JA Engineering showcases new continuous mining machine

JAE38 Wildcub Continuous Miner

JAE38 Wildcub Continuous Miner

Photo by Creamer Media's Marleny Arnoldi

14th June 2023

By: Marleny Arnoldi

Deputy Editor Online


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Original-equipment manufacturer JA Engineering (JAE) has showcased the latest in its range of underground mining equipment, the JAE38 Wildcub.

The locally manufactured, low-mid-seam continuous mining machine is testament to the expertise and craftmanship of the company’s design and technology team, says CEO Matimba Mahange.

The radio remote-controlled JAE38 Wildcub uses its weight to convert high cutting power into production, incorporating some of the design philosophies and principles of its predecessor, the JAE42 Wildcat.

Although the machine has been designed for use in typical hard cutting ‘room and pillar’ coal mining where a high cutting force is required, it can be modified for softer rock applications.

The machine is able to cut areas between 1.6 m to 3.8 m in height, with a minimum tramming height of 1.45 m, and a cutter width of 3.6 m.

A feature that customers will appreciate is the improved over-torque protection for cutter-head, with an ergonomic motor access and hand-hold points for the cutter boom.

Locally, a JAE38 Wildcub is currently operating at Overlooked Colliery’s Forzando North coal mine, in Bethal, Mpumalanga.

A mining company in India is also among the first to have placed orders for the new machine. The order destined for India, which includes other equipment such as shuttle cars, will start shipping at the end of June.

Mahange says between 70% and 80% of the JAE38 Wildcub components are manufactured or sourced locally, while the balance, particularly electronics, is imported.


Since its establishment 37 years ago, JAE has refined its integrated engineering offerings and achieved some notable high market shares. For example, the company holds 80% of the battery scoops market in the South African coal mining industry.

The company’s complete fleet solutions of underground mining equipment, including continuous miners, shuttle cars, roof bolters and feeder breakers, will soon be expanded by more surface mining equipment.

Mahange tells Mining Weekly that JAE has, over the years, increasingly extended its engineering advisory services to customers, which has transformed the company from a product supplier to a partner in productivity.

He sees potential for more orders coming from India and Australia, as these are among the world’s strongest growing coal mining markets. In fact, he emphasises that JAE’s factory is already equipped and versed to manufacture according to international standards and specifications for these markets, which are often different from the standards and specifications in South Africa.

JAE moved from a 5 000 m2 premises in Jet Park to a 20 000 m2 premises in Anderbolt, in December 2022. It currently uses 15 000 m2 of the available space.

The new facility allows room for research and development of surface mining equipment, as well as expanded production capacity of existing equipment.

Mahange has plans to grow the business to employ more than its current 250 people, as well as significantly increase revenues by becoming more competitive with its existing solutions, and developing new innovations.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online


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