When you think about transportation, a conveyor belt isn’t the first thing that comes to your mind. Trucks, trains, boats and airplanes, those are some of the things that we associate with that industry. But think again.
Most of the world’s industrial operations, like mining, rely heavily on conveyor belts. Yes, huge mining trucks are also represented in that picture, but in a lot of area’s in the world they are too expensive. Trucks are just too expensive to buy, or to maintain. So conveyor belts do all the work, sometimes more then you think they would. The high levels of productivity and low operating costs involved have led to a widespread adoption of belt conveyor systems.
Most mining operations happen in remote area’s, so sometimes these belts extend to great lengths. One of these examples lies in the Western Sahara. This one transports phosphate rocks from the mines of Bou Craa to the port city of El-Aaiun.
The world’s longest conveyor belt is located in the Western Sahara. It is 98 km long and transports phosphate rocks from the mines of Bou Craa to the port city of El-Aaiun. From there, cargo vessels transport the phosphates to various countries, where they are utilized in fertilizer production.
The belt is visible as a straight line in satellite photos, and at some places, easily recognizable by a white strip of phosphates that lay strewn across the dusty brown desert by the action of strong Saharan winds. This conveyor belt that connects Bou Craa with El Aaiún, can carry 2,000 metric tons of rock per hour.
In the state of Meghalaya in India lies the world’s longest single-belt international conveyor. It is about 17 km long and conveys limestone and shale at 960 tons/hour, from a quarry in India to a cement factory at Chhatak Bangladesh. The belt is 7 km long in India and 10 km long in Bangladesh. The entire conveyor has been put on trestles.
Source: Amusing Planet.