To extract minerals like diamonds, coal, and other metals, the mining industry has created many complicated pieces of machinery. A sorting system is used to separate gems from dirt in the extraction of diamonds from mines. The three-stage sorting system includes the separation of the diamonds by their size, color, and magnetism.
Surface mining involves removing the overburden (rock and soil that cover a coal deposit) from an area with some machinery, such as a front-end loader or shovel loader. Then it is deposited at another site nearby.
A dragline is the name of the machinery that digs out coal. Although the dragline is a large piece of machinery, there is other equipment that can be used to extract the minerals from the ground. Surface mining can also be done with tilt-tray cars or ball mills.
Tilt-tray cars are small rail cars that have a conveyor belt running down the bottom. As they travel across the strip mine, these cars pick up soil and rocks. The cars are then tilted at 45 degrees, and the material falls into the ball mill.
The ball mill works like a cement mixer, pulverizing the soil and rock that it encounters. Overburden is the fine powdery substance that emerges from ball mills. Overcast must be filled with dirt at a five-to-one ratio.
Ball mills can also be used to extract small rocks from coal. They also reduce dust, which makes it easier for workers to see through the mines. The rock is also ground down before it is shipped, which makes the rail cars and trucks that transport the coal from the mines more efficient.
This post was written by Justin Tidd, Director at Becker/SMC. For nearly a half a century, Becker Mining has been at the forefront of safety, producing the best Portable Substation in the industry. Becker/SMC is the industry’s leader in increasingly more sophisticated electrical control systems. Most of the major innovations, design features and specialized electrical components have been developed by Becker/SMC.