Engineering & Mining Journal

JUN 2018

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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Page 45 of 115

MATERIAL HANDLING 44 E&MJ • JUNE 2018 once," he said. "We still have a lot of maintenance to do on it, but we are fairly confident that all of these issues will be behind us in the next few months." Meanwhile, the system is able to han- dle its workload and the miner is discov- ering its capacity. "We haven't seen the limits of the system right now," Langevin said. The miner expects the maintenance costs to level off gradually as the system handles gradually increasing produc- tion. The support the miner has received from the supplier thus far has been "very good," Langevin said. "They are going out of their way to help us and make sure the system is going to deliver what it is sup- posed to deliver." The success thus far experienced fur- thers the idea that the system could be expanded at Goldex or copied elsewhere. "With the flexibility of the Rail-Veyor, at any point between 1,200 m from sur- face to 700 m from surface, we can tie in other trains into the system and use infrastructure that we have right now," Langevin said. "We also have a couple of properties beside our own that are at- tractive that we know we have potential targets on, and using the Rail-Veyor for these zones would make a lot of sense." Goldex, described as the largest unex- ploited gold deposit in Quebec when it was purchased by Agnico Eagle in 1993, is sit- ed 60 km east of the company's LaRonde mine in the Abitibi region. It was the first of five acquisitions in 15 years that propelled the company to the ranks of the world's top pure-play gold producers. Work and mining commenced at Goldex in 2008. Reserves at Goldex are estimated at almost 1 million oz and the remaining mine life is slated at a little more than six years. Ropeway System Climbs Mountain Doppelmayr Transport Technology GmbH recently announced the December com- missioning of a 4.5-km ropeway system for moving ore to a riverside facility from a copper mine sited 1,700 meters (m) above sea level in the mountains 3.5 km southwest of Artvin, in the Black Sea re- gion of Turkey. The Cerattepe underground copper and polymetallic mine, owned formerly by Cominco Resources and currently by Cen- giz Holding, rented to Özaltın Holding, and operated by Eti Bakır A. ., began assem- bly of the ropeway in the second quarter of 2017, Stefanie Reis, spokeswoman, Dop- pelmayr reported. It was designed to trans- verse a "difference in elevation of more than 1,500 m" and a river bed. The incline is more than 43° at its steepest point. Primary infrastructure consists of 11 towers in a crooked line going up the mountain with a station at either end. "The highest tower is about 38 m high," Reis said. "The towers used for this in- stallation are either of tubular shaft de- sign or of lattice steel framework." The towers support a continuously moving steel wire rope to which 51 materi- al buckets and a few passenger cabins are attached by means of a grip, Doppelmayr reported. "The system uses a 52-mm- round stranded steel wire rope," Reis said. The rope loop is driven by bullwheels in the loading station and tensioned via a return bullwheel in the unloading sta- tion in the valley, the company reported. "Both drive bullwheel and return bull- wheel are 6.10 m in diameter and weigh about 4.2 mt," Reis reported. A mechanism in the stations opens the detachable grip of the material buck- ets, removes them from the ropeway, and slows each down, Doppelmayr reported. The buckets can thus be stopped for the loading and unloading procedures in the stations while the ropeway continues at full speed. They are reattached to the rope as they leave the station. "The system is based on proven detachable ropeway tech- nology also used for passenger ropeways and was adjusted to cater to the specific needs of material transport," Reis said. The system operates fully automatically, Reis said. "Loading is done via a feeding conveyor," she said. The buckets transport primarily ore and "have been fitted with lids to prevent soiling of the environment." In the unloading station, the lids are opened, and the buckets turned upside down auto- matically, so the material falls onto a chute. Then the buckets are tilted back to their normal position for the return trip. Two different types of guides are in- stalled in the stations: one for the ma- terial buckets, and one for the passen- ger cabins. Material flow and passenger transport are thus separated. A ride in the cabin spans roughly 20 minutes and is described by Doppelmayr as comfortable and safe. "As it is a de- tachable ropeway system, you could re- place the passenger cabins with material buckets, although this specific system has mostly material buckets and very few passenger cabins anyway," Reis said. "Its main purpose is material transport." The ropeway can also be used to trans- port backfill material from the valley to the mouth of the mine. Being fully automatic, operating costs are optimized, Doppelmayr reported. The system is comprised of "hardly any mov- ing parts along the track," and "all ma- terial buckets and cabins travel through the stations regularly and can be easily inspected," the company reported. Maintenance is carried out in the sta- tions, Reis said. "If it becomes necessary to do maintenance on a bucket, it would be directed to the maintenance position in the station, and another bucket would take its position along the line," she said. The required motor output during nor- mal operation is approximately 370 kilo- watts, Reis said. The ropeway is superior to alternatives because of its operability in extreme con- ditions and its small footprint. "It does not represent an insurmountable obstacle for man or wildlife," the company report- ed. Further, Reis added, road access to the mine is steep and could be difficult in snow. "The ropeway is driven by an elec- tric motor and saves many truck journeys along with the related exhaust fumes and noise emissions," she said. "The system is elevated off the ground and thus occu- pies only little ground space." The Cerattepe deposit was reportedly discovered in 1991 and was subsequent- ly labeled world-class. Drilling started in The ropeway system operates in winter weather that could pose problems for a truck-based system. (Photo: Doppelmayr)

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