Biggest in the World Open-Pit Coal Mine and its Giant Machinery

Biggest in the World Open-Pit Coal Mine and its Giant Machinery

Do you see a bus on this picture? Look closer, it’s near that giant machine which they call “buck wheel excavator”. Wikipedia says its main purpose is: “to act as a continuous digging machine in large-scale open pit mining operations”. What can be more larger scale than the biggest world open pit coal mine in Kazakhstan built in Soviet times as the biggest Soviet open pit coal mine? Russian photographer Alexander Popov has traveled there and took this awesome pics and story so we now can take a look to!  So let’s see those in detail:

Biggest in the World Open-Pit Coal Mine and its Giant Machinery

This open-pit mine was built from 1965 to 1979. It had been planned to produce 50 million tons of coal per year (wow!) and in 1985 it has reached this number for the first time bringing 56.8 million tons of coal in twelve months! Because it’s so big and so productive they have even put it into the Guiness record book same year.

Biggest in the World Open-Pit Coal Mine and its Giant Machinery

Alexander says that their main purpose of the visit was not the mine itself but the giant bucket wheel excavating machines like the one on the pic above. He says that the German machine builders have made super giant excavators for this place on special order in 1972 and 1973.

Biggest in the World Open-Pit Coal Mine and its Giant Machinery

“This monster can produce 5,000 tons of coal each hour!”

Biggest in the World Open-Pit Coal Mine and its Giant Machinery

Alexander says that when he first saw this giant tracks he remembered a huge tracked machine from the Star Wars episode IV.

Biggest in the World Open-Pit Coal Mine and its Giant Machinery

And here is this giant in its “natural habitat” – inside of the coal pit mine.

Biggest in the World Open-Pit Coal Mine and its Giant Machinery

“This is a real self-moving ship!”, says Alexander, “It has got all sort of rooms: machine rooms, rest lounges and the myriad of different ladders and cables.”

Biggest in the World Open-Pit Coal Mine and its Giant Machinery

Twenty seven people serve one machine here.

Biggest in the World Open-Pit Coal Mine and its Giant Machinery

Some parts of this giant is radioactive and the sign is posted! “Nobody could explain me what exactly in these giants is radioactive!”, remembers the photographer.

Biggest in the World Open-Pit Coal Mine and its Giant Machinery

Two of the giants were modernized in 2009-2010 and you see they got computerized vision and control.

Biggest in the World Open-Pit Coal Mine and its Giant Machinery

This is how it rolls, or how it mines for actual coal. Here is also a short video Alexander has made:

It’s strucking silent inside of it while its mining!

Biggest in the World Open-Pit Coal Mine and its Giant Machinery

The machine stands 45 meter (almost 150 feet) tall!

Biggest in the World Open-Pit Coal Mine and its Giant Machinery

So Alexander went to the top most part of it.

Biggest in the World Open-Pit Coal Mine and its Giant Machinery

And this giant is being repaired now so you can compare it to a bus or a big crane standing nearby.

Biggest in the World Open-Pit Coal Mine and its Giant Machinery

Unloading coal into the arriving train cars.

Biggest in the World Open-Pit Coal Mine and its Giant Machinery

It’s pretty high up there!

Biggest in the World Open-Pit Coal Mine and its Giant Machinery

The coal that is being mined here then later is being burned on Kazakhstan and Russia’s power plants. Also sold to people.

Biggest in the World Open-Pit Coal Mine and its Giant Machinery

Just one Northern part of this coal mine has proved reserves of coal exceeding 1,179 billion tons! JUST IMAGINE THIS AMOUNT OF COAL!

Biggest in the World Open-Pit Coal Mine and its Giant Machinery

Biggest in the World Open-Pit Coal Mine and its Giant Machinery

When the giant is active and mines coal the main control “cabin” or deck-house goes way down to the rotating blades to be able to see the mining process better and to control it better!

Biggest in the World Open-Pit Coal Mine and its Giant Machinery

And this tractor  is used to feed the power cables, that’s what Alexander says about it.

Well, that’s it! Hope you liked it and was impressed by this giant scale mining operation!

Let’s say thanks to Alexander for the photos and the story!

via

16 thoughts on “Biggest in the World Open-Pit Coal Mine and its Giant Machinery”

    • F60 also made by Takraf 🙂
      http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/F60

      > “Nobody could explain me what exactly in these giants is radioactive!”

      I think so that the layer is measured on the belt.

  1. Nice photos, but I question the biggest I think you will find the German Bagger 288 is the biggest.
    240,000 tons a day. Or was he saying the open pit mine was the biggest, in which case it isn’t there is one in Minnesota USA which is the biggest in the world.

    Still nice picks though.

    How long is the longest wire? How often is it replaced? How long does it take to replace? Have they got a hospital on board/ how much diesel does it burn an hour? there is so much the editor could have found out

    • Sure, when the technology gets good enough for real application, ie meets or exceeds the capability fossil fuels give us. Sorry, I’m not progressive enough to lower my standard of living that much.

  2. I took this picture in Germany a while back. The German one is much bigger. 🙂 But nice photos.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/norue/7084329499/

  3. According to BGR there are 1052 billion tonnes of coal reserves left in the world, equivalent to 134.5 years of global coal output in 2013. Coal reserves reported by WEC are much lower – 892 billion tonnes, equivalent to 113 years of coal output.

    China mines almost 30 times the coal of Kazakhstan each year.

  4. Ironic,using an excavator that works on high voltage electricity to dig coal,or/and the digger has an nuclear reactor to work over there.

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