Prince Colliery underground rope haulage system

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 92, No. 1029, 1999

John T. Ling, Cape Breton Development Corporation, Sydney, Nova Scotia

This paper describes the operation of a rope haulage used as the main system of transportation in an underground coal mine. Prince Colliery, which is operated by the Cape Breton Development Corporation, has been in operation for 23 years and produces 1.2 million tonnes of coal annually. The mine extends a distance of 8000 metres under the Atlantic Ocean. All personnel and supplies are transported by means of an endless rope haulage system consisting of a train of rail cars that are operated by an electric engine on surface. The wire rope is 15 km long and weighs 63 tonnes. The system is believed to be the longest of its type used in an underground coal mine. The design of the system, safety features of the haulage, and problems encountered during the design and construction are described.
Keywords: Coal mining, Haulage systems, Prince Colliery, Rope haulage systems, Underground mining.