what do you call the two parts of the lift that goes down a mine


In the mining industry, vertical transportation is essential for moving workers, equipment, and materials into and out of mines. One crucial component of this process is the lift system, which enables miners to descend and ascend safely. Lifts in mines consist of two primary parts: the cage and the counterweight. These components work together to facilitate efficient and secure transportation, ensuring the smooth operations of underground mining.

The Cage

The cage is a solid and robust compartment that transports miners, equipment, and materials up and down the mine shaft. Made of durable materials such as steel, the cage provides a safe platform for transportation. Typically, cages are designed to accommodate multiple passengers or heavy loads, enabling efficient movement within the mine. To ensure utmost safety, cages are equipped with gates or doors that can be securely closed during transportation, preventing any accidental falls or injuries.

The cage is attached to steel ropes or hoist ropes, which are responsible for lowering and raising it within the shaft. These ropes are connected to a winding drum or winch located at the surface, operated by an electric motor or other power sources. The movement of the cage is controlled by a skilled operator, ensuring the smooth and precise transportation of miners and materials.

what do you call the two parts of the lift that goes down a mine

The Counterweight

As the cage descends, the counterweight ascends simultaneously. The counterweight serves as a balancing mechanism, offsetting the weight of the cage and its occupants. It is a large mass consisting of heavy materials, such as concrete or cast iron, constructed to counterbalance the load within the cage. By having a counterweight, the lift system requires less energy to raise the cage, resulting in a more efficient and economical mining operation.

The counterweight is connected to the cage via another set of ropes or cables, known as compensation ropes. These ropes are responsible for maintaining the equilibrium of the lift system and ensuring the stability and safety of transportation. In the event of a potential power failure, the counterweight acts as a failsafe, preventing sudden drops or movements of the cage, thus safeguarding the miners within.


The cage and the counterweight are indispensable components of mining lifts, allowing miners, equipment, and materials to navigate the depths of mines efficiently and safely. The cage provides a secure transport platform, while the counterweight ensures the balance and stability of the lift system. Together, these two parts work in harmony to facilitate the smooth operations of underground mining, enabling the extraction of valuable resources from beneath the Earth’s surface.

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