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Longwall 2017

THE Meeting Place for Australia’s Longwall Mining Operators
23-24 October, Crowne Plaza, Hunter Valley
An MMAA Endorsed, CPD Event

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Getting back to the ‘grass roots’ of our industry Celebrating Achievements, Productivity & Innovations in Longwall Mining

After some tough years of survival and cost stripping, it’s time to move on, re-ignite and drive forward. Let’s open our minds to opportunities that will make our industry more sustainable and safe.

Longwall 2017 aims to share operators’ ideas, wisdom, challenges and successes whether it be a graduate engineer, an industry stalwart or a motivated operator. Big or small, every insight is a valuable contribution to workers safely returning home, and tonnage at the port.

Key Themes

  • Sharing successes and challenges in our industry – big and small
  • Fostering innovative thinking of our engineers and operators – that adds value to our work
  • Technology, automation and safety engineering in practice

Discipline areas

  • Smart thinking in AFC productivity and wear minimisation
  • Production automation – what’s new, what’s useful to share
  • Innovations in maintenance and safety practices
  • Success factors to benchmark against for new mines and new longwalls
  • Tackling ground support challenges and challenging seams
  • Clever ways to minimise dust – stories from operators
  • Operators’ tips on getting more out of shearers and continuous miners

CPD Endorsed by





8:50 am

Opening from Informa

8:55 am

Opening Remarks from the Chair

Guy Mitchel, Managing Director, Guy Mitchell Consulting P/L

9:00 am

—— The global appetite for coal
—— The growth of Asia and its impacts
—— Clean coal technology
—— A word on renewable energy


9:40 am

—— What drives us to innovate?
—— How can we get better at it?
—— Getting to the heart of change
—— The road to agility and adaptability


10:20 am

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies have developed rapidly. This session will showcase the latest VR and AR technologies and illustrate how these can be applied in longwall mining. What makes this technology stand out is that it’s within reach – it’s practical, reliable and affordable. It offers new ways of remotely interacting underground. Hear how AR and VR can be used for operations, training, more accurate troubleshooting and process improvements – while increasing safety and reducing various operational costs. The session will be supported with a hands-on demonstration in the exhibition area of the conference so delegates can try the technology themselves.

10:50 am

Morning Break


1:00 pm


2:10 pm

Are we doing the best we can with dust?

Taking inspiration from the ‘World Café’ concept of ‘shaping our futures through conversations that matter” this innovative session is aimed to explore the above question, and more…

Dust is our companion in longwall mining. It is a continual challenge in how to best work in a dusty environment whilst keeping as safe as we can, and being as productive as we can.

Let’s challenge our thinking as to how dust management is perceived and managed in our industry.

—— What are our attitudes, beliefs and mindsets around dust?
—— How can we think differently about this?
—— Are we missing something?

The session facilitators will encourage and provoke our thoughts and conversation about dust, and challenge us to ‘think outside the square’. Whilst enjoying an afternoon coffee we will converse with our peers, share our knowledge, ideas and big picture thinking to help our industry going forward.

“Whenever knowledge connects with knowledge, new combinations spontaneously take place. Ideas spark ideas, which synthesize with each other until more knowledge results… Sharing knowledge means bringing more people into the conversation.” Verna Allee

3:30 pm

Afternoon Break


4:00 pm

Advancements in Longwall Automation

This presentation by Alliance Coal’s Tunnel Ridge Mine will summarise the advancements the mine has made in the automation of the LW face in order to achieve greater health, safety and efficiency.

Topics will include remote operation from the LW Command Center, shearer and shield automation features, camera utilization, as well as horizon control techniques currently being employed at the mine. Presenters will discuss milestones that have been achieved to date as well as future goals for additional automation enhancements.

4:40 pm

Safe & Productive Innovation at Tahmoor

Tahmoor Colliery will tell their story of how they devised a solution to their issue with managing the changeout of leg cylinders in a restricted time period. They developed an innovative method to solve their problem, that optimised productivity without introducing risk, saved a lot of manual handling and prevented injury and incident.

5:10 pm

Networking Drinks

6:30 pm

Buses Depart for Official Conference Dinner

8:50 am

Opening Remarks from the Chair

Rob Regan, Career Coal Mining Executive & Past Director Mine Safety Operations, Chief Inspector of Mines & Coal Mines, NSW


9:00 am

AUSTRALIAN CASE STUDY | Fitzroy Australia Resources’ Carborough Downs Mine

Richard Livingstone-Blevins, Chief Operating Officer, Fitzroy Australia Resources

9:30 am

Lessons Learnt with Longwall Top Coal Caving

The Goonyella Middle Seam sub-crops in a north/south direction at a depth of about 60m and dips to the east at 5 – 8°. Seam thickness varies from 5m to 12m with the average seam thickness in the current mining area being about 7.6m.

The mine was started using a longwall extracting at 4.7m (15’) leaving the top section of the seam to fall into the gob. The adjacent open-cut mine has been mining the full seam section for more than 30 years, investigations and evaluations were made into the Top Coal Caving method and its suitability for the operation. LTCC was introduced in 2012.

The presentation will include:

—— Management of the LTCC face compared to a conventional longwall face
—— The operational learnings
—— The maintenance learnings
—— Controlling dilution on the rear conveyor
—— Successful use and advantages of automation


10:00 am

The announcement by Rio Tinto of a binding agreement with Yancoal Australia for the sale of the Coal & Allied Hunter Valley thermal coal business and subsequent formation of a JV between Yancoal and Glencore warrants examination of how China coal market dynamics impacts Australia

10:30 am

Morning Break

11:00 am

Strata Management: all longwalls are not the same

This presentation is about longwall gateroad and face management with a focus on strata management, with case studies from Springvale and Angus Place mines in the western district of NSW. It will assess the challenges that very different strata conditions pose to mining operations throughout their life.

11:30 am

Managing operational improvements and challenges at Okay North.

12:00 pm

Can we make longwall operations immune from lightning induced explosions?

Understanding how lightning strikes cause methane explosions is a critical part of the journey towards addressing this major hazard in our mining operations. This practical session led by a lightning expert will clearly explain how lightning can cause explosions and what to do about it.

—— What have recent methane explosion investigations revealed?
—— Can lightning and longwall mining mix?
—— How does lightning influence mining operations via electric coupling mechanisms?
—— Can longwall mines be made immune from lightning induced methane explosions?

12:40 pm

Hear about stories of process improvements at various longwalls across Australia.

1:10 pm

Close of Conference and lunch


Packages Price
Package(Two Days)$2795+GSTEarly Bird
Extras Price
Conference Dinner (23/10/17) $130+GST
Packages Price
Package(Two Days)$1195+GSTEarly Bird
Extras Price
Conference Dinner (23/10/17) $130+GST

* Special longwall operator rate available only for representatives from mining companies from their underground operations (this does not include contractors or suppliers)

Claim your CPD points

Delegates who attend the Longwall 2017 Conference are entitled to claim CPD Points, as per the endorsement of the Mine Managers Association of Australia.

For further information please visit the Professional Development section of the MMAA

Pre-conference Craft Beer Session

Craft Beer Session at the Lovedale Brewery
Sunday 22nd October 5:00 – 6.00pm

Come and join your colleagues for a refreshing craft beer on the Sunday evening prior to the conference taking place. This is a perfect opportunity for you to relax and catch up with new and old colleagues.

Located within the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, the Lovedale Brewery enjoys views of the picturesque golf course, the brewery provides eight styles of beer and two ciders.

Operators Out & About

Sunday 22nd October 2017

12:00 An afternoon of Golf
For those delegates arriving early, take the opportunity to enjoy one of the Hunter Valley’s finest golf courses. Delegates can book directly with the Crowne Plaza Golf Shop on 02 4991 0977.

5:00 Craft Beer at the Crown
Come and join your colleagues for a refreshing craft beer on the Sunday evening prior to the conference taking place. This is a
perfect opportunity for you to relax and catch up with new and old colleagues.

Located within the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, the Lovedale Brewery enjoys views of the picturesque golf course, the brewery
provides eight styles of beer and two ciders.


Guy Mitchel

Managing Director, Guy Mitchell Consulting P/L

Mick Buffier

Chairman, World Coal Association

Andrew Lee

Thought Disruptor and Curiosity Consultant

Craig James

Senior Research Projects Officer Integrated Mining, CSIRO Energy

Nick de Ocampo

LEED AP Materials Engineer Shotcrete - Mining & Tunneling Specialist, CTS Cement Manufacturing Corporation

Robert Purdon

Heintzmann Australia

Ben Smith

Director, Imagineering Group, Conveyor Manufacturers Australia

Steve Wilson

Longwall Superintendent

Matt Dunk

Longwall Electrical Engineer, Peabody Metropolitan Colliery

Rob Regan

Career Coal Mining Executive & Past Director Mine Safety Operations, Chief Inspector of Mines & Coal Mines, NSW

Rob Colaw

Longwall Maintenance Coordinator

Kyle Faykus

Automation Engineer, Tunnel Ridge Mine, Alliance Resource Partners

Matt Carroll

Longwall Mechanical Engineer, Tahmoor Coal

Richard Livingstone-Blevins

Chief Operating Officer, Fitzroy Australia Resources

Matt Jones

Longwall Superintendent, Broadmeadow Mine

Bede Boyle

Director, Coal Ventures Limited

Peter Corbett

Regional Technical Services Manager, Centennial Coal

Darren Nicholls

General Manager, Oaky North Mine

Darren Woodhouse

Principal Engineer, Safearth Consulting

Dave Sykes

General Manager Underground Business, Mastermyne

when & where

23 - 24 Oct 2017

We have secured a number of rooms at the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley for the nights of the 22-24 October inclusive.
To book this rate online, click here or call the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley direct and quote ‘Longwall Conference’ to make your reservation.
Room availability and rates are subject to availability and valid until Friday 22nd September 2017, unless sold out prior.

Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley
430 Wine Country Dr
Lovedale NSW 2325
Tel: (02) 4991 0000

Book Accommodation with Lido Group
For your convenience Lido Group will manage your accommodation needs. Click here or call 02 8585 0808.


Still have a question?

Richard Beattie
General Manager
02 9080 4312

Megan Rogulski
Sponsorship Manager
02 9080 4030

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