Mining equipment manufacturer Caterpillar has completed its first armoured face conveyor (AFC) system for longwall mining in China.
Designed for longwall top coal caving (LTCC), the new system will be used to mine a coal seam as thick as 8m, and has a face length of 260m.
Thick seams can be economically recovered using the LTCC mining method by cutting the lower portion of the seam and recovering coal later on that caves as the face moves forward.
Composed of Cat PF6 line pans, the AFC system consists of a new design that divides hardened steel parts that are wear-resistant, and the substructure that is manufactured of steel.
Caterpillar stated that the design does not damage the substructure and allows easy replacement of wear parts.
The front AFC can transport 2500tph, and the rear AFC has capacity to transport 3000t. In addition each of the conveyers has a total 2kW x 1050kW of installed power.
The Cat BSLPF6 beam stage loader has a capacity of 3500tph and installed capacity of 600kW.
The new Cat AFC has been delivered to the Tongmei Group's Datong Coal Mine Groupto be put in use in the Dongzhouyao mine in Shanxi Province, China.
Caterpillar has reported that the completion of the AFC marks the 39th system delivered by the company to mines across China.