First Ore Milestone at the World’s Most Powerful Belt Conveyor System

After successful pre-commissioning, crushed copper ore was, for the first time, conveyed along the complete 13 km belt conveyor system designed and delivered by TAKRAF for an underground mining project in northern Chile, dubbed “the world’s most powerful belt conveyor system”.

Chuqui Gearless drive commissioning

Capacity of the entire system was steadily increased so that on 7 October, the system’s design capacity of 11,000 t/h could be reached. Commissioning will continue into the coming weeks with final system performance testing expected to be completed by year-end.

Our world-leading belt conveyor system transports crushed copper from underground storage bins to the surface along a 7 km underground tunnel that overcomes a non-insignificant 1 km of vertical elevation change. Once on the surface, ore is then fed onto an overland conveyor that transports it the final 6 km to the distribution silo.

The underground system (comprising two conveyors of about equal length) as well as the overland conveyor boast advanced gearless drive technology provided by our drive technology partners, ABB. Gearless drives eliminate the need for a gearbox, hereby significantly reducing the number of main wear parts, which results in increased efficiency and reliability, as well as less maintenance being required. Further advantages include a considerable reduction in the drive system’s footprint and the amount of instrumentation required.

Total installed drive power for the entire system, including various feeder conveyors, totals an incredible 58 MW, of which we have 11 x 5 MW gearless synchronous motors.

Marc Hollinger, TAKRAF Project Manager, had this to say from site, “This mega project achieves a number of world firsts, from the system’s installed drive power to the first global application of the ST 10,000 conveyor belt. With this project, we firmly entrench TAKRAF as one of the world’s only providers capable of delivering a mega project of this nature incorporating advanced technologies that really push the boundaries of what has been done before. This is a project that will certainly go down in the record books as a defining moment for our client and we are very proud to be a part of this.”

Further information regarding TAKRAF’s range of conveying solutions.