Once you have found it, how do you get it out? When the programme was filmed in late 1973 preparations at Navan were advanced, but the miners' passageways had not yet reached ore. Therefore, in ord...er to show how a mine is worked, a similar mine at Tynagh in Western Ireland was filmed. It's setting is almost identical to Navan, and mining techniques are virtually the same. Dr. Peter Francis of the Open University explains many aspects of open pit and underground mining. An exciting scale model of the underground workings at Tynagh, along with location filming in many parts of the mine, are used to build up a picture of how the mine is worked. When the ore eventually reaches the surface the valuable minerals are mixed and disseminated with a great deal of waste rock. Dr. Richard Thorpe shows just what happens to this ore at the surface as it passes through the Mineral Dressing Plant. A laboratory experiment is used to show how froth floatation works. The resulting concentrates are shipped from Galway to smelters overseas, and this sets the scene for the wider political implications discussed in the next programme.
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|Peter Francis; Richard Thorpe
|BBC Open University
|Froth flotation; Mineral dressing plant; Open pit; Scale model; Tynagh; Underground mining; Waste rock
|Galway (Ireland)--Description and travel; Minerals; Mining engineering
|Film shots of the open pit mine at Tynagh. (Lead, zinc ore). Peter Francis introduces the programme. He has a geological model of the ore body and adjoining Devonian sandstone and carboniferous limestone. He explains why Tynagh rather than Navan was chosen for this programme. Peter Francis at the open pit at Tynagh. He explains the mining operation there. Shots of the mining operation in progress. The open pit mining operation gets at the oxidised part of the ore body. Francis, explains how the mining company handles the waste which open pit mining produces. Shots of landscaped and grassedover mounds of waste material. Film shots of several vehicles entering the decline of the underground mine. Shot of Peter Francis at the entrance of the decline. He briefly explains the underground mine layout. Peter Francis with a model of the underground mine at Tynagh. He points out the various parts of the mine and explains what is done there. Film shots of blasting holes being drilled in one of the tunnels. Commentary by Peter Francis explains the operation. Film shots of tunnel being prepared for blasting. Charges are placed and wired for detonation. Commentary by Francis explains the operation. Shot of the detonation. Peter Francis with the underground mine model discusses the stoping method of extracting ore used at Tynagh. Film shots of blasted ore being moved to the ore storage pocket by diesel powered scoops. Film shots of Peter Francis at the underground crushing station. He explains how the ore is crushed here. Shots of ore being carried on conveyor belts to a lifting shaft where it is carried to the surface in skips in a vertical shaft. Peter Francis points out the locations of these operations on his mine model. Shots of miners in Ontario, Canada sinking a vertical shaft. Commentary by Peter Francis. Peter Francis with a raised borer, a machine which is used to drill vertical shafts. He explains how it works. Shots of the surface end of a ventilation shaft at Tynach which was drilled by a raised borer. Francis points out the various shafts which were dug by the raised borer on the mine model. Richard Thorpe at the surface end of production shaft. Shots of ore coming up in skips and being off-loaded onto conveyor belts. Commentary by Richard Thorpe explains what happens to the ore when it reaches the surface. Shots of conveyor belt and coarse ore storage bin. Richard Thorpe continues commentary he explains the need for a coarse ore storage facility. Shot of control panel which controls intermediate crushing operation and the dense medium separator. Shots of the core crusher and dense medium separator. Commentary by Thorpe explains how the separator works. Shots of ore samples after passing through crusher and separator. Thorpe points out the mineral crystals. He then explains how the ore is further crushed to a fine powder. Shots of a laboratory experiment which demonstrates the principle of froth floatation (Separation of metal sulphides from the limestone). Commentary by Thorpe. Film shots of the froth floatation process at work in the Tynagh processing plant. Commentary by Richard Thorpe. First lead sulphide and then zinc sulphide is floated off. Film shots of the concentrates from the froth floatation being further treated. Thickening and drying on drum filters shown. Shots of rotary dryers which further dry the mineral concentrates. Shot of the tailings pond where the tailings from the floatation process are dumped. Thorpe explains their toxic nature. Shots of mineral concentrates being transported by road to the harbour at Galway. Shots of concentrates being loaded on the Continent. Commentary by Thorpe. Shots of continental smelting plant in operation.
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