Select your language
Select your language

Latest News

Select from the following news categories to view the latest news.

Austin’s committment to the mining industry

14 Mar 2023

What mining equipment is used in surface mining?

14 Mar 2023

As a leading designer and manufacturer of mining equipment in Australia and across the world, Austin Engineering is proud of the part our company plays in mining operations.

Whether you are a mining professional or contractor, or simply would like to know more about the equipment and machinery used in the mining industry, this article has been created to take you through the different equipment used in surface mining.

Surface mining & underground mining operations: what is the difference?

Surface mining and underground mining are two relatively obvious terms. Surface mining refers to mining operations that take place on ground level.

Underground mining refers to mining operations that are completed underground.

Surface mining is a more common practice and more efficient than underground mining, however, it is important to note that these are different processes.

Its popularity derives from its simplicity. While surface mining is not a simple process, it is far easier to coordinate and offers greater flexibility to mining and resource teams.

Underground mining comes with increased safety hazards, more rigid materials to cut and mine through, and thus, more intensive mining equipment, and importantly, equipment that does not emit fumes.

How does underground mining equipment differ from surface mining?

We touched on this, but due to the confined spaces within underground mines, it is important that underground mining equipment is small and agile and does not emit fumes. This way, it can manoeuvre within that space and does not become a safety hazard for the miners in the space.

The more rigid materials that are typically found in underground mines demand heavy-duty mining equipment that has the ability to cut through hard rock.

As there are so many different mining methods available in surface mining, due to its above-ground nature, there are many more tools and machines available for use.

Blast mining is a far more common practice in surface mining. This is because there is less risk of accidents when this practice is used above ground.

Underground mining will also utilise blasting tools. It is simply less common due to the associated hazards.

There is plenty of mining equipment that is used in both surface mining and underground mining.

Mining Trucks

Mining trucks, such as dump trucks, are utilised across a variety of surface and underground mining operations.

These types of mining machinery are essential for the shifting of soil, earth, and minerals on mining sites and create much more efficient processes for mining companies.

Roof Bolters

Roof bolters are typically used in underground mining; however, if you are blast mining on a surface with high walls, these may still be necessary.

These are designed to prevent and protect teams against the risk of mine roofs and tall walls caving in.

Crushing Equipment

By crushing iron ore and other minerals into smaller pieces, miners both underground and at surface level can easily move and sort through these materials.

Analysis Tools

All mining operations will depend on a suite of analysis tools to ensure they have acquired the correct resources, at the correct size and weight, and ensure they are sent to the correct location.

These analysis tools include weight feeders, crossbelt analysers, and flow measurement tools.

What mining equipment is used in surface mines?

Surface mining is a mining operation that is used all over the world. It is an operation that utilises a variety of mining machinery and equipment.

In Australia, a majority of these mining sites will be acquiring iron ore, but a variety of minerals are mined across the world using surface mining techniques.

With great flexibility, surface mining incorporates a variety of techniques, including open-pit mining, hydraulic mining, quarrying, auger mining, heap leaching, and many more.

That flexibility and breadth of techniques mean that there is a large range of surface mining equipment available for use.

Tyre Handlers

Tyre handlers, particularly when they’re designed and produced by Austin Engineering, are excellent on-site tools in surface mining and underground mining applications.

These allow you to better handle tyres on large earthmoving equipment. Austin Engineering’s tyre handlers are three-armed and are an innovative solution for your operations.
These eliminate the requirement of conventional pad rotation and can be used with smaller and more compact earthmoving machinery.

Surface Mining-Specific Dump Truck Bodies

Dump trucks are essential for all mining operations. Particularly in surface mining, these trucks allow you to move large quantities of ore or overburden.

Dump trucks will also be responsible for shifting any mined materials or minerals to their next destination, whether that is a material processing site or an alternative location.

The team at Austin Engineering produce innovative, custom dump truck bodies for mining companies that want to maximise their fleet capabilities.

Austin Engineering’s dump truck bodies are built tough and built to last, tested across a variety of harsh conditions in the mining sector.

Hydraulic Mining Shovels

Hydraulic mining shovels, also known as hydraulic excavators, dig through and remove materials from dig sites. These machines are capable of digging through and removing tonnes of materials from these sites.

These machines are larger and thus are typically utilised in open pit mining or surface mining.

Continuous Mining Machines

In surface mining and strip mining, continuous mining equipment is an innovative piece of equipment that uses steel and tungsten cutting tools to cut through soft materials.

As suggested by its name, this machine continuously and autonomously cut through these materials, making it a popular choice in coal mining.

Electric Rope Shovels

Electric rope shovels are similar to hydraulic shovels, however, these machines use electricity instead of diesel.
It eliminates the emission of toxic fumes, offering mine workers a safer environment.

Mining Dozers

Mining dozers are a standard piece of machinery used in surface mining applications.

These can utilise tyres or tracks, depending on your surface’s terrain and can be equipped with various attachments.
Dozers are frequently used on mining sites to level surfaces and shift unwanted debris.

Dragline Excavators

Another important piece of surface mining equipment is the dragline excavator. These machines run on electricity and, thus, don’t produce local emissions.

These dragline excavators’ capabilities can be further extended with custom attachments. At Austin Engineering, we design and fabricate custom attachments for mining machinery and equipment.

Allow your dragline excavator to do more with a custom dragline excavator bucket. These bucket designs range up to 50m3 and are suitable for a variety of mining applications, including hard rock, iron ore, and coal.

Bucket attachments

At Austin Engineering, our engineers design and fabricate custom attachments for different kinds of mining equipment and machinery.

This includes bucket attachments which frequently prove themselves useful on surface mining sites.

These buckets are excellent for shifting and carrying different materials and are custom-engineered to suit your specific application.
Austin Engineering buckets can be attached to excavators, face shovels, dippers, front-end loaders, and wheeled loaders.

Austin Engineering is a leading designer & manufacturer in the mining industry

The design and engineering team at Austin Engineering works with mining companies and OEMs in the mining industry to produce customized attachments for mining equipment.

Our team is responsible for many of the innovations within the mining industry and is proud of our contribution to increased productivity and profits for our clients in Australia and all across the world.

If you require custom surface mining equipment or parts, the team at Austin Engineering is the team to produce them.

Mining companies, contractors & OEMs across the globe depend on Austin Engineering.

Austin Engineering makes mining operations more effective and efficient all across the globe. Find your local Austin representative.


We Operate Where You Operate

Mining companies, contractors and OEMs throughout the world are using Austin products to help operations become more effective.

Growing Shareholder Value

We are committed to growing the business and shareholder value by maintaining our position as a market leader in global engineering solutions. Austin is built on decades of innovation and intellectual property to supply the highest quality products and manufacturing expertise to our clients.


$0.370* (+0.005)

* 20 minutes delayed

Sign Up for latest news

Sign Up for latest news