Authors: Gorzalczynski, S


Cite As:
Gorzalczynski, S 2014, 'Lightweight skips – factors influencing operational reliability', in M Hudyma & Y Potvin (eds), Deep Mining 2014: Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Deep and High Stress Mining, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 533-543,

Download citation as:   ris   bibtex   endnote   text   Zotero

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.

Borello, M, van Zyl, MN & Wainwright, EJ 1996, The safe use of mine winding ropes, vol. 3, project no: GAP 054, submitted to Safety in Mines Research Committee (SIMRAC).
Delorme, G 2004, The challenges of hoisting at great depths – the curse of rope weight, Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum, Westmount.
Galloway, LC, & Tiley, PM 1983, ‘The performance of fixed guidance systems in mine shafts’, CIM Bulletin, vol. 75, no. 847.
Janovsky, L 1999, Elevator Mechanical Design, 3rd edn, Elevator World Publications, Mobile.
Ontario Ministry of Labour 2010, Regulation 854 – Mines and Mining Plants, Section 230(4), Ministry of Labour, Toronto.
Redpath, JS, & Shaver, WM 1977, ‘Toward a better understanding of mine shaft guides’, CIM Bulletin, vol. 70, no. 787, pp. 90-100.

© Copyright 2023, Australian Centre for Geomechanics (ACG), The University of Western Australia. All rights reserved.
View copyright/legal information
Please direct any queries or error reports to