Published:January 01, 2001
The subject of mineral extraction involves a number of highly technical and economically sensitive issues ranging from overburden and waste removal and disposal, through blast design and methods of loading and transporting ore to selection and scheduling of equipment and environmental protection. Many of these issues are more usually associated with the engineering of surface mines for coal and metals and, as such, are the subject of detailed studies and publications (IMM 1983; Hartman 1987; Kennedy 1990; Shaw & Pavlovic 1991).
In the UK, the term ‘mine’ is defined by law (Mines and Quarries Act 1954) as any mineral extraction operation that takes place underground. Surface extraction is ‘quarrying’ although metalliferous surface mines are often referred to as ‘open-pits’ and surface coal mines as ‘open-cast’. At the present time, the lower cost of surface mining dictates that almost all aggregates are produced by quarrying. The methods and equipment employed in quarrying rock or excavating sands and gravels are similar to those used in surface mining operations and, in recent times, often approach the scale, capacity and output of large metalliferous mines.
This chapter identifies some of the more important aspects of mineral extraction relevant to aggregate production but is necessarily a simplified and condensed review of the methods and equipment used in the quarrying industry.
The methods and equipment employed to extract aggregates depend primarily on the type of deposit or source rock being worked. The selection of particular techniques and machines
Figures & Tables
Aggregates: Sand, gravel and crushed rock aggregates for construction purposes
In 1985, the Geological Society published Aggregates as the first volume in its Engineering Geology Special Publication series. It met with immediate acclaim, being awarded the Brewis Trophy by SAGA in 1986.
“If your work involves the use of aggregates, buy this book and read no further; this volume will be an essential and valuable reference that you will use for many years.” (Canadian Geotechnical Journal 1988)
In 1989, the working party whose work had resulted in the publication of Aggregates was reconvened to revise, update and extend their report. Each chapter was reviewed by independent referees. The second and greatly improved edition, published in 1993 and reprinted in 1998, represented the distillation of a vast body of knowledge and experience held not only by the members of the working party, but also by many international experts, scientists and engineers who contributed as reviewers, referees and corresponding authors.
Owing to continued demand for this unique reference book, a group of aggregate specialists was convened in 1999 in order to review thoroughly and update Aggregates for this third edition.
Outline of contents: Introduction; Occurrences; Field investigations; Extraction; Processing; Classification; Testing; Aggregates for concrete; Aggregates for mortar; Unbound aggregates; Bituminous bound aggregates; Rail ballast; Filter media; Appendix: Aggregate properties; Glossary; Index.
Working Party Members and/or third edition Reviewers: Mr L. Collis (formerly Sandberg); Professor P. G. Fookes (Chairman; consulting engineering geologist), Mr R. A. Fox (formerly RMC Aggregates (UK) Ltd), Professor G. P. Hammersley (formerly Laing Technology Group, now BRE), Mr P. M. Harris (formerly BGS), Dr I. E. Higginbottom (formerly Wimpey Environmental Ltd), Mr J. Lay (RMC Aggregates (UK) Ltd), Dr G. Lees (formerly University of Birmingham), Mr D. I. Roberts (Land and Mineral Resource consultants), Mr A. R. Roeder (formerly British Cement Association), Dr I. Sims (Secretary; formerly Sandberg, now STATS Limited), Dr M. R. Smith (formerly Imperial College, now the Institute of Quarrying), Dr R. G. Thurrell (formerly BGS), Dr G. West (formerly TRL).