Coal Age

NOV 2018

Coal Age Magazine - For more than 100 years, Coal Age has been the magazine that readers can trust for guidance and insight on this important industry.

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30 November 2018 handling refuse Thinking Outside the Box Reinforcement project repairs damaged infrastructure on Buchanan mine refuse conveyor by justin leithauser The U.S. coal industry has endured a very difficult period during the past few years. Capital for new projects has been limited and major maintenance has been post- poned. Meanwhile, the infrastructure ages. Many structures, such as conveyor trusses, have been exposed to various ele- ments over the years, including coal, water and the environment, all which cause cor- rosion and deterioration. In many instanc- es, these types of structures have experi- enced other types of damage as well from mobile equipment or improper mainte- nance. It is important that these structures are inspected and monitored regularly to ensure they are functioning in a safe man- ner. When a structure is determined to be in need of serious repair, it can be dif- ficult, but not impossible, to perform the repairs while not negatively impacting the operation of the mine. The inspection and structural reinforcing of the refuse con- veyor at Coronado Coal LLC's Buchanan mine provides an example of how this can be accomplished in a safe, efficient and economical manner. The Buchanan mine is located in west- ern Virginia, just outside the town of Oak- wood. The mine was originally built in the mid-1980s when it was owned and operat- ed by Consolidation Coal Co. In 2016, the current owner, Coronado Global Resources, acquired the plant. The 30-inch-wide refuse conveyor was installed when the plant was originally built, with some added upgrades over the years, and it extends about 2,500 feet (ft) from the preparation plant to a re- fuse bin. The first conveyor support truss is a 120-ft gallery that extends just above a main plant access road. The gallery has a checkered plate floor that acts as a spill guard where it crosses the road. The plant uses this conveyor as its only means of mov- ing refuse material to its refuse stockpiles. In 2017, the Buchanan mine contract- ed with Industrial Resources to perform a structural inspection and evaluation of Exposed to the elements for years, the infrastructure had deteriorated. The 120-ft support truss for the conveyor gallery that transports refuse to a storage bin at the Buchanan mine needed to be repaired.

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