Pretoria based engineering firm, Thuthukani Engineering has designed full service shaft hoisting infrastructure for the Philsaga Mining Corporation, a Medusa Mining owned gold mine located in the Philippines.
Thuthukani was tasked with the design and drafting of the headgear, shaft collar and winder house for a new service shaft at the mine.
The project commenced in 2015 and was carried out in cooperation with the Tech Edge Group who specialise in the production of winches and winders and W J Engineering. Thuthukani provided the infrastructure design, Tech Edge was tasked with building the winder and W J Engineering fabricated all of the infrastructure components.
According to Erik de Jongh, technical director at Thuthukani, this project has proven the mettle of South African engineering firms. “We have proven that we can provide mining infrastructure to remote clients with minimal ‘hand holding’ needed.”
The infrastructure components were fully fabricated and tested in South Africa before being disassembled and transported to the Philippines for final installation. According to Erik the project rolled out smoothly and on deadline with few to no installation issues at the Philsaga site.
“All of the infrastructure components were delivered to and installed in mid-2016 except for the winder which was commissioned and delivered in early 2017. After being operational for several months, we can now announce that all the components are working correctly and no issues have been reported regarding the performance of the headgear, shaft collar and winder house we designed.
The nature of the South African mining industry makes local engineers uniquely equipped to deal with any type of mining landscape
“We are currently canvassing for future projects in that region as we feel that there is tremendous potential in the area and a need in the market for the kinds of expertise that firms like ours have to offer.
“Shaft sinking and vertical shaft expertise really lies in South Africa. It would be safe to say that no other country mines to the deep levels that we do we do here which gives us great potential to serve large mining companies overseas as there is a wealth of experience here that can be leveraged.”
Back at home, local mining companies can be best served by the professional auditing and inspections of mechanical and structural mining equipment that Thuthukani offers.
This Erik says, is critical in establishing whether a component can be upgraded, repaired or refurbished, or whether a full retrofit of outdated infrastructure would be needed in order to be compliant with the relevant legislation and sector requirements.