Underground » Mining Technology and Production
There are several self drill roof bolt concepts and proto-types that have been trialled in the industry. However, there are none that chemically provide pre-tension to the installed bolt. OKA technology also allows for the self drill rock bolt installation to be automated.
The underground trial highlighted the capabilities and limitations of the technology, and demonstrated that trialling on a continuous miner at the production face is the appropriate next step.
The self drilling bolt automation trial, was successful and has highlighted the opportunity for further refinements and improvements. The trial took place underground in an out-bye section of a coal mine.
The main finding is that the technology is capable of repetitive and consistent bolt installation. Over 400 bolts were installed into the roof and rib. Various bolt inclinations were installed successfully. Pull-out tests were performed several times throughout the trial, meeting industry standard test results.
More trialling is required with an upgraded hazardous zone compliant injection system to test the technology at the working face. If successful, the industry can then take advantage of a safer, more productive and efficient roadway face support installation system.