Underground mining equipment

What is Underground mining equipment?

Underground mining equipment meaning

  • A coal-cutting machine is used in conventional mining to undercut, top cut, or shear the coal face so that coal can be fractured easily when blasted. It cuts 9 to 13 feet into the bed.
  • Continuous auger machine is used in mining coalbeds less than 3 feet thick. The auger has a cutting depth of about 5 feet and is 20 to 28 inches in diameter. Continuous auger mining usually uses a conveyor belt to haul the coal to the surface.
  • Continuous mining machine, used during continuous mining, cuts or rips coal from the face and loads it into shuttle cars or conveyors in one operation. It eliminates the use of blasting devices and performs many functions of other equipment such as drills, cutting machines, and loaders. A continuous mining machine typically has a turning “drum” with sharp bits that cut and dig out the coal for 16 to 22 feet before mining stops so that the mined area can be supported with roof bolts. This machine can mine coal at the rate of 8 to 15 tons per minute.
  • There are of two types of conveyor systems:
    1. A mainline conveyor, which is usually a permanent installation that carries coal to the surface.
    2. A section conveyor, which connects the working face to the mainline conveyor.
  • Face drill is used in conventional mining to drill shot holes in the coalbed for explosive charges.
  • Loading machine is used in conventional mining to scoop broken coal from the working area and load it into a shuttle car, which hauls the coal to mine cars or conveyors for delivery to the surface.
  • Longwall mining machine shears coal from a long straight coal face (up to about 700 feet) by working back and forth across the face under a movable, hydraulic-jack roof-support system. The broken coal is transported by conveyor. Longwall machines can mine coal at the rate of 1,000 tons per shift. Mine locomotive, operating on tracks, is used to haul mine cars containing coal and other material, and to move personnel in specially designed “mantrip” cars. Large locomotives can haul more than 20 tons at a speed of about 10 miles per hour. Most mine locomotives run on electricity provided by a trolley wire; some are battery-powered.
  • Ram car or shuttle ram is a rubber-tired haulage vehicle that is unloaded through the use of a movable steel plate located at the back of the haulage bed.
  • Roof-bolting machine, or roof bolter, is used to drill holes and place bolts to support the mine roof. Roof bolting units can be installed on a continuous mining machine.
  • Scoop is a rubber-tired haulage vehicle used in thin coalbeds.
  • Shortwall mining machine generally is a continuous-mining machine used with a powered, self-advancing roof support system. It shears coal from a short coal face (up to about 150 feet long). The broken coal is hauled by shuttle cars to a conveyor belt.
  • Shuttle car is a rubber-tired haulage vehicle that is unloaded by a built-in conveyor.


reference: Glossary – U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)

Tags: ,