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SPECIALIST EQUIPMENT Long-lifetime


T e Telfer mine is wholly owned by Newcrest Mining. Gold and copper are extracted, above ground as well as underground. T e copper and gold deposits were discovered in 1972, and mining began in 1977. In 2008 it was decided to increase the extraction capacities to over six million tons per year. T is provided the basis for initial talks


HOIST ROPES T


he past six years have seen a close cooperation between the rope manufacturer Casar and the Telfer gold mine in the Pilbara region in the state of Western Australia.


between Telfer and Casar. As well as wanting to increase extraction capacities, the mine operator was not happy with the service life of the ropes from another manufacturer that were in use on the fl oor hoisting machine. T e hoisting machine is a ground-mounted friction winder that transports a payload of 34.5t at a speed of 16.25m/s from a depth of 1,132m to the top. T e service life of the original ropes was maximally 95,000 cycles, corresponding to almost a year. T e costs incurred by downtimes and the rope replacement after 95,000 cycles were immense and had to be drastically reduced to make extraction cost-eff ective. After a detailed study of the site and application, Casar decided to deploy a Starplast construction. T is is a rotation-free rope construction made of compacted strands. A rope set consists of four hoist ropes, each with a length of 1,360m and a rope diameter of 45mm.


Casar succeeded in continuously increasing the lifetime, up to an impressive 210,000 cycles reached with the third version of Starplast. T e lifetime was more than double the previous fi gure. Furthermore, the ropes were in perfect condition even after these 210,000 cycles and only had to be discarded as a result of mechanical damage due to rockfall, not because of wear and tear. In addition, it was possible to virtually exclude undesired eff ects such as rope


34 www.engineerlive.com


Christian Schorr-Golsong explains how a highly durable mining rope is breaking records in Australia


elongation and rope slipping on the drum, and wear on the inlays of the rope discs was reduced to less than a quarter of the previous value. In particular, the reduction of the elongation eff ect is highly valued by Telfer as the usually necessary shortening of the ropes after occurrence of the setting eff ect is no longer necessary. At present the value of elongation for the fourth version of Starplast is less than 800mm.


Casar and Telfer are confi dent that they are able to use the knowledge gained to further increase the service life to over 300,000 cycles. In this case the ropes would not have to be replaced for at least three years. T is alone would represent major cost savings for the mine and also save a lot of time, which could be used for other maintenance and repair work. It is estimated that at least 10 working days that would normally be needed to replace the rope could already be saved during the service life of the rope currently being used. T e ropes currently in use already reached 170,000 cycles in March 2015 and are still in perfect condition. Casar is therefore confi dent of reaching the set goal.


The head frame at the Telfer mine in Australia


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