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Exxaro coal mine to take delivery of Chinese-made rope shove
Published in:2013-03-27 10:41

    Two WK-35 rope shovels from China-based equipment manufacturer Taiyuan Heavy Industry (TZ) will be delivered to diversified miner Exxaro Resources’ Grootgeluk coal mine, near Lephalale, in Limpopo, in July.

    The shovels will be commissioned by November, and local producer of steel products for the mining industry Van Reenen Steel, TZ’s agent for Africa, will handle spares distribution to the mine.

Van Reenen Steel has also set up a separate company, VR Products, to market TZ shovels in Africa, says Van Reenen Steel MD John Van Reenen.

    “We believe that the shovels ordered by Exxaro will, once they perform to their expected levels, generate a great deal of interest because of the cost saving and possible production increases,” he adds.

The shovels supplied to Exxaro, which will have either 35 m3 rock dippers or 43 m3 coal dippers, are the first TZ shovels to be delivered in Africa.

    They have a dumping radius of 20.9 m and a lifting force of 2 150 kN. Productivity of more than 4000 m3/h is regularly achieved from existing operating shovels in China.

    Apart from the latest electrical and hydrau- lic systems, TZ offers a worldwide online diagnostic system. This China-based system can immediately identify a problem with the shovel and communicate this to on-site engineers, Van Reenen explains.

   Three Chinese specialists will also be based at the mine for at least two years to ensure efficient operation of the shovels.

   Van Reenen Steel introduced TZ to the South African market a year ago, and believes that receiving an order so quickly is testament to the quality of the products, says Van Reenen.

    “We are at an advanced stage of discussion with a number of large mining groups, and we believe that we could get orders for a further six shovels and capture a significant share of the Southern African market in the next five years,” he adds.

    There is room for Chinese products in the African mining industry as Chinese products are traditionally cheaper than most other products, and their levels of engineering have improved significantly over the last few years, he says.

“Also, many mining companies are selling their products to China, and this is considered reciprocal business,” he adds.