Home » Archive Industry News » Industry News 2022 » Industry News Issue 02_2022 » RopeCon® Booysendal North enters into operation
The option of an alternative loading point was provided at tower 2. Photo: Doppelmayr

RopeCon® Booysendal North enters into operation

A RopeCon® system has been transporting platinum ore in Booysendal since the end of 2018. In December 2021, the second installation, Booysendal North, was handed over to the customer. For this extension project at its Booysendal site, the South African mining company Booysendal Platinum (Pty) Limited, a subsidiary of Northam Platinum Limited, once again relied on technology from Doppelmayr. This second RopeCon® serves another mining area situated in the northern part of the site. It transports approximately 400t/h over a distance of 2.8km and a difference in elevation of -160m.

The space required on the ground is reduced to a minimum. Photo: Doppelmayr

The Booysendal North RopeCon® discharges the material into the same silo from which the material is loaded onto the Booysendal South system, which makes it a perfect link in a continuous conveying line. Since early 2022, the second loading point along the line has been in use, too. The option of an alternative loading point was provided at tower 2. A conventional feeder conveyor transports the material to the RopeCon® line where it is loaded directly onto the belt via a chute.

The axles are fitted with plastic running wheels which run on fixed anchored track ropes and guide the belt. Photo: Doppelmayr

RopeCon® is a technology developed by the ropeway manufacturer Doppelmayr. The system offers the advantages of a ropeway and combines them with the properties of a conventional belt conveyor. It essentially consists of a flat belt with corrugated side walls: Just as on conventional belt conveyors, the belt performs the haulage function. It is driven and deflected by a drum in the head or tail station and fixed to axles arranged at regular intervals to carry it. The axles are fitted with plastic running wheels which run on fixed anchored track ropes and guide the belt. The track ropes are elevated off the ground on tower structures.

The RopeCon® easily crosses this topographically challenging terrain. Photo: Doppelmayr

By using the RopeCon® system, the customer did not have to rely on trucks to transport the material, a definite advantage in this topographically challenging terrain with its sometimes very steep roads. Furthermore, using the roads only for the transport of people and supplies will have a positive effect on road maintenance costs.

Booysendal was also particularly careful to choose a transport system that would minimise the environmental footprint of the mine. By guiding the RopeCon® over towers, the space required on the ground is reduced to a minimum, or more precisely to the tower locations. At the same time, the system does not represent an insurmountable obstacle for wildlife or humans. The track crosses a number of roads, and even wildlife can roam freely underneath the RopeCon®.

Doppelmayr Transport Technology GmbH is a 100% subsidiary of the international Doppelmayr Group with headquarters in Wolfurt, Austria. Within the group, Doppelmayr Transport Technology is the point of contact for the transport of goods and materials. Doppelmayr is the technology leader and pioneer in ropeway engineering and is also present in other lines of business.  Apart from material transport systems the group also designs, plans, and manufactures passenger ropeways for winter and summer tourism as well as for the urban transit sector, rope propelled APMs (e.g., the systems currently operating at the airports of Toronto and Mexico City) or fully automatic high rise warehouses.

Technical details:

Booysendal North

  • Length                                                  2,752m
  • Difference in elevation                         -160m
  • Conveying capacity                              400t/h
  • Speed                                                    3.6m/s
  • Number of towers                                          7
  • Motor rating, continuous                      ~0kW

Booysendal South

  • Length                                                  4,767m
  • Difference in elevation                          530m
  • Conveying capacity                              909t/h
  • Speed                                                    4.2m/s
  • Number of towers                                       12
  • Motor rating, continuous                2,400 kW

Booysendal South Stockpile Feeder

  • Length                                                     185m
  • Difference in elevation                            25m
  • Conveying capacity                              909t/h
  • Speed                                                    3.0m/s
  • Number of towers                                          1
  • Motor rating, continuous                    100kW

Further information:
Doppelmayr Transport Technology GmbH