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Productivity improvement in underground coal mines – a case study

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Improvement of productivity has become an important goal for today’s coal industry in the race to increase price competitiveness. The challenge now lying ahead for the coal industry is to identify areas of waste, meet the market price and maintain a healthy profit. The only way to achieve this is to reduce production costs by improving productivity, efficiency and the effectiveness of the equipment. This paper aims to identify the various factors and problems affecting the productivity of underground coal mines adopting the bord and pillar method of mining and to propose suitable measures for improving them. The various key factors affecting productivity, namely the cycle of operations, manpower deployment, machine efficiency, material handling and management of manpower are discussed. In addition, the problem of side discharge loader (SDL) cable handling resulting in the wastage of precious manpower resources and SDL breakdown have also been identified and resolved in this paper.
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Bibliogr. 8 poz.
  • Department of Mining Engineering, Indian School of Mines (Dhanbad, Jharkhand, India)
  • JPMorgan India Pvt Ltd, Mafatlal Centre, Nariman Point (Mumbai, Maharashtra, India)
  • Marandoo Mine, Rio Tinto Iron Ore (Pilbara Region, Western Australia, Australia)
  • 1. Hannah R.L. (1981): A Case Study of Underground Coal Mining Productivity in Utah. Ph.D. thesis, The University of Utah, J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collections, HD 30.5 1981 H33.
  • 2. Kulshreshtha M., Parikh J.K. (2001): A study of productivity in the Indian coal sector. Energy Policy 29(9), pp. 701–713.
  • 3. Kulshreshtha M., Parikh J.K. (2002): Study of efficiency and productivity growth in opencast and underground coal mining in India: a DEA analysis. Energy Economics 24(5), pp. 439–453.
  • 4. New Technology and Challenges for Underground Coal Mining. [online] 712259a.doc (Accessed 1 May, 2013).
  • 5. Prasad M. (2009): Underground coal mining: The way ahead. Projects Monitor, 29 December, 2008-4 January, 2009. [online] (Accessed 05 July 2013).
  • 6. Taylor J.R. (1973): Maintenance, in: SME Mining Handbook, Vol. 2, L. Howard et al. (Eds.), Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME).
  • 7. Topp V., Soames L., Parham D., Bloch H. (2008): Productivity in the Mining Industry: Measurement and Interpretation. Productivity Commission Staff Working Paper, Commonwealth of Australia.
  • 8. Womack J.P., Jones D.T. (1996): Lean thinking: banish waste and create wealth in your corporation. Simon & Schuster, New York.
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