Fredrik Dromberg introduces a novel technology that meets mining needs
Truly innovative technology seems a rarity in some parts of the mining industry. Although we may have moved on from picks and shovels, and open-cast mining has been transformed by the use of sophisticated crushing and screening equipment, some mining operations can still be labour-intensive undertaking, with advantages accruing to operators in parts of the world where such costs are low.
Much of the equipment required can also be expensive. There are quite a few steps involved in some materials handling operations: blasting the rock, digging, loading it on dump trucks, and transporting it to a location where the material can be crushed and screened. Sometimes more than one crushing and screening step will be needed to produce a material ready for shipping.
The ability to incorporate several of these steps in a single piece of equipment is what inspired the development of Allu’s M series giant material processing bucket. This novel solution is applicable as a scalper or screen on almost any material and as a crusher of soft rock materials – such as oil shale, coal, rock salt, limestone and gypsum. It performs the processing of the material and loading in a single step.
When the package is mounted onto a 30-80 ton wheel loader or 50-200 ton excavator, it turns the carrier machine into an efficient mobile material processing plant, that eliminates needs for material double handling at the same time.
The M series buckets can be adjusted to accommodate different sizes of material – typically, from 50 to 150mm – and can therefore be configured to handle many different kinds of material. Allu sees a potentially transformative role for this technology with respect to a mineral resource.
Margins in coal mining are extremely tight so if there is the possibility of reducing the cost of production by a few tens of pence per ton, the potential of the product seems obvious, particularly in places such as Africa and South America. Technology can be used to overcome the cost advantages enjoyed by operators in other parts of the world.
What’s next for Allu’s M bucket?
Following extensive customer feedback, it was clear that further development and innovation to the current product range was required. Customers wanted a smaller version of the M bucket for their mining needs, so Allu responded by creating the M3-36, which has been designed for agility and work speed. The M3-36 is being tested with customers and should be available to the wider market soon.
Ultimately, this “one step ahead” approach to crushing and screening methods – using the loader or excavator as the primary or secondary processing machine – helps to reduce operational costs and also boosts efficiency.
Fredrik Dromberg is with Allu