State-Of-Art Shaft System As Applied To Palabora Underground Mining Project

Taljaard, J. J.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2000
As the world continues to face the turmoil of the economic environment, legislative prerequisites and physical conditions the intervention of technological development is vital for the continuation of the ancient source of revenue: mining. The Palabora underground mining project is a state-of-the-art shaft mining system that will prove to be a benchmark in its field for years to come. An integration of modern technology?both in application and development?has resulted in a shaft system that is intrinsically holistic. Every aspect of the mining and production process has undergone thorough investigation, simulation and innovation to ensure that every component is selected by design and not simply conforming to past practice or trends. The process philosophy includes proven technology such as to promote the lowest operating cost and process time with the highest yield. The underground mining system is in the final stages of commissioning and will shortly be producing a nominal 30 000 tons per day with a predominantly automated system. This paper discusses the complete state-of-art shaft system developed for the Palabora underground mine, and refers particularly to the headgear, the winders, the conveyances and the shaft guide system, as well as the loading system developed specifically for the high performance requirements of the mine.
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