an 8 ° bench tilt
  • Total installed power of 2,000 hp supplied by a 1,500 hp diesel engine to drive the auger cutting and transporting and a 500 hp diesel engine to power the hydraulics and other auxiliary equipment
  • Integrated fall protection canopy and covered walkways
  • Remote controlled loading and unloading of auger flights

Safe mining operations even in gas veins

Coal Augering Services is proud of its excellent safety record. The low staffing level combined with a high focus on security makes the company’s security performance among the highest in the industry.

All machine functions are controlled from a fully air-conditioned and protected cabin where the auger operator works.

The auger typically has a crew of three, including the auger operator, one to supervise the removal of coal using the stacker and / or the dedicated front loader, and another to help with the management of the digger. auger flight.

When the methane levels in the target coal seam horizons are high, we operate an inert gas generation unit (IGG) to maintain an inert atmosphere in the active auger hole during mining.

The IGG unit burns diesel to generate a low oxygen gas stream, which is introduced into the hole in the auger during cutting.

Continued use of this system maintains an inert atmosphere in the auger hole and prevents entry of atmospheric air into the auger hole, effectively eliminating any risk of ignition.

Proven IGG technology and procedures allow safe operation even in environments with high methane content.

Scope of work for contract auger mining operations

Typical services provided in contract auger mining operations include:

  • Mobilization of equipment and personnel, including site inductions and operational risk assessment focused on site specific conditions and equipment authorizations
  • Auger extraction of coal to the bottom of the pit, which is then stored ready to be loaded by the contractor’s staff or designated subcontractors
  • Relocation of auger equipment between operating areas
  • Demobilization of the site

Additionally, the scope can be changed to include preparing the pit ready for auger mining, transporting water for dust suppression in the auger work area, and transporting coal.

Contract auger mining costs are generally lower than surface mining, making it a competitive mining option even in today’s environment of low commodity prices.

About William J. Harris

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