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Alluvial Mining

A presentation by

Under the guidance of

Arkaprabha Sarkar
M.Sc (P) Applied Geology
Kurukshetra University
Kurukshetra

Ms. Sarita Mann

Alluvial Mining

What is Alluvial Mining?


Alluvial mining or Placer mining is the
procedure of extracting ore minerals from
placer deposits formed by exogenic
geomorphic processes.
Alluvial mining considered as a special case of
open cast mining and quarrying
MISCONCEPTION!!!
Alluvial Mining

Placer Deposits
Placer deposits are sedimentary ore deposits of
heavy ore minerals formed by mechanical
concentration of minerals in sediments deposited
due earth surface processes.
Can be of the following types:
- Eluvial placers
- Alluvial placers
- Beach placers
- Aeolian placers
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Placer Deposits
Mineable placers dates from Cretaceous to
recent
Based on age, placers can be
- Old placers (deep seated and lithified)
- Recent placers (surfacial and unlithified)
- Forming placers (geomorphic agents still
working)
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A recent deposit
Age: Less than 20ka
Lithology: Very low degree of compaction. Composed of loose sand
Site: Ropar, Punjab
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An old placer deposit


Age: Precambriam
Lithology: Lithified sediments
Site: South Africa
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Process of mining a placer


Open Cast Methods
Used in recently developed
placer mines
Generally deposits are not
lithified

Underground methods
Used in deep seated old
placer mines
Usually deposits are
consolidated

NOTE:
The choice of methods is decided on the basis of the following criteria:
Study of lithological characters
Simulation of efficiency of various methods on the current scenario
Simulation of modifications on existing methods for the particular scenario
Labour cost and capital investments
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ALLUVIAL MINING METHODS


Methods of mining are explained
taking the reference of *Tin mining
industry of Malaysia
*Mining of tin from placers in Malaysia was started in 1820 by the Chinese settlers.
The industry continued to hold the economy of Malaysia along with the rubber
industry until 1995 when the mines were shutdown. The mines were shutdown
due to exhaustion of resources.
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Panning

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Rocker Box

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Long Tom

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Sluice Boxes

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Hydraulicking

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Dredging

Dredge machine working in an open cast alluvial mine


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Underground Method

Favona Gold Mines, New Zealand


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Alluvial mines in India


Ilmenite-Monazite-Rutile mining in Kerala
coast
Chavakkad-Ponnani gold mines in beach
placers of Kerala
Gold mines in alluvial placers of Ghaggar
(mining has been stopped now)

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EFFICIENCY OF MINING METHODS


Based on the production of tin in Malaysia over the entire period,
efficiency of the various methods used is estimated statistically.

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Production of tin over the years


Gravel
%

Pump

Open
%

Under-

Cast

ground

Dulang

Year

Dredge

1970

23,931

32.4

40,739

55.2

2,504

3.4

2,254

3.1

2,828

3.8

1,539

2.1

73,795

1975

20,329

31.6

35,183

54.7

2,535

3.9

1,894

2.9

3,081

4.8

1,342

2.1

64,364

1980

18,222

29.7

34,484

56.2

2,705

4.4

1,085

1.8

3,246

5.3

1,662

2.7

61,404

1989

11,963

37.3

13,263

41.4

2,905

9.1

103

0.3

2,835

8.8

965

3.0

32,034

1990

10,267

36.1

12,216

42.9

2,173

7.6

102

0.4

2,601

9.1

1,109

3.9

28,468

1991

9,515

45.9

6,476

31.3

1,754

8.5

71

0.3

2,065

10.0

829

4.0

20,710

1992

6,072

42.3

3,886

27.1

1,592

11.1

71

0.5

1,640

11.4

1,078

7.5

14,339

1993

3,522

33.9

3,426

33.0

1,653

15.9

48

0.5

1,059

10.2

676

6.5

10,384

1994

1,355

21

2,438

37.8

1,375

21.3

72

1.1

721

11.2

497

7.7

6,458

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Washing

Others

Total

Production of tin by
various
methods
Chart Title
45000

40000

35000

30000

Net production

Dredge

Gravel pump

25000

Open Cast
Underground

20000

Dulang Washing
Others

15000

10000

5000

0
1970

1975

1980

1989

1990

Years
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1991

1992

1993

1994

Efficiency
of
various
methods
Percentage yield of the methods used over the years
60

50

yield
Percentage
Axis Title

40
Dredge
Gravel pump
Open Cast

30

Underground
Dulang Washing
Others

20

10

0
1970

1975

1980

1989

1990

1991

Years
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1992

1993

1994

Conclusion
Alluvial mining is done in sedimentary
deposits. Mining methods are chosen on the
basis of the lithological characteristics of the
deposits.
Grade of deposit is generally low, hence, all
methods are comparatively less expensive.
Mining projects involving alluvial mining have
generally low capital investments.
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References
Mining Geology by R.N.P Arogyaswamy
Ore geology and Industrial Minerals: An
Introduction by Anthony M. Evans
www1.american.edu
Google Images

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Thank You
Feel free to clear your doubts!

Alluvial Mining