Mining equipment manufacturer and supplier Becker Mining South Africa’s short turnaround time for the manufacturing of rope attachments provides the company with a competitive edge to take on large projects in the local mining sector, Becker Mining SA capital senior GM Tom Searle tells Mining Weekly.
The company received an order for the manufacture and supply of rope attachments for an underground diamond mining project, in Limpopo, in August last year. Searle says the equipment was delivered before the end of December – it took the company three-and-a-half months to complete an order that would generally take between six and eight months to complete.
“We worked overtime. We also negotiated with clients to move their deliveries forward. We pulled all our resources together,” he says, emphasising that the urgency stemmed from it being the largest and most significant rope attachment order last year for Becker Mining.
Becker Mining SA designed the equipment, which covers the specific winding requirements of the underground mine. Four sets of head rope attachments and four sets of tail rope attachments were required for the 4.5-m-diameter drum of a Koepe winder, which accommodates 38-mm-diameter head ropes and 40-mm-diameter tail ropes.
The fully machined components, with a total mass of 53 t, were specially packed for long-term storage, and delivered in 49 large wooden crates. The components were wrapped in plastic so that no water or air could get into them, adds Searle.
The project included the manufacture of a complete running set and a spare set of Koepe attachments for two rock winders. Each set suits four off 46-mm-diameter headropes and four off 48-mm-diameter tail ropes. The order also required the supply of four sets of 30 t rocket-type safety detaching hook sets for the man winder and 10 t rocket-type hook sets for the service cage.
Jack catch boxes, jack catch lugs and posts were also supplied for each conveyance. The components are mounted in the headgear as a vital safety feature to prevent injury to personnel, as well as damage to the shaft infrastructure, should an overwind occur.
“Safety is the first priority . . . It’s completely necessary that you need to attach a rope to a conveyance. Rope attachments are used in several vertical shafts where they provide a safe method of terminating the winding rope,” states Searle.
Becker Mining also supplied WRC clamps, which were used during installation and will be used when rope maintenance is required. A spare set of rope attachments was also supplied.
All the legal testing requirements – including the South African Mine Health and Safety Act No 29 of 1996 – to certify that the equipment met all the necessary specifications were also completed.
Meanwhile, Becker Mining can design and manufacture rope attachments for any mine winder. Proof-load testing of up to two-and-a-half times the safe workloads that it would be subjected to in service is performed on the equipment. The company’s equipment provides mines with the assurance of many years of safe transportation of personnel and material to and from underground mining operations, says Searle.
“Our equipment is used worldwide and exported to countries such as Australia, Mongolia, Mexico and Canada, as well as various African countries . . .” he concludes.