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|During the late-1980s crawler-mounted crusher units established their position in the aggregates industry. Between 1986 and 1994 about 700 units were delivered to customers all over the world for surface operations, mainly in Scandinavia and central Europe. The crawler-mounted units are popular among smaller crushing operators because they are versatile and easy to move between sites. In large quarries the greatest benefit is obtained by combining a primary crawler-mounted crusher unit with mobile belt conveyors which eliminates the need for costly haulage by dump truck. Savings of up to 40 per cent in production costs prior to secondary crushing have been achieved. Today the environmental aspect in quarrying is assuming ever greater importance. Besides being costly the dump trucks are also the major source of dust and exhaust fumes within a quarry. A complete face crushing system consisting of a crawler-mounted crusher unit and mobile belt conveyors can be electrically driven and can be equipped with dust encapsulation and dust collectors. A mobile crushing unit is not a new idea. From the mid-1950s onwards the mobile and self-propelled units have been built equipped with crawlers, tyres or walking mechanisms, with weights usually of 500-1000 t. Due to their massive size these unit are not mobile in the same way as the today's mobile units. It is not feasible to move them more than a few times a year unlike today's fully mobile units which are often relocated once an hour. This means that the massive units can not continuously follow the production face and their loading always requires a certain amount of haulage. Today the mining industry is facing new challenges. With low mineral prices and high labour costs, increasing productivity is essential for survival. New standards are also being set for the labour safety and the environment. Large research programs have been launched to meet these challenges. However, technology which can partly solve these problems already exist and is only waiting to be introduced into underground applications as well - the mobile crushing unit followed by belt conveying. As in surface operations the elimination of truck haulage also brings considerable savings in operating costs in underground mines and reduces the amount of dust and exhaust gases generated. An additional benefit especially in underground applications is improved safety. In an underground mine most accidents are caused by moving vehicles.|