The first step in our mining process is to strip overburden (which is the rock and soil overlying a resource) away from the resource. We use multiple types of equipment to do this, such as scrapers, excavators, and haul trucks, depending on the digging conditions.
Next, we mine the resource with hydraulic excavators. During this part of the process, we lay off small pits, approximately 3-5 acres, and move in a checkerboard pattern. This allows us to move overburden directly into a previously mined pit. We remove fertile topsoil from this overburden during stripping and store it for reclamation.
Then, we feed raw material on conveyor systems using wheel loaders. The materials we mine are unconsolidated, meaning we don’t use explosives to break it up. Because the materials we choose are naturally moist, we do not generate excessive dust when mining and transporting materials. Our conveyor system allows us to reduce truck traffic, easily moving resources back to our plant.