Underground Mine Ramps

A surface production ramp is a ramp that provides access to the mine from surface and is used to transport ore using haul trucks. In general, these are used in more shallow underground mines as an alternative to shafts, however recently they have been widely used in high volume, moderate depth mines in Australia. In some cases, a ramp will perform some or all the listed functions. In particular, a surface production ramp can perform all functions and an ore handling ramp can also act as a service ramp.

Ore handling ramp is a ramp that does not go to surface but is still a fundamental part of production and ore handling. Generally used to move ore from sublevels to primary levels or to the nearest ore pass where it can then be transported to a loading pocket to be hauled to surface via skips.

Service ramp is a ramp that is needed solely to move equipment and personnel between levels and sub-levels as work progresses, rather than for production purposes.

Ramp Types

Spiral ramps – these ramps allow vehicles to travel at moderate speeds without having to slow to round corners, as in the case of switchback ramps, and can access multiple levels reasonably well with short crosscuts. They also provide a compact footprint when land parcel size on surface is a design constraint. They can however be harder on equipment and operators who must be subjected to continuous centripetal forces.

Switchback ramps – are ideal for accessing all levels and sublevels with minimal crosscuts and should therefore be the primary choice for ore handling and service ramps, particularly when low development costs are a priority. They do however require vehicles to slow at each corner, which can substantially increase travel/cycle times.

Straight ramps – are rarely capable of accessing all the necessary levels of a mine and should therefore be reserved for surface production ramps. They allow vehicles to travel faster than other ramp types. Straight ramps will reach surface a substantial distance from the orebody and infrastructure placement should be planned accordingly. Consequently, larger land ownership requirements are also required. It should however be noted that in some cases these problems can be solved with a single well-placed switchback.

At AES, we design your ramps according to Mine Design’s Parameters so that you can have the best of roadways for your service vehicles.