Rock cutting in the mining industry was the first method adopted to excavate minerals from rocks since time immemorial. Before drilling and blasting were introduced into valuable mineral extraction from rocks, rock cutting had already attained dominance and was cherished by large and small scale miners.
Rock cutting is considered a valuable mining process. This stems from its ability to create a large workforce for the mining industry and at the same time ensures that minerals of very high quality are obtained.
Although blasting has dominated the mining industry in recent times, it only forms a part of multiple processes before finally reaching the valuable mineral needed. Rock cutting in mining is considered to be a more productive process when compared to blasting, as it provides an opportunity for mining to be continuous.
The continuous method of mining gives rise to a more efficient process and increased output than non-continuous mining process.
Blasting in its nature, introduces a cycle of operational processes into mining. These include drilling, blasting, cleaning and support. In very large mines, where all blasting operations are normally programmed to occur at about the same time, the operational processes of mining must fit strictly to a well defined time between blasts. Should the processes of drilling, cleaning and supporting take less than the time set out for them to occur, then production will suffer a severe blow of time wasting. Should they in any way take longer, then the next blast that should follow the previous one will undoubtedly be missed. The non-flexible nature of both instances promotes a system of inefficiency.
In recent times, companies that are involved in coal production from underground mines are gradually shifting from blasting to mechanical excavation. This is because mechanical excavation has been found to be more safer, cost-effective and environmentally friendly.
Tunneling into rocks mechanically, has the potential of making the tunneling process faster than blasting. This formulates part of the reasons why attention is gradually shifting to a continuous mining process which can only be achieved via rock cutting.
In geological studies, the true mineral constituents of a rock can completely be studied only if a sample of it is obtained. When good rock cutting equipment is available the process becomes simpler and easier.
BENEFITS OF ROCK CUTTING
When mining operations are located closer to human settlements, rock cutting generates lower noise and vibration levels than blasting.
Rocks are stronger, safer and easier to support when cutting is used. Blasting causes very serious damage to rocks as it affects rock strength making underground mining a more dangerous adventure.
Cutting produces a near exact tunnel shape and size, hence the cost of extra-lining due to over break is significantly reduced.
Mines created with smaller excavations through cutting , have their potential of frequent earthquake and ventilation requirements perfectly reduced. This promotes a significant reduction in the cost and risk of doing business.
Cutting reduces the level of exposure to dangerous underground conditions when compared to blasting.
HPE SOLUTIONS FOR ROCK CUTTING
HPE Sample Cutter is a perfectly designed equipment that is suitable for rock cutting in all mines. Its cutting power makes it an efficient tool when samples of rock are needed for geological grade sampling.
For a strong and well designed tunnel that can ensure that underground mines are safe for workers, the HPE Sample Cutter is a well fitted tool for that purpose.
The Sample cutter has a disc speed of 8000 rpm and a hydropower source of up to 140 – 180 bar working pressure.