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Bucyrus shearer works difficult Darkov seam

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Following two rock bursts at OKD’s Lazy Mine in the Czech Republic, the second of which caused irreparable damage to their shearer, a second identical shearer initially destined for OKD’s Darkov Mine was redirected to Lazy Mine in September 2008. As a result, Darkov Mine was in urgent need of a replacement in order to fulfill delivery contracts. The Darkov Mine has notoriously difficult geological conditions because of a high seam and sandstone intrusions, but Bucyrus offered to lease a specially customized EL2000 shearer to OKD.
After only a short period of very successful operation, the customer was so impressed with the performance of the Bucyrus shearer that it was purchased straight away; thus being the first Bucyrus shearer in the Czech Republic.
The Darkov Mine was looking for a mining machine to work seams of up to 4.5 m. Although the EL2000 shearer is designed for medium range seams from 1.4 – 3.5 meters, its robust design with its unique mainframe concept allowed the additional height to raise its maximum operating range to 4.5 meters. When shipped however the shearer was set up as requested for a mining height of only 3.7 meters due to the geology at the start of the panel. The mainframe was three-piece to allow transport from the surface to the longwall.
The shearer was delivered within only four weeks after Bucyrus was asked for help by OKD, with a further two weeks for commissioning. Operations commenced on November 2, 2008.
In January 2009, the shearer produced 129,597 tonnes in 28 days, corresponding to a daily output of 4,629 tonnes with a face advance rate of 4 meters per day which was restricted at that time because of the risk of rock bursts.
This restriction was lifted in February 2009, and since then the shearer has established a production of up to approx. 7,000 tonnes per day. Furthermore, the operating height of the machine was extended to its maximum 4.5 meters on February 18, 2009, allowing it to mine the full seam height now existing in the panel.
OKD, the operator of the Darkov Mine, was so impressed with the reliable performance of the shearer under very difficult geological conditions that instead of continuing lease negotiations it decided to purchase the shearer straight away.
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