UEA believe continuous surface mining methods are not just limited to junior miners, nor are they limited to iron ore mining companies. Major mining companies that can efficiently drill and blast their product are still limited when trying to expand past their crusher capacity. Continuous surface mining, or simply surface mining, allows them to increase their production and/or mine from a satellite area without incurring the cost of installing a second crushing facility.
As mining companies look to start production, one thing they will be looking at very closely is their start-up costs and cash-flows. Even if the ore body they are looking to mine lends itself to drill and blast, the cost of setting up primary and secondary crushing facilities as well as the associated running and maintenance cost, could render the project marginal in the short term. Continuous surface mining methods could be the answer to starting a new mine with very minimal infrastructure and start-up costs.
Continuous surface mining has applications across a number of mineral types including Iron Ore, Coal, Uranium, Phosphate, Copper, Limestone and Bauxite.
11 Reasons to Consider Surface Mining?
- Surface mining methods enable the selective mining of multiple, varying seam thickness for better grade control and increased delivery of high grade ore with minimal dilution.
- Surface mining can increase production without the need for permanent infrastructure enabling rapid expansion past existing primary crusher capacity.
- Continuous surface mining enables rapid start up and reduced times for developing new deposits making it ideal for Greenfield mining operations.
- Surface mining provides a low cost alternative to drill and blast providing access to new deposits that were previously unviable.
- Surface miners perform cutting, crushing and in some cases loading in a single pass making it more effective than conventional methods.
- The consistent material produced by surface mining eliminates the need for primary crushers, large loaders and large haul trucks. End material is transportable by regular highway trucks or conveyors.
- Surface mining machinery can perform overburden removal eliminating the need for rippers.
- Strict environmental regulations for noise and dust emissions make surface mining attractive when compared to conventional drilling and blasting methods.
- The stable, even surfaces produced in earthwork and rock operations can be used immediately as roads, embankments or tunnel floors.
- Surface mining machinery can cut square corners and vertical walls, and allows mining against vertical walls.
- Surface mining combined with the use of block models and GPS provides the capability to “Mine to Map”.