Cluster analysis based study on German quarries in order to quantify economical and ecological application potentials of different transport technologies
There are about 1.000 quarries located in Germany, showing individual structures and partly significant differences regarding the geometry of the pit and the quarry management. However, 90 % of these quarries make use of the same transportation technology when it comes to in-pit-haulage. The material is transported from the loading point to the near-pit crusher by means of discontinuous, diesel-driven mining trucks.
A share of more than 40 % makes truck hauling the most energy-consuming part in a quarry. Although it is common knowledge that the substitution of a discontinuous truck haulage system with continuous, electrically powered belt conveyors can diminish the dead load by 80% and avoid local emissions, only in exceptional cases belt conveyors are considered. On the one hand this circumstance can be explained by the fact that most quarries are small-scale operations, for which the practical trial of uncommon technologies results in an enormous entrepreneurial risk. On the other hand there is neither a benchmark nor are there any characteristic reference operations.
With the aim to break down the indicated risks-barrier and to define the general restrictions of a conveyor-belt-application, the research project investigates the potentials of installing different transportation technologies in German quarries. The operating parameters of different haulage methods in various cluster specific reference-quarries will be calculated based on a cluster-analysis investigation of the application field. This comparison of operating parameters enables a derivation of economical and ecological potentials for the application of different transportation technologies and the transfer of these parameters on actual quarries within the cluster.