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Home > Alberta's Resource Inventory > Hydrocarbons > Coal > Resource Development > Dragline

Resource Inventory

Dragline

Dragline BucketA Dragline is a special machine used for stripping the overburden from the coal. These machines stand more than 21 metres from the ground to the top and the steel boom measures more than 60 metres in length. The overall weight of a dragline may be as much as 2,030 metric tonnes, or equivalent to the weight of 300 elephants. In Saskatchewan, the open pit method has been used to mine several metallic minerals.

Open cuts are worked progressively deeper until the economic limit is reached, or the material of value runs out. They are wider at the upper rim than at the pit bottom, to ensure safety, and to provide a gradual spiral roadway for trucks and other equipment. Vertical holes are repeatedly drilled 21 metres or more in depth along the levels, which are called benches. After blasting, the broken ore is loaded onto trucks and hauled up the twisting access road for treatment.

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