Mining tools refer to all of the Australian mining equipment and machines utilised to extract minerals from the earth. Mined minerals can be found in almost every consumer product, from automobiles to electronic goods to jewellery and more. Minerals such as uranium and coal are significant energy sources, accounting for 50% of the total energy supply.
All of these resources are gathered by using various types of mining tools and equipment.
Before we can start identifying key mining tools and machines, we must first understand the various kinds of methods that these tools are employed for.
Kinds Of Mining Methods
Surface mining and underground mining are the two types of mining. The kind of minerals that a mining operation is attempting to extract, as well as the mining techniques used to extract those minerals, strongly impact the tools that miners use in their work.
However, a basic method is always followed for surface and underground mining. This is the method:
- Extraction. This is the process of drilling, digging, or blasting in order to extract minerals.
- Material Preparation. This is the process of converting minerals into finished products for distribution by melting, crushing, grinding, or refining them.
- Material Handling. This entails sorting through materials, transporting target minerals to a processing site, and discarding irrelevant materials.
Methods Of Surface Mining
Surface mining is a type of mining that extracts minerals near the earth's surface. Surface mining techniques include:
- Strip mining
- Open pit mining
- In-situ leach (ISL) mining
- Placer mining
Methods Of Underground Mining
Numerous minerals cannot be extracted using surface mining techniques. Underground mining will be employed in this case. The extraction process differs due to the confined nature of underground mining.
Underground mining techniques include:
- Room and pillar mining
- Blast mining
- Retreat mining
- Cut and fill mining
- Block caving
- Drift and fill mining
- Longwall mining
- Shrinkage stope mining
- Sublevel caving
Soft Rock Mining Vs. Hard Rock Mining
For different kinds of minerals and mining techniques, various mining tools are used. There are particular mining tools for soft rocks and specific mining tools for hard rocks, just as there are specific surface mining machines and specific underground mining tools.
The primary distinction between soft and hard rock mining is that hard rock mining necessitates the use of explosives, whereas soft rock mining does not.
Soft Rock Mines
Extraction does not necessitate the use of explosives. Coal, salt, potash, and bauxite are examples of soft rock minerals. All of these minerals can only be mined with specialised mining equipment.
Hard Rock Mines
The extraction requires explosives. Gold, copper, lead, iron, silver, platinum, uranium, and zinc are examples of hard rock minerals. Hydraulic drills are used in hard rock mines to drill holes into which explosives can be inserted and then blasted.
Australian Mining Equipment and Tools
Rather than listing all of these tools in one long list, we've divided this guide into the various types of mining methods and the tools used for each.
Before that, we wanted to share a list of Australian mining equipment organised by category so you could get a general idea of what each category contains.
The following is a general list of mining tools and equipment:
Miners continue to use traditional mining tools, such as:
In addition to traditional mining tools, miners must always wear mining PPE, which includes items such as:
- Cap lights
- Air respirator systems
- Fall protection
- Detection solutions
- Protective communications
- Reflective clothing
- Protective eyewear
- Protective headwear
Surface Mining Equipment
- Blasthole Drills. These are mining machines that use explosives to drill holes into the earth's surface.
- Bucket-Wheel Excavators. Open-pit mining employs bucket-wheel excavators. These mining machines transport, dig, and load materials continuously, excavating up to 240,000 cubic tons of minerals per day.
- Dozers. These are earthmovers that transport dirt from one location to another.
- Graders. These are used to generate viable roads for trucks to deliver minerals from mines while remaining profitable.
- Highwall Miners. Mining machines that remove coal from exposed seams are known as high-wall miners. Highwall miners grind mineral deposits out of walls by rotating up and down them. Trench mining also makes use of these mining tools.
- Mining Trucks. These are basically large dump trucks that are used for mining. New technology has created fully autonomous mining trucks that move freely around a mining site using both LiDAR and radar.
- Shovels. These are used for digging as well as the extraction of broken rocks and minerals.
- Wheel Tractor Scrapers. These are another type of earthmoving machine that works similarly to a carpenter's plane. Scrapers, unlike dozers, can load and transport materials.
Mining is one of the most crucial components of a new society since mined minerals are utilised in almost every product. This Australian mining equipment guide should help you better understand the pieces obtainable and their common applications.