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Hoisting mine shaft conveyances from great depth demands lightweight conditions at the end of the hoist rope. The tare weight component of the rope-end load must be minimised in order to maximise available payload. A tare weight to payload ratio is used to gain an expectation of skip hoist reliability with ratios ranging from 1:1 (heavy duty) to as large as 2:1 (light duty) existing in many hoisting applications today. Beyond the 2:1 ratio, skips are deemed too light to withstand the forces of loading and rapid travel speeds, while still offering reliability. In deep hoisting applications, the ‘holy grail’ of ratios would be 3:1, whereby the skip tare weight is one-third of the payload it is able to carry. To achieve this ratio, the tried and true materials of construction and design philosophies associated with these century-old machines must be abandoned. The fact that rope-end load will come at a premium cost cannot be escaped. Ensuring that this high cost burden is comprised predominately of valuable ore will be the challenge.
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