A New Materials Handling Technique for Cemented Rockfill Distribution in VBM Mining

Szymanski J,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 4
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1995
Although efforts towards producing a `total quality rockfill product' have allowed cemented rockfill costs to be reduced considerably, there is still tremendous potential for further cost reductions. Cemented rockfill costs range from approximately $7 to $12 (US) per tonne of fill placed. Approximately 50 per cent of the rockfill costs are associated with cement costs. A large portion of the remaining 50 per cent is associated with labour and materials handling costs. Several Canadian underground mines utilise haulage trucks and/or conventional belt conveyors to distribute the rockfill. However, due to the restrictive nature of the underground environment, these current materials handling systems have limitations (ie spillage from trucks, dust from conveyors). The Sicon conveyor system (developed in Sweden) has considerable potential for replacing these current methods. The Sicon conveyor utilises a revolutionary approach - the conveyor belt is folded over upon itself (forming a tear drop shape) so that the transported material is completely encased within the belt. The Sicon conveyor's ability to negotiate very tight comers (without transfer points) makes the conveyor very appealing for underground mining applications. An analysis comparing the pros and cons associated with the Sicon conveyor system versus conventional materials handling systems will be presented in this paper.
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