Martin Engineering Vibrator Strikes Gold

Published: May 28th 2019

A gold mine in Colorado was experiencing material flow problems, creating the potential for lost gold. With the price of gold listed at approximately $1200.00 per ounce, capturing every bit of gold was essential to the operation. The grizzly screen was experiencing blockage, resulting in lost pay dirt which basically means lost gold. The screen was able to shear off bigger rocks when dumped but the smaller rocks were hanging up on the screen and jamming up the fines. When mining, it is crucial that as much paydirt as possible makes it to the material stream as this increases the chances of finding gold.

Martin Engineering’s Vibration Specialist, Larry Horrie, visited the mine to see if we could help solve their problems by applying engineered vibration. Upon talking with the site manager, Trey Poulson, about what the crew was up against, we dug deeper into the problem. According to Poulson, “We feed the feeder when the grizzly screen is flat and when we dump it, the boulders and all of the fines are getting hung up on there. Then we have to lift the entire load off that back leverage point and it just too much for the grizzly screen.” In an attempt to resolve this issue, the crew ended up putting a slope on the grizzly screen and was able to shear off the bigger rocks but the smaller rocks were still hanging up and jamming up the fines. Poulson continued, “The small fines are staying on top of the smaller rocks which could lead to dumping off the pay. We can’t continue to lift the whole load and we can’t afford to dump the fines. We have to find a happy medium.”

After seeing the problem first-hand, Horrie was positive we could help shear the fines off with vibration and return them to the material pile as opposed to having them end up in a dump pile. Upon Horrie’s recommendation, the mine installed a heavy-duty, continuous-duty Martin® Electric Vibrator with 3600 RPM adjustable force and a max force output of 2510 force pounds (Model MM36-210). After dumping rock on the grizzly screen, the loader operator can activate the MARTIN® MM36-2510 from inside the cab.  Once activated, the vibrator shakes the entire grizzly screen, shearing the fines from the rock before the remaining rock is dumped. After installation and months of operation, Poulson stated, “barely any pay dirt at all can be seen being dumped into the rock pile.”

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