The pilot test of the world's first vertical milling and cutting machine for mining was recently completed at Shanxi Construction Investment Group's plant in Taiyuan.

The equipment was jointly developed by SCIG and the basic engineering branch of Xuzhou Construction Machinery Group based in East China's Jiangsu province.

At the ceremony celebrating the successful test of the equipment on Nov 14, executives of SCIG said that the first batch of machines will be used at a carnallite mining site in Vientiane, Laos. Carnallite is a mineral used for the production of potassium chloride, a kind of agricultural fertilizer.

According to Gao Hongbo, head of the research and development team for the equipment at SCIG, conventional carnallite mining machines feature horizontal cutting. He noted that the vertical milling and cutting machine is an innovation in the industry.

"As the vertical machine uses its heavy deadweight to smashing the minerals, it can improve the mining efficiency by 200 percent and lower mining costs by about 30 percent compared with the conventional machines," Gao explained.

He added that after being used in Laos, the machines will be later used in mines in neighboring Thailand.

"We expect the use of the machines can boost the potassium chloride industry in Laos and Thailand," Gao said, adding that the two countries are major suppliers of potassium chloride fertilizers to China.

The executive said that it took eight years for the R&D team to develop the machine. XCMG's basic engineering branch manufactured the equipment based on SCIG's design blueprint.

Jin Shuaini contributed to this story.