The Pinnacle mine, located near the town of Pineville and owned by Cliffs Natural Resources, operates a Cat Gleithobel GH1600 Longwall Plow System. A previous record was set by this system at Pinnacle in August 2012 when 32,430 tons were mined in a 24-hour period.
The new record was set by the same system, mining its second panel after a comprehensive rebuild was performed by Carter Machinery, the Cat Dealer serving that area. The rebuild encompassed a complete rebuild of the headgate and tailgate armored face conveyor (AFC) drive, the headgate and tailgate special AFC pans, the stageloader drives and return end, the complete crusher, and all gearboxes for the plow, AFC and stageloader.
The Cat automated longwall plow system at Pinnacle is currently the only one operating in the United States. To set the new record, the cutting depth was calibrated to cut 140 mm at a speed of 395 ft per minute (fpm) when traveling toward the headgate and 250 mm traveling at 197 fpm to the tailgate. The depths and speeds are customizable and were selected to optimize loading of the face conveyor.