Mine skip and guides - 254 page PDF

Amused comment on a totally excessively detailed contribution when looking at improving the skip loading and skip operations at Condurrow mine...

While doing Skip load - Condurrow mine I also asked around on the Internet if anyone knows anything about mine skips for hauling up shafts.

The find...

I was pointed to this:

Development of Vertical Shaft Skip and Guide Design
[external link - US National Technical Information Service]
published in 1977.

This PDF is 254 pages ...
Printed that would be something like an inch thick.

Which is hilariously excessive for what needs optimising at the tiny Condurrow mine.

What I learned...

I did learn a massive amount from this document.
Taken in the context of what I had already learned in a short time from Carn Brea Mining Society, particularly while volunteering at the Condurrow mine. Plus the very few "geology for beginners" books I had already read.

My "key" learning point...
Operating a deep mine with "only" shaft access, efficiency of skip haulage from the depths of the mine will significantly affect the viability of that mine.

Expanded detail on what I learned

Such a "deep" mine might be 1000m deep or more.
The limited amount of the mineral and how marginal are its economics of extraction might mean shaft access is the only viable means. Shaft meaning a small vertical shaft only a very very few metres diameter (or rectangular/square)

My interpretation (apologies if this is misguided);
at the time of writing, 1977, which was "The Cold War", the USA wanted to ensure that every mineral needed to sustain industrial production was available from within the USA.
Even if sources with better economics were available elsewhere in the world.
eg if there were lower-cost open-cast pit quarrying of the mineral in another economic bloc, strategic planning would ensure there were a source within the USA sufficient to meet military needs.
This could mean for rare "Unobtainium" type metals (an eponymous fictitious example of a rare metal needed for specific purposes) there would have to be deep mine to a marginal source.

Hence this study funded by the Government.

Did the information in the report contribute anything to the Condurrow mine "project"?


The mine is only a few 10's of metres deep before you reach the water-table (the historic Great Condurrow Mine was pumped from Woolf's Shaft which was 520m deep).
The amount of ore accessible is trivial - not a teeny part of being an economic mining operation.
So for the "hobby interest" mining activity, a small skip travelling at low speeds up and down the very short shaft totally outpaces any mining activity.

(R. Smith, 02Dec2023, 04Dec2023 (ed.))