Trials and Services
WA Surface Mining has been a pioneer in successfully implementing surface mining technology in Australia, providing excellent results in comparison to traditional mining methods. The company's machines have been utilised for mining in Iron Ore, Uranium, Limestone and Salt across Western Australia.
WASM's mining techniques have proven so successful that deposits previously deemed unviable can now be mined, particularly in difficult terrain such as areas of high water or clay and below the water table.
To date, WASM has conducted operational trials with Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, Fortescue Metals Group, Macmahon Contracting and Nova Energy.
One of the biggest problems in earlier trials was the issue of wear on the cutting tools. Extensive research and development by WASM, in conjunction with tool manufacturers worldwide, has resulted in more than double the lifespan of surface mining cutting tools. This has been achieved through the use of various hard-facing techniques.
The Benefits of Surface Mining
- Producing a product suitable for conveyors.
- Mining the ore with high purity due to the accurate controls on the cutting depth.
- Making it possible to mine thin seams and ore pockets that would otherwise not be economical to mine.
- Ability to mine below the water table and controlling the water during the mining operation to eliminate dewatering.
- By cutting the pit walls, it creates a safer working environment.
- Smooth and level floors.
- Reduction in dust and noise by eliminating drill and blast.