In early 2019, a large Zimbabwean platinum group metals mining company identified an urgent need to engage with an OEM service partner capable of producing a purpose-built, trackless mining machine, to safely assist with geotechnical inspections, as well as providing for mechanised underground scaling, rock breaking and clearing functions. With some 50 years’ experience in the design and the manufacturing of self-propelled drill and bolting rigs, Mine Master, as part of the well-known GHH Group manufacturers, of loading and haulage machines, took up this challenge.
The result is the now proven, RS 2.0 SB, low-profile scaling/rock breaker twin boom rig. There are now 8 units working at the mine with a ninth due to be delivered. This electric/diesel powered unit is equipped with a heavy-duty rock breaker, inspection service basket, as well as adjustable grader blade feature for clearing and levelling roadways. The RS 2.0 SB is supplied ‘standard’ with remote control features for tramming, adjusting either of the extendable boom’s reach and angles, as well as breaker tilt and percussion functions. “This practical and safe solution to manage ground control challenges, enables protective FOPS compliant inspection from elevated basket positioning, with resultant operator-controlled scaling/rock breaking functionality, from a safe distance thereafter. Features also include ‘laser curtain’ interlocks offering front line proximity safety for operators and support crews alike.”
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns and associated shortages, Mine Master says it has kept to the original design and delivery scheduling, firstly to produce the original successful trial unit and then the follow up fleet of machines, providing for better, safer mining practices being implemented through this mechanised technology partnership. “A growing success story, that now sees Mine Master being represented at all of Zimbabwe’s expanding PGM mining operations. Specialised machine functionality, coupled with their developing remote and automation systems, continues to also see Mine Master being chosen as a preferred strategic mining partner, globally.”