Application of surface miners is gaining popularity in different surface mines of India due to the wide range of advantages offered by them. More than 100 surface miners are operating in India in different coal, limestone and bauxite mines today. For new start-ups, however, it is imperative to select appropriate specifications of surface miner considering the rock/rockmass properties for a given production target and chip size. The emphasis of this paper is on performance estimation of different available models of surface miner with varied machine parameters and rock conditions for facilitating the selection of a particular model for a given production requirement. From the review of literature, it was found that the specific energy required to cut the rock is predominantly influenced by uniaxial compressive strength of rock and the same can be determined through laboratory investigations. The current study envelops the development of an approach for the estimation of theoretical production capacity of surface miner along with simulation studies for achieving a particular cut size. The theoretical production capacity of a few surface miners, based on their respective specifications was analysed and found to range from 264 to 5865 m3/h for the chip size varying from 50 to 175 mm. The suggested approach can be useful to draw appropriate specifications of surface miner for a given production. Instantaneous cutting rate was observed to be high for rock strength less than 50 MPa. Pick consumption was also arrived at in different mines. The suggested approach was also illustrated with a case study followed by validation.
Key words: Surface miner, picks, cutting drum, specific energy, pick penetration.
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