Materials handling in surface mine heap leach application

Titel in Übersetzung: Materials handling in surface mine heap leach application

Frank Oliver Hochegger

Publikation: Thesis / Studienabschlussarbeiten und HabilitationsschriftenMaster Thesis (Universitätslehrgang)


Heap leaching of is an old method of extracting ore by the solving of mineral with acid. Constant development in the processes have increased the importance of this technology of ore processing. Minerals produced by leach are playing an significant part in the daily life. The major materials in leaching are silver, copper, gold and zinc, followed by uranium are the most popular material processed by leaching. The method of leaching can be differentiated in regards of the shape of the ore storage during the leaching and in terms of leaching time and acid or substance used for the leaching it self. The name of the leaching method is given by the shape and style of the storage are of the ore during the leaching process it self. The constant requirement for ever higher capacities in heap leaching operation, fueled by te global market demand for ore, especially copper, has triggered different trends. On the one hand it can be observed, that the equipment used is becoming bigger with higher capacities. On the other hand the importance of flexibility and mobility of the equipment is growing. This can also be seen by the fact that the most new developments for the heap leaching process were focused on the mobile materials handling equipment for stacking and reclaiming of heap leaching pads. These so called heap leaching pads combine the advantages of various leaching methods and give the operator a much better control with less cost and power demanding as in other methods. In these kinds of operations the development of technologies has been driven by the growing demand of new operations and has brought a new style of mobile materials handling equipment onto the market. Today’s trend of developing large size heap leaching operations has increased the demand on mobile stacking and reclaiming bridges. These bridges have introduced a new design of mobile conveyors supported by multiple crawlers over a span of up to 500 meters or more. Such a system secure a constant material flow form the crushing plant to the stacking side of the heap leaching pad, and after completed process form the reclaiming side of the heap leaching pad to the waste dump. The market situation, form the operators perspective for this of equipment is at the moment rather difficult as only a small number of materials handling equipment suppliers are having this kind of equipment in their product range. It is to be expected that the demands for this kind of equipment is within the next years strongly growing to due the fact of new expansion projects on existing mines and start up of new mines all over the world.
Titel in ÜbersetzungMaterials handling in surface mine heap leach application
Betreuer/-in / Berater/-in
  • Moser, Peter, Betreuer (intern)
Datum der Bewilligung21 Okt. 2010
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2010

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