Torex RopeCon®Direct link between pit and valley at El-Limón-Guajes mine
Minera Media Luna, S.A. de C.V. (MML), 100% subsidiary of Torex Gold Resources Inc., was looking for a means of connecting its gold ore pit El Limón in Mexico with the processing plant in the valley, but the El Limón pit is located on a steep ridge approx. 400m up from the plant. Apart from investment and operating costs, safety and environmental aspects were key considerations.
In March 2013, MML decided to contract the RopeCon®, a system which covers the distance of 1.3km and the vertical rise of almost 400m in one stretch with just one tower structure, while transporting 1,000 metric tons of gold ore into the valley every hour. With its long span, the system leaves only a minimal footprint on the ground, and it is characterised by extremely low dust and noise emissions.
Downhill transport allows for green energy to be generated from braking actions, which helps reduce operating costs. This, and the fact that no fossil fuel (Diesel) is required to operate the system is one of the significant differences between RopeCon® and trucks, the other means of transport under consideration for the transport of the ore. The automatic transport system also helps to enhance operational safety and its controls can be integrated into the central control system of the mine.