Metal path: how the GOK

• Metal Path: how the GOK

Last fall, I traveled by metallurgical enterprises located in the south of Russia, in the so-called Kursk magnetic anomaly. It is the world's largest iron ore reservoir located within the Kursk, Belgorod and Orel regions, as Wikipedia says. The most impressive thing there is of course a huge pit, the largest and deepest in Europe. It could easily fit the entire complex of the Moscow-City with the surrounding areas, and the roof of his skyscrapers would have been below the earth's surface around! The pictures certainly difficult to convey what you feel standing on the edge of the pit, but we will try.

Metal path: how the GOK

The largest quarry and located near steel mill where conducted ore processing mined in a quarry called Lebedinsky GOK. Manages the company Metalloinvest. Mine is located in the city of Gubkin, close to Stary Oskol. Construction began in 1967, and in 1971 began work in the quarry. In this feature, the future path trace metals from the time of their production to the product ready for shipment. And next we see how this product is transformed into a sparkling silver metal blanks, from which then turn out parts for cars and any other metal items that surround us.

Metal path: how the GOK

It looks like a quarry in Lebedinsky GOK from the observation deck. The depth from the surface is about 450 meters at the deepest point, but above the sea level 250. The width of only 4 to 5 km. Quarry tunes twice in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest mining of non-combustible minerals. Now let us consider in detail, and then go down.

Metal path: how the GOK

Fragment sectional crust. The upper layers - a cultural layers of soil and sand, its removal and use in construction; underneath, white layers - a limestone or chalk, you have in your school or university could be a small piece of this career; More below, the red blotches - clay is likely; Further, black, are hard rocks, in which just contains quartzite containing iron and other metals.

Metal path: how the GOK

iron ore reserves in this mestorazhdenii according to preliminary estimates will suffice more years to 150. The day in Lebedinsky GOK and located in Kursk region Mikhailovsky GOK (part of the photo was taken and there), it produced an average of 110 000 tonnes of enriched ore. Iron containing rock is mined, of course, more, but it still need to enrich, separated from the gangue, see below how this is happening.

Metal path: how the GOK

top of all that, and a little toy, but the only one excavator with a height of almost 5-storey house! Total for the day in the quarry mining equipment operates 133 units, of which 30 dump trucks, 38 excavators, 20 drilling rigs and 45 traction units.

Metal path: how the GOK

Dumpers so small ...

Metal path: how the GOK

... but really. Get out of UAZ for example compare. This way is not the biggest truck.

Metal path: how the GOK

But BelAZ 220-ton crane. Most lifting truck in Lebedinsky GOK. Such in his career so far only two rest BelAZ trucks carrying up to 130 tons. They heard so much about since childhood, including various jokes, but zhivem saw just now. The thrill you experience when such a hulk-sized three-storey mansion is moving right at you.

Metal path: how the GOK

This Caterpillar lifting capacity of 180 tons. They were recently purchased five units. The rulers of both manufacturers have cars and lifting two times, but even these "kids" are impressive, here you PAZ with men for comparison)).

Metal path: how the GOK

The bigger the SUV, the farther to go behind the tractor. It is difficult to say how far will have to go behind the tractor, if necessary drag to service a "SUV" (or if the driver is properly poultices), so in his career on such a case has its "Recovery", also on the basis of BelAZ.

Incidentally, such large machines in the quarry brought disassembled and assembled here.

Metal path: how the GOK

Let's go back to the ore. In a career of it is mined by blasting, about once every three weeks produced an explosion, then crumbled pieces loaded into dump trucks. In this image pickup osuschetsvlyayut new Hitachi excavators with bucket capacity of 23 cubic meters. It is still the biggest and the rest domestic, with buckets of up to 20 cubic meters.

Metal path: how the GOK

While a truck carries rock to unload see what else is happening in your career. Apart from the iron-containing species in the career of many more so-called gangue. Lime and sand, for example, as I wrote above. His blur water gun and then take out.

Metal path: how the GOK

Effectively looks when the 10-meter slope begins to break down.

Metal path: how the GOK

Given that a career is quite hot, much warmer than the surface (in the yard was the middle of September), there has always been a pleasure.

Metal path: how the GOK

The truck, meanwhile, reached the place where the breed is transferred into trains.

Metal path: how the GOK

In the step edges career spiral laid rails, locomotives take out the rock upward, where it then goes to the enrichment plant. After all, yet it is generally easy to hard rock, metal out of it still need to get. Now we'll see how it goes.

Metal path: how the GOK

Electric, incidentally, special, domestic production, the construction of locomotives from the factory.

Metal path: how the GOK

The rail car of unusual design, never have not seen.

Metal path: how the GOK

Finally mined rock is here to enrich the factory.

Metal path: how the GOK

For non-specialist, many processes are, of course, is not very clear, but briefly: the rock is crushed and ground, it is in these drums. Then purified from impurities magnetic separation method, dewatered and dried. At this stage the obtained iron ore concentrate with an iron content, depending on the brand, up to 69, 5%. Such a concentrate has a semi-finished product for further processes. His or sent to other industries where needed such a product, or pass to a nearby housing complex, in the pelletizing.

Metal path: how the GOK

Despite the fact that many of the cars at the plant commissioned in Soviet times, the process is automated and controlled by modern computers and software.

Metal path: how the GOK

Pelletizing - is the process of further enrichment of iron ore concentrate. Humidified concentrate in special rotating bowls mixed with bentonite, whereby the obtained round lumps (pellet) size of 5-20 mm, which are then fired in a furnace at a temperature of 1250-1300 degrees.

Metal path: how the GOK

Stoves closed, so you can only see on the one hand the pellets fed into the furnace, the other out, apparently, they are not much different. In fact, there are blast pellets and have a metallization. The first domain is required for the production of them 62-65% iron. Secondly 66-66, 5% of iron with a low content of sulfur, phosphorus, and silicon oxide can be used as such for the production of pig iron, and for production of hot briquetted iron, from which then poured into stainless steel. HBI is just melted, and this is the next step in the processing of pellets. The briquette contains more than 90% iron.

Metal path: how the GOK Metal path: how the GOK

roasting shop is very dark, dusty, and it is very hot. However, here are working only for cars, people come here only when some of the machines require maintenance. Well, or when production showed some next to journalists or bloggers)). Severe brutal place at Lebedinsky GOK: before I saw only light net plant engineering plants are now seen and those that are born of the metal which then build machines in these factories.

Metal path: how the GOK

The output of the plant can see the finished raw materials. Large dark heap - iron ore concentrate.

Metal path: how the GOK

And this ingots of hot briquetted iron, which is derived from metallized pellets.

Metal path: how the GOK

Special rotary zaborschik (another cyclopean machine at the mill) will ship products into wagons to send to customers.

Metal path: how the GOK

The resulting concentrates, pellets and briquettes are sent not only to liners Russian market, but also to Europe, Southeast Asia and the United States. Most likely some amount of "Lebedinsky" metal and have your home or car.

Metal path: how the GOK

Industrial place with a long history.

Metal path: how the GOK

And next is building a new plant and a shaft furnace hot briquetted iron plant.

Metal path: how the GOK