Delivering specialist longwall system compatibility

With contracts with industry leaders including Anglo American, Hastings Deering is the one-stop shop for all longwall equipment commissioning and repairs. 

Hastings Deering’s Mackay workshop will be home to a compatibility that will simulate an operating configuration, including equipment from seven suppliers to enable testing of an integrated system.   

The mini-build allows for proof testing to be conducted in a safe environment, enabling a more efficient re-commissioning of the equipment once operational. 

Hastings Deering was recently awarded a longwall contract for Anglo American’s Aquila coal project in Central Queensland.  

Hastings Deering longwall projects manager Scott Barwick says once it is installed underground, the Aquila longwall will be 380 metres long.  

“Our workshops are 100 metres long and 32 metres wide, so we are able to build an 80-metre longwall mini-build to conduct the compatibility in the workshop,” Barwick says. 

“The logistics are incredible, with a steady stream of trucks being required to transport the equipment components to our facility and back to site.  

“Over the course of the compatibility, various components will make their way through our gearbox overhaul centre, electrical and electronics workshops, electro-hydraulic valve-shop, fabrication workshop and finally to the general fitting and assembly bay.” 

In addition to the equipment assembly, there are around 1200 tests conducted.


In addition to the equipment assembly, there are approximately 1200 tests conducted – everything from initial function testing of individual components to major component and full system commissioning.  

Barwick says at the end of the day, it is all about reducing and mitigating risk.  

“If we can do all this testing above ground in a workshop before the unit goes back to work, we can more closely monitor and evaluate the equipment with our longwall technical resources and complete fine-tune adjustments as necessary,” he says.  

“The benefit to our customer is confidence that their equipment is fully integrated into a single system and tested ahead of its return to site for production in an underground panel.”  

Delivery of set one to the Aquila mine site is scheduled for early December 2021 ahead of production starting in the first quarter of 2022. Set two will complete its compatibility testing and be delivered to site in 2022. 

The Hastings Deering underground facility is also home to Mackay’s only specialist shearer rebuild facility. The facility is equipped to perform 12-hour heat runs as part of the quality checks following an overhaul and regularly invites its customers to be a part of the process. 

Where AS3800 and flameproof repairs are required, the Hastings Deering underground workshops hold appropriate qualifications to achieve compliant rebuilds first time, every time.  

All of the company’s electrical tradespeople hold EEHA Stage 1 and 2 accreditations. Its full electrical test facility is capable of testing and running up to 3.3kV, ensuring the rebuild quality of all electrical equipment.  

A cable-making facility complements all underground overhauls with the ability to manufacture in-house. Full test facilities allow for high standards of quality assurance following component overhauls, with heat runs and vibration analysis providing confidence in overhaul quality. 

Hastings Deering regularly partners with customers and reliability representatives where technical issues are encountered, and failure analysis is required.  

A valve rebuild workshop also complements underground overhauls, with the ability to provide specialist rebuilds and in-house testing following an overhaul. 

Barwick says Hastings Deering is a one-stop shop for all longwall equipment commissioning and repairs.  

“Hastings Deering is the biggest and most experienced longwall workshop in Central Queensland and has completed many projects for large mining customers across the state,” Barwick says. 

“Hastings Deering strives to be your first choice in supplying parts and service to the regions mining industry. We want our customers to choose us because we understand their needs and consistently deliver the best solutions.  

“This is why we have invested to bring to our customers the expertise and capability to deliver just that.  

“With our centres of excellence in draglines and longwalls, and our product performance centre, we have the operational and maintenance expertise to assist our customers to maximise fleet performance and optimise cost.” 

Hastings Deering has more than 3500 employees incorporating 23 business service centres across Queensland, Northern Territory, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and New Caledonia, with its home base in Brisbane.  

“We are stepping up our investment in technologies that will help our customers achieve the next level of productivity, cost and safety,” Barwick says. 

“This, combined with more service operations, parts inventory, component rebuild centres, field service trucks and skilled advisors on customer sites across our region, we’re rising to the challenges our customers put to us every day to deliver.  

“In aspiring to be our customers’ trusted partner, Hastings Deering is digging deeper than ever to assist them achieve sustainable success.”  

This story also appears in the September issue of Australian Mining.

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