Simulation of a multi-seam dragline operation in a sub-arctic mine

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 79, No. 893, 1986

SUKUMAR BANDOPADHYAY and ARUNAPURAM SUNDARARAJAN, Department of Mining and Geological Engineering, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska

Unique production and environmental problems are associated with multiple seam mining where draglines are used for overburden and interburden removal. On the production side, the problems are decreased dragline efficiency in chop-down operations, the general need for spoil rehandle, complications in sequencing stripping and coal handling operations, and potential stability problems in highly stacked spoil. Many variations of dragline methods have been reported in the literature to encounter these problems. Because of the physical properties and peculiar hydrology of sub-arctic region mining of multiple seams in such areas probably could not be done with the methods used in temperate regions. The properties of thawed material would make spoil hard to place in a stable manner and thus would influence the mining sequence. For instance, multiple seam mining which requires some rehandling of spoil and prolonged exposure of overburden and interburden material might be precluded by the instability of thawed spoil and therefore mining techniques have to be modified. Since the deployment and operation of a dragline in modes different from conventional schemes will affect productivity, it will be necessary to study the effects on production of changing the dragline operational schemes. This paper presents a heuristic simulation model of multi-seam dragline operation of a sub-arctic mine that can be used to analyze the handling of overburden and detailed study of the dragline performance.
Keywords: Computer applications, Draglines, Sub-arctic mines, Overburden removal, Loading materials handling, Multiple-seam mining.