May 17, 2020

Draglines 101: How They Do It

mining equipment
Big Muskie
3 min
Draglines 101: How They Do It
In the world of mining, not all draglines are created equal. The heavy-duty machinery is used as a primary excavating tool in many surface mining operat...

In the world of mining, not all draglines are created equal. The heavy-duty machinery is used as a primary excavating tool in many surface mining operations worldwide. These highly productive and massive pieces of equipment offer the lowest material cost per ton and have an operating life span of 40 years. Pound for pound, draglines are the most productive and versatile machines in the mining industry.

How they work

Utilized in a similar fashion as cranes, draglines are used primarily for open-pit operations to dismantle and transport materials. In strip mining operations, draglines are used to remove overburden from mines. Unlike most mining equipment, the bulk of draglines are not diesel-powered. Their power consumption relies on a direct connection to the high-voltage gride at voltages of between 6.6 and 22kV. A typical dragline can use up to six megawatts during normal digging operations.

The biggest and baddest draglines ever built

The mining sector has seen its fair share of extravagant dragline machinery. The industry, which boasts some of the biggest and baddest equipment the world has ever seen, has encountered some massive draglines.

Manufactured in the United States, the Bucyrus Erie 2570-W dragline is currently the world’s largest operational dragline. Nicknamed Old Glory, the dragline is owned and operated by Peabody Energy and currently utilized at the company’s Bear Run mine in Indiana.  The dragline is equipped with an impressive scooping depth of over 215 feet with a bucket capacity of 115 cubic yards. Weighing in at over 6,000 tons, the Bucyrus Erie 2570-W is over 200 feet tall with an operating radius of 300 feet.

Another Bucyrus dragline to make our list, the 8200 Walking Dragline is one of the world’s largest draglines currently in operations. Nicknamed Liberty, the massive dragline weighs over nine million pounds and operates with a 160-yard bucket. This behemoth is close to seven stories high and can move roughly 250,000 pound of earth across 200 yards in less than 60 second. 

The “Big Muskie” was once the world’s largest earth moving machine. Built in 1969 and dismantled in 1991, the Big Muskie could move 39 million pounds of earth and rock every hour, reaching coal seams 100-150 feet down. Weighing nearly 12,000 tons, this dragline was 22 stories tall with a boom length of 310 feet. In May 1999, the Big Muskie was destroyed with the remainder of the dragline being used as a centerpiece to memorialize the men and women who mined in Ohio.

The future of Draglines

Like other mining equipment, the future of draglines is automation.

Despite the move towards automation, draglines have remained relatively unchanged in design and control systems. That’s all about to change in the next few years.

Companies like CSIRO in Australia, MineWare and CRCMining are working with the University of Queensland in Australia to advance dragline operations to automation. The companies are focusing on developing and implementing a new dig sequencing technology that aims to identify the best sequence of operations and movements for a dragline to excavate in the most efficient and productive way.

The technology is expected to give operators instantaneous position, digging and dumping guidance, supporting them to make critical decisions around the sequencing of excavation.  According to MineWare CEO and project co-leader Andrew Jessett, dragline operations will benefit from a significant improvement in productivity.

“On draglines around the world, we continue to see inconsistencies in operator sequences and techniques, which can result in variations in productivity rates in excess of 10 percent. By giving dragline operators accurate, instant guidance, we want to close the gap on these variations and improve productivity as a direct result.”

He adds, "Consistency is very important, that range of variability between operators can be anywhere up to 10 or 15 percent and in dollar terms that's very significant.”

Although improving productivity and saving time and money isn’t a new direction for the mining industry, the new technology will help speed up the automation process for mining equipment.

Share article

Dec 3, 2020

Net zero benefits the mining industry and the environment

digital mining
Dan Brightmore
3 min
Learn how to future proof your business for a zero-carbon world with help from Emitwise and the Oren Marketplace.
Learn how to future proof your business for a zero-carbon world with help from Emitwise and the Oren Marketplace...

How do we get the world to net-zero faster?

Emitwise’s founders, Mauro Cozzi, Eduardo Gómez and Ben Peddie, approached a network of more than 100 of the world's largest enterprises and asked their CEOs, CFOs, and sustainability managers the big question: How do we get the world to net-zero faster? The challenge many shared was the lack of timely and accurate emissions data to enable strategic decisions. Companies often relied on annual audits of their carbon footprint for carbon accounting purposes. However, static yearly results were outdated upon publishing.

Emitwise saves companies an average of 260 working days a year by automating their scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions data. With the added benefits of clean audit trails and auto-populated accounting reports in line with GHG Protocol, all at the click of a button. Their easy to use solution enables businesses to quickly identify the carbon hotspots to target, and the precise real-time data empowers teams to remain agile and respond effectively, making achieving those goals possible.

Unique AI Technology

Emitwise’s unique AI technology empowers businesses to automatically measure, report and reduce their carbon footprint across their operations and supply chain, future-proofing companies for a zero-carbon world. It is the only solution that enables companies to fully automate their carbon accounting across all business units and suppliers, therefore liberating them from the drudgery of collecting and processing emissions data.

By using artificial intelligence to precisely measure emissions in real-time, businesses can identify and tackle carbon hotspots swiftly, enabling them to devise a trackable roadmap to net-zero carbon. At the same time, accurate audit trails and auto-populated annual reports ensure that companies comply with international reporting requirements, and align businesses with global climate targets to mitigate risk across their operations and supply chain. 

The Oren Marketplace

Environmental management, social license to operate, safety, renewable energy to lower emissions and operational efficiency for mining can be supported by a range of digital solutions enabling dynamic operations. To address these issues, Shell and IBM joined forces to create the Oren Marketplace – the first B2B solutions platform for the mining sector. 

With the adoption of many of the digital solutions offered through Oren, mining companies can adapt in real-time to risks or adjust plans ahead of a problem occurring. The goal is a shift towards proactive management as the optimal outcome for all stakeholders – community, shareholders, and employees.

Emitwise was founded with the goal of helping industries across all sectors reduce their carbon footprint. Similarly, Shell aims to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, or sooner, in step with society and its customers. And Oren is focused on offering innovative products and services that can help mining companies track and reduce their emissions. 

“Oren is the starting point for how we help our mining customers to de-carbonise,” explains Carol Chen, Global Lubricants Marketing, Vice President, Shell. “It’s our ambition to work with sectors like mining to help them find their own pathway to net-zero emissions through collaboration. The Oren marketplace offers a great opportunity for collaboration between the miners and technology companies that are joining this digital marketplace.” 

Web Summit

Emitwise will be showcasing its vision for a net-zero future live from Lisbon at this year’s Web Summit. Bringing together the people and companies redefining the global tech industry, the online event welcomes 100,000+ attendees from around the world to hear from more than 800 speakers and view offerings from 2,500 startups covering a vast range of topics from Data Science and Climate Change to AI and Machine Learning. To find out more and book your ticket visit Web Summit. 

Emitwise is one of many solutions providers on the Oren platform seeking to address the pain points and environmental concerns of heavy industries like mining. To discover a range of solutions that can further support your operation’s digital transformation and commitment to sustainability, visit the Oren Marketplace.

Share article