Mining is key to Canada’s rapid development in the last century. Today, one in every ten Canadian jobs are linked to mining and its products, with the industry also contributing billions of dollars to Canadian Gross Domestic Product and taxes every year. Thanks to continuous advances in mining methods, this contribution is increasing.
Said advances are focused on resolving some of the most difficult problems in the industry and on improving efficiency. European editor Simon Walker discusses how mining is refining one specific area—hauling—in one of his articles for E-MJ.com.
With mines getting deeper, investment financing harder to come by and energy prices rising, operators need to choose an underground haulage system that will help them cut costs and reduce their environmental footprint. There are more options available today than ever before. Some are suitable for specific applications; others are more generic; others still offer a radical approach to an age-old requirement.
While a hauling system covers all aspects of muck collection and delivery, the main issue commonly faced is the resistance created by uneven surfaces of underground passageways. When trackless haulage vehicles carry heavy loads, maintaining the equipment and the haul roads become major challenges that are costly in terms of both time and money. Tracked haulage systems using mine rail cars, while requiring substantial initial investment, are much less costly to operate.
Since the time that heavy locomotives became available, long-distance underground haulage has largely remained the domain of rail-bound systems, and for good reason. Although expensive to install, rail networks are relative cheap to maintain, whereas haul roads need constant cleaning to remove spillage as well as regular repairs to the wearing surface.
Underground rail haulage systems can definitely improve productivity and reduce maintenance costs. Besides eliminating the need to constantly clean and repair haul roads, mine ore cars are not at risk of breakdown because the terrain is too rugged.
To ensure material-moving efficiency in underground operations, it’s crucial for mining companies to purchase mining equipment from leading suppliers such as Wabi Iron & Steel Corp. As well as providing heavy-duty mine cars in a variety of configurations, these companies also ensure that their products are manufactured to the highest of quality standards.
(Source: Underground Rock Handling, e-mj.com)