Tag Archives: Blockholers

MacLean breaks new ground in Africa mining sector

MacLean Engineering’s secondary breakers have been proving their worth in Africa, with a number of machines safely and effectively eliminating ore flow blockages and releasing trapped reserves above the draw point.

Built for the tough underground mining environment, these machines provide the solution to attacking high boulder hang-ups without endangering mine workers, according to MacLean.

One only needs to look at the Palabora copper mine, in South Africa, for proof of this, where three MacLean hang-up rigs have been working underground for over 15 years.

Palabora endorses MacLean’s commitment to promoting safety and productivity in the underground environment, through purpose-built, rugged and reliable mine vehicles, MacLean says. The SB8 and SB12 Secondary Breakers (993MR, previously) are part of MacLean’s Ore Flow suite, a leading ore recovery fleet in global underground hard-rock mining, and these rigs have brought down thousands of hang-ups at the operation, ensuring smooth running of both the mine and its mill, and a safe and sustained block cave operation, according to the company.

For lower hang-ups in a drawpoint, or oversize rocks on the ground too large for scoops to handle and too disruptive to get rid of with concussion blasting, the secondary reduction rig, the Blockholer, solves the problem and ensures production isn’t held up, MacLean says.

The past 24 months have been exciting for MacLean’s branch in Africa.

Petra Diamonds ordered a BH3 for its Koffiefontein diamond mine, in Free State Province, South Africa, with the company’s success showcasing increased safety used as a “proof point” to secure another order for a BH2 (pictured), according to MacLean, this time from the Kimberley Ekapa Mining joint venture, in the Northern Cape. Palabora has since placed an order for two secondary breakers for delivery in 2020.

“Both Koffiefontein and Kimberley mines echo the same message of improved safety, increased production, and long-term savings in infrastructure upkeep due to the inclusion of MacLean secondary breaking units in their mining cycle,” MacLean said.

The two-stage process of their conventional approach to reduce oversize and bring down hang-ups (drill with one machine and manually load explosives by hand) has now been combined into a single-stage process with the Blockholers. This process eliminates the need for manually loading explosives, thus improving operator safety, and reduces damage to the draw point infrastructure.

“In addition, these units are used by both mines as utility drills to drill off cubbies as well as eye bolt holes due to their mobility and self-sustaining drilling capabilities of diesel power,” MacLean explained. “This versatility makes the MacLean Blockholers an invaluable tool to the mines.”