mining of coal fuel and metal ores is a major industry involving
hundreds of open pit and underground mines located around the world.
A large fraction of the cost of coal and ores is due to the need
to transport the valuable product, as well as waste rock, from the
deep underground or open pit mine site.
In open pit mines, giant trucks costing up to a million dollars
each, carry ore from the bottom of the pit to its rim and beyond,
where it is locally processed or shipped by rail to a distant plant.
The trucks have to slowly wind their way up the spiral haulage road
on the wall of the pit. A direct maglev line up the sidewall of
the pit would move the ore much more rapidly, and at much lower
underground mines an extensive and very expensive shaft and tunnel
system is required to transport ore and waste rock to the surface.
Mine cars, or conveyer belts, move the ore and rock horizontally
from the working face through long tunnels to the shaft, or shafts,
where it is vertically lifted for thousands of feet to the surface.
Typically, the volume of waste rock which must be extracted in order
to construct the vast network of tunnels and shafts, is much greater
than the volume of actual ore.
a maglev M-2000 mining system, the valuable ore could be lifted
along angled shafts that followed the actual ore veins, instead
of through the network of horizontal tunnels and vertical shafts.
This would greatly reduce the volume of waste rock to be excavated,
and consequently the cost of the product ore. In addition, the maglev
mining system would greatly reduce the number of engine powered
underground ore carriers, reducing both the operating cost and the
pollution of the miner's air supply.