By Jayde Ferguson
Working in the mining industry can be a dangerous place if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Regular training is essential and understanding the machines you’re working near or operating plays an important role in all aspects of the industry.
Each type of mining equipment comes with its own set of mining activities. The most common types of mining equipment vary depending whether the work is being carried on above or below ground or mining for gold, metals, coal or crude oil. From drilling machines to excavators, crushing and grinding equipment – the mining industry comes complete with all the right tools. New to the job and want to find out what it all means? Here’s a few of the industry’s most common types of equipment and why they’re important for the job.
1. Mining Drills
Probably one of the most common pieces of mining equipment, drills are an important part of the underground mining operation. Underground mining is carried out when rocks or minerals are located at a fair distance beneath the ground. These need to be extracted with surface mining and drilling is one of the tools that utilisers fewer miners needing to be down working in the mines. It’s a much safer technique of underground mining.
Drills assist in creating holes descending underground. If miners are required to work underground, drills can also be used in ensuring the holes are large enough to serve as a portal for miners to enter. Directional drilling is also a type of mining technology where miners will use the tools and certain methods to drill wells.
2. Blasting Tools
Blasting tools are an essential part of the mining industry and are used to break down and fracture materials (usually rocks) by use of a calculated amount of explosive until it’s broken down. Utilised in a similar way to mining drills, a blasting machine helps to move out harder rocks during underground mining that the drill may not be able to get through. Once this process has been completed, an excavator will be used to recover the blasted rocks and other debris that’s been dislodged during the blasting.
Blasting equipment is used for both underground and open pit mining operations and is known to be one of the most hazardous aspects of the job. For mining operations to be successful, good blast designs are absolutely vital as poor practices and excessive explosives can result in damage to rock structures causing unwanted caving.
3. Earth Movers
For above ground mining, earth movers are utilised regularly to carry loose soil and earth from one location to another. Earth movers play an important role in the mining industry because the equipment is specifically designed to work on large earthmoving and mining projects for a faster and more practical process. Used for dig, pushing and transporting the earth, they require the specialised skills of an operator to use on both mining and construction sites.
Earth movers are a heavy mining equipment that the industry would struggle to survive without and work hand in hand with bulldozers. Because earth movers are used to prevent dirt obstructing the overall mining process, the debris usually gets piled up in a heaps. A bulldozers will be useful in these situations to clear the area ready for work.
4. Crushing Equipment
As its name suggests, crushing equipment is used to crush rock and stone. Designed to achieve maximum productivity and high reduction rate, mining crushing equipment can come in a variety of different types for a range of jobs.
Crushing equipment is specially configured to break down the hard rock matter or gravel and turn it into stone powder. They are a valuable piece of equipment in the industry because they reduce the amount of raw materials on site which are usually too hard to break down otherwise. Excavator transporters help to bring the raw rock materials to the mining crusher feeder for processing. Mining crushing equipment is important to the mining process because it reduces the use of precious excavated resources and eliminates the amount of material on site.
5. Feeding and Conveying Equipment
Once the excavator transporter brings the raw material the crusher for processing, the feeding device moves the material toward the crusher and again to the screens for further processing. This ‘feeding’ equipment is usually on a conveyor belt to assist with the move.
Feeding and conveying equipment is necessary to the mining industry to deliver this mass flow of stone and other mineral materials. Once these materials have been fed through and crushed, they are then screened and washed. The screening and washing procedures can happen multiple times to ensure the materials are processed and cleaned properly.
All these common mining tools are crucial to the industry and assist in getting the job done efficiently and cost effectively.