Mobile Miner

Engineering Audit of Underground Mining Machine

CMP Engineers provided an audit of design, and provision of assistance in design of an underground mobile mining machine. This involved close liaison with design staff at The Robbins Company in Seattle, USA, and Pasminco personnel, with respect to structure, gearing, hydraulics and elements of the machine control. Involvement continued throughout machine manufacture in Australia and initial commissioning at Broken Hill Mine. Scope included detailed review of, and assistance with, Finite Element Modelling of entire main load path. Also, a rock/machine model was developed to examine the dynamics of the rock cutting process. A Finite Element Analysis of the rock/cutter interaction was carried out as part of a cutter development project.

The mobile miner uses disc cutters, as per tunnel boring machines (TBM’s), but the cutters are mounted around the periphery of a cutter wheel that rotates about a lateral axis, unlike a TBM, where the cutters are positioned around the face of a disc, which rotates about an axis which is concentric with the centre line of the tunnel. The result is a tunnel with a flat top and bottom, and rounded sides.