Doppelmayr Transport Technology, headquartered in Austria and a subsidiary of the Doppelmayr Group, the world‘s leading manufacturer of ropeways, provides the mining sector with well thought out materials handling solutions to overcome difficult and challenging terrain.

The company’s portfolio comprises a wide range of systems which are constantly refined to meet clients’ requirements. Aerial ropeways, for instance, are widely accepted as an appropriate means of passenger transport in the tourism industry. However, the advantages of these systems also come in handy when it comes to finding solutions to transport bulk material or heavy single loads.

Elevated systems effortlessly span valleys or cross existing infrastructure while reducing the required ground space to a minimum. The intervention in the natural surroundings is minimal and cleanliness and quiet operations enable installations of this kind to be used in sensitive applications such as residential areas.

Doppelmayr has also developed an innovative concept for conveying bulk materials – the RopeCon – which combines the advantages of proven ropeway engineering with continuous conveyor technology. The system consists of a continuous flat belt with corrugated side walls. The haulage function is performed by the belt and is fixed to axles at regular intervals. These axles support the belt and have running wheels fitted to either end which run on track ropes. The track ropes are elevated off the ground and guided over tower structures. This enables RopeCon to easily cross obstacles such as roads, valleys, rivers and buildings, while having a minimum structural footprint as it is an elevated system.

RopeCon in action – in South Africa

This type of system also proved to be an interesting means of transport for South African mining projects. Booysendal Platinum, a subsidiary of Northam Platinum, a South Africa based platinum and chrome producer, is currently expanding mining capacity at its Booysendal mining concession.

Key to the success of this expansion is the cost effective, reliable, safe and environmentally low impact transport of ore over topographically challenging terrain, from mining modules in the south of the concession to the concentrator plant. To this end, Doppelmayr is currently constructing a RopeCon system which will transport up to 900 tph over 4.9 km, with an overall vertical climb of 530 m. This system is due to start operating in 2019.

As part of an additional expansion programme, Booysendal further contracted Doppelmayr to design and construct a second RopeCon in October 2017 to tie in with the first system, allowing transport of ore from mining modules in the north of the concession. This RopeCon system will convey 400 tph, over 2.8 km, with a vertical drop of 160 m. This will be in operation from 2020.

Doppelmayr acts as a one stop provider. Right from the start of a project, the company works closely with its customers to achieve perfect integration of its system in the natural landscape or existing or planned infrastructure. High quality and safety standards in manufacturing and a well-planned and effective installation process carried out by highly skilled specialists ensures a smooth implementation. And after handing over an installation, an efficient network of service points provides support in all countries where Doppelmayr installations are in operation