MINING BY DRAGLINE

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Draglines are by far the most commonly used overburden-removal equipment in surface coal mining. A dragline sits on the top of the overburden, digs the overburden material directly in front of it, and disperses the material over greater distances than a shovel. Compared with shovels, draglines provide greater flexibility, work on higher benches, and move more material per hour. The largest dragline in operation has a bucket capacity of 170 cubic metres. OPERATION In a typical cycle of excavation, the bucket is positioned above the material to be excavated. The bucket is then lowered and the dragrope is then drawn so that the bucket is dragged along the surface of the material. The bucket is then lifted by using the hoist rope. A swing operation is then performed to move the bucket to the place where the material is to be dumped. The dragrope is then released causing the bucket to tilt and empty. This is called a dump operation. The bucket can also be 'thrown' by winding up to the jib and then releasing a clutch on the drag cable. This would then swing the bucket like a pendulum. Once the bucket had passed the vertical, the hoist cable would be released thus throwing the bucket.
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