CostMine analysts investigate 4 rules of thumb using conveyor costs

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Rules of thumb are often used in the mining industry as methods of providing approximate answers for different portions of mining activities. But do these “rules” work? Are they outdated? To answer these questions, Costmine decided to focus on conveyor costs and the associated rules of thumb widely used in underground mining.

They intend to show how Sherpa for Underground Mines, a software tool available from Costmine, can be used to bolster confidence in items like de la Vergne’s rules of thumb (or to make determinations in more project-specific problems) in a way not possible without Sherpa’s speed and engineering capabilities. They chose de la Vergne’s compilation of conveyor cost rules of thumb to assess using Sherpa for Underground Mines. The majority of these rules are echoed below:

  1. An underground mine is more economically served by a belt conveyor than railcars or trucks when the daily mine production exceeds 5,000 tons. (Source: Al Fernie)
  2. As a rule, a belt conveyor operation is more economical than truck haulage if the conveying distance exceeds 1 km (3,280 ft.). (Source: Heinz Altoff)
  3. The ton-mile cost of transport by belt conveyor may be as low as one-tenth the cost by haul truck. (Source: Robert Schmidt)
  4. The installed capital cost of a long belt conveyor system to be put underground is approximately equal to the cost of driving the heading in which it is to be placed. (Source: Jack de la Vergne)

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