Linking underground and surface mining operations, the Cat® Highwall Mining System is a testament to innovative mining equipment. The HW300 offers a safe and innovative method for extracting coal from exposed seams in a multitude of applications.
Highwall mining is a proven primary method for mining coal from exposed seams. In this method of mining, an unmanned cutter module is driven underground and operated in front of the highwall. The highwall mining machine stands on the pit floor or on a bench, directly in front of the exposed seam and makes long parallel rectangular drives into the coal seam. A remote-operated cutter module is pushed into the seam by a string of push beams (unmanned coal-conveying elements) that transport the mined coal back to the entry of the drive onto a stockpile. The whole mining cycle is completed by a three- or four-man crew, with no personnel going underground at any time. The self-contained Cat highwall mining system offers an innovative method for extracting coal from exposed seams in a multitude of applications. Whether you’re operating a trench, open cast or contour mine, the Cat highwall mining system can extract coal affordably and safely:
Open cast: Highwall mining is used to mine coal from underneath the final highwall, when the strip limit is reached due to economic reasons or surface conditions
Contour mining: In a mountainous area, the Cat highwall mining system can follow a coal seam along the side of the hill
Trench mining: The unit mines coal from both sides of a purpose-prepared trench; this mining method is used when an open pit is not an option
Our highly skilled experts are eager to assist you to determine the feasibility of your highwall mining project. The Caterpillar team uses an evaluation of your geological data and site plan to determine how best to use a Cat highwall mining system.
Caterpillar offers two electric cutter modules: a low-profile cutter module for seams 0.76-1.62 m (2.5-5.3 ft) in height and a mid-seam cutter module to mine 1.3-3.05 m (4.3-10 ft) seams. The cutter modules are interchangeable and quickly attached to the power head assembly. The cutting cycle is fully automated, yet allows the operator to manually adjust the machine function using an ampere reading as the coal seam varies. This proven technology allows the cutter module to accurately follow the coal seam and produce a clean product.
An optional Gamma Detection system can be used to guide the cutter module through the coal seam, leaving predetermined amounts of coal in the roof and floor. This system also allows the mining of coal in soft roof and/or soft floor situations. For even more accurate directional mining operation. Caterpillar offers an optional solid-state, fiber-optic, gyro-based navigation and steering system. This provides operators with very precise cutter module location data in real time for enhanced cutter module steering and pillar width control.
The power head drives the cutter module and push beam string forward using two hydraulically-powered sump cylinders with a 6.86 m (22.5 ft) stroke. The pushing force of 133 tonnes (147 tons) propels the cutter module to a depth of 300 m (1,000 ft) and the pulling force of 275 tonnes (303 tons) retracts it safely.
The Cat highwall mining system is an agile, self-propelled machine that operates on contour benches as narrow as 18 m (59 ft). It trams easily from entry to entry and discharges coal in tight spaces. An optional right-angle conveyor system discharges coal on the right or left side on narrow benches. It can also discharge onto a stacking conveyor system, where coal is moved to the center of the bench for stockpiling large volumes. Four heavy-duty, hydraulically-powered tracks articulate independently in two operating modes - mine mode and tram mode - and can rotate the machine 360°, which improves maneuverability in congested areas. Mine mode is used for moving parallel to the highwall, while tram mode is used when moving from pit to pit.
Ergonomic design for comfort, control and productivity.
The Cat highwall mining system is equipped with a comfortable, climate controlled, pressurized cab that offers a full view of the mining operation and the highwall. The full suspension operator seat and the two user-friendly touchscreens create an ergonomic workplace, placing controls and system information at the operator’s fingertips.
Cat push beams are 6 m (20 ft) long, rectangular, reinforced steel box structures joined together to form a string, which connects the highwall mining system to the cutter module. The push beam string is the backbone of the machine; pushing and pulling the cutter module in and out of the coal seam. The push beam conveys mined coal inside. The enclosed beam protects the coal from contamination and supports the hose chain that supplies control and power to the cutter module. Other Cat push beam advantages include:
A strong method of attachment that is secured and disengaged quickly
A push beam connection that allows the string and cutter module to navigate through coal seam rolls and undulations
A simple design free of electrical and hydraulic connections
Push beams that can be stacked six high reduced storage area in narrow work sites, even under tough pushing and pulling conditions
A steel-armored hose chain stores and protects all electric power cables, hydraulic and coolant lines, and the control cable to the cutter module. The hose chain is automatically unrolled and retracted on a reel during mining.
The Cat highwall mining system’s operation is controlled by a Programmable Logic Controller, which provides reliable performance for greater uptime. A comprehensive diagnostics system, including troubleshooting assistance, streamlines maintenance procedures.
Maximum Stabilization even under toughest conditions.
Two drills mounted on the front of the machine are used to drill into the pit floor up to 2.4 m (8 ft). High-strength pins are then inserted through the base frame into the pit floor to help stabilize the machine and to maintain its accurate position, even under tough pushing and pulling conditions.
For quick relocation over long distances, the Cat highwall mining system can be taken apart in modules. Rapid disassembly and reassembly is facilitated by convenient hydraulic and electrical connectors, and all modules are sized for transport using regular public roads. Depending on local conditions, the system can also be transported between sites and without disassembly by heavy haul trucks.
The Cat highwall mining system is engineered and equipped with a priority on safe operation; safety features include: Elevated cab with cameras - For a complete view of the highwall mining system and mining operation, the cab is elevated on the machine and three magnetic base cameras are provided whose positions can be easily and quickly adjusted. Above-ground operation - Operation of the system is performed entirely on the surface with no crew members working underground. Small-crew size - The highwall mining system only requires a three- to four-person crew for full operation. Remote operation - The machine can be operated and trammed up to 61 m (200 ft) away via laptop. Anchoring system - Two drills mounted on the front of the machine are used to drill into the pit floor up to 2.4 m (8 ft). High-strength pins are then inserted through the base frame into the pit floor to help stabilize the machine and to maintain its accurate position, even under tough pushing and pulling conditions.
Every HW300 is backed by 24/7 support from highly skilled and experienced staff. Large warehouse stocks with spare parts ensure the highest levels of machine uptime, and service and parts back-up can be tailored to your needs.
Caterpillar can arrange operational and technical training which covers every aspect of the HW300 Highwall Miner. A two-week training program from the Caterpillar facility in Beckley, West Virginia, USA, is offered to new customers and to existing customers as a refresher.
Used to guide the cutter module through the coal seam, leaving predetermined amounts of coal in the roof and floor. This system also allows the mining of coal in soft roof and/or soft floor situations.
For hot-climate applications, this package extends the operating temperature of the equipment up to 55° C (131° F).
For extreme-cold climates, this package extends the operating temperature to -40° C (-40° F).
This feature discharges coal to the right or left of the machine.
PUSH BEAM GRAPPLE
This tool is mounted to the front of a wheel loader to provide safe and efficient transportation of push beams to and from the highwall mining system.
A self-contained generator system provides electrical power to the highwall mining system in remote locations where connection to a utility grid is not practical.