Modern Coal Related Technology
Underground Mining Equipment










Longwall Mining

Longwall mining is a highly productive underground coal mining technique.  Longwall mining machines consist of multiple coal shearers mounted on a series of self-advancing hydraulic ceiling supports.  The entire process is mechanized.  Longwall mining machines are about 800 feet (240 meters) in width and 5 to 10 feet (1.5 to 3 meters) tall.  Longwall miners extract "panels" - rectangular blocks of coal as wide as the mining machinery and as long as 12,000 feet (3,650 meters). Massive shearers cut coal from a wall face, which falls onto a conveyor belt for removal.  As a longwall miner advances along a panel, the roof behind the miner's path is allowed to collapse.

Joy Mining Machinery - Longwall Cutters
Joy Mining Machinery - Longwall Mining Roof Support
These photo's are from the Deer Creek Mine in Utah, but the equipment being used is the same as in Kentucky.  Here you see the longwall cutter head and the shields that support it.

Visit Utah Geological Survey for more information.







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