The mining industry requires different mining equipment to get the job done. Without these huge machines, it would be impossible to work efficiently in the mining field. If you’re going to work in the mining industry, you have to familiarize yourself with how these machines work and what their purposes are. From blasting tools to crushing equipment, the mining industry comes complete with the right machines for the job.
New to the job and curious about what these machines are? Here are the most common types of mining equipment that you should be familiar with.
Mining drills are a staple in any underground mining operation. These tools are used to penetrate soft rock materials and break rock for excavation. Specialised mining equipment such as diggers, trucks, and loaders are all used to excavate material before being processed with lifts and skips. Drilling is needed to allow the use of explosive charges in freeing up minerals from overburden material. Over the years, underground mining techniques have evolved significantly, with remote controlled machinery being used for better efficiency.
Mining drills are also used to create holes that descend underground. This allows workers to drill a hole that’s large enough to serve as entry and exit points. Miners use directional drilling to drill wells at numerous angles to better reach oil and gas reserves.
Working in the mining industry requires the use of blasting tools.These tools break down materials (mostly rocks) to liberate the desired product from the waste material. Blasting tools are also used to create space for machines and personnel to better reach the material of interest. To minimise material handling costs, workers use unmanned drill rigs to drill holes that are pre-measured in depth before blasting. This achieves a particular-sized fraction with minimal overburden liberated after the blast.
Once the blasting is complete, workers will use an excavator to recover particles of rocks and other dislodged debris. The materials are then transferred to a conveyor or a skip and hoist system where it will be taken to the surface for collecting. Blasting tools are essential for completing one of the most hazardous jobs in the mining industry.
Working with blasting tools requires experience and expertise because poor practices and excessive explosive use can lead to damaged rock structures and unwanted caving.
As the name implies, earth movers are large machines that transport loose soil from one point to another. Earth movers play a crucial role in above mining operations where digging, pushing, and transporting the earth in large quantities are required. It takes a very skilled operator to manipulate an earth mover when working on large-scale projects. The mining industry would struggle to operate if there were no earth movers around.
These types of heavy mining equipment work closely together with bulldozers for a faster and more efficient process. Earth movers are used to move waste material to acquire the mineral of interest, while bulldozers push the waste material around to create a working platform for excavators and haul trucks.
The mining industry wouldn’t be complete without crushing equipment in its arsenal. These machines are designed to reduce the size of larger sized material for further processing. Crushing equipment helps reduce material handling costs and can be built small depending on the needs of the processing plant. Once raw material is harvested from underground, it’s transferred to a mine and fed into a crusher. The crusher’s two large jaws breaks down the material where it is then screened to achieve the desired product.
Usually, crushing equipment is used alongside screening equipment to separate finer particles from the large ones. In most mineral processing operations, you’ll come across conveyors, crushers, and screening machines where they use these equipment to transform raw material into marketable products. Mining and quarrying industries rely heavily on these equipment to reduce the use of previously excavated resources while eliminating the amount of wasted material on the site.
Belt conveyors are responsible for carrying and transporting material once it’s been harvested. These equipment control the material flow within mining and processing operations while helping determine yields and operating rates. Conveyor systems transport excavated materials like crushed rocks efficiently over long distances, sometimes passing through curves and other areas with ease. As time passes, the capacity rating of belt systems have seen a considerable increase along with the length which material can be transported.
Together with the size of its components and a stronger power input, transporting harvested materials has never been easier than with belt conveyors. All of these equipment are used in the mining to facilitate operations and ensure a smooth workflow. Knowing the function and purpose of these equipment will serve anyone well who’s looking to work in the mining industry.