Navoi Mining & Metallurgical to deploy Doppelmayr RopeCon as part of Muruntau gold mine Stage V expansion

Navoi Mining & Metallurgical Combine (NMMC) in Uzbekistan is the world’s largest gold producer – production from the Muruntau open pit is typically well over 2 Moz/y. The next level of Muruntau development is the Stage V investment project which is being coordinated by the Central Mining Administration. At present, mining operations are underway to uncover and develop the reserves of the northern side of the open pit. From 2021, it is planned to start developing the reserves of the Besapantau, Chukurkuduk, Balpantau and Tamdybulak deposits with an increase in the volume of production and supply of ore to Hydrometallurgical Plant No 2 to 50 Mt/y.

Today the length of the Muruntau quarry is 4.3 km, the width is 3.2 km, and the depth is 600 m. Mining-geological and mining-technical solutions used in the development of Phase V will make it possible to reach a pit depth of 1,000 m in the future. At the same time, recoverable reserves will be sufficient for 50 years to ensure the resource base.

As part of the implementation of the above investment project for transporting ore from the open pit to the surface, it is planned to build a complex of cyclical-flow technology using the RopeCon® suspended conveyor system from Austria’s Doppelmayer. This solution is one of the alternative options for an efficient transport system, just as the high angle conveyor at Mruntau (KNK-270, supplied by Ukraine’s NKMZ) became unique during the implementation of the Muruntau open pit Stage IV development project. That has a capacity of 3,500 t/h and a 37 degree angle lifting rock over 400 m.

RopeCon provides handling capacities of up to 25,000 t/h while occupying a minimum structural footprint. Simple maintenance of the conveying line and low space requirements are the key features of this product. RopeCon transports material on a flat belt with corrugated side walls. The belt performs the haulage function and is driven and deflected by a drum in the head or tail station. The belt is fixed to axles arranged at regular intervals to support the belt. Running wheels are fitted to either end of the axles. These run on track ropes with fixed anchoring and guide the belt. The track ropes are elevated off the ground on tower structures.

It is also planned to introduce an automated management system for the mining and transport complex. The effect of its implementation will be expressed in an increase in the productivity of technological transport by 8-10%, a decrease in the idle time of dump trucks and excavators by 20-30%, an increase in the average technical speed of dump trucks by 8-10%, a decrease in the specific consumption of diesel fuel by 5-7%, reducing the cost of transportation and mining of rock mass by 4-6% and 3-4%, respectively.