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Médias / Actualités Produits et SAV / Atlas Copco supplies low-built mechanized equipment for low seam mining in South Africa

Atlas Copco supplies low-built mechanized equipment for low seam mining in South Africa


Anglo Platinum boosts platinum output<BR> The world’s leading platinum producer, The Anglo Platinum Group, will boost its annual production of platinum from 2 to 3.6 million ounces during the years from 1999 to 2006. Today the Group accounts for more than half of South Africa’s 72% contribution to world supplies. Total ore production in 2000 was close to 50 mtons whereof 19.6 mtons were generated from underground mining operations.

The additional metal will be sourced from a number of new mines as well as from expansion and further mechanization of existing operations. One of the newly developed mines, Waterval, selected Atlas Copco as the sole supplier of drilling and loading equipment for its low seam ore body, dipping 9 degrees, having a thickness of merely 0.8 meters. The extreme customer demands for compactness, versatility and low height coupled with high production prestanda resulted in the design of Rocket Boomer S1 L at Atlas Copco’s engineering department in Örebro, Sweden and the
ST 600 LP loader at the Atlas Copco Wagner Division in Portland, USA. The equipment forms part of the 75 million SEK contract, which was signed in August 2001, comprising 14 drill rigs and 21 loaders.
As there is a large potential in mining narrow, flat seams with a minimum of waste rock, our new range of low built, highly productive underground mining equipment represents a major break-through in product design, says Björn Rosengren, Senior Vice President and Head of the Construction and Mining Business Area at Atlas Copco.

Low built Boomer
The Rocket Boomer S1 L is based on well proven heavy duty Atlas Copco components, such as the rock drill COP 1838, the boom BUT 28, the feed BMH 2837 and the drilling system DCS 18-280. With its protective roof in down or up position, the rig height ranges from 1.3 to 1.7 meters. Using 45 mm drill bits and T38 rods the planned hole depth at Waterval is 3.4m. The boom coverage ranges from 6 to 29m2, with a maximum width of 7.5m. The DC2 carrier is powered by a Deutz 1011 oil-cooled diesel engine and the drilling system by one 55 kW electric motor.

Low profile loader
The ST 600LP, a 6-tonne capacity loader, was specifically designed and built for low seam applications in the platinum and palladium mines in South Africa. Powered by a 136 kW, water-cooled Deutz engine, model BF6M1013E, the unit was introduced and marketed as The Ratel, ™ named for the aggressive South African, four-legged fiercely digging animal known as the honey badger. The design is the result of an extensive survey conducted on the South African mining market, strongly indicating a need to mine as low as 1.7m using high production, mechanized machines. By extending the operator’s compartment beyond the natural width of the vehicle, the loader measures merely 1.56 m from the ground to the top of the operator’s canopy. The operator uses video cameras, installed at the side of the loader, to get a good view of the loading cycle and for being able to see clearly on the far side of the vehicle.

Bord and Pillar stoping
The mining method to be employed at Waterval is named Bord and Pillar stoping, a low seam version of Room and Pillar mining, using a stope height of 1.8m. The ore body is accessed directly from the surface via ramps providing access for men, machines and supplies as well as accommodating conveyor belt ore haulage. Using the fleet of 14 drill rigs and 21 loaders the track-less operations will eventually produce 2.8 mtons annually.

Partnership Anglo Platinum- Atlas Copco
To ensure highest possible availability of the equipment, the two companies have entered a full 24 hours service and maintenance contract.

Picture caption: 203222
The Rocket Boomer S1 L, specially designed for blast hole drilling in low seam underground mining

Picture caption: 203267
The fierce digger, the low built ST 600LP, The Ratel, ™, loads 6 tones in the bucket. Operator’s visibility is assisted by two video cameras

Attached illustration
Bord and Pillar stoping at Waterval, South Africa. Atlas Copco’s new range of low built mining equipment enables high productivity mechanized, trackless mining of 1.8m room height.

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Atlas Copco Rock Drilling Equipment
Atlas Copco Rock Drilling Equipment is a division within the business area Construction and Mining Technique of the Atlas Copco Group. The division is developing, manufacturing and marketing, rock drills, drill rigs, and equipment for rock reinforcement, and has established a world wide leading position. The products are used for rock excavation within the mining and construction business, for both surface and underground applications. The head office and main production plants are located in Örebro, Sweden. The division employs approx. 1700 people worldwide. More information is available on: www.atlascopco.com/rde