Maximizing Productivity With Surface Miners

Wirtgen surface miners are playing a decisive role in this development process, as many of the country’s bauxite mining operations rely on the company’s technology as their standard extraction technique.

Wirtgen supplies surface miners in a variety of performance classes for the selective mining of raw materials, such as coal, limestone, bauxite, gypsum,
salt and phosphate. In addition to mining, these machines can carry out routing operations for the construction of mining service roads and railway
tracks, the rehabilitation of roadways and installation of tunnel floors. The range of applications further includes the precise cutting of trenches and
channels as well as surface leveling.

Consistently high production rates
The most commonly used models for bauxite mining in Guinea are the 2200SM and the 2500SM. The first is compact yet powerful, with a 2.2metre long cutting drum and 708kW of engine power. It is able to cut rock with unconfined compressive strengths of up to 50MPa, ideal for medium-sized mining operations. The larger model, the 2500 SM, guarantees higher production rates and offers a cutting width of 2.5metre, 783kW of engine
power and can economically mine rock with an unconfined compressive strength of up to 80MPa.

These surface miners are equipped with a discharge conveyor, minimize such climactic effects by cutting and crushing the material with a cutting drum and placing it alongside the machine (sidecasting) ensuring constant productivity while minimizing the environmental impact. The use of a surface miner also has a positive effect on water management in an opencast mine. The cut surfaces are leveled and can be cut at an angle. This further improves drainage and reduces water seepage into the ground.

More tons per hour
During side-casting, Wirtgen surface miners leave high stockpiles allowing a superb bucket fill. This protects most of the mined material from the rain
and allows gravity to drain the piles. The major cost factor in opencast mining is haulage. Mining with surface miners produces level surfaces that serve as stable roadways, supporting the rapid transport of material. This increases the transport capacity of the entire truck fleet. Even the wear on tyres, frame and suspension is reduced thanks to the quality of the roadways, also allowing the use of standard on-highway trucks. As a result, reduced transportation costs allow mining companies to achieve lower per-ton production costs.

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.”