Mining Equipment and its uses

The equipment varies depending upon whether the work is being done above ground or below ground. The mining equipment is risky and hence, trained personnel that have an understanding of the machinery, is important. Each type of mining equipment comes with its own set of tasks. 

Complex surface mining equipment is required as support in major mineral extraction process; they are drag-lines, shovels, loaders, and haul trucks, the mass excavator.

A Drag-line excavator

A drag-line excavator is a large machine used to unearth dirt and other materials from construction sites and mining areas. It is a piece of heavy equipment. Drag-lines are in 2 categories; standard lifting cranes and the heavy units which have to be assembled on-site. It uses a large bucket between two towers with a wire rope which can be manoeuvred and lowered to collect earth and other materials from the area. They have the capacity to move 160 cubic meters of material in one scoop. The operators are professionals who control drag-line excavators at construction sites. They coordinate the tons and require routine cleaning and maintenance tasks. The larger types are put to effective use in strip-mining operations to move coal, and for tar-sand mining. 

Underground mining equipment

There is underground mining equipment which can move material in such an environment. These are very specialized and have been developed specifically for the underground mining applications. 


Drills are utilized to provide a blast-hole into which there is space to load explosives and detonate them to make the mining work easier. 

Off-road dump/ haul trucks

These are used strictly off-road for mining jobs. They come in 2 forms being rigid frame and articulating frame. The load is discharged from the rear. 


A shovel is a great help in digging and loading earth of fragmented rock and for extracting mineral material. 


Shotcrete has a spraying system which is developed for underground support applications. Shotcrete is concrete which can be impacted onto any surface, vertical or overhead areas. With such equipment easily available there is great scope and future for the mining operations in the country to make a mark and create a buzz.

Back to Top

For more information about COVID-19 please visit: COVID-19 Corona Virus South African Resource Portal