Gold mine in South Africa choose the Lowara technology

27.05.2002

On the 17 April Alex Marusso, Area Manager Lowara, Jannie Bekker, Divisional Manager and Albert Ramathlhare, Internal Sales Engineer of Hypower Pumps - sole distributor for Lowara pumps in South Africa visited Western Deep Levels, Mponeng Mine, South Shaft, Fochville, Orange Free State part of the Anglo Gold Group in South Africa.

The mine is the deepest in South Africa and the object of the visit was to inspect the Lowara pumps operating at such depths under arduous conditions at the rock face.

The rock face is 3037m. below ground level (1,2 km. below sea level ) and 2,5 kms. horizontal walking distance from the lift cages. The travelling time in the lift cages carrying 60 miners is 4 minutes.

The mine is to be deepened to 3840m.

The stops where the whitish/grey gold bearing rock seam is mined runs at 35 degrees to the horizontal and the hanging or headroom is 1,5m.

A Lowara model SV1610F110T is providing a maximum of 5 pneumatic drills with water to lubricate and cool the cutting drill and the operator who is working in temperatures of 40° C. The drills are being used to drill holes 150 mm deep, 30 mm. diameter into the gold bearing rock face, where plastic explosive is placed to detonate the rock. The temperature of the rock at these depths once penetrated with a drill is 52°C.

Each Lowara pump is fitted into a fabricated steel cradle bolted at the base and wedged at the motor flanges. This is carried at the surface and then transported down the mine by the lift cage, then by train to the working area. It is then dragged in the cradle up the stopes over loose rocks to a suitable vertical position.

The clear water supply is piped to the pump and is then piped to the drillers. A 525 V. 3ph.50Hz. power supply and control box is connected to the unit.

Source: Xylem Inc.

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