Supplier of compact multipurpose diggers, loaders and attachments, Avant South Africa (SA) has introduced several new loader attachments to the underground mining industry this year.
The new attachments, which were developed during 2012, include lift platforms, sweeping attachments and forklift attachments with grabs for underground trasportation and materials handling.
Further, Avant SA has also developed a tilt adaptor for attachments working on sloped terrain and closed cabs with air- conditioners for dusty environments.
The company says that it is also finalising the design of a universal sweeping attachment for use in underground mining applications.
Avant SA supplies the Avant 200, 400, 500, 600 and 700 series of diggers and mini loaders with about 135 attachments for applications such as digging, construction, property maintenance, farming, landscaping and wood processing.
The Avant 538 Series mini loader was first introduced at a leading gold mining group in South Africa in 2008 to establish its durability and the safety aspects of clean-up operations.
Thereafter, the Avant 528 Series mini loader was fitted with various custom additions, as one of the major focus areas was to incorporate the machine within the limitations of the mine profile, while still maintaining its performance capabilities.
The Avant 528 Series mini-loader comes standard with boom extension, boom self- levelling and drive release. The custom additions and retrofits required to make the mini loaders compliant with the safety requirements of underground mines’ mining applications included the addition of engine protection systems, reverse hooters, strobe lights, light-emitting diode lights, fire suppression equipment, polyurethane-filled tyres, stronger cylinders and controls, bigger buckets, tyre chains and electronic park brakes.
The mini loader was initially used for crosscut cleaning, spillage loading and revamping applications in underground mining, owing to its size, power-to-weight ratio, ability to handle heavy loads at a higher level and reach than its competitors and durability in reducing operational downtime.
The application for the under- ground mining environment was later expanded, owing to the range of attachments that were developed and released for the Avant mini loaders.
Besides cleaning between rail tracks, the mini loaders, when fitted with a suitable attachment, can also undertake rock breaking, roof bolting, revamping, materials handling and cleaning of box holes, as well as for forklift applications on surface and plant clean-ups.
The mini loaders can now also be used for support drilling, when fitted with a customised drifter attachment.