Sunday, August 31, 2008

Unsecured dragline bucket

The local council isn't going to like this... Due to their large weight (about 70 tonnes for this bucket), dragline buckets don't usually need to be secured when on the back of a truck, but this photo would argue otherwise.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Burned Rear Dumper

What you smell here is the smell of money burning. Due to the high-pressure hydraulic lines on most mining equipment, fires are not totally uncommon (particularly when the hydraulic oil sprays onto a hot turbocharger), but the fire suppression systems usually put them out with only minimal damage. This burned-out rear dumper demonstrates that those systems don't always work.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Drill Movement

Here's some photos of an overburden drill rig that's moved without withdrawing the drill head and rods. As you can see, the steel shaft has been bent a very long way. These photos make it look a lot like a mosquito's proboscis.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Another flooded pit

Continuing on with our flooded theme, here's another mine which has been flooded. While not as bad as Middlemount, it's still quite bad.

[Edit May 2010] Here's some extra pictures of the recovery process, sent in by a reader.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Middlemount in Flood

In January 2008, there was a lot of flooding in the Bowen Basin of Queensland. Large parts of the town of Emerald went underwater, and several mines flooded, or came close to doing so. The most spectacular of these was Ensham, in which one of their draglines went underwater.

These floods caused BMA (BHP-Billiton-Mitsubishi Alliance) to declare force majeure for a lot of their mines. This was a primary cause of the price of hard coking coal jumping to US$300 / t for this Japanese Financial Year.

These photos are from the Middlemount mine. Here there are several underwater trucks, and some photos of an excavator being recovered by a very brave / stupid operator who swam out to the machine. Look to see just how close the excavator came to toppling over on the operator's side.