Blast-free open pit mining meets production targets

Knauf Latvia produces construction materials in Sauriesi near Riga, the capital of Latvia. The main source of raw material is the company’s gypsum mine a few kilometres away. Blasting was used as main mining method. Blast-free open pit mining meets production targets

To decrease blasting impacts on environment around the quarry for its mining operations the company is now using an excavator equipped with an Atlas Copco HB 7000 DP breaker. Although new to the operators, blast-free mining has become the main method at the site and the daily production of the breaker unit has already reached the target level.

Because of blasting impacts, Knauf began looking at blast-free mining as an alternative. The company invested in a Liebherr R974 excavator equipped with an Atlas Copco HB 7000 DP breaker and the unit started production at the end of January.

JUMP START FOR PRODUCTION

Originally the breaker was intended to support production in the quarry and to be used in areas closer to deposit borders and residents. After the experiences of the first three months, blast-free mining has now become the main mining method. The breaker unit runs in two shifts about 15 hours a day.

Blast-free open pit mining meets production targets

1100 TONS PER DAY TARGET REACHED

Atlas Copco’s latest generation of heavy breakers requires less hydraulic input from the carrier while maintaining maximum impact performance. At the Knauf gypsum quarry the average production of the excavator with the HB 7000 DP breaker attachment has already reached the target of about 1100 tons per day.

Atlas Copco further notes that thin layers of brittle material are ideal for blast-free mining. When material quality varies between the layers, or there is undesired material between them, the breaker method has a great advantage over blasting in that it readily enables selective mining.

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