Mentis Africa is helping prepare South Africa’s Chamber of Mines for potential industry accidents by supplying positive-grip, pressed-section planks and walkways from its Die-Line range for the chamber’s rescue drilling unit based at Colliery Training College (CTC) at eMalahleni in Mpumalanga.
The walkway’s non-slip features, combined with its high strength to weight ratio, made it ideal for the vehicle-mounted drilling unit, according to Rene Lombard, External Sales Representative at Mentis Africa. The walkways and planks have been installed all around the drill vehicle to facilitate easy movement of personnel.
“Its positive serration ensures good traction even in muddy and wet conditions, enhancing the safety and efficiency of people working on the drill during a mine rescue mission,” Lombard said. “Significantly, Mentis Die-Line walkways are lightweight so, while being very strong, adds little extra weight to the vehicle.”
The rescue drill is on 24-hour standby to be deployed, with the assistance of CTC staff, in the case of mine accidents. It can drill a 150 mm diameter hole into the underground area where an accident has occurred, allowing the area to be assessed by camera, and for food and water to be supplied.
It is also capable of drilling a hole of 635 mm in diameter, down which a capsule is lowered to bring trapped mineworkers to surface.
“The Mentis Die-Line products are simple to install, requiring no specialised tools and minimal welding or clipping to supports,” Lombard says. “All the necessary bolts, nuts, washers, fishplates, jointing channels, saddle clamps, splice plates and mesh clips are provided.”
Lombard noted that the Mentis Die-Line walkway sections – plants with 2 mm thickness and walkways sections with a 2.5 mm thickness – can be provided in either 500 mm or 750 mm widths at a standard length of 2.4 m.
“Where the walkway or panel is subject to a corrosive environment – like harsh chemicals or saltwater – the mild steel construction can be bitumen-dipped or galvanised,” she says. “This allows these versatile products to be used in a wide variety of applications.”