Underground mining presents many challenges in effectively transporting material – limited space as well as the necessity to avoid exhaust emissions and heat development are two of the many difficulties faced by this industry sector.
The Doppelmayr vertical conveyor, enabling lifts of up to 750 m, opens up new material transport opportunities for underground mining, providing the opportunity to reduce haul truck fleets as well as related exhaust emissions.
This article first appeared in Mining Review Africa Issue 1, 2020
The novel concept adapts the proven RopeCon system to the specific requirements for an underground application. The system uses a conventional conveyor belt to transport the material to the surface continuously.
This belt is equipped with side walls and cleats, forming pockets for the material. Axles are bolted to the belt at regular intervals to support it. Running wheels fitted to either end of the axles guide the belt.
In the loading station, the wheel sets run on guiding rails, which safely guides the belt into the shaft. In the shaft itself, ropes guide the belt at all times.
Maintenance is simple and cost effective, as all moving parts are mounted to the belt and will pass the terminals at regular intervals. Maintenance tasks can be easily carried out there. Ropes and shaft are inspected by a camera system which is attached to the belt. Access to the shaft is not required, neither for installation nor for operation.
Like a conventional conveyor, this system can be loaded by a transfer conveyor or by an ore pass. Above ground, the material is transferred to another conveyor, a RopeCon system for example or it can be discharged onto stockpiles.
Re-use of existing ventilation shafts is possible for this transport system. As the main drive is installed above ground, underground heat development is reduced.
RopeCon– directly out of the pit
RopeConis a suspended conveyor which transports your material on a flat belt with corrugated side walls and is perfectly suited for rugged terrain or to cross obstacles of all kind.
As with conventional belt conveyors, the belt performs the haulage function. The belt is fixed to axles arranged at regular intervals to support the belt. Running wheels are fitted to either end of the axles. These run on track ropes with fixed anchoring and guide the belt.
These characteristics make Doppelmayr’s RopeConsystem a cost effective and continuous transport solution. For instance, to transport material from the underground mine portal to the processing plant, crossing the pit.
As the system is elevated, the footprint across the pit is minimal and trucking underneath the track is possible. It can also handle steep inclinations and allows for several stockpile discharge points.
The RopeCon is tailored exactly to each project’s requirements.
If you have a specific project in mind for which you would like to evaluate Doppelmayr’s systems, please contact us directly by e-mail: