Advancements in Vertical conveying
Mining Engineering, 2014, Vol. 66, No. 12, pp. 35-35
Over the past 20 years, FKC-Lake Shore, located in southern Indiana, has been working with Contitech, the German conveyor company, to push vertical conveyor technology to new depths and open additional opportunities for underground mine owners. Historically, the underground mining industry has largely been unable to realize the benefits of these efficient systems due to the design limitations in maximum depth and capacity. Until recently, only relatively shallow depth mines with low production rates have been a fit for a vertical conveyor system. This, however, is changing with technical advancements in the Pocketlift system. With each milestone, a new vertical conveyor record is set for depth and capacity. For instance, in 2002, FKC-Lake Shore set one such record with the installation of a Pocketlift system at a mine in the Illinois coal basin with a lift height of 273 m (896 ft) and a production rate of 1.8 kt/h (2,000 stph). Although it was unthinkable at that time, today’s vertical conveyors are capable of reaching lift heights up to 700 m (2,300 ft) with an average production rate of 450 t/h (500 stph). These new lift heights and production rates are opening the technology to more potential mine owners and shifting the way people look at moving material in the future.
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