SUNConferences, Southern African Institute of Industrial Engineering 2013

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Generic Underground Coal Mining Simulation (UCMS) Toolkit
Adriaan Izak Odendaal, Stephen Gerard Ross

Last modified: 2013-07-02


Underground coal mining is a dynamic and complex environment with innate variation.  Therefore it is difficult to repeatedly perform accurate production planning and scenario comparison for budgeting and feasibility studies. Conventional static prediction methods do not truly incorporate these attributes to give creditable answers.

Anglo American Thermal Coal (AATC) identified the need to develop a simulation based prediction tool which could accurately represent specific production sections for their room-and-pillar coal mining operations.

A generic production forecasting toolkit (GPFT) was developed by LTS Consulting (with AATC) to empower AATC to accurately predict key performance indicators and compare scenarios. The tool includes an easy-to-use GUI to help the user populate the required fields in the model that represents the section in question. The model incorporates the complex interdependencies of shift schedules, mining patterns, equipment operations and traveling logic to give the user a realistic answer. A reporting application is also included to store, report and analyse the simulation results.

The tool enables the user to set-up, run and analyse complex simulation models without requiring previous simulation experience. It has been validated and is being implemented at various coal mines within AATC and has been used in multiple feasibility studies at Sasol Mining.