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Strip Mining Mineral Deposits

Strip mining is a surface mining technique used when mineral deposits are close to the Earth’s surface. During this process, horizontal strips of overburden are removed from above a mineral deposit. These trenches are then excavated, and the exposed mineral extracted.

Meanwhile, the overburden from each strip is deposited into the one before it as a way of restoring the land.

Strip mining requires a lot of heavy equipment, like bucket-wheel excavators, which are used for overburden removal. They continuously dig into the Earth, removing thousands of tons of overburden every day.

Key fact: Bagger 288 is a bucket-wheel excavator capable of moving around 240,000 cubic meters of earth per day. Weighing 13,500 tons, it’s the heaviest land vehicle in the world

Area stripping is a form of strip mining used when an ore deposit is located along a large, flat terrain. Contour mining is another form of strip mining commonly used in hilly areas. Following the curve of the landscape, it involves digging strips that begin at the outcrop and continue around the hill, appearing in a contour line.

Benefits

  • Safer and more efficient than underground mining

  • Requires less capital and operational expenditure

  • Land can be restored during operations

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