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Technology in Australia 1788-1988Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
Table of Contents

Chapter 11

I The Present Energy Economy

II Australian Energy Consumption

III Research And Development

IV Coal
i Transition at the coal face
ii Further development of face mechanisation
iii Mechanisation outside the face area
iv Open-cut mining in NSW
v Open-cut mining in Queensland
vi Underground mining in Queensland
vii The state of the art
viii Conclusion

V Oil And Natural Gas

VI Solar Energy

VII Nuclear Energy

VIII Bagasse Firewood And Other Biomass

IX Electric Power Generation And Distribution electric Power Generation And Distribution

X Manufactured Gas

XI Industrial Process Heat



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Basic aims of mine planning (continued)

Although all these measures have not reached the stage where they can be considered completely satisfactory their use is proving to be an invaluable assistance in the planning and operation of both underground and open-cut mines and their refinement seems only a matter of time.

In open-cut planning, where borehole spacing can be of the order of 100 m, this geotechnical information coupled with computerisation and its associated graphics permits of mine planning so that at any time in the future, coal quality and costs can be predicted for any particular section.


The concept of continuous conveying behind a continuous miner, although not in general use now, would appear to be close enough to be an accepted tool in the very near future.

A parallel situation developed with the introduction of mechanised supports in longwall mining in the United Kingdom (UK). Collins in 1955 stated

It had long been the ambition of some mining engineers to develop 'manless' extraction of coal. A step in this direction was provided in the concept of the Remotely Operated Longwall Face (ROLF) introduced into British mines in about 1960. This proved to be an important development in the search for the automation of coal production. The system did not have a wide application, however, and it certainly did not succeed in achieving 'manless' extraction.

In the year 1987 it can be said that the conception is now here and can operate over virtually all of the face length. Changing direction at either end and the industrial problems that will no doubt arise, appear to be the only remaining barriers.

People in Bright Sparcs - Collins, H. E.

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© 1988 Print Edition page 797, Online Edition 2000
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