INDIA is the third largest coal supplier in the world and German manufacturer Wirtgen Group is assisting the industry in achieving sustainable growth. Indian mine operator Sainik Mining and Allied Services, which is a contractual partner of the country’s largest coal producer Coal India, operates a total of 21 Wirtgen surface miners (SM).
The Wirtgen Group’s local subsidiary has established a fine tradition of excellent customer service with individually tailored service contracts used for several years to guarantee security in planning and coal mining operations.
Ten Wirtgen 2200 SM are in operation at the 530sqkm Gevra Mine in the province of Chhattisgarh.
The vertical coal seams in Gevra mine require a selective mining method while 90% of the cut coal should have a maximum particle size of 100 millimetres. This is why, since 1999, the mine’s operators have gradually switched mining activities from drilling and blasting to Wirtgen surface mining.
Presently, 80% of the Gevra coal is being mined using this environmentally friendly technique while another 20% is mined via conventional methods. The mine operators are planning, however, to shift to 100% surface mining within the next two years. Surface mining has proven to be clean, safe and more environmental friendly at Gevra.
In the mine, windrowing has turned out to be the optimal mining method and due to this technique, it is easier to check the material quality while coal can also be mined in the most economical way. With windrowing, the cut coal is placed directly behind the machine, between the crawlers, without the use of a loading conveyor. This allows material to be cut independently of the loading process, although the coal has to be loaded separately via front loader later on.
As a result, each 2200 SM, with a cutting width of 3.8 metres and a cutting depth of 300 millimetres, can mine roughly 15,000 tonnes of coal. The annual capacity of the coal mine is an enormous 80 million tonnes, 90% of which is being used as thermal coal for power generation in thermal power plants.
Surface miners from Wirtgen are the ideal solution to mine the large deposit of more than 10 billion tonnes as efficiently as possible.
The service contract especially tailored to Gevra Mine guarantees that two experienced Wirtgen engineers are available all the time on site during operation. They provide support for all necessary maintenance activities relating to the surface mining fleet, including machine repairs, preventive maintenance measures, inspection of certain machine parts, training of machine operators, etc. The Wirtgen experts also make sure that all spare parts needed are being kept on stock.