As South Africa’s mining industry continues to seek leaner, more energy- and operationally efficient ways of getting ore from the ground, ContiTech’s Pocketlift vertical lift conveyor is a game changer. It not only offers underground miners the ability to lift much larger quantities of material over far higher vertical distances than conventional skip hoists, it does so with a third of the energy requirements, per metric ton.

Pocketlift is an evolution of the company’s well-known Flexowell belt, one that made its name in economic, high-efficiency up- and downhill bulk material conveyance. Pocketlift replaces the ‘compartments’ of the Flexowell with fabric-reinforced rubber pockets to deliver a conveyor belt that can lift material loads at vertical heights of up to 700m. The pockets are available in different widths to achieve continuous load throughputs of up to 6 000m3/hour.
“Across the world, mining companies have been able to multiply their conveying output by adopting Pocketlift technology,” explains Friedrich Litz, of the ContiTech Conveyor Belt Group. “Its small horizontal footprint and low intrinsic weight means it can be deployed in very small mine shafts (in many cases existing ventilation shafts can be used) helping miners reduce civil-based costs. In terms of energy, a ton of material lifted 100m is less than 0.3 kWh which is far below average.”

Achieving throughputs up to 6 000 m3/hour with just one third of the energy requirements of conventional skip hoists

Compartmentalised pouches
While the Pocketlift is an evolution of the performance of the Flexowell belt, Flexowell remains a popular, high performing option for vertical bulk materials conveying in a wide range of industries.
“The Flexowell belt is a critical part of operations in more than 60 000 installations across the world,” Friedrich continues. It consists of compartmentalised pouches with pleated sides, mounted on a cross rigid base belt with horizontal textile and / or transverse steel cord reinforcement. It can efficiently convey lump sizes up to 400mm in size, and be used on a maximum vertical lift height of 400m, with a maximum throughput of 6 000 tons/hour.

Powerful and space-saving: the system can be used in narrow shafts and can cope with height differences of up to 700 metres

Both Flexowell and Pocketlift belts can be customised with the full range of ContiTech’s cover compound technologies as required by application and application environment. ContiTech South Africa supports these belts with the full range of belt services, from calculation to engineering (basic and detailed), consulting, field splicing and aftersales service.
ContiTech South Africa,
Paul van Zyl, Tel: (011) 248-9337,


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