Iron Miners
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 Post subject: Re: SUTTER GOLD
PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 1:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:33 pm
Posts: 3088
Location: Above the Sterling Hill Mine
Aside from the coolness factor of rail, kind of just like how rail went out of favor above ground for most things, underground isn't much different. The efficiency factor really needs to be considered. An older small scale mine which already had rail and it is in good shape, why not continue using it to get your operation going. Just rehab the rail a bit, cars, and you are good to go. However on newer mines, large scale operations, or a mine which you are re-fabricating the entire mine anyway, you want to be able to get as much material in and out of the mine as possible at the fastest rate for the lowest cost. Just like driving a car on a street, rubber tires gives you that flexibility and you don't need to keep laying rail all the time when you can just drive there. Plus if the mine is large enough to drive a large dump truck, you can move material pretty quick. Then you can run conveyers where you need, etc.

Not really sexy at all, but hey at least it is mining..

Miner Greg


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 Post subject: Re: SUTTER GOLD
PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 2:27 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:21 am
Posts: 179
Location: United States
Greg,

I believe those are all good points except I'm not quite sure about the premise that outside of mining "rail went out of favor above ground for most things". Is that true? I'm not sure it is. It is most certainly true in regards to carrying intercity passengers but that is mostly a North American development. Intercity rail freight in the U.S. has repeatedly broken records in the last few years (except for the very worst two years in the "Great Recession") and is immensely profitable at that.

Most North American cities converted from rail-based transit (i.e. streetcars) to rubber-tired buses but now there are indications that this might be turning the corner, too.

From what I have been able to gather so far, it might actually be the two extremes that are still using rail underground. Rail seems to still be used in the very hugest hard rock mines that have a really long haul from rock face to portal (maybe even up to several miles) *AND* the smaller mines as you pointed out.

It would seem to be more the "middle sized" mines that are no longer interested in rail and mostly in the U.S. at that as Mike pointed out.

Regards,
Fred M. Cain


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