Canadian Mining Journal


CONVEYORS: ThyssenKrupp to send gearless models to Oyu Tolgoi underground mine

MONGOLIA – One of the richest underground copper deposits in the world will soon be accessed with the help of high capacity gearless driven conveyors from ThyssenkKrupp. The industrial solutions business area has won a contract to supply a material handling system for the new Oyu Tolgoi underground mine.

ThyssenKrupp will supply a material handling system similar to this one for the underground expansion of the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine.

ThysssenKrupp will supply a total of nine conveyors with a combined length of 9.5 km as well as seven transfer towers operating at a design tonnage of 7,100 t/h. First production from underground is expected in 2020. The Oyu Tolgoi mine complex is a joint venture between the government of Mongolia and Turquoise Hill Resources, which is majority-owned by Rio Tinto.

From a depth of nearly 1,400 metres beneath the Gobi Desert, the new underground material handling system is planned to transport 95,000 t/d of copper ore up to the surface. The main components are four high lift conveyors each equipped with 1.6-metre wide steel cord belts and dual 5,500 kW gearless drives from Siemens. Further conveyors will feed the main incline conveyors and tie the new underground system into the existing process facility.

The Oyu Tolgoi mine began producing copper concentrate from an open pit operation in 2013. The future underground construction activities will transform Oyu Tolgoi into one of the most significant copper mines globally.

The new order includes the engineering, design, and supply of the new material handling system as well as required site support services during the construction and commissioning phases. It will be designed with an emphasis on ease of maintenance. This includes, for example, the ability to quickly replace chute sections as well as idler rolls and belt cleaners. The drive components are massive in terms of size and weight, so great attention will be paid to safely transporting them underground and to ensuring they can be safely exchanged in the future. Overhead bridge cranes are strategically located to not only service the equipment, but also to aid in the erection of the major structures.

The scope of work also includes water and air piping for the required dust suppression equipment, fire protection along all of the underground conveyors and electrical infrastructure to control and power the equipment.

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