The application of an IPCC system in an open pit operation can comprise a reduction of operating costs by 20 – 60 % in comparison to truck haulage but still the latter is the favored transportation method. However since the costs for e.g. fuel and labor increase, IPCC systems again come into focus. Therefore three theoretical approaches how to connect the Wirtgen Surface Miner to a conveyor system are discussed because the surface mining technology can offer additional benefits by merging the process steps drilling, blasting, loading and crushing to one step. The three approaches cover
- The continuous transportation by direct loading of the Surface Miner onto a fully mobile conveyor,
- The direct loading of the Surface Miner onto a truck and discontinuous haulage to a semi-mobile feeder and shiftable conveyor and
- The Surface Miner operating in the windrowing mode, where the material is picked up by a front end loader and discharged onto a mobile feeder connected to a mobile conveyor.
All three concepts offer a potential applicability within an open pit operation. It is concluded that a detailed evaluation needs to be carried out to gather more data to be able to compare the three approaches with IPCC systems.