28 October 2013
For the first time in Australia, an Earth Pressure Balance
(EPB) Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) will be used to excavate access
tunnels (drifts) for a coal mine in Queensland.
The TBM methodology for Anglo American’s Grosvenor metallurgical
coal mine in Moranbah, south-west of Mackay, has been developed
with the assistance of GHD, one of the world’s leading engineering,
architecture and environmental consulting companies.
GHD is providing detailed design and owner’s engineer services
for the project. Richard Fechner, GHD's Global Technical Leader,
Energy & Resources says, “Anglo American is a key global client
for GHD, and this project is a very important and exciting one for
our team. We are providing a range of services from geotechnical
investigations and detailed tunnel design, to reviewing the TBM
specification, launch and excavation methodologies, and EPB
operating pressures This will enable Anglo American to access the
coal seam in a fraction of the time a traditionally excavated drift
would take and provide a maintenance-free access tunnel structure
for the life of the mine, expected to be 40 years.”
The 8 m diameter earth pressure balance TBM will excavate two 1
km long drifts from the surface to the coal seam. One drift will
house the conveyor, while the other will be used to transport
people and equipment into the mine.
Each drift will have an internal diameter of 7 m and consists of
a steel fibre reinforced concrete segmental lining. After the first
drift is completed, the TBM will be disassembled and extracted,
leaving the shield in place. It will then be reset in a new shield
for the second drive. Once the drifts are complete, the TBM
components will be retained for use on other Anglo American
GHD has used TBM methodology extensively for a range of recent
projects, including the Legacy Way road tunnels in Brisbane, the
Sugarloaf Pipeline Alliance in Victoria, the Melbourne Main Sewer
and the Epping to Chatswood Railway Line in Sydney.
Longwall production at the Grosvenor mine is scheduled to begin
in late 2016.
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For more information about this release, contact Kirill Reztsov