June 2022
Volume 74    Issue 6

Faster underground mine development: Getting to first ore quicker using a novel noncircular tunneling machine

Mining Engineering , 2022, Vol. 74, No. 6, pp. 18-18
Ofiara, Dennis; Lewis, Mike


Tunnel boring machines (TBMs) have been used in mining in decades past, but their use has been limited and sporadic. This has changed in recent years, with TBMs being used at Stillwater Mine in Montana, the Grosvenor coal mine slopes in Australia, Sirius Minerals potash mine in England and more. These machines are all full-face, circular TBMs — a design that has thus far been unable to tackle a larger issue for mines, which are typically located in a flat floor area that mining vehicles need to traverse.

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