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of Mining Engineering
INTRODUCTION The history of mineral development is as old as the civilization. In case of India, the mineral production dates back to the ancient times as the mining activities can be traced as far back as 6,000 years or so. The importance of mineral development for the economic growth of a country was realized in India long back. As early as 400 B.C. Chanakya in his “Kautilya’s Arthasastra” mentioned “Mines are the sources of treasury, from treasury comes the power of Government and the Earth whose armament is by means of treasury and army”. The remains of some of the old mine workings are a witness to this fact. A few of these workings have led to the discovery of a number of significant mineral deposits, which are being worked in the present time. These include the leadzinc deposit at Zawar, copper deposit at Khetri, and gold deposits in Karnataka. HISTORY OF COAL MINING IN INDIA India has a long history of commercial coal mining covering nearly 220 years starting from 1774 by M/s Sumner and Heatly of East India Company in the Raniganj Coalfield along the Western bank of river Damodar. However, for about a century the growth of Indian coal mining remained sluggish for want of demand but the introduction of steam locomotives in 1853 gave a fillip to it. Within a short span, production rose to an annual average of 1 million tonne (mt) and India could produce 6.12 mts. per year by 1900 and 18 mts per year by 1920. The production got a sudden boost from the First World War but went through a slump in the early thirties. The production reached a level of 29 mts. by 1942 and 30 mts. by 1946 (www.coal.nic.in/abtcoal.htm). HISTORY OF GOLD MINING IN INDIA India has long been the site of gold mining, first from placers and then in more modern times from the oxidized and primary zones of a variety of auriferous deposits. Pliny, writing at the beginning of our era in his Historia naturalis, mentions the gold of India, and the land of Ophir mentioned in I Kings 10:11 in the Old Testament can, according to some authorities, be equated with India. It is certain that gold placers and the rich oxidized zones of auriferous deposits were worked in India long before the Christian era, as evidenced by archaeological data and written records. Large-scale mining in India began with the Mauryan
began about 1880 and has continued since that date (www. and an impetus to the development of the mineral sector was imparted in the country. limestone. and the inventory details were available only in respect of few minerals .com/jewelry/kh_jewelry_diamond_mines. The modern mining of the famous Champion Lode in the Kolar field.0.html). Golconda. HISTORY OF DIAMOND MINING IN INDIA Diamonds were discovered in India during the 4th century B. lead.khulsey.' Aurangzeb's heirs in the 'sack of Delhi' in 1739. etc. India's most prized diamonds are known as the "diamonds of Golconda. iron ore. the annual value of mineral production was merely Rs.html). The majority of India and Borneo's diamond deposits were alluvial as opposed to kimberlite. Capacity for large-scale production of various minerals was created in the public sector .58 billion.C. rediscovered in 1873. Orlov Diamond. Hindostan.com/ alluvial/gold1. Koh-i-Noor Diamond. sulphur. in 1972 when the Mineral Exploration Corporation was established. The exploration of minerals was intensified and the Geological Survey of India was strengthened for the purpose. (www.National Coal Development Corporation (NCDC) 1956. chromite. India's diamonds were prized for their size and beauty for hundreds of years. manganese ore and magnesite." and the most famous Golconda stones include the Hope Diamond. THE POST INDEPENDENCE ERA After the political Independence came in the year 1947. On the eve of Independence. and India was one of the first countries to mine the gem. The discovery of the Kolar field would seem to date from the beginning of the Christian era. zinc.C. IBM was also assigned the responsibility of conducting exploration with more of emphasis on coal. probably coeval with that of the Hutti field to the north. The Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) was established to look after the scientific development and conservation of mineral resources. and manganese ore keeping in view the requirement of the proposed steel plants. petroleum. which was owned by the Nadir Shah of Persia after it was plundered from the last 'Great Mughal Emperor. only a few minerals were mined and the country was largely depended on imports of commodities such as copper.. and Sanc Diamond.minelinks. railways and power plants. and Raolconda. iron ore. this function was transferred to it. The Darya-i-Nur (Sea of Light) was a rare blue-diamond weighed 186 carats. dolomite. "Indian" diamonds were mined in numerous locations that included Borneo (Landak). graphite. Later. National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) . bauxite.colonization of the Deccan about the end of the fourth century B. the importance of role of mines and mineral development in the country’s economic growth was realized. Prior to independence.coal. Coal was the one to have received the maximum attention for being the basic fuel for a whole range of industries such as steel.
This was followed by the nationalisation of all these mines on 1. Another enactment. the need for increasing coal production efficiently by systematic and scientific development of the coal industry was being felt. Unscientific mining practices adopted by some of them and poor working conditions of labour in some of the private coal mines became matters of concern for the Government. namely the Coal Mines (Taking Over of Management) Act. Bharat Gold Mines Ltd. the Central Government took a decision to nationalise the private coal mines.1973 with the enactment of the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act. On account of the growing needs of the steel industry. the commercial coal mining in modern times in India has been dictated by the needs of the domestic consumption.5.(BGML) 1972.(HCL) 1967. Neyveli Lignite Corporation Ltd. . (PPCL) 1960. extended the right of the Government of India to take over the management of the coking and non-coking coal mines in seven States including the coking coal mines taken over in 1971. Hindustan Zinc Ltd. Right from its genesis. 1971. 1973.htm). Steel Authority of India (SAIL).in/abtcoal. This was followed by the Coking Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act. the country embarked upon the 5-year development plans. Along with the Singareni Collieries Company Ltd. (SCCL) which was already in operation since 1945 and which became a Government company under the control of Government of Andhra Pradesh in 1956. the Coking Coal Mines (Emergency Provisions) Act. 1972 under which the coking coal mines and the coke oven plants other than those with the Tata Iron & Steel Company Limited and Indian Iron & Steel Company Limited.(HZL) 1966. Adequate capital investment to meet the burgeoning energy needs of the country was not forthcoming from the private coal mine owners.coal. 1971 provided for taking over in public interest of the management of coking coal mines and coke oven plants pending nationalisation. The nationalisation was done in two phases. During the 1st Plan period itself. In October. Setting up of the National Coal Development Corporation (NCDC). Hindustan Copper Ltd. a thrust had to be given on systematic exploitation of coking coal reserves in Jharia Coalfield. were nationalised on 1. the first with the coking coal mines in 1971-72 and then with the non-coking coal mines in 1973. At the beginning of the 1 st Plan. annual production went upto 33 mts.1958. India thus had two Government coal companies in the fifties. Phosphates and Chemicals Ltd.1972 and brought under the Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL). 1973 which now is the piece of Central legislation determining the eligibility of coal mining in India (www. Coal mining With the advent of Independence.nic.5. (NLC) 1957. formerly Hindustan Steel Ltd 1973. Pyrites. a Government of India Undertaking in 1956 with the collieries owned by the railways as its nucleus was the first major step towards planned development of Indian Coal Industry. SCCL is now a joint undertaking of Government of Andhra Pradesh and Government of India sharing its equity in 51:49 ratio. a new Central Government Undertaking. On account of these reasons. Bharat Aluminium Company (BALCO) 1965.
11 metallic. No.000 mineral deposits occupying about 0.2 shows the coal reserve of the country as on January 2006. 52 nonmetallic industrial and 22 minor minerals. copper.100 mines (reporting mines) producing coal.1: All India Mineral Resources as on 1. The mining leases numbering 9.in/imsene. etc. Table. limestone. The total value of mineral production in 2000-2001was Rs. .7 million hectares which is 0. bauxite.Tonnes Reserves 505512899 530573407 74204 15831937 2373540 74204 22573966 2595661 Table contd. India produces as many as 89 minerals comprising 4 fuel. Table.THE PRESENT SCENARIO Presently. lignite. Their aggregate production in 1999-2000 was about 550 million tonnes. 568070 million.Tonnes Tonnes Tonnes Tonnes Tonnes Tonnes Th. one must add the quantity of overburden to that of the mineral production in order to assess the total amount of annual excavation in India’s mining sector. The resources of 64 non-fuel minerals as on April 2005 is given in Table-1.nic.244 are spread over 21 States on about 13.21 per cent of the total land mass of the country.Tonnes Tonnes Tonnes Tonnes Th.2005 Sl.. lead. 306751 million (http://mines. More than 80 per cent of the country’s mineral production comes from surface mines and therefore. contributed by over 3. zinc. iron ore.html). of which the value of minerals other than petroleum and natural gas was Rs.4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 _ Remaining Resources 0 Ore Metal 0 0 6145575 6040544 32529793 34312780 899384 25060508 0 6742030 222121 18450 10588 174 20719133 15695817 46761403 39890567 2390433 Total Resources 18450 10588 174 26864708 21736361 79291196 74203347 3289817 Mineral Andalusite Antimony Apatite Asbestos Ballclay Barytes Bauxite Bentonite Borax Calcite China clay Unit Th.
Tonnes Carats Th. Table. No.Tonnes Tonnes Tonnes Tonnes Ore (Primary) 27 Gold Tonnes Metal (Primary) Ore (Placer) Metal (Placer) 28 29 30 31 Granite (Dimen stone)* Graphite* Gypsum Iron Ore(Heamatite) 000 cu. Tonnes Th.Tonnes Mill.Tonnes Tonnes Tonnes Th.1: contd Sl.86 36295977 491.07 7033.72 83795 5337393 2885 4581913 7533108 167929 256593879 256652079 36680028 57655633 371035286 390289237 406. Tonnes Th.12 26121000 5.Tonnes Th.m.97 604 3125032 634 1205577 985156 128074 NOT ESTIMATED 38049836 561805 9213831 58200 20975605 19253951 85 0 0 1130024 10749908 68658 7004168 52731827 646393 10951838 90781663 1208198 20165669 Remaining Resources 146935 44.Tonnes Th.Table.91 1024933.91 1394426 11417.1: contd . 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 Mineral Chromite Cobalt Copper Corundum Diaspore Diatomite Diamond Dolomite Dunite Emarald Feldspar Fireclay Fluorite Fuller's Earth Garnet Tonnes Th.75 83190 2212361 2251 3376336 6547952 39855 Total Resources 213063 44.86 37426001 158025030 168774939 1168218 7626220 1236876 14630388 Table contd.Tonnes Unit Th.Tonnes Ore Metal _ Reserves 66128 0 369493 4383.12 26121000 5..
45 337882 378569 1792638 Ore Lead Metal 35 Lead-Zinc Ore Th.68 118.2 1617675 14205319 1046413 2466703 19286732 12639.Grp of Metal Pyrite Pyrophyllite Quartzite Quartz-Silica Sand* Rock Phosphate Th.Tonnes Th.Tonnes Th.57 188..Tonnes Tonnes Th.2 1674401 33694936 1144957 3238211 252585084 305308576 Table contd.1: contd Sl.Tonnes Mill.7 13166. 32 33 34 Mineral Iron Ore(Magnetite) Kyanite Limestone* Unit Th.89 0 76133 138152 4700 48157843 1500000 1050 0 47867858 504 0 0 56726 19489617 98544 771508 52723492 325285576 373443419 17786732 11589.Tonnes Zinc Metal Lead&Zinc Metal 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 Magnesite Manganese Ore Marble Mica* Molybdenum Nickel Ore Ochre Perlite Potash Pt. Tonnes Tonnes Th.79 118. No.Tonnes Tonnes Th.71 93441294 1889 21815 14.Tonnes Tonnes Metal Ore Containes MOS2 125754 2590.Tonnes Th..Sl.Tonnes Kilogram Tonnes Mill.27 4616.71 45573436 1385 21815 14.55 11092. Table. Mineral Unit _ Reserves Remaining Total . Tonnes Tonnes Th.25 24259.Tonnes _ Reserves 58504 1374191 12696674 Remaining Resources 10560977 Total Resources 10619481 101239032 102613223 162632240 175328914 396826.57 188.45 261749 240418 1787938 522580 7207.
No.html Table.49 674631 11709141 569748 87387464 142094. .Tonnes Kilogram Kilogram Tonnes Tonnes Th. 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 Rock Salt Ruby Sapphire Sillimanite Silver Sulphur Talc-SteatiteSoapst Tin Titanium Tungsten Vanadium Th.35 24847888 65390. the Public Sector Companies contribute 100% of copper. 60% of iron ore and 50% of manganese. lead.htm In India. diamond.35 18529225 54620.nic.coalindia. silver and zinc and lignite. 98% of coal.78 1763630 8533311 3705912 Resources 0 3346 450 62915875 Resources 13530 5271 450 74339869 128720729 244633467 4154 210 196810 86302812 10213 210 312335 86552310 363239828 388388366 87387464 142094.2: Coal Reserves (in Billion tones) of India as on January 2006 Type Coking Non-coking Total Proved Reserve 17 79 96 Indicated Reserve 13 106 119 Inferred Reserve 2 36 38 Total Reserve 32 221 253 Source: http://www.Tonnes Tonnes Tonnes Tonnes Tonnes Ore Contained WO3 Ore Metal 62 63 64 Vermiculite Wollastonite Zircon Tonnes Tonnes Tonnes Ore Metal 13530 1925.Tonnes Th.in/coalreserve.in/reserves.nic.27 2438261 20242452 4275660 * Provisional Source: http://ibm.1 0 11423994 115912738 6058 0 115526 249497 25148538 0 0 6318663 10769.
79 0.43 3.64 154.9 2.8 70. Dudhichua. Malanjkhand.7 127. chromite and dolomite in the total mineral production.4 billion (84%). The upsurge of the surface mining activities has resulted in establishing large size surface coal mines (Jayant.7 (000 Carats) 20 18 In 1970s. metallic minerals at Rs. 1990-91 and 1999-2000 are given in the following table (Table-3). Rajmahal.6 2. most are coming from surface mines.372.00 4.).9 3.0 NA 33. 2001EE42).2 billion (8%) nonmetallic minerals Rs.5 14.33 3. The value of mineral production during 1999-2000 was estimated at Rs.51 170.3 31. Gevra and Dipka. Ashoka.5 1. produced exclusively or mainly from .9 0.43 2. Of the 89 different minerals that are mined today in India. Nigahi. increase in production from existing surface mines. and since then the country’s mining industry has experienced a phenomenal shift from underground to surface mining for production of different minerals in general and coal in particular.27.0 0.0 Metallic minerals 1.7 211.34.7 0.0 NA 18.18.378.0 21.3 3.05 32.3 billion of which the contribution from public sector was Rs.22 30.20 31. in India.1 73.1 Million tonnes 1.22 12.452. a purposeful thrust was given towards surface mining to meet the increasing mineral demand.17 Million tonnes NA NA Non metallic minerals Million tonnes 23.4 55. Some of the minerals.6 billion (6%). iron ore and limestone in the past three decades (TERI Report No. It may be observed from the table that there has been a rapid growth in the production of coal and lignite. Piparwar.3 billion (4%) and minor minerals Rs.7 3.4 5.bauxite.38 4. etc.7 1.4 6.6 Million tonnes NA 1. Rampur-Agucha.8 1. fuel minerals accounted for Rs. Table-3: Production of some selected minerals in India (by mineral groups) Mineral Coal Lignite Crude oil Natural gas Bauxite Chromite Copper ore Iron ore Manganese ore Lead & zinc ore Gold ore Limestone Dolomite Gypsum Diamond Unit Million tonnes Million tonnes Million tonnes BCM Million tonnes Million tonnes Million tonnes Million tonnes Million tonnes Million tonnes 1970-71 1990-91 Fuel minerals 73.5 5.0 26. etc. increase in size of conventional mine equipment and introduction of new equipment and new technology.5 NA NA 1999-2000 300.1 2.5 1.3 41 2005-06 407.42 2. Amlohri.) and surface metal mines (Kudremukh. The mineral production in 1970-71. In the total value of mineral production.3 0.9 32.3 billion (82%).14 44.
A number of other surface coal mines – Jayant.underground mines earlier. a number of surface mines (Rossing uranium ore mine in Namibia. copper ore. the Bringham Canyon copper mine in Utah. The world’s deepest surface mine. Very recently a surface mine has been opened up. Western Australia) are operating at or planned to go beyond the depth of 350m. The problem of resettlement and rehabilitation. the surface mines contribute the major share (more than 80%) of the coal & lignite production. • • The problem of land acquisition and land clearance if forest areas are involved. Nigahi and Jhingurda in NCL. in terms of both volume and value. . and the same trend is likely to continue for the next few decades. 2006). Sonepur-Bazari in ECL and Gautam Khani in SCCL. The average depth of currently operating surface coal mines in the country has been estimated at 80m (Chaudhuri. in the country. The Amlohri mine has been planned to be worked by surface mine upto a depth of about 300m. In general the deep mines are of larger size. Elsewhere in the world. The Ekibastas surface coal mine in Russia has been planned upto a depth of 500m. Almost 100% of the country’s production of the minerals other than coal & lignite. uranium ore. More than 80% of the total mineral production. gold ore and petroleum and natural gas comes from surface mines. Presently. more than 50% of copper ore and lead & zinc ore and a considerable amount of manganese ore produced. and with the increase in mine size the following problems are generally enhanced. Gevra in SECL. is reaching a depth of 760m (Banerjee. SURFACE MINING . 2000). chromite.THE CHALLENGES AND DEVELOPMENTS The Challanges The main challenge to the present-day surface mining industry is that of extracting mineral from increased depth while fulfilling the increasing production demand and maintaining the economy of operation. Only petroleum and natural gas come exclusively from underground mines. Dudhichua.have been planned upto depths exceeding 200m. USA. Malanjkhand and Rampur-Agncha have been planned to go to depths beyond 200m. and few more are likely to come into existence in near future. to extract uranium ore in the country. The currently operating deepest surface coal mine is Amlohri where the deep most working bench in Turra Seam has reached a depth of 160m. A small portion (about 10% of the total production) of gold ore is also extracted by surface mining. are currently being produced by surface mines also. borax mine of Rio Tinto in California and gold mine in Finniston. Chromite comes from both surface and underground mines. iron ore mines is Ural. lead and zinc ore. of India comes from surface mines.
slope formation and slope stabilization method is of prime importance. At comparatively lower depth high capacity dumpers may be used in case of shovel-dumper operation to minimize the overall transport costs. same from of continuous slope monitoring method/system needs to be implemented. material properties (cohesion and effective friction). calls for integrated planning and design of overburden/waste dumps. water. As the depth of mine workings increases. air. To have stable slopes in mines. The problem of accumulation of noxious gasses in the bottom benches – . The deep surface mines are likely to have large external dumps of greater height. The dump planning includes the selection of dump site and dump geometry giving due consideration to the foundation competence and inclination. The problem of increased generation of overburden/waste material and subsequent overburden/waste dump planning With the increase in depth of working and increasing stripping ratio. the vertical lift from the bottom most benches and the average distance of ore and/or waste transport will be increasing. proper planning and design. the likely environmental impacts. the cost of dumper transport may become prohibitive. flora and fauna) The problem of changes in hydrologic regime. a proper slope stability planning. More over to assess the stability (or instability) condition of slopes. in case of high depth. therefore. suitable formation (including zonation) and slope stabilization methods (including installation of proper drainage system) are to be followed. The problem of slope stability – Stability of highwall benches and of overburden/waste dumps is of major concern in case of deep surface mines. and in such cases the use of in-pit crusher – conveyor (shiftable and/or high angle) system may have to be adopted. which are more likely to develop instability. However. the height of highwalls (and that of internal backfills incase of bedded deposits) increases. external and/or internal (in case of flat or gauntly dipping bedded deposits). • • • • The problem of blast vibration and air vibration The problem of increased level of impacts on physical environment (land.• • The problem of increased stripping ratio. • • The problem of increased transport cost – As the mines are going to be deeper. the hazard potential and the overall economics of dump formation and maintenance. the quantity of overburden/waste material that is to be handled to produce a certain quantity of mineral/ore increases at a faster rate. To have safe dumps. Proper placement of the overburden/waste material in dumps.
The modern day drills have features like auto-positioning.. a number of developments have taken place in the surface mining industry of the country. The Developments In the last few decades.In deep mines. At amlohri OCP of NCL and Rajmahal OCP of ECL. 40 to 45 m 3 capacity rope shovels. auto-levelling. In shovel benches drills upto 250 mm dia prevails. there is also likely hood of accumulation of methane in the bottom benches. Hydraulic shovels of bucket capacities 3 to 5m 3 are used in many of the surface mines. • mining. auto-regulation of thrust and r. The developments are in terms of improvement of conventional equipment. in India. dozers and 240 to 320 t dumpers will be used in some of the large size coal mines in future (Banerjee. • Conventional equipment – In terms of development of conventional equipment. the power and capacity have been greatly increased and improved/advanced features have been incorporated. The shovel and draglines are fitted with system that automatically records the equipment performance data. 10 to 15 m3 capacity hydraulic shovels. semi automatic handling of drill rods and automatic recording of drilling data (that may be analysed latter) through the use of sensors and pre-programmed chips (Sen. If such a condition arises. 850 h. The draglines that are used in Indian Surface coal mines are mainly of 24m 3 – 96m size. the carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide gases produced by the diesel-operated equipment are likely to be accumulated in the bottom benches. which improves the performance of these dumpers to a great extent particularly in rough conditions. The 20m 3 shovel fitted with a 25m3 bucket feeds the hopper of a fully mopile crusher. It is envisaged that the large size draglines of 45 to 55 m 3 bucket size with over 100m dumping radius. introduction of new equipment. 20m 3 shovel is working in conjunction with 170 t dumpers.m. 1987). introduction of new system and introduction of new technology. the modern ones also incorporate improved features that optimize their operational efficiency. suitable artificial ventilation measures have to be adopted. With the increase in size/capacity of the conventional equipment. The use of 10m 3 shovel – 120 t dumpers is becoming a regular feature in the country’s surface mines.p. 2006). Presently. the largest size electric rope shovel is being used in Piparwar Open Cast Project (OCP) of CCL.p. The problem of creation of a large water body at the end of . Some of the models of Volvo dumpers have independent elephant foot suspension system. In case of deep surface coal mines. The drills used in dragline benches are of 300 – 325 mm dia range.
In the system with permanent in-pit crusher. This system offers the advantages of minimizing the waiting time of dumpers thereby improving their productivity and economizing the number of dumpers for a particular number of shovels thereby lowering the required capital investment. 2001). In case of fully mobile crusher system.). Pathak and Sen. high capacity. 1995. Since then. one crusher serves a group of faces. the large mines have increasingly switched over to higher truck sizes of 290 t (Komatsu 930 E). etc. lower unit transport cost. all dumpers serve all shovels in place of assigning a group of dumpers to a particular shovel. This system offers the advantage of relocating the crusher at an interval of time (usually 3 to 7 years) depending on the movement of the faces. The first surface miner was introduced in one of the lime stone mine of Gujrat Ambuja Cement Ltd in Feb. • New equipment – The latest equipment that has been introduced in Indian surface mining industry is the surface miner. the dumpers are used to transport the material from the faces to the particular crusher and the crushed material is transported to destination via belt network. The crushed material is transported to destination via belt network. the material from all the faces are transported to the crusher by dumper transport and the crushed material are transported to destination by belt conveyor network. 328 t (Hitachi EH 5000). etc. and very recently L & T surface miners have been commissioned in some of the OCPs of MCL and some lime stone mine in the country. system with relocatable in-pit crusher and system with fully mobile crusher. 2000. • New System – In an effort to optimize the dumper performance. The system may be classified into three main groups – system with permanent in-pit crusher. the excavator in the face loads directly on the crusher hopper and the dumpers are totally eliminated from the transport system. In case of relocatable crushers. truck dispatching system has been introduced in few surface mines (Jayant OCP of NCL. In-pit crushing and conveying offers number of advantages over conventional dumper transport system (such as. In this system. .Elsewhere in the world. better energy utilization. Here also.) of India. the number of surface miners in Indian Surface mines is steadily increasing and the first surface miner in Indian surface coal mine was introduced in Lakhanpur OCP of MCL in June 1999 (Dey. 2006). The available dumper is routed to the shovel that is either kept idle for maximum time or is going to be idle first for want of dumper. Presently. The system may be fully automatic or semi-automatic. most of the surface miners being used in India are of Wirtgen Gmbh make. West Bokaro mine of TISCO. 345 t (Caterpillar 797B) and 370t (Liebharr T282) (Banerjee. Dey and Sen. Only a very few are of Bitelli type.
inefficient drilling and blasting and falling of HEMM are generally associated with this method. the problems are further aggravated. In-pit crushing-conveying system is a proven technology and use of high angle conveyors (to take care of the vertical lift) and trolley wire assisted truck haulage are other alternatives to the conventional truck haulage system. Extraction of developed coal seams by surface mining method is one of the challenges to the present day coal mining industry in India. The uses of nonelectric initiation systems are also becoming popular. Gautam Khani OCP of SCCL) extracting developed coal seams. A lot of improvement has taken place in recent years in the type of explosives and the blasting accessories that are used in surface mines. 2006). To reduce some of these problems and improve the safety of operation. highwall . Zambia and Zimbabwe (Banerjee. and the method becomes less efficient. a fully mobile in-pit crusher-conveyor system has been installed in Piparwar OCP of CCL for handling the coal from the lower most coal seam (Lowar Dakra) face. equipment positioning and preparation of mine plans including that of dumps apart from day-to-day jobs of measurement of faces. • New Technology – Blasting is the predominant method of rock breakage in hard rock mines. Canada. parting of contiguas seams and the last overburden bench has been experimented and adopted in some of Indian surface coal mines (Wani OCP of WCL. large number of delays within the range of 0 to 15000 milliseconds and use of centralized networked blasting (Banerjee. The system handles a production of about 7. These detonators permit high accuracy in delay timing. 1998).5 million tonnes per year (Srivastava. Trolley wire assisted trucks are operating in many mines in USA. The electronic delay detonators have been developed recently and its first trial in an Indian surface mine was carried out in 2004. South Africa. Surveying is an important operation in surface mines for slope monitoring. The coal is excavated and loaded by a 20m 3 shovel fitted with 25m3 bucket to the fully mobile crusher hopper and the crushed coal is directly transported to the pit head washery via a belt network. 2000). the system of integrated blasting of benches in coal seam(s). the coal is of low incubation period and/or fire exists in the developed workings of the coal seam(s). Recent steep hike in diesel price may compel the surface mining industry to explore the applicability of non-diesel type of transport systems in the mines. Several problems – uncertain stripping ratio. dilution of coal quality.In India. Most of the present-day surface mines use site mixed emulsion explosives with the help of pump trucks with bulk loading facility. particularly in case of deeper mines. In case.
Area (modified open-pit) mines. strain meters. SURFACE MINE Definition A surface mine is a mine in which no part of its workings extends below the super adjacent ground. They are typically multiple bench type operations with special consideration required for the vertical lift requirements of the haulage system. convergence meters. network of geophones is used to detect the enhanced micro-seismic activities that may take place in the event of the slope becomes stressed. With the increase in mine size and mine depth. Contour mines and Mountain top removal (full or partial) mines. (Mohan. The strips are generally laid along the strike direction. Single or multiple seams may be extracted by this method. 2005). Strip mines. For the surveying operations. to provide advance and accurate information about any impending slope failure and to provide such information that the failure mechanism may be understood and the appropriate remedial or mitigating measures may be adopted. This is a continuous monitoring system and can provide both the visible and audible alarm system. etc. Monitoring of slopes (highwall and dump) is very important to assess the slope stability (or instability) condition in surface mines. The Smart Stations provide the facilities of both the GPS and Total Station. The various slope monitoring techniques that are available may be classified into two main categories – observational techniques and instrumentation techniques.benches and dumps. In this system. the most effective slope monitoring system is through microseismic applications. the Smart Stations are gradually becoming popular and replacing Total Stations. Direct overburden disposal techniques are utilized as much as possible. joint meters. The observation techniques include terrestrial surveying. However. The seam/seams is/are extracted in number of long strips of predetermined width after getting released by the removal of the overburden/cover rock. Strip mines are associated with extraction of flat (dip ≤ 1 in 20) bedded deposits (seams) commonly under shallow cover. The slope monitoring is important from the points of view of maintaining a safe working condition for both men and machine. it assumes a greater importance. Types Surface mines may be classified into different types – Open-pit mines. deflectometers. extensometers. EDM and automatic surveillance and surveying with GPS. . Mishra and Sen. The instrumentation techniques include use of movement indicators. These justify mining of deeper overburden/cover rock. inclinometers. Open-pit and area mines are associated with extraction of thick deposits.
Contour mining permits the extraction of bedded deposits. and mountain top removal mining is generally used for extraction of massive or cap type deposits (Martin et. lower capital cost per tonne per annum production) After-mining land-use potential may be increased by proper reclamation Higher flexibility of operation Greater concentration of all operations and simplified management of men and machines Surface mining methods also have some disadvantages in comparison to underground mining methods. al. The most prominent ones are – Workings are exposed to open weather Problems of maintaining slopes and roads during rainy season Handling of large quantity of unproductive material (overburden/waste rock) Problems of ground vibration and air vibration (noise) due to blasting A large land area is affected Adverse effects on ecology and environment – land. MERITS AND DEMERITS OF SURFACE MINING Surface mining methods offer a number of advantages over underground mining methods.e. water and air pollution Emplacement of large quantity of overburden/waste material in spoil piles/waste dumps/overburden dumps Maintenance of mechanical dumps/overburden dumps and environmental safety of the waste Monitoring of waste dumps/overburden dumps and their stabilization in case of occurrence of any sort of instability Capital intensive . (i. Most important of them are – Higher production Greater safety and better Working environment No support problem No limitation on head room Possibility of mechanization Higher recovery Low grade ore can extracted profitably also be high degree of Higher productivity (output) No/very less ventilation problem No roof problem Lighting/illumination problem is less Less limitation on the size and weight of equipment Less cost of production Better grade control Less gestation period Lower specific investment. 1982)..Contour and mountain top removal mining permit the extraction of deposits in very hilly or mountainous terrain. Benching and direct disposal techniques are used individually or in combination for overburden removal and replacement.
High reclamation/closing cost .
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