The selection of mechanical cutting units for underground mining applications requires the consideration of criteria that go beyond the total cost of ownership (TCO). The mechanical cutting unit has to be suitable for the geological and geotechnical domains of the mine, suitable for the mining method, for the mine layout and mining sequencing applied. In addition the mining industry is constantly striving to reduce the environment health and safety hazards associated with the operation. One of the outcomes of this report is to review existing potash mine operations which were considered relevant to the scope of work, as follows: •Boulby mine, owned by Cleveland Potash Limited, a business unit of ICL Fertilizers, and located within the North York Moors National Park, northern boundary with Cleveland County, United Kingdom, and •Taquari-Vassouras potash mine (UOTV), owned by Vale S.A. and located in the state of Sergipe, Brazil. Another outcome of this report is the selection of mechanical cutting units applicable for one mine project and two hypothetical situations: •the York Potash Project, an underground mine project in the United Kingdom, in the vicinity of Boulby Mine, currently in the exploration and development stage that targets the production of a specific potassium source, the Polyhalite, •a hypothetical Polyhalite situation, and •a hypothetical Potash situation. Reviewing the mine operations increased the knowledge on issues in the day-to-day life of a mine and permitted refining the hypothetical situations. The scope of the present work is limited to the mechanical cutting unit itself. Shuttle cars or continuous haulage systems are not considered to limit the operation and hence are beyond the scope. Regarding the York Potash Project, much of the information is confidential and cannot be published in this report. The currently publicly available information is not sufficient to allow the selection of the mechanical cutting unit.
|Translated title of the contribution||Application of Mechanical Cutting Units to Polyhalite and Potash Mines|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|