Tweaking existing processes cannot deliver the massive shifts that mining companies are seeking in todays’ capital-constrained environment. To build true competitive advantage, companies must look beyond incremental performance improvements to determine how they can revise their systems to embrace the broad theme of innovation. However, the biggest benefits of many possible innovations will not be achieved if companies simply layer new technologies over existing operating models. To realise their full value, the current models may require system and operational redesign.
Alternative ore removal system
With the aim of increasing the level of productivity under an improved underground environment, whilst simultaneously cutting costs, the introduction of a highly flexible material handling system provides an alternative – and safe – ore and waste removal solution for hard rock narrow tabular reef mines, and represents one of the most powerful and flexible solutions for the rapid deployment of a temporary conveyor system.
This easy-to-operate modular conveyor system is currently being successfully used worldwide in a variety of applications and can move up to 30 tonnes per hour (60 tonnes if run as a duplex system), 390 tonnes in a typical 6.5-hour cleaning shift. Only 52cm wide and 20cm high and capable of lying on the ground, it can also be used to clean-up spillage under chutes, transfer points and main production belts. It is ideally suited for flat end development clearing or in other confined space environments and can be loaded by various equipment such as low-profile continuous loaders, low profile dozers or air loading shovels.
The introduction of Miniveyor will almost always increase productivity, while reducing manual handling and health and safety incidents. It provides an alternative ore and waste removal solution to the current LHD or scraper systems employed at production and development faces.
The system of conveyors, which can be installed by minimal labour, is modular. This allows for flexibility of installation and most importantly, it advances with the development faces (which standard conveyors are unable to do).
The modular conveyor system provides for a continuous and uniform transfer of the material to the centre gully (grizzly, scraper or fixed conveyor system). There is no surging or staccato delivery and the actual transfer to the centre gully allows for flexibility in X + Y directions.
The modular conveyor system does not contaminate the ore material with hydraulic, driveline oils, rubber or other detritus (tyre chain links, etc.) that would reduce the efficiency of the recovery process at the surface plant.
With the integration of the Miniveyor conveyor system there will be less need for the current dimensions of the advance strike gulleys (ASGs). It will lead to – and provide for – a distinct reduction in the waste development tonnes of the ASG (or other) because the modular conveyor system requires a materially reduced gulley profile (particularly the depth of the gulley) compared to conventional gully cleaning systems. This may have the potential to reduce the head cost per tonne by 15% to 20%.
Darracq Shawe is director of Miniveyor Products