Underground mining contractor Murray & Roberts Cementation achieved a remarkable milestone late last month: successfully reaching the 1,000-metre mark on its contract to sink the 1,200-m ventilation shaft at Palabora Mining Company’s (PMC’s) Lift II expansion in the Limpopo province of South Africa.
The Lift II expansion project is a crucial endeavour for PMC, aimed at enhancing the efficiency and capacity of their operations. The 8.5-m-diameter ventilation shaft will serve the Lift II block cave and plays a pivotal role in the overall mining infrastructure.
Fred Durand, Murray & Roberts Cementation’s senior project manager, noted that one of the most remarkable aspects of this project has been an unwavering focus on safety.
“Despite the immense challenges involved in underground mining and especially blind sinking, we have maintained an impeccable safety record throughout the Lift II expansion project,” he said. “The team’s relentless dedication to safety protocols and best practices resulted in an impressive milestone earlier this year of 574 consecutive days without a lost-time injury (LTI).”
Palabora Copper is operator of the mining and processing complex near the town of Phalaborwa, approximately 500 kilometres northeast of Johannesburg. The operations include an underground copper mine, a copper ore processing plant, a copper smelter and refinery, an open-cut vermiculite mine and processing plant and a magnetite tailings recovery process.
The PMC mining operations commenced in 1965 by open cut mining methods, which transitioned to underground operations in 2003. It provides copper ore to the company’s copper processing plant, smelting and refinery plants on site to produce copper rod and copper cathode sheet.
Source: Murray & Roberts Cementation