In-the-wall haulage for open-pit mining - by W.A. Hustrulid, B. Seegmiller, and 0. Stephansson TechnicaLPapers, MINING ENGINEERING, Vol. 39, NO. 2 February 1987, pp. 11 9-123

Nilsson, D. ; Aaro, B.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 2
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1990
To find out if there are any potential savings in "in-the-wall haulage for open pits," the Swedish companies ASEA and Kiruna-Truck in 1984 gave us financial support to study this solution in more detail. In the study, the use of in-the-wall haulage was studied for three hypothetical open pits with different sizes and shapes. Annual ore production rates also varied. A part of this thorough study was published by the Swedish Mining Research Foundation (see Report F 8444, "The Use of Electric Trucks and In-the-Wall Haulage in Open-Pit Mining," in Swedish with an English Summary). Although in-the-wall haulage is of interest in some open pits, the local terrain is important for profitability. The authors do not think in-the-wall haulage is of any major interest for the mining industry. The following is a summary of some of the author's findings. To place the haul road in the wall is not of interest in open pits with declining metal contents in the bedrock. In such mines, the volumes from the haul roads will not yield revenues. The cost per m3 for an underground haul road is much higher than for a haul road in the pit. This means that it is only of interest to place the haul road in the wall when mining gets deeper than about 50 m (165 ft). In-the-wall haul roads will reduce flexibility in the pit, and it will make necessary the use of smaller equipment with lower productivity and higher costs per ton. As Hustrulid, et al. show (Table 4), excavation savings of material hauled are very low, $0.10 to $0.25/t (0.09 to 0.27 per st). The extra operating cost, due to lower productive equipment, will normally be much higher and thus destroy the whole idea with in-the-wall haulage. If electric trucks are profitable for in-the-wall haulage, it is normally also profitable to use electric trolley assist for trucks on the haul road in the pit. But the profitability of using electric power is different in different countries, and depends on the relation between the cost for electric power and diesel fuel. In the US, diesel fuel is inexpensive compared with electricity, but in a country like Sweden, diesel fuel is much more expensive. In most open pits, the trucks have to move a considerable distange from the loader until they reach a final haul road in the wall. A trolley line along such temporary haul roads will be exposed to flyrock. It is normally less expensive to perform rock support from the open pit than from underground ramps in the wall. In Fig. 8, Hustrulid et al. gives the impression that the underground haul roads will be very close to each other. This is seldom the case. Figure 1 shows a haul road in the wall. The haul road passes through each cross-section only once. Arranging a reliable dewatering and rock support system from only one underground ramp is probably impossible. Many more drifts are therefore necessary. In our report, we also studied what would happen if the final pit slope is increased by 5°, using underground drifts in the wall. Our conclusion was that, the extra cost for drifts, rock support, pumps, etc. destroys the whole idea, and that it was better to accept a higher stripping ratio with the haul road in the pit and to use conventional low-cost open pit equipment. Finally, we think it is would be difficult to try to reduce the safety factor when determining the slope angle by moving the haul road in the wall. Minimizing the risk for pit wall collapse is also important with in-the-wall haulage, primarily because men and equipment will be working in the pit, but also to guarantee many accesses between the pit and the haul road in the wall.
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