7 Important Machinery and Equipment Required to Optimize Mining Operations
The mining process differs from industry to industry. For instance, the mining process for coal is very different from that followed to procure diamonds. Therefore, the equipment and machinery required vary according to the substance being mined as well as scale and sophistication of the operation. Certain equipment and machinery are required to ensure efficiency and cost-effectiveness through optimal usage of resources. Let’s see what these are:
1. Mining Drills
Mining drills are one of the most common as well as one of the most important pieces of mining equipment used as a part of the underground mining operation. These drills assist in creating holes to access the rocks and minerals that are located at a considerable distance beneath the ground. If miners are required to work underground, the drills are positioned strategically to carefully cut an opening that will then serve as the portal for the mining work. These drills can also be used to ensure the holes are large enough for the miners to enter.
2. Blasting Tools
Next in line are the blasting tools. Once the entryway is created, the blasting tools are used to break down and fracture materials to separate the required product from the waste material. Blasting is also used to remove pockets of unwanted material that prevent the mining machines from getting to the required material. The drill rigs will then drill holes at pre-determined depths on a blast face to ensure the required outcome is achieved. The blasting process can be used for both underground and open pit mining operations.
The equipment and machinery required vary according to the substance being mined as well as scale and sophistication of the operation
3. Mining Truck Scales
Once the materials and minerals are recovered from the mines and processed through the crusher, they are then loaded onto trucks for transportation. In order to ensure the safety, guidelines are met; these trucks need to be measured to maintain the permissible weight limits while accounting for the carrier’s weight as well and to avoid any cost implications that may arise from improper loading. Therefore, truck scale technology for mines and quarries are intricately designed to provide extremely accurate and reliable measurements. These portable truck scales are also manufactured to endure harsh conditions and variable temperatures, which enable them to work continuously throughout the year without requiring constant calibration.
Once the area has been blasted, the excavators are used to recover the blasted rock and other debris that gets dislodged during the drilling and blasting process, creating space required to access the mine. The debris and other material are then conveyed to a central conveying system which takes it to the surface.
5. Crushing Equipment
Crushing equipment, as the name suggests, is specially configured to screen and break down hard rocks and stone to a manageable size for further processing or transportation. These machines are extremely valuable as they increase efficiency of the process by reducing the need to deal with larger sized materials as well as the associated costs.
6. Feeding, Conveying and On-line Elemental Analysis Equipment
Once the raw material is brought to the crusher for processing, it is put in the feeding device which then feeds the material into the crusher as mentioned above, the material is screened and all oversized material is recirculated back to the crusher to be broken down to the appropriate size.
Sometimes, this feeding equipment is referred to as ‘weighfeeders’ and usually come with belt scale systems. This is done in order to monitor the production output and inventory while regulating the product load out. The information provided by these conveyor scales are used to ensure efficiency of operations and management. Each type of belt scale provides a certain piece of information about the product in question, for instance, the elemental cross belt analyzers can provide real-time quality analysis of critical process streams, thereby facilitation sorting, blending and out-of-seam-dilution control. Certain belts can also take a representative sample directly from the moving streams. There are a wide variety of conveyor belt scales which can be chosen depending on the mining operation to ensure process efficiency and product quality.
Earth movers are utilized to carry loose soil and other debris from one location to another and are usually used for above ground mining operations. These machines are used for digging; pushing and transporting earth and soil faster and more effectively, making them one of the most crucial tools in the mining process. They are also used to move heavy material or plants and shrubs on the site to create a working surface for the other mining equipment such as haul trucks and excavators.
So, as you can see, considering the sheer scale of operations and the environments they are carried out in, it becomes extremely important for companies to ensure availability of the right equipment for optimal usage of resources and time for the desired outcome.