Evaluation and Risk Analysis of Open-Pit Mining Operations

Alexander Pekol

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis

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Mining of raw materials is a process that consists of several stages. It starts with an order of a company or a private taker. For Greenfield projects, prospection and exploration must be done at first to investigate the mineral occurrence. If the resources are economical mineable, application of machinery has to be decided. The decision is primarily based on rock mass properties. In open-pit mining, material with high compressive strength is extracted by drilling and blasting and material with low compressive strength is extracted by e.g. a bucket wheel excavator. After drilling and blasting, material must be broken down into smaller pieces of rock using a crusher, so that it can be transported with conveyor belts. Most important influencing factors for crusher decision are compressive strength, clay content, moisture content, abrasiveness, amount of fines, and desired reduction ratio. Depending on sequence of mining, fixed, semi-fixed, semi-mobile, or mobile crusher stations can be applied. Compressive strength, tensile strength, cleavage, fracture behavior, and stickiness are the most significant influencing factors for bucket wheel excavator selection. Before manufacturing a bucket wheel excavator, investigation of material’s cutting resistance with a suitable test method and comparison of mine condition with condition of other mines is recommended. The waste removal and dumping associated with mining must be handled very well, so that the environmental impacts are as low as possible and to guarantee dump stability. Essential are dump foundation properties, design of dump, and construction of dump. Open-pit mining operations harbor risks which can lead to project delays, operation standstill, injury to personnel, damage to equipment, or negative impacts on the environment. Therefore, risk identification and prevention of risks is essential.
Translated title of the contributionBeurteilung und Risikoanalyse des Tagebaubetriebs
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Montanuniversität
  • Sifferlinger, Nikolaus August, Supervisor (internal)
  • Butter, Claus, Supervisor (external), External person
Award date12 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

embargoed until 09-03-2024


  • Open-pit mining
  • Bucket wheel excavator
  • IPCC
  • Risk
  • Risk Analysis
  • Cutting force
  • Digging force
  • Specific cutting resistance
  • Specific digging resistance

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