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March 25, 2014 SBM


This earthmoving and mining equipment section lists equipment that has been designed primarily to move earth and minerals in large earthmoving and mining projects. Some of this equipment finds it place in other applications, however, and the use of bulldozers and articulated trucks on road and highway projects are just a couple of examples.

One area of surface mining includes giant machines such as drills, electric shovels and giant draglines, some of which have buckets that are capable of moving 160 cubic yards of material in one scoop. Although somewhat smaller than the electric shovel or especially the giant dragline, the mass excavator also fits here, which is basically a large version of the excavator that is used more for mass excavation than for more limited exaction or trenching.

Underground mining equipment is aimed at moving material in a very headroom and space environment. You will notice similarities with some of the surface mining equipment as well as some very specialized pieces developed specifically for the underground mining application.

Wet and mining.As stated there are two main mining methods for mineral sands – either using scrapers,dozers and excavators in mining, or floating dredges and processing plants in wet mining. is by far the largest manufacturer of scrapers, though other groups such as and K-Tec Earthmovers also have models.

In the wet mining sector, the main company that has delivered large floating dredges to the mineral sands industry is IHC Merwede in Holland. This includes six dredges at Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) in South Africa, plus more recent deliveries to Kenmare Resources in Kenya for its Moma project, Indian Rare Earths(IRE), QMM in Madagascar and Paraiba in Brazil, owned by Cristal Group. Aside from mineral sands, dredges have also recently been sold to DRC (copper), Vale Brazil (iron ore) and to a mining group in Indonesia. Dick Knol, IHC Holland Area Manager comments: "In the larger projects, the ownership of our own yards, financial soundness and the ability to provide project financing are really helping IHC. We are also the only dredge builder which has in-house mineral processing knowledge and extensive experience. This means IHC can supply fully integrated mining dredgers including the mineral processing and concentration plants."Dredging is used when large amounts of solids need to be processed to extract the heavy minerals. Dredging has the lowest cost of solid handling per tonne, more than ten times lower than a truck-shovel operation.

Most modern dredges now being sold are hydraulic mining dredgers that use bucket wheels. The reason is the more constant production that can be achieved and the ability to handle higher solids concentrations. The disadvantage of mechanical dredging methods such as bucket chain dredges is the relatively low production per hour. For hydraulic dredging, water is needed in order to slurry the solids and act as a transport.



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