3 Keys to Extending the Life of Chutes in a Gold Mine


As the gold industry continues to face challenges, it has never been more important for operations in the mine to run at maximum efficiency. Gold prices dropped significantly in 2013 and there is potential for that trend to continue in 2014. With lower prices, production costs also need to be lowered to maintain profits.

One area that leads to lost productivity and driving up operation costs come from broken down equipment that requires expensive replacement pieces. Not only does the new equipment require finances, but the mine also suffers from downtime where production slows or halts for a time altogether.

To prevent these production issues, an investment in abrasion-resistant wear solutions that can extend the valuable life of your equipment without adding weight that can negatively impact performance.

One piece of equipment that faces a lot of impact and abrasion that can benefit from abrasion resistant parts is a chute.

Here are three ways that a chromium carbide overlay liner can extend the lifetime of your chutes:

1. Improve Performance and Efficiency

Adding a liner to your mine’s chute can improve the capacity at which the raw material is processed. With a chromium carbide overlay plate in plate, the material will be less likely to stick to the chute. By not sticking, it will allow for materials to continue through production at a steady rate. Not to mention having less material loss because it’s not sticking to the chute.
As the chromium carbide overlay plate is broken into the application material continues to move at a quicker rate because it becomes slick, allowing for a stronger processing speed. The more efficiently the equipment functions the longer it will be able to operate in the long run.

2. Withstands Abrasion

Adding a chute liner with a hard, abrasion-resistant material allows the liner to take the full scope of wear and abrasion, leaving the chute itself intact. Mine equipment is subjected to an excessive amount of force from the rough sliding of hard materials such as gold. The constant movement and contact can wear down the chute over time and result in costly damage, with more cost in the loss of material from worn sections in the chute. You can extend equipment life by protecting the more integral and expensive parts, and letting the inexpensive liner face the damage.
Chromium carbide overlay plates have a high Brinell Hardness, typically around 600. More often than not, the 600 BHN is harder than the chute’s exterior shell, in some cases the entire chute is made from chromium carbide overlay plate.

3. Quick Change-outs

One of the greatest advantages of chute liners is how quickly and easily they can be changed out for new ones. Quick replacements eliminate unnecessary downtime and cost much less than it would to repair an entire chute. Since the liners are relatively economical, they can easily be purchased each time one is worn out and greatly improve the functional life of the equipment it protects.

These are three benefits that a chromium carbide overlay liner can provide and extend the life of a chute. For a relatively small investment, a chute liner can provide immediate value while also increasing the longevity of your equipment.

For any mining company looking to make their operation more efficient, chute liners and other high quality wear solutions are some of the best options for reducing operation costs in mining applications.

Especially in gold mines where falling prices make efficient operating an imperative, improving the ability of your chutes to handle the daily rigors of mining is a great way to get the most out of your equipment.

If this sounds like an option you want to explore in your operation, you can purchase wear solutions for one piece of equipment, such as a chute, and if it improves production you can then expand to other products as you see fit.