Mining is tough work, and it requires careful and decisive logistics to move a great number of personnel, materials, and equipment to properly facilitate operations. The Mining Weekly website published a feature on how mine skips made from aluminum can be indispensable to operations. The article outlined why aluminum is the best choice, and even highlights how the skips are vital for mining:
Underground mining represents a complicated transport environment. Far fewer people are involved at the face than are involved in getting the ore to surface, and payload efficiency is therefore an important contributor to profitability, Dr Tony Paterson of the Aluminium Federation of South Africa (Afsa) reports. According to Paterson, mining skips are required to carry the ore to the surface. “Generally, these have a capacity of around 26 tons and a dead mass of about ten tons. To lift this to the surface, a wire rope of some 120 tons is required, so about 146 tons is lifted to gain 26 tons,” he explains. Paterson says the winder capacity is a restriction, but a trade-off between skip mass and payload is possible. “While the skip overall dimensions are normally restricted by specific shaft steelwork, additional payload could be carried in length or the height,” he adds.
The article stressed the crucial role that mine skip payload efficiency plays in making a mining operation profitable. Unearthed metals and minerals need to be quickly and safely brought to the surface so that they can be processed right away. More importantly, these precious materials need to be delivered for processing on time to meet production schedules and fulfill customer demand. To that end, mine skips suited to specific mining operations must be implemented in order to expedite the transportation of such materials.
In the old days, mine skips referred exclusively to carts that ran inside mines on rails, allowing workers to easily pile minerals and debris on the vehicles for quick transfers to the face of the mine. Today, skips are found running along vertical mine shafts. These modern mechanized ore skips are more akin to elevators as they enable material to be the easy transported up and out of underground mines.
Mining operators and managers are encouraged to carefully choose their skips and purchase according to current loads and projected demands. Equipment from reputable manufacturers like Wabi Iron & Steel Corp. can help to ensure efficient mining operations with minimal downtime.
(Source: Aluminium mining skips are being used underground, Mining Weekly)