Like many people learning about early American settlers heading west to strike it rich, I envisioned the iconic prospector with pan in hand ready to discover his future. The classic narrative of a prospector finding the once-in-a-lifetime nugget embodies that period in the history of US gold mining. It wasn’t until much later that I learned the real treasure was there all along, just too small to see with the naked eye. Many prospectors were surrounded by gold and never saw it.
It is with underground mining that we find part allure for the next big deposit, part mineral science and a healthy dose of keep-going. Getman Corporation has been making mobile equipment for underground mining operators for 60 years. Our first was a three yard ore carrier sold to uranium mines in Colorado. Now our products are at work around the world in junior mines, world-class high-volume block caves and everything in between.
Escondida SAG mills, Los Colorados ore concentrator, Escondida.
Copyright © 2014 Rio Tinto.
Although the mining equipment market is still awaiting its recovery, there is a light ahead for mining and underground mining in particular. The retirement of older surface mines, increasing environmental pressure, location of new deposits and advanced underground mining technology are all helping to boost the underground share of total mining production. Underground mining is on the rise and positioned well to realize a reinvention.
When it’s all over, new world-class underground mining operations will be unrecognizable to leading operations just a few decades ago. There is an exciting vibe underground and we are excited to be a part of it.
The new Getman blog is our contribution to the collective conversation about the future of underground mining. It will strive to be equal parts information, education and enlightenment. It will focus, but not exclusively, on underground utility equipment and the role it plays in creating a safer, more efficient operation. We will share our experience and seek your feedback as we put underground production and production support equipment in the middle of the action. We invite you to subscribe and come along for the ride; you might just find a valuable nugget.