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Return of the plough

After a four-year break the Pniówek mine again launched a longwall mined using the plough technology.

photo: Rafał Bilat

The PW -1 plough longwall in seam 358/1 has the initial strike of 720 meters and the length of 200 meters. The coal is mined in a seam with the thickness ranging from 1 to 1.4 meters. In the longwall we employ miners from the G-3 unit who have experience in operating plough longwalls  – says Marek Malcharek, mining work manager responsible for operations in KWK Pniówek.  

For the time being, the longwall is at the commissioning stage, but the target daily progress is planned to be in the range of 8.2 meters, with the daily output of 3 thousand tons of coal.  

The longwall shearer comprising: the GH9-38/VE plough, JZR-11/25 mechanized roof support sections and PF4/932 face conveyor, supports operation of seams with the thickness from 1 to 1.7 meters. The plough head may have a cut of as much as 21 centimeters, working at the speed of 1.9 meters per second. Such fast daily progress of the longwall front requires efficient preparation of longwall roadways.

We should remember that a plough longwall is nearly fully automated and controlled using the control panel located in the longwall roadway. The staffing of the longwall is limited to the absolute minimum and amounts to 3-4 miners. In a longwall mined in the traditional way 12 people have to be employed. Unfortunately a plough has its drawbacks. With such a fast progress, more miners in the longwall bays are required. The mining of the PW-1 longwall is planned to be closed by mid-March 2020. – After we finish to mine the PW-1 longwall we plan to use the plough complex in further four longwalls with low seams– say Malcharek.


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