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You may have noticed that we’ve changed domains from Minestories to Solid Ground online, a name that more inclusively reflects our broad range of solutions for the mining and rock excavation industries. Rest assured, you’ll still be able to read and watch the ground-breaking content you’ve come to expect. Thanks for visiting.
The High Five — about to be executed perfectly by these Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology colleagues — is an internationally renowned way to say “great job!”. Collaboration is important; acknowledging great collaboration even more so. And April 18 is international High Five Day, so make sure to celebrate with a friend.
Some of the earliest tunnels date back to around the 22nd century BC, when the Babylonians started using underground passageways for irrigation. Between 2180 and 2160 BC, they successfully dug a 900-metre-long tunnel under the Euphrates River. It wasn’t until 1867 that tunnel building truly boomed as this was when Alfred Nobel patented dynamite. Pictured here at a remarkable length of 24.51 kilometres is the Lærdal Tunnel in Norway, the world’s longest finished road tunnel.
The term tommyknocker originated in Cornwall, UK, where superstitious miners believed goblins lived inside the mines. These supernatural creatures were believed to knock on the walls to alert the miners that something was about to happen. The knocks were usually seen as a portent of impending death, but some optimistic miners believed it meant they were about to strike it rich.
Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology recognizes the need to recycle steel and cemented carbide and as such has implemented a comprehensive recycling programme that benefits customers as well as the company. By recycling drill bits containing steel and cemented carbide, energy consumption is reduced by around 75 percent compared with using virgin materials, which reduces CO2 emissions by around 40 percent. In addition, NOX emissions are also reduced and the use of hazardous chemicals virtually eliminated. So not only can customers do their part for the environment, but they can also minimize costs and reduce waste.
One of the first legends with origins in Cornwall is the superstition about red-haired women. In general, women in or near a mine are considered bad luck in many cultures, most probably because women historically only ever descended into the mines in times of tragedy. Seeing a red-haired woman on your way to work at a mine was an especially bad omen, as she was considered a portent of imminent death.
In some parts of the world, mining can still be a hazardous business. The mines around Potosi, in Bolivia, are believed to have claimed the lives of as many as 9 million people over three centuries of colonial mining. These days, conditions have improved but risks remain. As a result, workers pray to El Tio (the uncle), lord of the underworld. This demonic spirit is believed to be fond of sweet treats, alcohol, cigarettes and coca leaves, which are showered over altars of his likeness by those requesting his protection.
This Sandvik DT1131i travels underground to develop tunnels in residential Finland for a massive wastewater project that will serve up to 400,000 people in Espoo.
This Sandvik D412i rotary drill is durable, flexible and able to move rapidly to designated areas to undertake vital drilling work thanks to its power and climbing ability.
Pandarus candelabrum has a very “expensive” characteristic. The strange-looking thorny plant found in tropical Africa usually grows on top of kimberlite pipes which were created by volcanic eruptions and are now replete with phosphorous, magnesium, potassium and, yes, diamonds.
This view from this Sandvik DD422i development drill dashboard features the Sandvik Intelligent Control System, which maximizes performance and precision in drilling.
The Sandvik RD525 high-frequency drifters on this Sandvik DD421 drill rig can bore a 4.5-metre hole through tough rock in two minutes, delivering 30-40 metres more a month than expected.
Dwarfed by the open pit at Sunrise Dam gold mine in Australia, this TH663 still holds its own, weighing in at 100 tonnes fully laden.
No, this Sandvik DD422i is not trying to hug you. Engineered to provide high performance, reliability and accuracy for underground drilling and small-scale tunneling, this intelligent mining jumbo with a dynamic range of drilling functions may make you want to hug it, though.
Two of the 10,500 employees at the Borynia-Zofiówka-Jastrzębie coal mine in Poland carefully navigate their work area while helping extract high-grade coking coal. Equipped with helmets, masks, goggles, boots, breathing apparatus and, of course, light, these miners maintain a long tradition of coal mining southwest of Katowice.
Aurora borealis dazzles the horizon in Kirkenes northern Norway, home to Sydvaranger iron ore mine, where the total mine area covers 35 square kilometres and comprises 23 largely separate iron-ore deposits.
The boots, clothes and other necessary equipment of the miners at the Borynia-Zofiówka-Jastrzębie coal mine in Poland hang on hooks waiting for their owners’ shift to begin.
Drilling and blasting contractor Magnus Schakt depends on the manouevrability and flexibility of his Dino DC400Ri for tricky jobs with limited space.
Battery-driven underground equipment, like the industry’s first battery-trammed development jumbo Sandvik DD422iE, are helping reduce diesel particulate matter in underground operations.
Bucket loaders at the Rudna mine in Poland light up the darkness while moving tonnes of copper ore every day.
The marble-tipped Apuan Alps in northern Tuscany have been quarried for 2,000 years, providing material for many of the world’s most well-known sculptures and architecture.
Enter the Isle of Staffa’s Fingal’s Cave in Scotland and you’ll find one of the most inspiring alcoves in the world. Made up entirely of hexagonal columns, Fingal’s Cave has evoked strong sentiment for hundreds of years in those who dared to enter.
The sun sets on a fleet of Sandvik TH663 underground trucks at the Plutonic gold mine in Western Australia.
Research published in PLoS ONE and Geochemistry: Exploration, Environment, Analysis may have discovered a way for nature to do the “heavy lifting” of deep prospecting work. The study found that termite mounds contained high concentrations of gold. “We’re using insects to help find new gold and other mineral deposits,” says CSIRO entomologist Dr Aaron Stewart.
The Scandinavian city of Stockholm undergoes a facelift at the locks where Lake Mälaren meets the Baltic Sea.
Walls of salt, 250 million years old and 35 metres high, dwarf a Sandvik LH621 loader at esco – european salt company’s mine in Bernburg, Germany.
Before modern-day quarries even conceived of loaders, there was the Blondin. This high-wire contraption was a type of ropeway used in open-pit quarries in Wales. It was named for Charles “The Great” Blondin, a famous French tightrope walker from the 19th century. Blondin became famous for crossing Niagara Falls at the US-Canadian border on a tightrope suspended 50 metres above the water many times, once even sitting down halfway, cooking and eating an omelette.
Asteroid mining is quickly becoming a reality. Companies such as Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries are searching for cost-efficient ways to mine large asteroidal specimens and excavate the precious resources within, the yields of which are estimated in the trillions of dollars. Asteroids are replete with platinum, nickel, cobalt and water, which can be broken down into fuel, solving one of the great problems of space exploration: fuel availability.
Outside of Velardeña in northern Mexico, a 30-million-tonne zinc deposit is breathing new life into the area.
Government controlled alcohol sales in Sweden started with miners. At copper mines in Falun, alcohol-related accidents and fatalities had risen to disturbing levels. Mine owners petitioned to form a distribution company with exclusive rights to build distilleries and sell liquor. The end result was a state organization whose job involved regulating all alcohol sales in the city, safely and responsibly.
The Berkeley Pit, a former open-pit mine, is now a man-made lake that contains more than 150 billion litres of toxic water. The water is heavily acidic and has taken on an almost blood-red colour from the copper and iron deposits. It looks like one of those places devoid of life entirely, but it’s not; it is home to a new species of fungi that could lead to important advances in modern medicine.