Allegheny Mineral working smarter, not harder with plant

By |  October 3, 2022

According to Kolbe, Allegheny Mineral has experience with Metso cones and Deister screens at other operations.

“Those are all things we’re comfortable with,” he says. “We get good service and good reliability of parts. We’re happy with them and the Syntron feeders.”

With screens, Kolbe says Allegheny Mineral selectively went with a fourth deck for a couple of reasons.

“We went with that just because of the flexibility it gives you,” he says. “With that extra deck, you can do a lot of blending.”

A four-deck design also provides maintenance personnel with more space to work.

“Deister had a quad deck set up at one of the ConExpo-Con/Aggs, and I said we could fit up in there,” Kolbe says. “This is big enough. It’s a monster, but it’s big enough to work on. When we went to build this plant, there was workspace where you could get up in it, do your maintenance and not take two decks off screens. 

Allegheny Mineral also got creative with tools and technology for the Bison Plant.

“We’re redundant with problems on all of our crushers,” Kolbe says. “We’ll typically have a sonar or a laser probe but also a redundant mechanical switch as a backup. Every once in a while you’ll get a bad reading on a sonar or laser. If it’s not reading as full yet material is overflowing, you need a mechanical switch that stone can bump to, say, shut everything off. So we try to be as redundant as we can.”

Automation from Gettle allows Allegheny Mineral to work smarter versus harder, Kolbe adds.

“We’re not trying to eliminate personnel,” he says. “We’re trying to give them tools to run the plant with the minimal personnel we have – and not call in four or five people to shovel around cone crushers.”

Sister site and more

A 150-ft. TeleStacker from Superior Industries is present at the Bison Plant. Photo: P&Q Staff

A 150-ft. TeleStacker from Superior Industries is present at the Bison Plant. Photo: P&Q Staff

The Bison Plant is by far Allegheny Mineral’s biggest plant, built with a capability of producing between 1 and 1.5 million tpy. 

The nearby Worthington Plant is roughly half the size of the Bison Plant, Kolbe says, but the two plants complement each other nicely. 

“Instead of having two full sites open all the time, we’ll alternate and obviously keep in touch with our customers so they know where to go to,” he says. “We rotate [personnel] back and forth. They get experience working at a couple of different sites. It’s allowed us to work through the struggles of a smaller workforce. We’ve dealt with that same shortage and the challenge of finding good operators.”

Additionally, key sections of the Bison Plant can be utilized nearly year-round. 

“The nice thing in the wintertime is we can run every product off one screen,” Kolbe says. “We don’t have to worry about running wet. We wash all of our products here. In the wintertime, the wet side of the plant is shut down, but we’re able to run off our surge pile and just keep it all contained in the first dry screen tower.”

Through this winter and others to come, Kolbe expects the Bison Plant to be a viable operation for Allegheny Mineral.

“We need 750 to 1,000 acres to have a long-term mining plan,” he says. “Those chunks of ground are hard to find these days. There aren’t many underground mines right now, but I think you’re going to see more. Because of development now, people are going to be pushed underground just to access reserves.”

Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or

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