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|For mining medium-hard materials on the surface, "Continuous Surface Miners" have been employed for some years. The latest generation surface miner extends the performance of this type of machine to the point where the same cost efficiencies can now be achieved in medium-hard materials as has been achieved in softer materials by machines such as the bucket wheel excavator. The paper explains briefly the technology of the Krupp Surface Miner (recently released to the market) and develops the costs of ownership and typical operating costs. Comparisons are made between a shoveLtruck system and Krupp Surface Miner (KSM) systems based on both truck and conveyor transport systems. Further benefits of mining with the KSM, such as environmental, selective mining and improved product reovery are discussed briefly. The equipment is now available to mine semi-hard materials (with compressive strengths up to 60MPa) on a continuous basis and reap the benefits which continuous systems can deliver. All new and existing open cut mines should review their costs with regard to this technology.|