The enormous rise in oil prices in recent years has led to increasing interest in a technology that has been available for nearly twenty years but which has only slowly been taken up by the mining industry with its rather conservative outlook.
The technology referred to is that of the increased use of rubber belt conveyors to replace heavy trucks for the transport of mined material from hard-rock and mineral open pit mines (see Fig. 1).
In this case it is particularly the, often considerable height difference between the working face and the treatment plant which causes the high transport costs.
At the beginning of the 1960s the accent was clearly most heavily on the reduction in operating costs by a reduction in the number of operating personnel. Today the increased oil prices have driven companies to investigate other possibilities of reducing costs, in particular those concerned with fuel (Fig. 2).