The entire world is full of conveyor belts. Pulled together a system conveyor rollers, these incredible pieces of technological innovation usually go unnoticed and therefore are underappreciated, but the world would have been a very different place without them. They are utilised for everything from moving heavy cases around shipping warehouses to a vital element in food making processes.
Deep within the Western Sahara, surrounded by no other thing but barren desert, stands the world’s largest conveyor belt system. It’s so huge actually, that it could be viewed from space. This massive framework extends over 61 kilometres and it is utilised to transport phosphate stone throughout the desert.
The automatic conveyor belt system begins its quest at the Bou Craa Phosphate Mine. Phosphate is required as a vital agricultural fertiliser and this Moroccan-managed territory has around 85% of the world’s current reserves. Phosphate is in demand around the world and we all consume about 40 million tonnes each year, so it’s obvious why such a huge structure had to be created. The belt model is ST 2500 and is only 80cm wide but features a maximum carrying capacity of Two thousand tonnes of raw phosphate stone per hour. The many conveyor rollers that comprise this system are crucial to the sleek functioning.
The Bou Craa phosphate mine has been found in The late 1940s by the Spanish. The phosphate deposit found in the area have been unusually near to the surface and were definitely of really high purity, so it made it a great location to mine, though mining did not entirely begin until the 1960’s. Since the start of operations, the mine continues to expand and today covers an astounding 1,225 hectares. The production in 2001 was 1.5 million metric tonnes of processed phosphate, an abnormally big percentage of the planet’s supply from one mine.
The belt, which has been functioning for more than thirty years, finishes its 61 kilometre journey in the El Aain shoreline where the load is refined and shipped. The belt isn’t enclosed and with time, moving phosphate rock continues to be carried by the prevailing wind and miles of land south of the belt now appears completely white from outer space.
The Bou Craa conveyor belt has such a vital role to play that if it ever failed, food costs around the globe would noticeably increase as supplies of phosphate fertiliser would come to be scarcer. Who’d have imagined a straightforward conveyor belt can be so tied in to the worlds food? With a small amount of exaggeration, you could claim that the conveyor rollers and belt contained within this system are what enables billions of men and women around the globe to eat.
The Bou Craa conveyor is really a accomplishment of engineering and one of a kind. It is improbable that we’ll see one more conveyor belt of comparable dimensions built in our lives.
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