Raheel Qamar, business development manager at MDS, introduces the MDS M515 to the local market

Mobile heavy duty rock trommels have hit the local market for the first time and are about to change the mining and quarrying landscape wherever their efficient screening mechanisms are able to unlock mineral bounty faster and more efficiently.

Due to its rotating barrel design, the minerals bearing materials can be manipulated to process easier and in the case of coal and diamonds, the action of the trommel can actually be used to liberate the minerals and reduce the need for further processing. The action also suits sticky materials and those prone to clogging gravity fed incline and other types of screens.

Process materials

Why haven’t mobile trommels been used before in the mining industry in southern Africa before? The answer is that the machines have simply not been available to date and the arrival of MDS heavy duty track trommels on African shores now brings parity to the market. They will allow African mines to process minerals in the same efficient manner as their American, Asian and European counterparts in certain applications.

Terex-owned MDS recently concluded an exclusive distribution agreement with the country’s largest multi-franchise distributor, ELB Equipment, where it will be sold among the likes of its Powerscreen, Terex Minerals Processing and other mining OEM suppliers. Wakefield Harding, ELB Equipment divisional director for mining, says the addition of the MDS range of tracked trommels effectively closes the screening loop for its customers with a full range of equipment for any application.

Customers and staff gather as the covers are drawn off ELB Equipment’s latest screening solution

Changing landscape

Although static trommels are used in the industry, the arrival of the MDS tracked trommels provide flexibility to move the machine to suit the changing landscape of a mine and reduce handling. With aperture sizes up to 450mm the trommels can be fed large rock sizes and screened to three different streams if needed. 

Although the trommels are application specific and potential users would be required to speak to an ELB Equipment mining expert, ELB Equipment product and applications manager, Heath Dickson, says the following are some of the innovative applications that should be examined:

The MDS M515 in action
  1. Coal

In South Africa we have an abundance of coal and a particular abundance of low-grade coal with a lot of shale. Putting this low-grade coal through a crusher, essentially renders it unusable. By putting it through a trommel, the material tumbles through with the coal that is adhering to the shale staying intact. The coal then falls off and can be processed as fines as higher-grade coal. This can be done at a tenth of the price of usual crushing and screening methods and more available coal can be liberated and sold rather than ending up on the dump or needing washing to be obtained.

  1. Quarrying

By using a tracked trammel, quarries can start with large size rock and screen up to three separate streams without the need for crushing. This results in more available saleable product and dramatically reduces wear and tear of secondary screens if required for smaller sized materials. Depending on the location and projects in the pipeline, the trommels can significantly reduce the ROI of the quarry and the equipment.

  1. Borrow pits and recycling

The tracked trommel comes into its own with the ability to process large rocks on site wherever road and railway construction or flood protection requires the use of borrow pits. With the ability to process large rocks, in many instances no additional processing is required. The trommel’s ability to handle large sizes and rebar makes it ideal for demolition and processing work.


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