Arizona recently received a much-needed economic boost after Washington endowed a huge, untapped copper source to a joint mining project.
The Resolution copper mine near Superior, AZ, is home to over one billion pounds of mineable copper across a depth of “five Empire State Buildings”. Its rich copper deposit is expected to generate around $20 billion in federal, state, and local taxes as well as 3,700 job openings—direct and indirect—with an overall wage expenditure of over $220 million.
Aside from being the largest copper producer in North America, Resolution is also home to the deepest mine shaft in North America, Shaft #10, at 6,943 feet (1.31 miles). Moving employees and materials in a shaft this deep is no easy task as it involves many steps and a lot of patience. Shafts are the only ways in and out of any mine, so the hoisting equipment used must be able to withstand the rigors of mining.
One of these rigors is constant use at high speed. The common speed for hoisting equipment in mine shafts is 600 feet per minute; not as fast as a car, but fast enough to get to the bottom in a few minutes. Sturdy mine cages, tasked with keeping occupants safe amidst dangerous conditions, must be able to handle the stress of constant use and varying loads.
These cages must also utilize the necessary movable parts and electrical systems necessary to ensure proper function. An elevator incident in an Ohio coal mine in 1994 warranted the need for better electrical systems in case of elevator over-speed. The four passengers at the time of the mishap survived with several broken bones, a clear motivation in preventing a repeat.
Shaft #10′s uncommon distance downward is justified by the copper mine’s depth. Such plunges underground require mine owners and operators to prioritize the safety of the employees who work in the mine and contribute to the local and federal economy.
This is where manufacturers of quality mine man cages like Wabi Iron & Steel Corp. come in, as they build safe and dependable equipment that’s ideal for high-stress conditions thousands of feet underground. Options for customization also allow mining contractors to specify their own requirements based on the nature of their mining operations, whether in Canada or the U.S.
(Source: US Congress approves land swap for Rio-BHP copper mine in Arizona, Creamer’s Media Mining Weekly, December 13, 2014)