Mitsubishi Cushenbury Cement
Mine and Plant,
Lucerne Valley, CA

The drill above, sits atop a new bench, which will be drilled 50 feet deep and 25 feet wide with the 6 inch diameter rotary precussion drill shown in the photo. Then anfo, an explosive mixture of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil, will be loaded into the drill holes and precisely detonated, to break the rock into particles of around 1 foot and finer.

It would be appropriate to note that Bighorhn Sheep inhabit the mountains surrounding Mitsubishi Cement, and Mitsubishi Cement has set aside 3 acres of land for every acre of land they disturb in their habitat, to be maintained in perpetuity, for the Bighorn Sheep's habitat. Also, when the sheep approach the area where explosives are being set off, they ask them to leave. This is easily accomplished, by simply getting out of their vehicle and taking a step in the direction of the sheep. The Bighorn Sheep do not want to mingle with people, and leave immediately, and the ore is blasted, without endangering any of the sheep. This is just another example of how industry and wildlife can co-exist and flourish in the same environment.

A view of the mine pit, where the ore falls when it is blasted with explosives, is then loaded into 90-100 ton haul trucks and taken to the crushing plant.

Crushing plant, which crushes the run of mine ore, then conveys the crushed ore to the suitable storage bin. The ore is sent to the crushing plant, where the primary jaw crusher reduces the material, then sends it to a secondary cone crusher, where it is further reduced in size. Finally a series of short head cone crushers reduce the ore to around a 1/4 inch in size.

This ore is then placed into stockpiles or raw feed storage bins, for blending in the blending plant, to manufacture the appropriate type of cement. The domed building in the above photo is the blending plant.

Reclaim feeder conveys used tires into the kiln, which it uses as fuel to reduce the amount of the coal required. Mitsubishi has found that one pound of a used tire has the same BTU value as one pound of coal. The used motor vehicle tires would have to be disposed of in a landfill, if they were not used for fuel. By burning used motor vehicle tires from the area, Mitsubishi Cement has helped increase the life of landfills, gives the county a place to dispose of tires on illegal tire dumps and provides the local area a environmental friendly method to dispose of all of those used tires accumulated every time new tires are purchased.

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