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New Highwall Mining System by S.h.s. Inc. and the USBM.
Proc 1990 :13-30
S.H.S., Inc., and the U.S. Bureau of Mines have generated needed technology for coal extraction in unreclaimed and active contour strip mines. The new concept provides increased safety for the mine worker by allowing the operator to control the mining machine from a station located on the highwall bench. The concept also permits increased coal recovery from the seam. This first prototype system is comprised of a computer-based system to teleoperate a thin-seam continuous miner (tscm) and a 250-ft-long multiple-unit continuous haulage (much) conveying system, plus other bench-based support equipment. A single worker at an ergonomically designed workstation teleoperates the tscm and much system. The workstation is housed in a protective enclosure located on the highwall bench. Two other people work on the bench to operate other support equipment. The teleoperating system is particularly important. It uses technology that bridges the gap between current mining methods and future, highly automated mining systems for both surface and deep mines. Full-scale, mockup fabrications were employed in the design of the unique operator workstation. Extensive simulated surface tests of the miner and haulage systems were completed at Bureau test facilities at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A successful shakedown trial of the entire system was conducted in 1989 at a highwall site in west Virginia.
Proc 1990 Mng & Reclamation Conf & Exhibition. Am. Soc. Surface Mng & Reclam., 1990, PP. 13-30