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A Comparison of Skip Loading Systems from an Operational, Maintenance, Safety and Capital Cost Estimate Perspective


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Author A E A Northcote


The drive to maximise performance, reduce maintenance times, improve safety of operation and maintenance on mining equipment while keeping both operational and capital costs down has provided good nourishment to the creative thinking of designers of skip loading facilities for hoisting systems.

Early systems were as simple as manual loading which evolved into a surge bin feeding a skip through a chute finally maturing into a measuring flask discharging into a chute to feed the skip and more recently high capacity skip feed conveyors.

This paper will compare the concepts
of the skip loading flask and the skip loading conveyor systems over a range of
winding distances and hoisted tonnages. The comparison will draw on actual
installations and review operational, maintenance and safety. An order of
magnitude capital cost estimate will be used to complete the financial
comparison. This will enable the reader to understand the concepts and costs and
assist in selecting the appropriate skip loading system.

Northcote, A E A,
2011. A comparison of skip loading systems from an operational, maintenance,
safety and capital cost estimate perspective, in Proceedings
11th AusIMM Underground Operators’ Conference,
251-258 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and
Metallurgy: Melbourne).