During many visits to bentonite mines in Bavaria my doctoral supervisor, me, and our students usually had to arrange ourselves with active mining activity. This meant taking good care of communications with the mine manager, surveyor, and most importantly the machine operators. You do not want to get your head hit by the bucket of an excavator or run over by one of the trucks! Having a bulldozer and excavator around does of course have its benefits for taking samples and outcrop documentation. What a hand shovel will get done in 2 hours, the bucket excavator will get done in 5 minutes! So having good relationships with the mining folks will save you hours and days of tedious work! Anyways, over time, I managed to capture a lot of the machinery at work and I decided to put some of the better images online. Enjoy!
|A track-driven scraper in action. Although slower they are more cost efficient in small-scale operations.|
|The bucket excavator was so kind to excavate the base of the bentonite deposit for us.|
|Same as above. Taking a break.|
|Hauling and loading of Volvo trucks with overburden.|
|Preparing the terrain and removing overburden with bulldozers and another bucket excavator.|
|Hauling and loading again with the aim of clearing a nice profile for us. View from the freshly excavated pit.|