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Optimization Of Conveyor Safety With Enduride At SLN, A Subsidiary Of The Eramet Group



The Société Le NICKEL (SLN), a subsidiary of the ERAMET group located in Nouméa, New Caledonia, is actively committed to the safety of its operations by seeking to increasingly minimize the risks associated with pinch points for its conveyors. The Doniambo site, situated in Nouméa, houses an impressive fleet of nearly 60 conveyors, complemented by other installations spread across SLN’s mining centers in Thio, Kouaoua, Tiébaghi, and Népoui.

Distinguished by remarkable diversity, these conveyors include fixed and mobile models, as well as Stacker types, both outdoor and indoor. Currently, certain crucial parts of these conveyors, such as head and tail drums, are equipped with mechanical protections in the form of steel grids securely bolted to the structure. However, these protections have notable drawbacks, being both heavy and requiring a significant amount of time for disassembly and reassembly.

Aware of the challenges, The Société Le NICKEL (SLN) aims to explore more efficient alternatives by considering the possibility of adopting flexible protections, including tensioned nets. This initiative aims to ensure optimal protection of pinch points along the entire length of several conveyors, thus combining increased safety with quicker intervention when needed. This approach demonstrates SLN’s openness to innovation for the optimal safety of its employees and, consequently, better performance.


Currently, two crucial conveyors, T1 and H213, require special attention regarding protection. These conveyors are dedicated to the transportation of nickel ore, with one handling “raw” ore and the other handling “pre-dried” ore.

It is crucial to emphasize that these two conveyors are located at the strategic Doniambo site, housing the metallurgical plant dedicated to ferro-nickel production. The plant operates continuously, 24/7, relying on these two essential conveyors. In this context, possible downtime windows for the installation of flexible protections are potentially limited, considering the need to maintain the continuous operation of the plant.

This constraint underscores the importance of our ability at Enduride to support quick and efficient installations, ensuring conveyor safety without compromising the crucial productivity of the plant. Our commitment to SLN is to address these operational challenges while ensuring optimal protection for critical equipment.

The unique climatic conditions at the Doniambo site, as well as the characteristics of the two conveyors, impose significant constraints to consider when implementing a protection solution. Here is a detailed overview of these conditions:

Climate condition

T1 Conveyor Characteristics

H213 Conveyor Characteristics

Climate: Subtropical

Classification: Zone 5, exposed site


Extreme Maximum: 36.7°C

Average Maximum (February): 29.1°C

Average Minimum (July): 17.4°C

Extreme Minimum: 10.9°C at Doniambo

Air Humidity:

Extreme Maximum: 100%, may exceed 95% for approximately 4 days during a cyclonic episode

Average: 77%

Extreme Minimum: 29%

Rainfall: 1050 mm/year at Doniambo

Intensity: 5 liters/minute/m² of horizontal projection for 1 hour

Wind Speed: V b,0 = 36 m/s

Wind regulation to be applied: Eurocode 3

Location: Outdoor

Total length to be equipped: 77.9m

Site environment: Dusty and saline (proximity to the sea)

Operating time: Continuous, 24/7


Temperature: Ambient

Nature: Raw nickeliferous laterites and saprolites (siliceous base)

Water content: Approximately 30%

Granulometry: 0-80mm

Location: Partially outdoor and partially in a tunnel

Total length to be equipped: 63m (part in the tunnel)

Site environment: Dusty and saline (proximity to the sea)

Operating time: Continuous, 24/7


Temperature: Ambient

Nature: Pre-dried nickeliferous laterites and saprolites (siliceous base)

Water content: Approximately 20%

Granulometry: 0-80mm

Finally, the implementation of mesh guards to protect the pinch points of the mentioned conveyors must strictly adhere to the current European standards:

  • NF EN 620+A1 February 2011: Safety requirements and Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) for fixed belt conveyors dedicated to the transportation of bulk materials.
  • NF EN ISO 13857 October 2019: Guidelines for safety distances to prevent any contact of upper and lower limbs with areas considered hazardous.


Our journey begins with a pre-study, forged in collaboration with the engineering company A2EP Norda Stelo, where Enduride solutions emerged as the rare gem. An online exploration then highlighted the potential of Enduride as a supplier, thus initiating a collaboration focused on safety and adaptability.

The choice of Enduride’s safety guards naturally emerged due to a symbiosis between the product and the specific needs of SLN. An understanding of the operational environment and safety standards, along with tailor-made guards that are agile, easy to install, and maneuver during maintenance, were key factors in this strategic decision. Faced with these complex conditions, the imperative was to develop protection solutions that are both robust and adapted, capable of withstanding the elements while ensuring the safety and operational efficiency of conveyors in this demanding environment. Enduride’s strong reputation within the group greatly solidified this choice.

Our first intervention materialized on conveyor T1, where the installation of guards was completed over a length of 80 meters in just two days under our supervision. An achievement that attests to our operational efficiency and commitment to uncompromising safety.

Before choosing Enduride, SLN had undertaken a comprehensive study of safety solutions. A field test with fixed metal guards had been conducted, but it was the flexibility of Enduride’s guards that won the match, demonstrating unparalleled adaptability.

Before the arrival of Enduride mesh guards, compliance with safety standards was a central concern for SLN. Our guards met this challenge by ensuring compliance with standards and blocking unauthorized access to the hazardous area while enabling users to work safely with the conveyor.


While accident statistics remain unchanged (thanks to the absence of incidents), Enduride’s tensioned net guards have established strengthened daily safety. Employees, initially hesitant, now view these guards as essential collaborators rather than obstacles. Adjustments to plans and the cable locking system are suggested for continuous improvement.

Employee training has been crucial, but managing change remains a human challenge. The addition of these lightweight yet sturdy guards has reinvented the relationship between humans and machines, ushering in a new era of secure collaboration.

Measuring tangible benefits can be complex, but SLN observes a daily safety gain with Enduride guards, which remain in place permanently, facilitating daily operations compared to heavy metal guards.

The integration of Enduride mesh guards has not only enhanced safety but has also positively influenced SLN’s reputation within the Eramet group, fully supporting the bold and humane vision of “People First”. A successful fusion of innovation, safety, and team well-being.


This project demonstrates our ongoing commitment to safety and the protection of critical equipment. SLN’s positive experience with Enduride guards underscores the importance of tailored, maneuverable solutions, and serious partnerships in the conveyor safety field. Another step towards a secure and efficient working environment. Our understanding of conveying operations and safety standards ensures not only regulatory compliance but also the implementation of optimal safety measures, thereby ensuring the adequate protection of pinch points on our conveyors. A protection system that will be embraced by workers for its user-friendliness: installation, opening and closing, maintenance, and access to spare parts.


Further information

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