Energy efficiency of belt conveyors has recently gained in importance worldwide. While significant research efforts were consecrated to the operational aspects, the literature study shows the design optimization problem was scarcely investigated in the past. Among the various type of belt conveyors, the multi-drive technology is now increasingly acknowledged as involving further cost saving opportunities as a result of the possible reduction of the belt weight. In this paper, a multi-drive belt conveyor sizing model that aims to minimize the life cycle cost of the conveyor is presented. The effectiveness of the proposed approach in improving their economic benefits over the single-drive conveyors has been established through extensive simulations on a practical case study. The robustness of the best design solution against the variation in the inflation rate have been also validated.