By Dieter Haage, Anglo American Coal Australia

Anglo American has as a strategic objective to double the value of its metallurgical coal business in 10 years. Delivering this objective will require four new underground mines with five longwalls in the Bowen basin in eastern Australia. Given the significant investment that this greenfield expansion represents, the rationale to design the longwall equipment to achieve benchmark safety and productivity performance will assure favorable returns to the shareholders and offer excellent technical challenges to the engineers and managers accountable to deliver the performance objectives.

Prior to embarking on the journey to benchmark design, Anglo American made a few strategic decisions, all believed to underpin the objectives and goals set. Key decisions include the establishment of an alliance partnership with one supplier to design, supply and support the entire expansion program. A further commitment was the principle of total system supply by this one supplier, from tip of the pick of the Longwall to the discharge end of the drift conveyor.

A partnership approach to understanding and overcoming the constraints to achieving the desired safety and productivity outcomes allowed for an expanded input to the challenges by subject matter experts, and as a result of the reviews, a design has been prepared that looks to achieve the objectives set at the commencement of the design process.

This paper explains the approach followed and the outcome achieved in support of benchmark safety and productivity for the Grosvenor longwall mine.