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Mining represents a major industry in the United States. Coal for electrical energy generation, zinc for batteries, gold and other precious minerals all come from mining operations. To help protect these valuable assets, and to keep work moving at optimal speed, a tensioned fabric structure (TFS) can be used to help create  weather resistant and reliable temporary mining structures.

Temporary Mining Structures

While surface mining is a rather lucrative operation, it often takes place in extreme conditions, making it difficult. In Fort Knox, Alaska, home to the state’s largest surface gold mine, more than 500 employees routinely work in conditions of below freezing temperatures and more than 3 inches of average monthly precipitation.

In Alaska alone, surface mining production amounts to an export value of about $2 billion, or 38% of Alaska’s total exports.

North Dakota, one of the major producers of coal from surface mining, as well as oil and natural gas from the use of hydraulic fracturing, is also no stranger to inclement weather. Weather in Bismarck, North Dakota often averages below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, with several inches of snowfall a month for more than half the year.

Mining is a demanding operation even in the best of conditions, but extreme weather makes it even more strenuous on equipment and workers alike.

A Solution with Temporary Mining Structures

Temporary mining structures offer a versatile solution for mining operations looking for ways to store equipment in some of the most extreme working conditions around. No foundation is required to install temporary mining structures, making them easier to set up, even near mining operations where typical building infrastructure is often absent.

A TFS can withstand extreme conditions as well, making them an ideal solution for mining applications. The TFS is made of a PVC coated polyester scrim manufactured per ISO 9001 standards.

Fabric Structures Built to Last

This material makes temporary mining structures capable of handling temperatures ranging from -22 to 160 degree Fahrenheit. The material is also UV resistant, making it a fitting solution rain or shine.

A TFS can be moved to a mining site via a truck, and relocated as necessary by crane after the structure has been erected.

Accessories for Easy Access and Use

Accessories like steel overhead doors allow access to the temporary mining structure by large vehicles like semi-trucks. Doors for personnel to enter and exit the structure can also be installed, making temporary mining structures easy to access for anyone looking to move materials and equipment in and out of the TFS.

Other accessories and options that can be for temporary mining structures include:

  • Lighting
  • Ventilation
  • Anchorage options
  • Wheel systems

A Variety of Uses

The uses of a temporary mining structure can vary depending on what the site operator needs. Mining operations require a diverse range of expensive equipment in order to move surface soil, as well as extract the valuable minerals beneath. A TFS temporary mining structure can be used to store the equipment from the elements, offering a flexible solution to protecting valuable tools and materials.

The protection offered by a TFS also extends beyond storage, though. These durable fabric structures can also be used to shelter equipment service and repair stations, and even mineral extraction operations themselves.

Extreme weather conditions can leave sites inoperable. Severe winter weather in places like North Dakota, where hydraulic fracturing has led to a booming oil and gas industry, can lead to serious slow-downs. A TFS can be built around a drill-site, protecting it from snow, wind and other harsh conditions.

Leaping the Hurdles

A TFS offers a flexible solution to many different challenges facing mining operations. Using this kind of temporary mining structure allows for installation without a foundation, and the ability to move the structure as necessary.

The durable material can protect equipment and operations from the harsh climate often encountered at some of the world’s major mining sites, and the available accessories associated with a TFS makes it possible to build a durable, multi-purpose structure.

To learn more about the installation of temporary mining structure that will meet the needs of your operations, contact Allsite Structure Rentals.

Author Peter Milligan

Peter Milligan is a Business Development Manager at Allsite, with degree in Psychology from Lafayette College and 14 years experience in matching customers with Tension Fabric Structure solutions. Read more about Peter and the rest of our team at

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