Chevron-MegaPipe® concept – ideal opportunity for more efficient haulage in open-pit mines Up to the midterm of a hard rock open-pit mine, haul-truck fleets offer the significant advantages of relatively low initial capital costs, redundancy and flexibility. But when a pit has reached a certain depth, the increasing costs of truck haulage will inevitably lead mine operators to start searching for alternatives.
A consortium of thyssenkrupp, Siemens and ContiTech developed such an alternative solution: A stationary pipe conveyor system linked to a crusher station at the bottom of a mine offers many advantages. It permits cost-effective transportation of pre-crushed ores, coal, rock and overburden over mine slopes with inclination angles of up to 40°. Belt routes with vertical and horizontal curves are feasible. Even in rough weather conditions with fog, snow or rain the pipe conveyor system will be operating when truck haulage is no longer recommended. What’s more, the Chevron-MegaPipe® steep-angle conveying system can be designed, with a maximum diameter of 900 mm, for large-scale applications with a conveying capacity of up to 5,000 t/h.
The tail station (tension station) is based at the bottom and the head station (drive station) located at the rim of the open pit. Depending on the inclination, the conveyor bridges are mounted perpendicular to the benches of the open-pit mine. A service cab driven by a rope winch is provided for maintenance and inspection along the structure. The system’s key components are the world’s largest and heaviest profiled pipe-conveyor belt developed by ContiTech, which has a width of 3,200 mm and a strength of 9,500 N/mm, and the innovative DirectDrive® concept from Siemens. These drives come in a proven design with installations of 6 MW.