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Electricity's Part in Open Cut Copper Mining

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1 Author(s)
Corfield, R.J. ; Asst. Elec. Eng., Utah Copper Co., Garfield, Utah.

This paper is intended to describe the electrification of the world's largest open cut copper mine, and also covers briefly main line transportation and miscellaneous uses of electrical energy at the concentrating plants, that are located approximately 18 miles from the mine. This electrification project was an economical and progressive step in copper mining and developed some very interesting engineering problems. Electric shovels, both alternating and direct current, together with the special type of electrical locomotive required for this particular service, are discussed. The rather elaborate trolley and feeder system required to transmit power to a fleet of 23 electric shovels and 39 electric locomotives, scattered over a 725-acre area, is described. The main power system, together with mill, railway and shovel substations, is briefly described. Some operating statistics are given, to assist in visualizing the magnitude of the operations.

Published in:

American Institute of Electrical Engineers, Transactions of the  (Volume:50 ,  Issue: 1 )