Rock saw trial opens up squeezed headings

Rock saw trial opens up squeezed headings

September 24, 2012
Jumbo, Mine Development, Mine Production, Whole of Mine

Faced with numerous draw point access restrictions in the process of their block caving operations, Northparkes Mines were looking for a way to improve access and in particular, maintain the integrity of the tunnel walls during caving.

PYBAR worked with the NPM team to develop a specific, tailored solution which involved an articulating rock saw to cut rock, concrete, mesh and mild steel bolts, providing re-access to squeezed headings.

“A trial was set up which was successful in achieving the majority of the challenges. The rock saw showed adaptability in design and the performance necessary to complete the work. The final challenge was to show the saw’s ability to successfully cut the hi-tensile steel bolts found in the walls” said Grant Acheson, PYBAR Project Manager at Northparkes Mines. “We determined that a custom designed and manufactured 1200mm blade was capable of cutting through all materials identified during testing, providing a successful end to the trial”.

With the trial complete, PYBAR will be using the rock saw in the tight areas identified in the backs and shoulders in the main decline. This will enable the tunnel boring system (part of Northparkes Mines step change innovation) to be trammed underground, keeping production on track, and reducing the possibilities of hitting any services or becoming stuck in the main decline.

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