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Monday, 20 September 2010

Raising Coal & Stone Extraction

Before Taff Merthyr Colliery closed, the Royal Commission identified the mine’s principal surface features and recorded their function in detail. Recording what actually happens at industrial sites and how they operate is known as process recording. The following describes what happened to coal once extracted from the coal face and brought to the surface:

1. Taff Merthyr Colliery - Raising coal and stone extraction

Cut coal raised to pithead, conveyed to stone extractor plant. Oversize material separated to breaker; coal removed to rejoin main flow whilst waste stones discarded.
Taff Merthyr Colliery raising coal and stone extraction

All run-of-mine (ROM) coal is raised to the surface through the north shaft in alternating nine-tonne skips. The skips unload automatically onto armoured-face conveyors (AFCs) which lift coal into a surge hopper, known locally as the 'coffee pot' (plate 3). [The surge hopper was also supplied by a high-level conveyor carrying ROM output from the adjacent Trelewis Drift Mine, a short distance to the north. This mine had recently closed and the conveyor was disused]. Overflow from the hopper is carried by a short AFC and tipped onto the ground as the ROM stockpile; when required, coal is taken from the stockpile by a mobile earth-mover and tipped into the reclaim hopper for return to the system. All coal is then carried by conveyor AA1026 to a transfer house and onto AA103, over which is suspended an electromagnet for removing ferrous waste, to the rotary breaker house. Here, the ROM screen removes material over 125mm which is conveyed by AA201 to the rotary breaker itself, a cylindrical screen in which coal and stones are tumbled (plate 4). The larger stones are ejected from the breaker and tipped to ground for subsequent disposal whilst the coal, being softer, is crushed and falls through the screen onto AA205 to rejoin on AA208 the main flow of material less than 125mm. In an adjacent transfer house, AA208 tips onto AA209 which lifts coal to the top floor of the preliminary coal grading plant.
Taff Merthyr Colliery raising coal and stone extraction diagram

Taff Merthyr Colliery Process Recording Links:
1. Raising coal and stone extraction
2. Preliminary coal grading
3. Raw coal treatment (washing)
4. Fines separation
5. Preparation of treated coal for market
6. Shale disposal and reclamation of surface water
7. Identification of principal surface features

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