Wirtgen surface miner’s Saudi task
First publishedin Aggregates Business International
Via the discharge conveyer, the Wirtgen Surface Miner directly loads the cut material on trucks for transportation to further processing
In an opencast mine in the north of Saudi Arabia, a Wirtgen 2500 SM surface miner equipped with a 2.5m wide cutting drum is said to have been mining large phosphate deposits in “a highly economical process” since 2012.
In addition to the primary extraction of relatively soft phosphate with an unconfined compressive strength of 25MPa in the pit, the 2500 SM also mines the surrounding hard limestone (80MPa) and extremely hard flint (150MPa) in separate layers.
“In this project, the Wirtgen surface mining technology can demonstrate its full potential: cutting, crushing and loading the material in a single operational step,” says the company.
“Phosphate, limestone and flint are mined selectively by the surface miners. The 2500 SM extracts rock and pay minerals of different hardness without any breaks in operation and precisely separates the different material layers, thus improving both the degree of purity and the quality of the end product as well as the yield quota of the deposit and facilitating the production of smaller particle sizes.”
In the process, the 2500 SM, which has a production rate of up to 800tonnes/hour, produces particle sizes smaller 80 mm which eliminates the need for primary crushing.