What is so innovative about S.A.M.S? 

The ingenuity of our shallow-dip deposit operating system, the S.A.M.S (Shallow Angle Mining System), is based on its ease of installation and use, as well as its great adaptability to each drilling site. All of our mining equipment is modular and is installed on rails anchored to the ceiling, fitted with racks, which support work tools as well as transport workers. The whole concept is based on these rails which constitute the real backbone of the system. The assembly is extremely sturdy, but light enough to be handled safely by a single worker using the proper lifting equipment. The savings from mining a shallow dip deposit will more than offset the costs of purchasing and maintaining the equipment. 

Can S.A.M.S be installed in a small gallery or in a narrow field? 

The S.A.M.S was specifically designed for small mining operations. The great adaptability of S.A.M.S allows its use in small mining operations, in shallow dip deposits but also makes it indispensable for production mining or for various excavation works. 

Can S.A.M.S also be installed in a large automated mine? 

Although we have designed our product for the purpose of mechanizing small underground operations, any part of S.A.M.S can also be installed and used in large mines. If the equipment is intended for mining production, the geometry of the orebody must, however, meet certain criteria, that is to say, be fairly flat or with a slope located at 10 and 45 degrees. However, if the S.A.M.S is used for other purposes, for example excavation work (pump room, crushing room, workshop, etc.), there are no real limits and its possibilities are endless. . 

For transportation purposes, what are the dimensions of the main components? 

The telescopic platform is the most important element. Its dimensions, including the lifting trailer, are 66 ” x 53 ” x 19 ‘(height, width, length). These dimensions generally correspond to the space available in a typical three-compartment well configuration. In addition, the telescopic platform, weighing almost 10 000 pounds, is the heaviest component of the system. 

How long does it take to install S.A.M.S? 

A team of two workers will take around 16  hours to set up the whole system and make it fully functional.  

How can two people handle S.A.M.S so easily, despite its heavy weight and size? 

Each S.A.M.S component is installed in place using a group of electric hoists, allowing the installation team to safely operate the system. Thanks to our unique and optimized working method, no worker needs to exert unnecessary efforts or perform dangerous maneuvers. Most of the load is handled by our lifting system.  We recommend that the installation be performed by a team of two for safety reasons. 

What are the electrical requirements of S.A.M.S? 

S.A.M.S comes with its own electrical panel installed on the operator’s cabin. The power of the electric motor is 75 HP. The mine’s electrical network must therefore be able to supply a minimum of 100 amps at a voltage of 600 volts. We connect directly to the mine network with a conventional Jumbo plug. 

Can the S.A.M.S rail system be blocked by dust or rocks? 

If the S.A.M.S is installed according to specification, the rails are upside down (teeth point down) and therefore cannot accumulate debris. Ambient dust and moisture present in underground mining environments can still allow dirt to accumulate on the surface of the rails, but this should not affect the efficiency of the traction system. However, a daily visual inspection of the system and the workplace is highly recommended. Prevention is your best strategy to avoid this type of problem. 

What is the loading capacity of the rail system? 

The maximum load capacity of each section of rail is 120,000 lbf or 533.8 kN (ie nearly 60 tonnes). Such a capacity is needed to withstand the enormous forces and vibrations transmitted to the rails by the various modules of mining equipment. 

What happens if the work platform is overloaded? 

It  born  will rise  not.   

How is the rail held in place? 

We use Dywidag® anchor bolts. Thus, the rails can be installed perfectly level, whatever the shape of the gallery ceiling. These bolts have a nominal length of 60 inches and a diameter of ¾ of an inch. They are inserted into an appropriately sized hole and sealed in place with a two-component epoxy injection resin.  

How tough are Dywidag® bolts? 

When properly installed, Dywidag® bolts can withstand tensile loads of up to 15 tons and shear loads of around 10 tons.

Can S.A.M.S be reused once the deposit is exhausted? 

Yes. The tracks can simply be unanchored from the tunnel ceiling and used for another job or set aside for later use.

Can a damaged rail be repaired or recycled? 

Yes. Each rail has four parts which can be replaced in whole or in part (ie the part of the racks) using the manipulating pliers.

Is it possible to change the initial configuration of the rails? 

Yes, it is still possible to change the configuration of the rails. We have several models of rails, straight and curved. All configurations between 0 and 45 degrees are possible using a combination of up or down curved rails. The available angles are 3.7, and 11.25.

How is the rail transported, supported and handled during installation in the gallery? 

Thanks to the articulated arm, the drilling machine is replaced by a hydraulic clamp, this change is done with a remote control quick coupler system. This clamp makes it possible to lift and handle the installation of the rail in complete safety.

How do the modules roll on the rail system? 

We have developed and patented a device of beams which serve as a support module (support  beam  module;  SBM). The SBM is composed of two mounted trolleys  on a beam.

What type of drilling equipment is used to drill in an inclined mine? 

Like any mechanized mine we currently use the same equipment we use a McLean boom with a Montabert HC-50 drill.

What type of drilling equipment is used for production drilling? 

This is the same equipment that is used for field support drilling, development and production.

Can sealed cable bolts be installed in the jobsite? 


Aside from conventional anchor bolts and rebars, can we install other types of support materials specific to our type of mine? 

Yes. There is virtually no limit to the types of support materials and techniques that can be used. Shotcrete (gunite), Super Swellex®, and sealed cable bolts are just a few of the specialty materials we offer.

What type of drilling equipment is used for cable bolting? 

As explained above, the same production drilling rig is used for drilling cable bolts.

Can shotcrete be applied in a mine with a S.A.M.S system? 


Is it possible to communicate with the workers even when the drills are in operation? 

 Contact with a worker is made by dialing the call code which will flash the LED projectors on the site to signal an incoming call.

Is it possible to reach the job site without forcing the worker to uninstall their equipment? 

Each workstation is equipped with a utility pod installed at its end furthest from the drilling front. If a supervisor or maintenance crew needs to reach the job site, they can simply board the nacelle and they will be driven to the drilling front. The unit is powered by air motors and can be used at any time, even in the event of a power failure or emergency.

What if there is a power outage or worse, a medical emergency? 

A power failure is considered a fairly trivial event since we have in the hydraulic unit a small diesel engine which allows the equipment to be lowered safely. In a medical emergency, if a worker is unconscious for example, a state of emergency is declared and the appropriate rescue protocol is initiated. Once again, the utility pod can be used, as it was designed specifically for such a situation. The mine rescue team will reach the job site and assess the worker’s health. Then, the basket will be used to bring the rescue team and the injured worker back to the safety of the stretcher.

What type of remote control does S.A.M.S use? 

S.A.M.S uses a wireless remote control system for convenience. The remote controls used are quite compact and specially designed for underground use. The remote control is powered by a rechargeable battery which can easily be replaced in case of failure.

What if the worker trips and loses the remote control? 

Each remote is equipped with an internal tilt switch. The switch is fully adjustable for a range of position angles and has a stop trigger. If the remote control is kept in an improbable position for a period of time, the power unit will automatically turn off. Thus, if the worker stumbles and falls, the hydraulic pump will stop working until the worker puts the unit back into operation, in order to avoid any accidents.

What is the minimum height and width of the development galleries?

3.5 m  x 3.5 m.

What is the maximum extraction width? 

The mine plan should ideally include galleries 12.5 to 15m wide. Our experience allows us to conclude that galleries of more than 15m in width imply much more difficult working conditions. The productivity gain hoped for with wider galleries will probably be canceled out by more difficult working conditions. The stability and integrity of the site could also be compromised by the presence of excessively wide galleries.

What is the typical mining cycle of the development drilling module? 

Development drilling is conducted according to a standard work plan: drilling, explosion, consolidation, clearing and installation of ventilation.

How fast is S.A.M.S progressing? 

Typically, we expect to be able to dig a 3.5 mx 3.5 m gallery during a ten hour shift, taking into account an efficiency factor of 85%. This progression is similar to that observed with other types of equipment.

What type of explosive is used in development? 

The explosive type is similar to that used for similar mining activities. The primer is deposited in the holes, using a pneumatic tool, and these are then filled with ANFO (ammonium nitrate / fuel oil).

How is the broken rock removed? 

We have designed a scraper that fits the front of the telescopic boom and is used to remove crushed rock and bring it back to the gallery entrance.

What type of explosive is used for production blasting? 

The explosive type is similar to that used for similar mining activities[PG1] .

How is rock broken during production removed from the jobsite? 

Broken rock is treated in the same way as that produced during the development phase. The material is brought back to the entrance of the gallery using the scraper.

Is special training required to use S.A.M.S? 

Yes, each group of workers must be trained. A training program is available for each position: miners, maintenance personnel, mining engineers, mining technicians and supervisors. MINRAIL takes care of providing the training team and this normally lasts about three months.

Is it possible to use the backfill to maximize the extraction of the ore volume? 

Yes of course. Backfilling the site is perhaps the best option to maximize the use of resources since no pillars are left in place. Backfilled stope helps maintain the stability and integrity of the mine, reducing the risk of losing some of its valuable reserve.

Is backfilling absolutely necessary? 

No. From an economic point of view, backfilling of construction sites is not always possible. Leaving separation pillars between adjacent sites may be more appropriate and perfectly acceptable. Although this method has been proven to work, there is a risk of losing part of the deposit if the mine is not designed correctly. Therefore, a thorough study of rock mechanics is recommended in order to assess and define the shape of the stope and the operating criteria.

Is a site always designed the same way, regardless of its size? 

Since no two deposits are alike, each mine must be designed according to its own characteristics. However, in the case of shallow dip mines, some similarities are expected.