More than 72 design modifications turned a standard telehandler, manu- factured by materials handling equip- ment supplier Manitou, into an underground workhorse for gold mining operations in Obuasi, Ghana, says gold mining major AngloGold Ashanti, which took delivery of seven Manitou rough-terrain telehandlers in February.
The telehandlers have been designed with bespoke man-basket attachments, among other modifications. The 6 t machines will perform underground maintenance services in the underground drives, galleries and workshop areas of AngloGold Ashanti’s Obuasi gold mine, operating up to the current depth of 1 km and lower, as the gold mine develops.
AngloGold Ashanti chose to incorporate safety features that would comply with stringent Australian and Ghanaian safety regulations; the standard build Manitous were redesigned with these requirements in mind.
Hydraulic equipment supplier Paterson Simons facilitated the process from the initial planning stages to delivery of the products. Planning involved running the safety regulations through a risk assessment process to evaluate the telehandlers against Ghana’s mining regulations and actual on-site conditions.
Through this process, a comprehensive check list was drafted and applied to the standard model MHT-X 860L. A team from AngloGold Ashanti and the Manitou mining team worked together on the final specification, which involved 72 engineered changes to the machine.
Manitou then produced a prototype tele-handler, which was rigorously tested and even-tually approved by AngloGold Ashanti in the factory before the remaining six machines were approved for production.
All seven telehandlers were delivered to the site by Paterson Simons in late 2013.
The machines will enable crews to work in a safer and more efficient manner in the confined spaces of the underground Obuasi mine. This will enable the workforce to execute concrete spraying and drill roof support, install air and water pipes, hang cables to new working ends, install ventilation fans and vent ducting as well as perform general lifting duties around the mine.