An Evolution In The Design Of The Deepest Mining Dredge In The Western Hemisphere

This paper will take us through the steps involved in the design and manufacture of the deepest mining dredge in the Western Hemisphere. The paper will detail the original equipment types reviewed during the feasibility study through the final choice of equipment selected to meet the project goals. Details will be provided that led to the decision process to justify the dredge including; for sale aggregate inventory, future permitting problems, economical factors, simplified equipment, etc. The paper will bring us through the life cycle from a paper sketch to an engineering challenge that evolved into an 18+ month design and manufacturing process to build a mining dredge that spans the length of a football field. The paper will go into detail on the design challenges that needed to be considered to accommodate the end user including; dredge platform stability as center of gravity shifted with dredging depth, incorporation of standardized major components, challenges to overcome in the event of a major cave-in on the ladder, emergency backup power, ladder hoisting redundancy, transportation, assembly, erection and commissioning. The paper will also discuss some challenges encountered with the required long lifespan for the dredge that would be working in a very corrosive environment.

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