Australian Roadway Development - Current Status

Underground » Roadway Development

Published: March 07Project Number: C15005

Get ReportAuthor: Gary Gibson | Gary Gibson & Associates

Development rates are failing to keep up with advances in longwall production. The ACARP Roadway Development Task Group (RDTG) is seeking to address this through targeted research and development.

The RDTG utilised key findings of this scoping study, Project C15005,  to establish a vision for this work, and will further involve industry in the development of detailed strategies that will turn the vision into reality.

The RDTG will also support the broader adoption of best practice roadway development as identified at a number of mines during the study. The Task Group will support the development of a number of complementary initiatives as recommended by the study.

Vision and Strategy
A number of the incremental technological developments reported in the study are now well advanced with researchers and OEMs proposing to demonstrate their technologies in operating mines during 2006. The RDTG has therefore adopted a vision that reflects ACARP’s role of supporting longer-term research and development initiatives, namely - ”ACARP will, within 3 to 7 years, facilitate the development of a safe, viable, high capacity, integrated mining system capable of sustained, continuous production at a level of +10MPOH for greater than 20 hours day.”

The RDTG determined that it would conduct a new technology workshop, with broad industry participation, first half 2006 to develop appropriate strategies. It will establish close liaison between this project and the recently approved ACARP Project C15008, 15Mtpa Longwall initiative.

Best Practice Roadway Development
To support the adoption of best practice roadway development throughout the industry the RDTG determined to:

  • Publish the report and distribute it throughout the industry.
  • Benchmark roadway development performance on a six monthly basis and report to industry through industry workshops and publications.
  • Conduct roadway development practitioners’ workshops on a six monthly basis in the Central Queensland, Hunter Valley, and South-West NSW regions, with input from best practice operators, researchers and OEMs.
  • Conduct a roadway development practitioners’ conference second half 2007 with best practice operators invited to present as part of an industry recognition process. Establish a web-based network to monitor and report on developments in roadway development technologies, practices and systems.
  • Reclassifying relevant project reports as roadway development related in the Available Report section on the ACARP web site.

These initiatives will be progressively introduced commencing mid 2006.

Complementary Initiatives
The C15005 study identified a number of complementary initiatives that warranted ACARP support including:

  • Continued support for the development of integrated self drilling roof and rib bolting systems, including self drilling bolts and automated bolting equipment, with such systems being total system solutions capable of retrofitting to existing continuous miner platforms.
  • Development of alternative skin reinforcement and containment measures that will minimise manual handling and installation, and associated injury risks.
  • Development of an automated long tendon drilling and bolting system that will be able to be readily incorporated into existing continuous miner platforms and the self drilling roof bolting systems currently under development, and for installation of tendons in a secondary support application.
  • Undertake a desktop review of the metalliferous mining and civil tunnelling sectors to identify technology that has potential to be applied to the roadway development process.
  • Review findings of an earlier NERDDC study on roadway construction and maintenance and report to industry through practitioners’ workshops.


Health and safety, productivity and environment initiatives.

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