MacLean Engineering
MacLean Engineering

Block Caving Suite

Block caving


The MacLean Ore Flow Suite for Block Caving (Bulk Mining) is what an underground mine needs to beat the challenges of ore flow blockages like drawpoint hang-ups and oversize that seriously impact productivity and increase overall mining costs.

When caving is induced, competent ore bodies with coarse fragmentation and insufficient comminution can present large rocks that cause hang-ups in draw points. Hang-ups need to be cleared quickly as not only they stall the production, the stresses created by the blockage transmit to important mine structures such as draw point brows and extraction-level tunnels. Damage can go as far as causing footwall heave and failure of tunnel sidewalls. Further, the handling of oversized ore increases the operation and maintenance costs on production units like LHDs and trucks, due to the high costs incurred on repairs of cylinders, buckets, tires and drivelines. The availability of the production gear is also compromised.

MacLean Engineering has been innovating underground mining equipment solutions for over 40 years and the MacLean Ore Flow Suite has the answers to these challenges.

The mission generally begins with the MacLean Water Cannon designed to washout loose fines between oversize blocks in a drawpoint hang-up by pumping more than 10,000 liters of onboard water at high pressure in a matter of few minutes and thus bringing down the hang-ups. Up to 40% of hang-ups come down during this process and the remainder could then be brought down by another innovation, the MacLean High and Medium Reach Drill. The operator, working from a safe distance using remote control and monitoring on video cameras, drills into the blockage, thanks to the specially designed boom and drill geometry. Aligned on the boom, the loading feed then helps to charge the explosive. A blast later releases the blockages sitting as high as 12 meters.

Once on the ground, the secondary breaking of oversized boulders, generally bigger than two (2) cubic meters, is carried out by the MacLean Blockholer Drill. These blockholers also have explosive loading and remote control features that ensure safe drilling and later blasting of the oversize that scoops can handle with safety and ease.

The final step is the MacLean Mobile Rockbreaker, which gives flexibility for secondary breaking of oversize anywhere at source without hampering other operations and use of any explosive. A powerful hydraulic hammer is mounted on an excavator style boom & arm attachment and an articulated carrier. The operator can work with joystick controls from a high visibility cab, or has the option of hand-held remote controls for operating units from a safe distance. And even teleremote operation - i.e. the operator controlling the units from the comforts and safety of an office on the surface - is an advanced option that has been provided on MacLean Secondary Breakers.

The MacLean Ore Flow Suite is a one-stop-shop for ore flow facilitation from the house of MacLean - designers, manufacturers, and marketers of mining equipment built for life underground.


Cookies on the MacLean website:
This site uses cookies to optimise your user experience.
If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the MacLean website.