Pretoria, 23 June 2017: Pretoria based engineering firm, Thuthukani Engineering has designed full service shaft hoisting infrastructure for the Philsaga Mining Corporation – a Medusa Mining owned gold mine located in the Philippines.
Following a drive to expand their reach internationally, Thuthukani Engineering was tasked with the design and drafting of the Headgear, Shaft Collar and Winder house for a new service shaft at the Philsaga Mining Corporation in the Philippines owned by Medusa Mining.
The project commenced in 2015 and was carried out in cooperation with the Tech Edge Group who specialise in the production of winches and winders and W J Engineering. Thuthukani provided the infrastructure design, Tech Edge was tasked with building the winder and W J Engineering fabricated all of the infrastructure components. According to Erik de Jongh, Technical Director at Thuthukani, this project has proven the mettle of South African engineering firms. “We have proven that we can provide mining infrastructure to remote clients with minimal ‘hand holding’ needed.”
The infrastructure components were fully fabricated and tested in South Africa before being disassembled and transported to the Philippines for final installation. According to de Jongh the project rolled out smoothly and on deadline with few to no installation issues at the Philsaga site. “All of the infrastructure components were delivered to and installed at Philsaga in mid-2016 except for the winder which was commissioned and delivered in early 2017. After being operational for several months we can now announce that all the components are working correctly and no issues have been reported regarding the performance of the Headgear, Shaft Collar and Winder house we designed,” says de Jongh.
“Thuthukani is currently canvassing for future projects in that region as we feel that there is tremendous potential in the area and a need in that market for the kinds of expertise that firms like ours have to offer. In terms of operational optimisation there is a need in the South African market but in terms of capital investment in new infrastructure, there is greater potential overseas,” de Jongh states.
de Jongh goes on to explain that the nature of the South African mining industry makes local engineers uniquely equipped to deal with any type of mining landscape. “The shaft sinking and vertical shaft expertise really lies in South Africa. It would be safe to say that no other country mines to the deep levels that we do in South Africa – this gives us great potential to serve large mining companies overseas as there is a wealth of experience here that can be leveraged.”
Back at home, de Jongh says, local mining companies can be best served by the professional auditing and inspections of mechanical and structural mining equipment that Thuthukani offers. This he says that this is critical to establishing whether a component can be upgraded, repaired or refurbished – or whether a full retrofit of out dated infrastructure would be needed in order to be compliant with the relevant legislation and sector requirements.