A conveyor belt is an essential member of any mining team. Its primary use is transporting material over long distances, changing how mining operations were conducted in the past, making it more efficient and less damaging to workers. Conveyor belts are often overlooked when performing correctly, but when they malfunction or break down, they impact the whole operation.
Many companies suggest that 50% of production hold-ups are caused by conveyor belt malfunction, making effective monitoring an essential part of the job.
The Role of Conveyor Belts in Mining
The mining industry supplies minerals and metals that comprise our devices, like smartphones and computers, buildings, vehicles, and eco-friendly solutions that create a more sustainable future. Mining isn’t just about metals. Essential minerals like coal, oil shale, gemstones, limestone, rock salt, potash, gravel, and clay are equally important. Anything that isn’t produced agriculturally or synthetically in labs or factories requires mining, encompassing non-renewable resources like petroleum, natural gas, or water.
A few techniques are used to reach these essential minerals and metals. Surface mining and underground mining are two primary excavation techniques. Surface mining dominates, accounting for 85% of minerals (excluding oil and gas) in the U.S., which includes 98% of metallic ores. Given the often remote and inhospitable locations of mining operations, conveyor belts are vital in reducing transportation costs and enhancing operational efficiency.
After mining, minerals often undergo processing. Extractive metallurgy, a niche within metallurgy, delves into extracting precious metals from ores using chemical or mechanical methods.
Mineral processing emphasizes mechanical procedures like crushing, grinding, and washing to separate valuable metals or minerals from unwanted material or gangue. They require minimal shaking or washing to break down the sand or gravel for processing. In contrast, ore from a lode mine, surface or underground, mandates that the ore be crushed and ground before extracting the precious minerals. This extraction can be done through various mechanical, chemical, or combination techniques.
Conveyor systems can be integrated with sorting and screening functions, enabling the seamless separation of different ore grades or waste materials. By reducing manual handling and truck haulage, conveyor belts optimize material flow, reduce environmental impact, and enhance safety standards in the mining sector.
Monitoring Mining Conveyor Belts
Mining conveyor belts have unique challenges that require monitoring to prevent a halt in production and safety concerns. Investing in high-quality products and accessories to help make your conveyor belt run optimally and prevent breakdowns is critical.
Replacing Conveyor Belt Parts
When something does break down, it’s essential to have a partner in the service industry to help. Luff Industries can help with the repair or replacement of critical parts. We can help with:
- Lagging inspection, removal and replacement
- Pulley Bearing inspection, removal and replacement
- Shaft inspection and repair
- Hub and bushing inspection and repair
- Shell and welds inspection for wear, thickness and damage and repair
We offer custom solutions to meet the needs of your mining operations. Our systems are built to last and are ideal for heavy-duty applications.