Transporting Minerals to Your Processing Plants: What to Talk About With Mining Engineers
When you're setting up a mining project, efficiency is critical. A mining engineer can ensure that your site is as efficient as possible. One area where you may particularly want mining engineering help is in setting up systems to transport mined minerals to your processing plants. While talking with prospective engineers, you may want to cover the following four topics.
Ideally, when you hire a mining engineer to figure out the best way to move minerals to processing plants, you want to ensure that they have experience working with the types of minerals you are mining; different minerals appear in such widely different quantities and have different handling requirements. For these and several other reasons, you need unique solutions tailored to your specific project. So, whether you are mining quartz, dolomite, barite, gold, or countless other minerals, you should check with the engineer's experience levels with that particular mineral.
Then, you need to talk about capacity. How many tons of minerals can your plant process in an hour? How much storage space do you have in and around the plant for minerals that are waiting to be processed? Those are the types of questions your engineer needs to consider when setting up your transport system. Generally, that is expressed in tons per hour (TPH), but to be on the safe side, you should always make sure that you and the engineer are working with the same types of measurements.
Depending on the unique challenges at your work site, transporting minerals from the mining site to the processing area may require you to put in roads, bring in machinery, build conveyor belts, and use a variety of other transportation options. Ultimately, the selections contribute to the final cost of your project, and while interviewing prospective engineers, you may want to talk about costs. If you're trying to keep costs low, some engineers may have ideas on the unique ways that you can do that.
As you exhaust each area of your mining site and need to start mining new ground, you will need to move your transportation system. Ideally, you want built-in flexibility so that you can do that easily. Talk with your engineering team about the costs and time involved with moving your system and consider how that works based on the frequency of anticipated moves and the quantities of minerals in various parts of your mining site.