By Matt Jones, longwall superintendent Broadmeadow mine, BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA); Kevin Meyer, longwall maintenance superintendent, Broadmeadow mine; and Brett Moule, longwall applications, Cat Global Mining

The Goonyella Middle Seam, located in the Bowen Basin, Queensland, Australia, is a source of high quality metallurgical coal for global export. The seam sub-crops in a north/south direction at a depth of about 60 m (200 ft) and dips to the east at 5°-8°. Seam thickness varies from 5 m (16 ft) to 12 m (39 ft) with the average seam thickness in the current mining area being about 7.6 m (25 ft).

The Broadmeadow mine was started using a longwall to extract coal at 4.7 m (15 ft) leaving the top section of the seam to fall into the gob. The adjacent open-cut mine has been mining the full seam section for more than 30 years, investigations and evaluations were made into the Top Coal Caving method and its suitability for the operation. Longwall Top Coal Caving (LTCC) was introduced in 2012.

The presentation will discuss the management of an LTCC face compared to a conventional longwall face and what was learned from both an operational and maintenance perspective. The authors will share their ideas on controlling dilution on the rear conveyor as well as their successful use of automation.