Change Your Mine

It's the future of continuous surface mining (and it's happening now)

Blast from the past? That’s the perfect phrase to describe explosive mining methods. We’re ready to change your mind AND your mine with continuous surface mining. Using a machine like the Vermeer Terrain Leveler® surface excavation machine (SEM) to perform continuous surface mining allows you to methodically mine or prep a site layer by layer — optimizing productivity and precision while eliminating many of the safety challenges and restrictions associated with drilling and blasting.

How continuous surface mining works

The Vermeer Terrain Leveler SEM cuts row by row and layer by layer while producing consistent particle sizes that do not typically require additional screening or crushing. Next, loaders place the material in over-the-road trucks to haul it to the next production operation.

Top-down cutting advantage

Our top-down cutting technique is a major breakthrough in rock-cutting technology. This method allows teeth to gain penetration without relying on tracks. Plus, cutting rock from the top down helps produce consistent material size while minimizing fines.

The future of mining

Terrain Leveler SEM versus drill and blast

How does the Vermeer Terrain Leveler SEM stack up to drill and blast methods? Let's see.


Safety challenges: Helps eliminate many of the safety challenges and restrictions associated with drill and blast.

Fewer underground concerns: Eliminates seismic waves so operators can mine closer to underground pipelines, areas with high water tables or underground utilities.

Continuous surface mining: Allows operators to follow the seam for less contamination and selective loading methods.

Increased access: Provides the ability to access areas with blast restrictions tied to highway, wildlife, environmental or permitting limitations.

Quality product: Minimizes product dilution and produces smaller, more consistent particle sizes, eliminating the primary crusher.

Learn how Vermeer can help change your mine

Continuous surface mining in action

Bauxite productivity in the Boké Mine

Bauxite productivity in the Boké Mine

The Boké Mine in Guinea, Africa, produces high-quality bauxite, a key ingredient in aluminum. Two Vermeer T1255III Terrain Leveler SEMs each yeilded 2.7 million tons per year (3.0 million mT/yr) of bauxite ore in the first year of operation, setting a new standard for productivity and efficiency.

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Time saved in Iquique, Chile

Time saved in Iquique, Chile

In prominent mines in Iquique, Chile, the use of Vermeer T1655III Terrain Leveler SEMs has delivered double-digit mineral recovery increases in time periods of up to 33% shorter than those with conventional drilling and blasting methods.

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Community concerns addressed by the T1255III, helping Jura Cement

Community concerns addressed by the T1255III, helping Jura Cement

Mounting community pressure regarding dust emissions, vibration and noise are threatening the company’s future at its largest quarry operations. To address these concerns, Jura Cement is implementing new precision surface mining methods to help secure the quarries’ future.

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Vermeer Corporation reserves the right to make changes in engineering, design and specifications; add improvements; or discontinue manufacturing at any time without notice or obligation. Equipment shown is for illustrative purposes only and may display optional accessories or components specific to their global region. Please contact your Vermeer dealer for more information on machine specifications. Availability of some models and equipment builds varies according to the country in which the equipment is used.

Vermeer, the Vermeer logo and Terrain Leveler are trademarks of Vermeer Manufacturing Company in the U.S. and/or other countries.