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1. (WO2019060948) ROPE CONVEYOR SYSTEM
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Claims

1. A rope conveyor system comprising:

a conveyor belt suspended from a flexible elongate member, the conveyor belt having a pair of carry rollers provided on respective first and second edges of the conveyor belt for rolling engagement with the flexible elongate member wherein, in use, when the conveyor belt is suspended from the flexible elongate member the belt assumes a partially-enclosed curved shape when viewed in cross-section.

2. A rope conveyor system as defined in claim 1 , wherein the flexible elongate member is one of a plurality of flexible elongate members.

3. A rope conveyor system as defined in claim 2, wherein first and second flexible elongate members are provided and the pair of carry rollers respectively engages with the first and second flexible elongate members.

4. A rope conveyor system as defined in any one of claims 1 to 3, wherein the pair of carry rollers is one a plurality of pairs of carry rollers provided at spaced intervals throughout the length of the conveyor belt.

5. A rope conveyor system as defined in claim 3, wherein the plurality of flexible elongate members is supported in a stabiliser frame, which maintains a constant distance between the first and second flexible elongate members and also distributes forces transferred to the flexible elongate members from the carry rollers.

6. A rope conveyor system as defined in claim 5, wherein the flexible elongate members are suspended between first and second anchor points, so as to form a catenary shape between the anchor points.

7. A rope conveyor system as defined in any one of the preceding claims, wherein each carry roller is rotatably mounted on a support arm attached to the belt edge and is adapted to facilitate transfer of normal forces from the belt to the carry roller, and limited bending moments to the carry roller wherein, in use, any horizontal loads on the carry rollers are minimised.

8. A rope conveyor system as defined in claim 7, wherein the support arm comprises an elongate portion on which the carry roller is rotatably mounted at one end, the elongate portion having an elbow which is adapted to allow a plane of rotation of the carry roller to be substantially aligned with a plane of the edge of the belt.

9. A rope conveyor system as defined in claim 8, wherein the support arm further comprises a mounting plate wherein, in use, the mounting plate is attached to the edge of the belt, and the other end of the elongate portion of the support arm is attached to the mounting plate.

10. A rope conveyor system as defined in claim 9, wherein the belt comprises plurality of flexible elongate loops integrated into the conveyor belt material, extending laterally of the belt at spaced intervals along its length, to provide lateral reinforcement for the belt, and also protruding from the edges of the belt to provide connection points for the belt.

1 . A rope conveyor system as defined in claim 10, wherein the mounting plate of the support is provided with a semicircular-shaped loop retaining groove, on which one of the flexible elongate loops is received.

12. A rope conveyor system as defined in claim 1 1 , wherein a restraining cover plate slides over the retaining groove, and is retained on the mounting plate to restrain the steel rope loop in the retaining groove.

13. A rope conveyor system as defined in claim 12, wherein a locking bolt locks the cover plate onto the support arm.

14. A rope conveyor system as defined in any one of the preceding claims, wherein the rope conveyor system further comprises first and second sealing skirts provided along the respective edges of the conveyor belt wherein, in use, when the belt assumes a partially-enclosed curved shape in cross-section the sealing skirts overlap so as to substantially enclose the material within the conveyor belt.

15. A rope conveyor system as defined in claim 5, wherein third and fourth flexible elongate members are provided, spaced below the first and second flexible elongate members, from which the conveyor belt is suspended on the carry rollers during its return journey.

16. A rope conveyor system as defined in claim 15, wherein its return journey the conveyor belt is turned inside out and assumes an open U-shape in cross-section.

17. A conveyor system comprising:

a conveyor belt suspended from an elongate member, the conveyor belt having a pair of carry rollers provided on respective first and second edges of the conveyor belt for rolling engagement with the elongate member wherein, in use, when the conveyor belt is suspended from the elongate member the belt assumes a partially-enclosed curved shape when viewed in cross-section.

18. A conveyor system as defined in claim 17, wherein the elongate member is one of a plurality of elongate members.

19. A conveyor system as defined in claim 18, wherein first and second elongate members are provided and the pair of carry rollers respectively engages with the first and second elongate members.

20. A conveyor system as defined in any one of claims 17 to 19, wherein the pair of carry rollers is one a plurality of pairs of carry rollers provided at spaced intervals throughout the length of the conveyor belt.

21. A conveyor system as defined in claim 19, wherein the plurality of elongate members is a plurality of substantially rigid elongate members, and is supported on roof mounted support frames located at spaced intervals along an underground tunnel roof, which support the belt in both its carry and return journeys.

22. A wharf conveyor system for loading ships offshore, the conveyor system comprising:

a conveyor belt suspended from a flexible elongate member;

a plurality of stabiliser frames in which the flexible elongate member and the conveyor belt is supported in a stable manner in both its carry and return journeys; and,

a plurality of support columns located at suitable spaced intervals in the seabed, each support column supporting one of the plurality of stabiliser frames;

wherein, in use, materials can be conveyed to an offshore ship via the conveyor belt.

23. A wharf conveyor system as claimed in claim 22, wherein the flexible elongate member is one of a pair of flexible elongate members, and the conveyor belt has a pair of carry rollers provided on respective first and second edges of the conveyor belt for rolling engagement with the respective flexible elongate members.

24. A wharf conveyor system as claimed in claim 23, wherein third and fourth flexible elongate members are also supported on the stabiliser frame, spaced below the first and second flexible elongate members, from which the conveyor belt is suspended on the carry rollers during its return journey, and wherein during its return journey the conveyor belt is turned inside out and upside down, so as to assume an open U-shape in cross-section.

25. A wharf conveyor system as claimed in claim 24, wherein a distance between the third and fourth flexible elongate members for the return belt support rollers is increased so that in the event of spillage any spilled material will be collected by the return belt.

26. A cross-pit spreader or conveyor bridge system for conveying ore from a mine pit to a dump area, the system comprising:

a conveyor belt suspended from a flexible elongate member; and,

first and second mobile machines for supporting each end of the flexible elongate member, each mobile machine being heavy enough to transfer horizontal tension forces from the elongate member via friction into the ground.

27. A cross-pit spreader or conveyor bridge system as defined in claim 26, wherein each mobile machine is supported by a crawler.

28. A cross-pit spreader or conveyor bridge system as defined in claim 27, wherein each crawler is provided with a hydraulically operated claw system, mounted on an underside of a crawler chassis to increase a ground friction factor.

29. A cross-pit spreader or conveyor bridge system as defined in any one of claims 26 to 28, wherein a first one of the mobile machines located in the mine pit comprises a receiving boom pivotally mounted on a receiving boom slew deck, and wherein the slew deck is supported on a conveyor slew frame which is mounted on the first mobile machine.

30. A cross-pit spreader or conveyor bridge system as defined in claim 26, wherein the flexible elongate member is one of a pair of flexible elongate members, and the conveyor belt has a pair of carry rollers provided on respective first and second edges of the conveyor belt for rolling engagement with the respective flexible elongate members.