GEOG 000

Lesson 5.2: Auxiliary Operations


Lesson 5.2: Auxiliary Operations

In the last lesson, we learned that the process of exploitation reduces to two fundamental operations: winning and materials handling. Further, we defined the basic production cycle in terms of unit operations, as follows:

Harder Materials: drill, blast, load, and haul

Softer Materials: excavate, load, and haul

I noted that there is one other category of common operations known as auxiliary operations, which support the production cycle and are essential to it. Auxiliary operations are repeated over and over again; and as with the unit operations, the specifics of the auxiliary operations will vary by mining method and the characteristics of the orebody. In the last lesson, I gave a few examples of auxiliary operations, including ground control and electric power.

In this lesson, I want to provide additional information and examples of auxiliary operations, including the equipment used in these operations. The auxiliary operations are not only complementary to the unit operations, but are generally essential to the completion of the mining cycle. As such, it is difficult to say that some are more important than others. So, if we want to see they are all equally important, then I would add that a few of them are first among equals! Those would include ground control, power, and ventilation.