Mine operators benefit from several cost reductions when using surface miners. Dr. Ing Erik Zimmermann, Product Manager for Surface Miners at WIRTGEN, explains: “Our machines allow efficient extraction of material from mines that could not be economically exploited with traditional techniques, creating added value for the industry. For the mining companies, this translates into significant financial advantages for mining and processing.”
Avoiding blasting means avoiding hazards
By using surface miners instead of drilling and blasting, raw materials can also be extracted effectively in the vicinity of residential areas, public roads, villages, rivers or other infrastructure e.g. pipelines or power lines. It is also possible to mine resources located in buffer and safety zones, maximizing bauxite yield within the concession area, generating significant additional revenue for the mine.
In most cases, the planning and execution of blasting operations is associated with considerable effort, high costs and regulatory restrictions. In fact, eliminating drilling and blasting relieves the people responsible of a number of challenges. The Guinean mine operators using surface miners no longer need to spend time obtaining the required permits, hiring certified blasting personnel or compiling the relevant documentation. What is more, dispensing with drilling and blasting has a very positive impact on public opinion, meaning that opencast mining operations can gain wider acceptance.
In addition, WIRTGEN machines enable mining companies to improve material quality. The material size produced by these surface miners is ideal for shipment by truck and rail, eliminating the use of the primary crushers commonly used when drilling and blasting.