Surface miner streamlines production, eases impact in Saudi Arabian mine

Contributed by Wirtgen

| Published on February 7, 2014

Via the discharge conveyer, the surface miner directly loads the cut material on trucks for transportation to further processing.

Via the discharge conveyer, the surface miner directly loads the cut material on trucks for transportation to further processing.

In an opencast mine in the north of Saudi Arabia, a Wirtgen 2500 SM surface miner equipped with a 2.5-meter wide cutting drum has been mining large phosphate deposits since 2012.

With a production rate of 800 tons per hour, the surface miner cuts raw materials in Saudi Arabia at high daily production rates. High purity of the cut material, a high production abilities, and the simple way of producing smaller size particles without blasting result in cost and productivity advantages.

With a production rate of 800 tons per hour, the surface miner cuts raw materials in Saudi Arabia at high daily production rates. High purity of the cut material, a high production abilities, and the simple way of producing smaller size particles without blasting result in cost and productivity advantages.

In addition to the primary extraction of relatively soft phosphate with an unconfined compressive strength of 25 MPa in this pit, the surface miner also mines the surrounding hard limestone (80 MPa) and extremely hard flint (150 MPa) in separate layers.

In this project, the surface mining technology cuts, crushes, and loads the material in a single operational step, offering lower labor, machine, and operating costs than conventional drilling and blasting. In addition, mining proceeds without any detonations and at lower dust emission levels, providing security and eco-friendliness.

The surface miner selectively mines phosphate, limestone, and flint. It extracts rock and pay minerals of different hardness without any breaks in operation and precisely separates the different material layers, improving degree of purity, quality of the end product, and yield quota of the deposit while facilitating the production of smaller particle sizes.

In the process, the surface miner produces particle sizes smaller than 80 millimeters, which eliminates the need for complex primary crushing.

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