- Increase blasting efficiency and create appropriately sized crusher feedstock by matching drilling and blasting to the geologic conditions and the rock being processed;
- Increase efficiency of in-pit truck transport of material by maintaining haul roads, reducing idle times of trucks, and utilizing engine idle management systems;
- Increase production efficiency by matching the feed rate to the crusher and matching motors (e.g. variable speed drive motors) to the equipment being used;
- Optimize equipment performance by using ‘smart’ crushers and screens that monitor equipment and transmit performance data to the operator or equipment manufacturer for remote problem solving;
- Reduce pumping costs by using geophysical data to identify water-filled conduits and grouting those conduits to restrict groundwater flow into the quarry; and
- Reduce overhead by improving lighting design and retrofitting indoor and outdoor lighting to include energy efficient lamps and ballasts.
Future technology may use rapid heating and cooling of quarried rock prior to crushing, which would promote rock fracturing, requiring less energy to crush the rock. To make this process viable, inexpensive, efficient tools to heat the rock, such as microwave or ultrasound equipment, need to be developed.
This makes me think that the image of three crazy scientists sucking energy out of rocks with some futuristic piece of equipment may be pretty accurate after all.
Who ya gonna call? ROCK BUSTERS!
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