• No Rippers
• No Blasting
• No Vertical Drills
• No Mine Haul Trucks
• No Primary Crushers
The elimination of drilling, blasting, and primary crushing are the most obvious benefits of precision surface mining . Reduced shock, vibration, dust, and noise from precision surface mining enables operations to take place closer to roads and existing structures than would be permitted by drilling and blasting.
Precision surface mining allows the blending of chemistries to exact specifications without the intermixing of unwanted materials. If unwanted materials are visually different from the minerals extracted, then precision surface mining will improve overall mine yield by allowing separation of the material at the mine face.
Where the desired chemistries are in thin layers, precision surface mining can follow the layers and help to prevent unwanted mixing of the materials. Since it is entirely possible that all layers are economically valuable — but not compatible — the ability to keep them separate through precision surface mining provides benefits over drilling and blasting.
A significant number of mines and quarries are limited in the depth that can be mined because of the fear of punching into the water table, which can flood the mine floor or require significant additional dewatering costs. Precision surface mining allows this process to be closely controlled so that almost all available product is recovered.
It is not uncommon that the first use of a surface miner in a mine or quarry is removing an additional metre or two of the floor after drilling and blasting techniques have been exhausted. Using a laser or GPS system to control the digging depth, a one- or two-degree slope can be imposed on the mine floor to allow drainage toward a sump. This will help to keep the maximum amount of product free of moisture for the longest possible time and alleviate moisture contamination of the fines.