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Putzmeister SPM 4210 WETKRET spraying concrete at Caraiba mine in Bahía, Brazil

The Caraiba underground mine is situated in the municipality of Jaguarari in the State of Bahia, 450 km from Salvador. The mine was discovered in 1874, however the National Department of Mineral Production (NDMP) of Brazil did not identify its potential until 1944.

Caraiba accounts for 30.000 t of concentrated copper annually, which makes it the second largest Brazilian producer of copper with a processing capacity of the plant of 3.5 Mt per year. During the period from 1979 to 1986, the operation was inclusively open-pit, but due to the exhaustion of reserves and the huge environmental impact, the mining operations became 100% underground in 1996, so that its continuation was ensured. Originally, the extraction method used was sublevel stoping from depths of 350m, until in 1998 it was changed to the vertical crater retreat (VCR) method, making extraction safer and less costly and at the same time obtaining a more homogeneous mineral.

The Caraiba mine belongs to the Brazilian company Mineraçao Caraiba, which also has a head office in Jaguarari, Bahia. Living up to its slogan “clean technology”, the company, has completely mechanized the copper extraction in the mine, using modern equipment including a Putzmeister SPM 4210 Wetkret concrete spraying system. Besides, Mineraçao Caraiba owns the Nova Xavantina gold mine in the municipality of the same name in the state of Mato Grosso. In this mine, which started production in 2009 and disposes of 10 years´ reserves, another SPM 4210 Wetkret concrete spraying equipment is in use.

The spraying arm of the SPM 4210 Wetkret series provides a spraying reach of 10 m and a concrete pumping capacity of 20 m3/h. The concrete output is synchronized with the additive dosage, guaranteeing spraying accuracy and quality. The dual cable and wireless proportional remote control permits easy handling of the arm movements, besides regulation of the concrete flow and adjustment of the predefined additive dosage, facilitating the operator’s work in the changing conditions in underground mining. The machine is mounted on a heavy-duty, 4-wheel drive and 4-wheel steering chassis.


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