Mine applications of tunnel boring machines

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 73, No. 823, 1980

HOWARD J. HANDEWITH, Application Engineer, The Robbins Company, Seattle, Washington

Tunnel boring machines have been tried in underground mining applications as early as 1957. Although tunneling machines hardly threaten to supplant traditional drill-blast-muck operations for drifting, the latest modern machines offer substantial improvements in progress rates over traditional methods under certain conditions.An evaluation guide is offered which identifies conditions that favour machine boring. Different types of costs related to the use of a tunnel machine are discussed. The advantages of the tunnel machine over the traditional method are reviewed.
Keywords: Equipment, Boring machines, Tunnel boring, Underground mining, Machine utilization.