Equipment selection

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Preliminary Selection Considerations

In practice, equipment selection for a hard-rock mine begins with or soon after the planning of the stoping operation; therefore, stoping equipment should be appropriately sized for the characteristics of the orebody and the stope dimensions. However, it is also impractical to commence mine planning and scheduling without a working concept of the relative type and size of equipment that may be employed. All underground deposits require a method of accessing the orebody; however, in order to determine the best layout, multiple factors should be known, such as daily production rate and the equipment selected for development and production, with the associated sizing, utilization, and costing data.

Most modern underground mines typically operate with fleets of mobile production equipment that include, but are not limited to: load-haul-dump machines, trucks, drill jumbos, long-hole drills, rock bolting machines, and other ancillary equipment.

Equipment Selection Factors

There are a range of factors that must be taken into consideration pertaining to each piece of mobile equipment:

  • Purpose and objective of each equipment
  • Different types of each equipment
  • Size and capacity
  • Operating cycle time
  • Turning radius / working radius
  • Number of pieces required for an operation
  • Health and safety considerations

Load-Haul-Dump Machines


Diesel vs. Electric


Cycle Time

Case Study

Haul Trucks


Cycle Time

Case Study


Number of Jumbo-Drills

Production Drills

Longhole Drills

DTH Drills

Rock-Bolting Machines

Other Ancillary Equipment

Summary Flowchart


Estimating Operating and Capital Costs

Capital Costs

Operating Costs

Equipment Life

Equipment Utilization and Availability

Equipment Utilization

Equipment Availability

Equipment Reliability

Evolution of Equipment