DISCOVER Magazine #7

Mining in the surf

Published in category: Dredging & Marine Contracting

At the Tormin Mine on South Africa’s west coast, Australian company Mine Site Construction Service has employed a Damen DOP250 with a cutter head. The DOP is used to mine heavy mineral sediment (HMS) in the surf zone.


The HMS is extracted from just below a layer of fairly standard quartz sand and contains rutile, magnetite, garnet, ilmenite and zircon. Historically at the site, mining operations have been conducted using excavators and trucks, which must relocate with the tides. The DOP, however, has been mounted to an amphibious excavator along with its power pack, and can now mine continuously.


The DOP is mining sand at a maximum dredging depth of -10 metres. The sand mixture is then pumped in a concentration of up to 25% over a distance of 250 metres, over a cliff of 15 metres in height.  Onshore, the processing plant separates the minerals.

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