Brazil: Surface Mining – the primary extraction process for bauxite production

The machine, the first of its type in Brazil, has been in operation there since March 2011. The “Mineração Paragominas” mine is 64.6 percent owned by the aluminum producer Hydro, with the Brazilian company Vale owning the remaining 35.4 percent of shares.

743 kW of concentrated power drives the type 2500 SM Wirtgen Surface Miner, which produces some 800 tons of bauxite per hour.

743 kW of concentrated power drives the type 2500 SM Wirtgen Surface Miner, which produces some 800 tons of bauxite per hour.

The 2500 SM from Wirtgen: Economy and efficiency

With a cutting width of 2500 mm and a cutting depth of up to 600 mm, the Wirtgen Surface Miner can produce some 800 tons of bauxite per hour. The 100-ton machine runs on more than 1000 hp. The 11-meter discharge conveyor transfers the material directly to the dump truck – with no other mining equipment, such as excavators or wheel loaders, required. “The 2500 SM produces as much as two or three conventional mining sets,” explains Cláudio Morgado, Maintenance Manager at Mineração Paragominas. “That not only lowers production costs but also makes working in the mine safer.”

One of the most important features of the Wirtgen Surface Miner is its ability to load the cut material directly onto the truck. The 2500 SM is a rear loader. The belt can be swung 90° to either side and the discharge height is adjustable.

One of the most important features of the Wirtgen Surface Miner is its ability to load the cut material directly onto the truck. The 2500 SM is a rear loader. The belt can be swung 90° to either side and the discharge height is adjustable.

Surface mining: sound environmental practice and sustainability

In surface mining, mineral raw materials are recovered with no drilling or explosives – a special cutting roller cuts and crushes the rock before it is loaded by robust conveyor systems into the dump truck. Surface miners thus save not only time and money, but also energy. In addition, the material extraction is also vibration-free. The low noise and dust development in surface mining mean a further advantage over conventional methods. “Naturally we want our work to be profitable, but our corporate goals also include bringing good business together with sound environmental practice and sustainability. We can achieve exactly that with the Wirtgen Surface Miners,” says Agnus Delagado, General Manager Mining at Mineração Paragominas, regarding the advantages of the surface mining method.

Wirtgen Group: Customized service solutions

The remote location in the Amazon region and the 24-hour use of the machine demand a seamless local service infrastructure. For that reason the local Wirtgen Group dealer Deltamaq operates a service support center directly in the mine. Service technicians, warehouse specialists and applications experts are constantly at work ensuring smooth equipment operation. All service technicians receive regular training at Wirtgen’s main plant in Germany.

The local Wirtgen Group dealer Deltamaq operates its own service support center in the mine so that it can provide optimum customer service and technical support on site.

The local Wirtgen Group dealer Deltamaq operates its own service support center in the mine so that it can provide optimum customer service and technical support on site.

Working to expand capacity

Convinced both by the Wirtgen Group’s customer service concept and the surface miner’s performance, the mine operators have decided to add two more type 2500 SM Wirtgen Surface Miners in Paragominas. Since the middle of 2012, a total of three Wirtgen Surface Miners have been in use for Mineração Paragominas. Surface mining is thus completely replacing the previous conventional extraction methods.

RO