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Mine waste / hauling question

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  • Mine waste / hauling question

    In researching some mine structure model examples I have come across two examples (the J&L mining company, and Leaverite mine) that appear to have bins for both ore and waste product. Why would that be? In most all other mining operations I came across, the waste product was dumped in a nearby pile directly from the mine shaft. Why would a mining operation go to the expense of storing and then hauling waste out by rail only to be dumped somewhere else. Am I missing something here? I really am just curious.


  • #2
    Scott, there are several factors to consider.

    1. Is there a site nearby that can be used for waste disposal.

    2. Is there potenial for sale of waste for other uses.

    3. What is the method for disposal, train or mine car, truck, or wagon.

    4. How long a waste site can be used before you run out of room.

    Theseare just some of the reasons to consider.



    • #3
      At my Atlantic Mine the ore tailings are hauled away by trucks and wagons. There was no suitable place close to the mine to dump them. Tailings (ore waste) is kept in a storage bin and occasionally dumped.

      See pictures here

      I'll have to take a fresh picture that shows trucks coming, loading and leaving in the finished scene.


      • #4
        These ideas make sense to me. Sometimes I just need others to confirm what is already swimming around in my head. Thanks for the input. By the way, Doug, the mine complex is very impressive, as is the rest of your modeling. Scott


        • #5
          Off the top of my head, I can't say that I've seen waste rock (thanks for not misusing the word "tailings!") stored in ore bins or hauled in that manner, but I'm sure that somewhere, someone did. In general miners dumped it at the portal of the haulage tunnel. In bigger mines they filled the empty stopes with waste rock rather than hauling it to the surface.


          • #6
            Doug', Now that is one heck of mine! :up:



            • #7
              Scott, From what I've seen on the Comstock it really depended on when the mine was operating. The mill ability to process the ore determined what was valuable ore and what was waist. If the mine was operating before the turn of the century the tailing had lots of low grade ore in it. With the introduction of the cyanide process the milling process became more efficient and much of the tailing were now profitable to be milled. Many Railroads (like the V&T)found themselves hauling tailing to the mills after the mine themselves have stopped producing ore.
              It's only make-believe


              • #8

                Originally posted by quartergauger48

                Doug', Now that is one heck of mine! :up:

                Ditto that! Great work!


                • #9
                  I've seen mines in Nevada that had a large bin for ore, and a smaller bin to hold waste rock temporarily. The waste rock would then be loaded into carts and pushed to the end of the dump track.


                  • #10
                    Depending on the operation, they may be using waste as backfill. The mined areas are filled with waste for stabilization and to get rid of it. Many mines in this area are in very poor ground (poor structural strength) and waste is mixed with cement and the backfill is essentially concrete. Then it can be mined under, over and around safely.