Grosvenor Tunnel Borer Commences OperationMonday Oct 21st - 11:49
Queensland’s first tunnel boring machine (TBM) for a coal mine began operation this morning after almost one and a half years of construction. The Grosvenor project operated by Anglo American is worth AUS $1.95 billion and will target the same seam of coal as the existing Goonyella Middle Seam and Moranbah North operations. Once operational the mine is expected to produce five million tonnes per year of coking coal for export and provide jobs for 350 people.
The AUS$40 million earth pressure balance machine has been built by Robbins and utilises a number of ATB Morley flameproof motors for the cutting heads. The borer will be used to build two 7m diameter drift tunnels into the mine to reach the coal seam 160 metres below the surface. One tunnel will be used for the coal conveyor and the other for people and equipment to access the longwall.
TBM tunnelling has been used to construct road tunnels in Brisbane but as yet is relatively under utilised in the mining industry. The state of the art borer lines the tunnel with pre-cast concrete rings as it advances which is both safer and faster than traditional drift tunnel construction.