Contract to design rock conveyor awarded

This article is excerpted from the Fermilab article Contract to design rock conveyor for neutrino experiment awarded of 5 July, 2017.

If in a few years you happen to travel down Highway 85 in the Black Hills near Lead, South Dakota, you will find yourself passing beneath a new, narrow beam-like structure stretching across the road overhead.

You’ll be crossing under part of a conveyor system that will be used to transport rock from nearly a mile underground at the former Homestake gold mine — now the Sanford Underground Research Facility — to an enormous open pit on the surface as underground space is carved out to house (the DUNE far) detector…

A conceptual illustration of the above-ground portion of the rock conveyor. Image: Sanford Lab

On June 28, Fermi Research Alliance LLC, which operates Fermilab, signed a contract with North Alabama Fabricating Company to design and fabricate the pipe conveyor to be installed at Sanford Lab. The contract supports the excavation for the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility (LBNF), the facility that will house and support DUNE…

Fermilab and Sanford Lab staff expect conveyor installation to begin in mid-2018 and continue for six months. Rock removal is expected to take about three years once the conveyor begins operating…

“The conveyor will transport 875,000 tons of rock — approximately equal to the mass of eight Nimitz class aircraft carriers,” said retired U.S. Navy admiral Chris Mossey, who is now the LBNF project director at Fermilab…

Read the full article.