If you're mining metal or coal, you have to select a transport method to move supplies, equipment, waste and your mined product around your site. The two main choices are heavy-duty trucks and conveyor or rail-based systems. Ultimately, your choice depends on a range of factors including cost, personal preference and availability, but you first have to consider your mining site.
Here's what to keep in mind:
1. Shape of veins
The shape of your coal or ore veins dictates which type of transport system is feasible at your site. If your site has long, narrow veins that are close together, you may need to build ore passes between the mines and have heavy duty trucks transport items with a load, haul and dump (LHD) approach. The ore passes allow the trucks to move between the various mines, and then they can use a ramp from one of the mines to return to the surface.
However, if you have large, spread out veins, you may need to build individual ramps to each of the mines for LHD trucks. Alternatively, you can opt for a rail-based system that connects all of the veins and the surface.
2. Gradient of ramps
Ramps coming out of mines have different gradients depending on their depth versus their length. The gradient varies depending on physical obstacles, the size of the site and other factors. Unfortunately, in most cases, LHD trucks can only handle gradients up to 10 degrees. If your site necessitates ramps with steeper gradients, you may need to explore rail-based or conveyor transport systems.
3. Location of site
In addition to the geography of the mining site, you also have to consider its location. Namely, you have to consider whether there are towns nearby that can supply you with workers. Without that, you have to bring in workers, which means incurring additional expenses related to housing.
From a transport perspective, conveyor belts can alleviate this issue slightly. As their processes are automated, you don't have to hire drivers, and if workers are a scarce commodity, that can be useful.
4. Size of mine
The geology of your site is obviously critical to every aspect of your project, but from a transport angle, you need to consider how long you plan to operate. If your mine is going to be depleted relatively quickly, you may want to opt for LHD systems, as they are cheaper and easier to implement.
However, if you plan to operate for a significant amount of time, your site may be primed for a railed-based or conveyor transport system. They can take longer to install simply because laying track is more time consuming than grading a dirt road. However, once installed, they cost less to run, as they require no petrol and minimal labour costs. The system is also easier to maintain—with an LHD system, you need to repair the roads and clean up spilled items, but that isn't necessary with tracks.
To learn more about what type of transport solution is right for your mine, contact a mining services company.
28 March 2016
If you are working on a big project for your home, your business or an investment property, you may need to do some electrical work or hire an electrician during that process. If so, I want to help you with my blog full of tips and ideas. Hi, my name is Katie, and I was briefly an electrician before I left to start a design company. However, I still harbour an interest in electrical work, and because of that, I was inspired to create this blog. If you have questions about electricity, please explore my blog posts. If they help you, share them with your friends. Thank you!