Alimak install industrial lift within an existing shaft at QNI's Palmer Nickel & Cobalt Refinery

Nickel and Cobalt Refinery, Townsville, Australia

Alimak replace a temporary construction hoist with a permanent SE 2000 industrial rack and pinion lift on the Queensland Nickel Group’s Palmer Nickel and Cobalt Refinery. Installed in 2012, the industrial lift was engineered to fit a pre-existing shaft within the structure.

For over a decade, an Alimak counterweight hoist has provided personnel with access to the Palmer Refinery’s roaster building during busy shut-down periods. In 2012, this temporary hoist was replaced with a permanent Alimak SE 2000 industrial lift, installed within a pre-existing shaft of the building.

Constructed in the early 1970s, the refinery’s 13-floor roaster building is used in the reduction roasting of nickel ore. In the mid 2000’s, a temporary Alimak 28/42 counterweight hoist was installed on the roaster building’s exterior. Servicing 9 floors of the structure, the Alimak hoist was used during shutdown periods on the refinery, with two traction elevators providing transportation of personnel throughout the facility.

Working closely to Queensland Nickel’s specifications, Alimak designed, manufactured and installed an SE 2000 rack and pinion lift to operate within an existing shaft inside the roaster building. A major challenge was ensuring the selected SE 2000 lift would fit within the pre-designed shaft area; a task that involved careful designing, engineering and several modifications to the shaft. The installation of landing door assemblies proved challenging, with confined space requiring several door assemblies to be installed behind low-hanging beams.

Given the enclosed space of the shaft, the SE lift’s installation required the use of a crane to manually lower the mast and lift car into the shaft from the building’s roof. The structure’s rooftop was re-constructed to enclose the lift shaft. These weather-proof conditions allowed the lift-car to be completed with the standard aluminum and galvanized finish, with no additional protective surface treatment required.

While the original Alimak counterweight hoist was fitted to the structure’s exterior and provided access to 9 levels, the new Alimak SE 2000 was installed within an internal lift shaft and serviced all 13-levels of the roaster building, including the roof. Available for use 24 hours a day, the SE lift transports materials, equipment and personnel, with a specially-designed access platform allowing for the easy loading and offloading of palletized loads.

Elevator details

Palmer Nickel & Cobalt Refinery, Townsville, Australia
Elevator model
Nickel refinery, men and material access
No. of landings
2000 kg
Car size
1.56 m x 2.21 m
0.6 m/sec
Lifting height
37 m
Nickel & Cobalt Refinery

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