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Mining Legacy in Nevada

Abandoned legacy mining structure in Nevada desert

Nevada, home base to Allsite Structure Rentals, is known by the nickname the “the Silver State.” The name represents the state’s legacy as the home of silver ore mining that had its heyday in the 1800s. At one time, the Nevada desert was covered with shining grey crusts that contained silver ore, polished bright by wind and dust. The rich silver beds were tens of meters wide and more than a kilometer long and mining them soon became Nevada’s main occupation. The discovery of the Comstock Load brought thousands of miners to Nevada to take part in the rush. Lives were lost, Virginia City was formed, a half billion dollars was extracted in silver ore over decades, and the West was never again the same. These silver deposits played a big role in Nevada’s gaining statehood in 1864 and were a driving force in the state’s economy well into the 20th century.

While Nevada has diversified and grown into an entertainment capital among other industries, mining remains today a significant economic activity in Nevada. Modern mining operations are a bit more advanced nowadays, and can take place in remote locations that require onsite structures to handle equipment, personnel and other activities. Allsite is proud to provide our tension fabric structures for use at mining sites in Nevada and at many other mining operation sites around the world.

Mining Has Come a Long Way

mining workers in front of a huge tractor

For many years, the mining industry stood out as a labor-intensive, hardship industry where sheer manpower and some basic equipment got most of the work done in difficult and dangerous working conditions. However, recent technological advancements have improved safety and made the mining process more cost-effective. Modern technology has led to improvements in the areas of automation, information management and operations. Current trends in mining hold promise for continuing improvement in the field.

Open Pit Mining

Huge bucket wheel excavator mining for brown coal in an open pit mine

Traditional underground mines and shafts are becoming less common as more companies shift to open pit mining. The surface mining method involves the extraction of metal ores and minerals using an open pit at the surface, rather than creating an underground shaft. While this is not a new mining technique by itself, innovations in technology have made it possible to use sophisticated automated mining techniques that allow mining and processing of lower-grade ores without increased costs, resulting in more productivity from the site. While open pit mining involves some environmental degradation at the site, environmental remediation after the mining is complete may be carried out to restore the terrain, replant local flora and protect affected waterways.

Renewable Energy Use

Energy consumption is a major production cost to the mining industry. Many mining companies have begun turning to renewable energy as a source of efficient but affordable energy. A report by Deloitte in 2016 noted that miners are saving up to 40% by investing in innovative energy technologies. At remote locations, local renewable energy generation, such as wind and solar, can supplement traditional fossil fuels that must be trucked to the site. Automated processes have also reduced overall energy consumption and the mining sector is a major target for robotics innovation. Driverless vehicles and machines are replacing human operators in many functions, providing the additional benefits of improved safety for workers, higher efficiency, longer operating times, and lower operating costs.

3D Printing and Cloud Technology

3-d printer used to create spare equipment parts in laboratory

Three-D printing and cloud data storage are becoming increasingly important in mining. Miners can now use 3D printing to produce customized parts on demand, reducing downtime and repair calls in case of a broken part on site, an invaluable tool in remote locations. Smart data technologies are another trend that makes information access, transfer, and storage easy and cost-effective. Cloud technology and the use of smartphone and other wireless devices make it easier for employees to access essential information at all times and from anywhere in the world. Managers and other decision makers also have fast, easy access to critical data for fast problem resolution and information for decision making. However, mining companies, like most firms, still struggle for an effective and universal approach to enhancing cybersecurity.

Tension Fabric Mining Structures

Tension fabric structure in remote mountainous valley at a mining site

For mining operations building needs, a notable trend in the mining industry is increasing use of versatile tension fabric structures. Fabric structures have come of age, and represent a highly durable, innovative solution for conveyor enclosures, employee accommodation, worksite camps and other mining structures at any mining site, no matter how remote.

Benefits of Tension Fabric Structures for Mining Site Operations

energy and mining temporary fabric structure under construction

Allsite tension fabric structures are quickly available, affordable and relocatable alternatives to brick and mortar structures, yet serve many of the functions of a traditional building. A significant benefit of opting for a tension fabric building solution is their innate strength and durability that allows them to withstand extreme weather conditions. The tension fabric buildings are stabilized by a strong corrosion-resistant aluminum alloy frame over which is tensioned a specially formulated and high quality PVC fabric. The fabric is treated with a protective coating allowing it to resist UV rays, wind, rain and snow. Their internally stabilized design means that Allsite’s tension fabric structures do not require foundations, making them ideal for use on a variety of natural terrains, including uneven, wet, rocky or sandy. These structures can withstand desert conditions, the ocean shore, and even the extreme temperatures of the arctic climate.

Uses of Fabric Mining Structures

Fabric tension structures serve many uses in the field. In addition to housing operations activities, or as repair, maintenance and storage facilities, data operations centers and as a cost-effective option for onsite personnel housing and medical facilities, they can also be installed as portable camps during the exploratory well-drilling phase. They provide indoor and protected space to reduce dust and other pollutants, and provide shelter or workspace during environmental remediation and recovery phase after mining operations are complete. They can also be customized to serve as an airplane hangar or to shelter other large equipment or supplies from inclement weather. Built with interchangeable modular components, Allsite tension fabric structures can be modified and enlarged and relocated during the ore extraction phase when the number of personnel and required amenities increase significantly.

Allsite Mining Site Structure Solutions

constructions site structure for storing equipment and supplies during construction

There have been significant technological advances in nearly all aspect of the mining industry.  Automation and technological advances have moved the industry into a new phase of productivity and profitability. Tension fabric structures are a 21st century building solution, providing fast, cost-effective field housing, production, office or storage space for mining operations. Allsite Structures offers customized solutions to fit your site needs, with structures in varying sizes and configurations and a number of options, such as a choice of entryways and anchorage depending on the terrain, as well as options for lighting, ventilation and other features. With quick delivery and installation upon ordering, these structures are relocatable when your needs change. Call the TFS experts at Allsite (888-599-5112) or contact us for more information.

Author Peter Milligan

Peter Milligan is Allsite's Director of Business Development, 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 https://allsitestructures.com/about/

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