On a mine site you will find a variety of equipment that ensures the process runs smoothly. There are different mining operations that require specific mining techniques to efficiently extract the minerals, this impacts the types of equipment they require. As a heavy-duty operation, the equipment needs to be able to keep up with the demand, being both durable and effective.
Before you can start the mining process, you need a range of equipment including excavators, dozers, graders, and wheel loaders to build roads to gain access to the mine. Articulated dumps are required to shift debris and water trucks are used to service the machines and reduce the amount of dust on site, making the air clearer for workers.
In this blog we explore the different types of machinery that are used in the mining industry and what purpose they serve.
Articulated Dump Trucks
These vehicles are used to haul heavy loads across the site, transporting a variety of different materials from sand and gravel to crushed rock. An articulated dump truck is different to a traditional dump truck as it contains an articulated chassis. The cab on the truck is also mounted onto the front component of the chassis, whereas a traditional truck has a single-piece chassis with an inflexible chassis.
Compared to other mining trucks, articulated dump trucks are built with excellent pivoting capabilities and can turn in a tight radius, giving the operator greater flexibility in narrow areas. The original trump was designed by an English Farmer in the 1950s when he removed the front axles from each tractor and connected one to another by attaching the back end of the first to the front end of the second. It was named Doe Triple D, for Doe Dual drive.
Articulated Water Trucks
Articulated water trucks are very similar to articulated dump trucks by design with a flexible joint, however, they serve a very different purpose. The rear is enclosed because as the name suggests it is used to carry water, with the ability to hold 30,000L. They can carry large volumes of water to the site and are designed to travel for long distances.
These tools are essential in the mining process and are used to break down materials, usually rock, to retrieve the minerals inside. Blasting is also used to remove unwanted material that may be preventing mining machinery from gaining access. Unmanned drill rigs will drill holes at pre-determined depths to ensure a specific fraction is achieved. An excavator clears up the blasted rocks and the material is taken to a central convey system to the surface. Blasting equipment is used in both underground and open mining operations and is one of the most dangerous aspects of the process.
This equipment is used to crush rock and stone. The equipment is specifically designed to break down hard rock matter or gravel into manageable sizes for transportation or conveying. They are useful machines as they reduce costs associated with handling of large material. There are three main categories of crushers, jaw, cone, and impact crushers, depending on the material and size you are choosing to crush, will influence the machine that will best suit your operations.
A variety of excavators are used in both the mining and construction industries, from mini excavators for small jobs to much larger machines. The best excavators for mining, includes a hydraulic excavator that uses a bucket to dig and pull the material back towards the machine. They typically run on tracks and can access and manoeuvrer freely where other wheeled machinery can’t.
Drills are an important part of underground mining. Drilling is usually required to place explosive charges to extract minerals. The advancement of technology has progressed the techniques used, including remote controlled machinery. Drills are used to create holes descending underground and can serve as a portal for miners to enter, should they be working underground. Directional drilling is also a common method where miners use tools to drill wells.
Wheel loaders are essential to most mining operations and large construction projects as they are extremely powerful machinery, used to lift and transport debris, soil, gravel, rocks, and any material that needs to be cleared from a mine site. A wheel loader features a front-bucket tool that can be moved up and down to lift heavy loads. There are a variety of types of buckets, however, they typically all serve the same purpose and perform with the same function of lifting. Unlike other types of mining machinery, they don’t drive on tracks, instead they have four large wheels with an operator’s cabin directly above, providing a clear view of the front bucket.
We hope you enjoyed reading this week’s blog and found it interesting. We’d like to hear from you! Let us know your thoughts and what topics you’d like to read about! Why not share the blog with others who may enjoy the blog too!