The mode of mine access (e.g., vertical shaft, inclined drift, in-seam access via outcrop, etc.) determines the nature of transport systems used to transport personnel and materials into the mine (shaft hoisting, drift haulage, or rubber tyred vehicle access). However, the large majority of mines today use diesel-powered, rubber tyred vehicles (RTV’s) to transport both personnel and materials within the mine, largely because of the flexibility of that system, with occasional track vehicles for special purposes. The most popular type of materials transport involves using diesel load/haul/dump (LHD) machines as tractors to tow materials trailers. It is normal to have a “Quick Detach System” (QDS) fitting for the bucket so it can be easily removed and replaced with various attachments for the specific purpose (e.g., a work platform for high work, a reeler for cables, or conveyor belts, etc.). These results in a very versatile system where the prime movers can also be used for excavation or clean-up work and material transport and other miscellaneous work. With this system, it is normal to have a different type of vehicle for personnel transport, though personnel pods for the QDS are available. Rail transport throughout mines was once the prevalent system (before developing suitable rubber tyred transports) and is still used in some mines. Rail systems have some advantages because they are generally faster than free steered vehicles, and one operator can transport bigger loads. Much of this advantage is lost, however, at the tail end, which cannot be very close to the working faces. LHD machines or some similar arrangement are then required to complete the trip. The large equipment involved with modern longwalls requires the use of specialized transport equipment. Because this equipment is only required infrequently, it is normal practice to hire such equipment as required (or mining groups to carry such equipment to share between several mines). Nowadays, the mined material transportation systems inside the mines (haul trucks, conveyor belts, etc.) and outside the mines (locomotives, vessels, etc.) make the huge datasets daily big data is a general problem for mine material transportation in the mining industry. Advanced data analytics methods can perfectly help the mining companies to solve this issue and generation valuable information from raw data. This approach can reduce the total cost of mined material dramatically.
- Introduction to Material Transportation
- Locomotive and Rail Ways and Material Shipment