Murray Engineering, a leading mechanical and electrical engineering firm based in Western Australia, worked with Mako Mining to overcome technical challenges around the use of a standard Normet Spraymec machine to remove muck hung-up in flat-dipping production stopes at a WA nickel mine.
The low-volume, low-pressure water line gave the unit an effective reach of about 10m, which generally left operators working too close to the stope brow. The stope washdown method was also regarded as being inefficient, and could negatively affect ore recovery.
Murray designed an onboard, 3,000-litre tank to be accommodated on the Spraymec unit. With the Bondioli MF341B3G6 fixed displacement hydraulic motor and high-pressure (100 x 65-250 iso sov) water pump, application line and nozzle, the unit can deliver up to 2,000l a minute at 150psi.
Remote control operation allows people to be kept well back from the stope during scouring.
So the safety and productivity of the operation has been significantly enhanced.
Murray mechanical manager Shane Dunn says the application has been very successful, leading to custom design and commissioning of a second unit deployed to a mine in Queensland.
"It's a good demonstration of our flexibility to work with customers to solve problems and meet technical challenges they're always encountering due to the variability in conditions in mines," Dunn says.
"We used the Normet machine as the carrier for the new tank, pump and applicator configuration, and did all the engineering and fabrication independently.
"It's a lot simpler system, and is better priced than other options in the market."
Mako Mining (www.makomining.com) describes itself as a narrow-vein focussed mining contractor with highly experienced personnel and an equipment fleet well matched to the work it has been undertaking for clients Australia-wide for many years. In that time it has built an enviable safety record.