Aggregates Manager

November 2013

Aggregates Manager Digital Magazine

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PLANT PROFILE The Shinto Shrine On the way to the processing plant at Ogano Quarry, visitors will pass by a Shinto Shrine, which was designed and constructed by quarry personnel and built from materials found on site. The shrine is dedicated to the God of the Mountain and serves as a place for employees to pray for the safety of everyone working on the mountain. "On the 17th of every month, all the workers come to the shrine," says Hidenori Kurihara, mine manager. "We dedicate sacred rice wine to the God of the Mountain and pray for the safety of their work." Shinto is the native religion of Japan, or a way of living, that extends as far back as 500 B.C. Shintoism is the worship of invisible spiritual beings and powers, sometimes human or animal, but mostly having to do with nature and natural forces, such as rivers, trees, rocks, mountains, lightning, wind, etc. The shrines can be found all across the nation of Japan, especially in sacred and historical places, but also in non-secular locations like the quarry, as well as in homes. A customer's highway truck is loaded at the wash plant in the valley below the mountain quarry near Ogano, Japan. Highway trucks are small, holding only 10 to 12 tons of material so they can more easily maneuver on the winding mountain roads leading to the quarry. ground with processing plants either down in the pit or above the pit at ground level. Ogano Quarry, however, is located on the side of a mountain. The aggregate is mined from the mountain and hauled down the mountain to the processing plant in the valley below. Having a mine located on the side of a mountain presents an unusual challenge. The mountains in Japan are steep, so the benches are narrow — approximately 15 meters deep. The higher the benches are on the mountain, the narrower they become. Because of the narrow benches, Hidenori Kurihara, the mine manager, phased out the use of wheel loaders on the mountain and started using excavators for loading the haul trucks. Excavators are perfect for the narrow benches and steep terrain in the mountain quarry, because they can climb on top of the material to work, if necessary, and have a long reach, enabling them to load a truck without repositioning. Another challenge quarry personnel encounter is the wear and tear on equipment caused by the rough terrain and the material being mined. The extremely hard sandstone (greywacke) at the quarry is very tough on buckets and ground-engaging tools, causing them to wear quickly. The quarry also has to deal with the challenge of providing the same color material to the same customer. The rock comes in different shades of color depending on what area the material was mined from, and matching the colors can sometimes be a nightmare. Daily operations Blasting takes place every other day, followed by loading haul trucks. The operation is very efficient when it comes to loading. While the excavator is loading one haul truck, another is waiting, so loading time is very short. Once the material is loaded into the haul truck, it is taken down the 1.5-kilometer haul road to be processed. The quarry uses two different plants for processing material — a dry processing plant and a AGGREGATES MANAGER November 2013 PlantProfile_AGRM1113.indd 11 11 10/17/13 2:05 PM

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