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Media / Application stories / Blast-free mining meets production targets in Latvia

Blast-free mining meets production targets in Latvia


Knauf Latvia produces construction materials in Sauriesi near Riga, the capital of Latvia. The main source of raw material is the company's gypsum quarry a few kilometers away. Blasting was used as main mining method. To decrease blasting impacts on environment around the quarry for its mining operations the company is now using an excavator equipped with an Atlas Copco HB 7000 DP breaker. Although new to the operators, blast-free mining has become the main method at the site and the daily production of the breaker unit has already reached the target level.

HB 7000 DP

Blast-free mining is a chain of logistics in which all the links must fit together.

At the beginning excavation was carried out by drilling and blasting. However, to decrease blasting impacts on environment, Knauf began looking at blast-free mining as an alternative. The company invested in a Liebherr R974 excavator equipped with an Atlas Copco HB 7000 DP breaker and the unit started production at the end of January.

Jump start for production

Originally the breaker was intended to support production in the quarry and to be used in areas closer to deposit borders and residents. After the experiences of the first three months, blast-free mining has become the main method. The breaker unit runs in two shifts about 15 hours a day.

1100 tons per day target reached

Selective Mining

Brittle stones on a thin layer are ideal for blast-free mining.

Atlas Copco’s latest generation of heavy breakers requires less hydraulic input from the carrier while maintaining maximum impact performance. At the Knauf gypsum quarry the average production of the excavator with the HB 7000 DP breaker attachment has already reached the target of about 1100 tons per day.

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Atlas Copco is a world-leading provider of sustainable productivity solutions. The Group serves customers with innovative compressors, vacuum solutions and air treatment systems, construction and mining equipment, power tools and assembly systems. Atlas Copco develops products and service focused on productivity, energy efficiency, safety and ergonomics. The company was founded in 1873, is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and has a global reach spanning more than 180 countries. In 2013, Atlas Copco had revenues of BSEK 84 (BEUR 9.7) and more than 40 000 employees.
Atlas Copco Construction Tools is a division within Atlas Copco´s Construction Technique business area. It develops, manufactures and markets hydraulic, pneumatic, and petrol-driven equipment for demolition, recycling, compaction, rock drilling and concrete applications. Products are marketed and sold under several brands through a worldwide sales and service organisation. The division is headquartered in Essen, Germany, and has production units in Europe, Africa and Asia.