On the image below is a mining machine produced by the Kopeysk Machine-Building Plant. I'm not sure how to call it in English. The Russian name is "prokhodchesko-ochistnoy kombain".

Multitran offers the translation "heading and winning machine", but I'm not sure: when I enter this term in Google, it finds predominantly Russian-based websites.

The machine is used for underground mining. This particular model is mentioned in a text I'm translating about an overpricing row between the Russian potash producer Uralkali and the machine-building plant.

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I found the company's description of the machine:

The «Ural-20R-00» heading-and-winning machine is designed for longwall operation in сhambers and driving of oval-arch shaped workings in potash ore seams with thickness of 3.0-3.7 m at dip angles of ± 12° and rock resistance to cutting of up to Аp=450 H/mm.


The machine is nothing like a longwall miner. Longwall mining machines are limited in how they operate. A wall of shields protects the face being cut while a shearing head runs along the face cutting coal, dropping coal onto a short conveyor belt running parallel to the face. That conveyor belt then drops the coal onto another conveyor belt running perpendicular to the face being cut. As the longwall face is cut, the shields slowly advance forward. Also, longwall miners cannot produce curved tops to excavation; they can only produce flat topped excavations.

The machine in the question is more like a road header. They are used to mine postash and other soft stratified deposits like salt. If needed, they can produce excavations with curved profiles. The machine in question may have purposely been designed & manufactured to mine a particular type of potash.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you, Fred! So the company's description of the model as "heading and winning machine" may relate to "roadheader" (the first word). I wonder what they meant by "winning". $\endgroup$ – CopperKettle Nov 3 '16 at 16:45
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    $\begingroup$ @CopperKettle: In the past, winning was been used by some people to mean mining. Instead of mining ore or coal, it is won. In some jurisdictions, when governments mined coal & produced electricity, prior to selling everything to private industry to own & operate, to ensure the government didn't have to abide by it own stringent laws & regulations concerning mines & mining, government owned operations & departments used the terminology of winning coal. $\endgroup$ – Fred Nov 4 '16 at 6:12
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    $\begingroup$ @CopperKettle: [Online dictionary reference] (dictionary.com/browse/winning) listing one meaning of the word winning as mining - under Noun, #3 $\endgroup$ – Fred Nov 4 '16 at 7:54
  • $\begingroup$ More specifically, "winning" means extracting useful material from a mine, as opposed to other operations that may be required. For example if a valuable ore seam is only 1 meter thick, you may need to remove 2 more meters of useless rock, to create enough space for big machines to operate at all. $\endgroup$ – alephzero Nov 6 '16 at 2:50
  • $\begingroup$ @Fred in the global scheme of things, government interference in mining is a fairly recent development. Historically (on a 1000-year timescale) the operation of mines was literally "a law unto itself", regulated by its own system of law courts and legal officers. Monarchs and governments took an interest in mining gold and silver, but left everything else to the "experts" to manage themselves. For example the Barmote courts controlling lead mining in the UK were first set up in 1288 (long before there was any formalized "national" British legal code), and are still operating today. $\endgroup$ – alephzero Nov 6 '16 at 3:07

Generally speaking, I would say it looks like a "boring machine," but you might clarify that it's a "coal" boring machine or a "potash" boring machine. Specifically, it looks like some kind of a hybrid between a longwall miner and a continuous miner, the longwall having a toothed drum whose face is in-line with the direction of the track and the continuous miner having a toothed drum perpendicular to the track.


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