The machine is generally operated from a bench that is created by the removal of overburden material and coal by way of contour surface mining around the perimeter of a coal seam. Other highwall applications include previously augered areas and trench mining.
In a contour surface application, a minimum bench width of forty-two feet is required, with fifty-five feet or more being ideal. The configuration of the HWM is such that it is capable of mining coal seams ranging from thirty inches to sixteen feet in thickness and to depths of up to one thousand feet. The ability to mine this range of coal seam heights is accomplished by fitting interchangeable cuttterhead modules to the HWM for low, medium, or high seam mining applications.
Streaming Video of Highwall Miner
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