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Greenlaws Firestone Level Dig - Super Winch, How Deep Can You Go? (30/04/11).

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Finally about a month ago, the shaft has now been equipped with an electric winch capable of safely carrying loads of half a tonne. It was built by Dog Pete's old mining buddy from the 1970's, Geoff Smith, in his Teeside workshop.

The winch has 100m of 6mm stainless wire rope, a hydraulic braking system, and a 12:1 reduction gear system, which brings a fully loaded kibble to the shaft collar from 20m down the shaft in about 7 seconds. The 5HP electric motor pulls very little current from the system, which means that pumping and ventilation are unaffected when it is running. The kibbles run up a specially made chute, lined with conveyor belting, which ensures a smooth run both up and down the shaft, even around curves. A conventional shaft signalling system is being installed which uses the traditional knocker line signals for raise / lower and stop.

With the winch now running progress has been accelerated to a ridiculous level now, and the biggest problem is barrowing the spoil out to the surface fast enough!