Bottlenecks at depth

Bottlenecks were preventing one of the world’s deepest gold mines from achieving its targeted throughput 2 850 metres below surface. Weba Chute Systems designed and manufactured the solution.
A short slew conveyor was at the centre of the South African mine’s challenge, providing the only source of ore from that level. Frequent stoppages from belt cuts on this conveyor, often from large rocks stuck in the bottom of the existing chute, meant costly downtime and disrupted material flow to the plant.
The solution, according to, Dewald Tintinger, technical manager at Weba Chute Systems, was to design a completely new chute solution that would remove the need for the slew conveyor arrangement.
“The chute we designed has a bypass leg that drops waste material directly into the bypass, while allowing an inline channel of reef onto the conveyor belt,” Dewald says. The custom-designed chute was able to replace the mechanical moving component, which also improved the safety of the
working area.
The solution, which also involved 70 metres of conveyor belt extension, required the new chute to bifurcate the flow of material from the stopes into a reef stream and a waste stream.
“We achieved that by installing a chute section mounted on a trolley frame, actuated to split the material flow as required,” Dewald explains.
Another benefit was that the area no longer needed regular cleaning. Previously, four shifts of cleaners, comprising four workers each, were required to service the area around the slew conveyor and remove spillage.
Weba Chute Systems & Solutions, Tel: (011) 827-9372