Sandvik Primary Breaker Solves Face Stability Issue
- 09 December 2009
- Company & Industry News
RF Aggregates (South West) Ltd is using a Sandvik BR4511 as a safe, productive and environmentally sound alternative to blasting at a newly acquired quarry in Paignton, Devon. Mounted on a Komatsu PC450-8 hydraulic excavator, the breaker was supplied by sole UK importer Sandvik Mining and Construction via its local dealer, M&M Plant of Launceston.
Devon-based RF Aggregates purchased the 5.0 hectare Yalberton Tor, and another quarry at Exeter, in 2008 when the incumbent owner went into liquidation. Previously used for the extraction of Devonian limestone, the site had also been used as an inert material landfill for the past several years. One of the first challenges facing new owners RF Aggregates was processing some of this inert material as part of an ongoing reinstatement programme. The company is now busily recycling the material which has been placed within part of the void space so it can achieve a future objective for the recycling operation and workings of the site, with specific emphasis on 6F5, 10, 20 and 40 mm fractions.
"We have inherited a site that due to the previous owner's circumstances had been poorly managed for some years, so our first job is a major programme of tidying and reinstatement," says RF Aggregates' project manager Mark Cage. "All the material that we're recycling is being thoroughly tested to ensure that it is not contaminated and we expect to be able to recycle more than 70 percent of all the remaining inert materials subject to permissions.
Another key challenge facing RF Aggregates is that of mineral extraction which had previously taken place using drill and blast techniques, despite the fact that the site is bordered by a commercial and residential area. According to Cage, the previous owner's mineral extraction operations had been something of a sore point with local residents, resulting in complaints about dust and noise pollution from the site's crusher and, more importantly, the blasting operations. This, however, was only part of the blasting challenge. "According to our geotechnical survey, previous blasting has left several of the faces in an unstable and fractured state, rendering new blasting unsafe," Cage continues. "It was decided even before an extraction license was granted that the limestone faces would need to be stabilised, and the loose material removed. As blasting was out of the question, a primary breaker was the most logical solution all round."
The solution came in the shape of a Sandvik BR4511 hydraulic breaker, a perfect match for the company's existing 45 tonne Komatsu excavator. Working from a 5 metre high bench, the 3800 kg breaker uses its productive blow energy to further loosen the fractured rock which is then processed through the sites crushing and screening plant. "The Sandvik BR4511 is absolutely perfect. It does everything we hoped it would do," Cage continues. "We've been very impressed with the performance so far and the operator says it is an extremely powerful piece of equipment. We particularly like the build and the special features such as the Ramlube self-lubricating systems. It is a lot cheaper to service and we are at little risk of burn outs because of the build quality."
That build quality is about to be put to the test in earnest. Once we have completed the initial reinstatement of the quarry and convinced locals that they should no longer fear dust and noise pollution from the site's blasting operations, we can move forward to full production and maximise capacity. So far, we're over the moon with the Sandvik breaker. It's proved to be a quality investment and we look forward to really putting it to the test when the stabilization of the faces is completed," Mark Cage concludes. "Sandvik has a formidable reputation. We like who they are, what they do and what they build. Together with M&M Plant, they have also proved they can supply a great back up service. We bought a quality breaker because we know what lies in wait for it in the quarry."
Sandvik Mining & Construction Ltd
T: 01283 212121
F: 01283 217342