Analysis of economic and sustainable haulage systems for the proceeding mining operation in the limestone and marl quarries in Wietersdorf

Sebastian Glaser

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis


Since the 1960s limestone and marlstone have been extracted from two open pits in the vicinity of Klein St. Paul for the clinker and cement production in the cement plant Wietersdorf of Alpacem Zement Austria GmbH. For the last decades, the materials were hauled by diesel-powered dump trucks to the stationary primary crusher, positioned between the two open pits. The planned expansion of the two mining sites will supply the cement plant in Wietersdorf for the next 37 years with limestone and 44 years with marlstone. Regarding the time ranges of ongoing production, 17 million t limestone and 41 million t marl will be extracted and that will need to be hauled to the stockpiles and storage silos. As the open pits get deeper with every blast and every dig from the excavator, the distances that the material needs to be hauled will increase. The advancement of the mining activity and the extension of the haulage routes from the pit to crusher result in a higher energy demand to overcome the vertical distances from the pit to the crusher. An increased energy expenditure means a higher diesel consumption to operate the currently utilised dump trucks and therefore higher CO2 emissions. Simultaneously the efforts to reduce CO2 emissions are rising in every sector of the economy. Additionally, fuel and electricity price fluctuations are a complex challenge in a mining operation. The current haulage method of using fuel-powered dump trucks will inevitably reach a point, at which the economic and sustainable performance will decline. These problems concerning both economic and sustainable aspects could be targeted and improved by implementing an appropriate alternative to the current haulage system that is used. Different hauling methods like in-pit crushing and conveying systems, or electrified truck haulage were assessed and compared to the currently applied system in terms of economic feasibility and sustainable performance. Trolley assisted haulage systems have the potential to significantly reduce the consumption of diesel, therefore also the operating costs, a great method in terms of sustainability. However, the capital investments of trolley assisted systems are too high to be considered as an economical method, for the scope of the mining operations in the vicinity of Klein St. Paul. The results of the assessment showed that one hauling method performs well both in economic and sustainable terms. The implementation of a fully mobile in-pit crushing and conveying system could achieve reductions of operating costs and capital costs and a substantial decrease of emitted CO2, which makes this hauling method a suitable substitute to haulage by diesel-powered dump trucks.
Translated title of the contributionAnalyse der wirtschaftlichen und nachhaltigen Optimierung des Fördersystems für die fortlaufenden Bergbauoperationen in den Kalk - und Mergelsteinbruch in Wietersdorf
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Montanuniversität
  • Juritsch, Betram, Supervisor (external), External person
  • Hartlieb, Philipp, Supervisor (internal)
Award date28 Jun 2024
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

embargoed until 08-05-2029


  • Haulage optimisation
  • economic
  • sustainable
  • IPCC
  • diesel-powered trucks
  • trolley assisted system
  • emission reduction

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