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Compressors are worth ‘their weight in gold’

Rand-Air is supplying a gold-processing and refinery plant with three electric oil-free compressors on a long-term rental basis

SUPPLY AND DEMAND Rand-Air is supplying a gold-processing and refinery plant with three electric oil-free compressors on a long-term rental basis

12th March 2021

By: Khutso Maphatsoe



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Rand-Air recently secured a repeat hire with a long-standing customer in the mining industry; when underground compressors were required, Rand-Air met the customer’s specific requirements, explains Rand-Air sales consultant Marinda Enslin.

She adds that Rand-Air was the only company then and now that can supply the customer with underground compressors modified to their particular specifications.

“Our most recent hire to this customer was two of industrial equipment manufacturer Atlas Copco’s GA110 electric compressors for use in underground drilling and secondary support for expansion mining in high productivity areas,” she states.

Enslin adds that the one-day turnaround time for delivery on this hire was based on the close relationship that Rand-Air enjoys with this mining customer.

“We develop strong and intuitive relationships with our customer base, anticipating as far as possible what and when they will have a requirement. So, when the customer requested the compressors for this latest hire, we had them in stock and were able to deliver to the mine on the same day.”

She points out that the customer is hiring nine underground compressors from Rand- Air, and they vary in size from GA75s to GA110s.

Each of the Atlas Copco GA110 electric compressors supplies a free air delivery of 710CFM at a working pressure of 7 bar. The compressors are fitted with a 525 V 110 kW electric motor and are specifically modified to operate underground, with all conversions done to the mine’s specifications.

“We collaborated with the customer throughout the compressor selection process to ensure that its operations run the minimal number of compressors in the most efficient way. “Rand-Air offers a total solution concept. ensuring that customers can focus on their core business while we take care of their equipment rental requirements,” she says.

The compressor designs are compact, with a reduced footprint for better use in smaller spaces. They are manufactured with a robust steel canopy and are on a skid-mounted frame, which is designed for a forklift to fit into, consequently allowing for their being easily moved.

The compressors are also fitted with steel roof panels and steel grating panels, with all components assembled on the manufactured frame.

“For optimised visibility underground, the frame structure is lined with red and yellow demarcation tape.

“The customer was impressed with our service all round, including having technicians on site to assist when we delivered the compressors. “Their machines were delivered on time and are now running smoothly,” says Enslin.

She highlights that as the demand for gold increases, Rand-Air will conclude more hires in the African gold sector.

“We look forward to providing our underground compressors for many more customers in the mining sector, ‘striking gold’ with our service and technology excellence,” she says.

Meanwhile, Rand-Air sales and marketing manager Byrone Thorne says Rand-Air is supplying three electric oil-free compressors on a long-term rental basis to a gold processing and refinery plant.

The compressed air supplied by these compressors is being used to crush the mineral into a pulp in gold processing.

The pulp is then taken to acid leach tanks, where constant movement is required at all times to prevent the product from hardening and, consequently, making it unsuitable for further processing.

“Rand-Air’s oil-free compressors are also being used for the customer’s actuator valves, and instrumentation. “This is done to prevent oil from coming into contact with any of the process instrumentation,” he says.

Rand-Air may also supply a standby oil-free diesel compressor to the customer, as compressed air is critical for the plant and its production, as production cannot be interrupted or stopped because of a shortage of compressed air, he concludes.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor



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