“Leading” underground mining contracting company, Murray & Roberts Cementation achieved a remarkable milestone at the end of July 2023 when it successfully reached the 1 000m mark on its contract to sink the 1 200m ventilation shaft at Palabora Mining Company’s (PMC) Lift expansion. This significant feat stands as a testament to the company’s exceptional capabilities and dedication to safety.

The Lift II expansion project is a crucial endeavour for PMC, aimed at enhancing the efficiency and capacity of their operations. The 8.5m diameter ventilation shaft will serve the Lift II block cave and plays a pivotal role in the overall mining infrastructure.

Reaching a depth of 1 000m in the ventilation shaft is a major accomplishment, highlighting the expertise and commitment of Murray & Roberts Cementation in tackling complex mining projects. The company’s ability to execute such a technically challenging task underscores their reputation as a reliable and competent partner in the mining industry.

Fred Durand, Murray & Roberts Cementation’s senior project manager, says one of the most remarkable aspects of this project is the 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. 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).”

Some of the Murray & Roberts Cementation team celebrating reaching the 1 000m mark on the ventilation shaft sink at PMC. Supplied Murray & Roberts Cementation

Some of the Murray & Roberts Cementation team celebrating reaching the 1 000m mark on the ventilation shaft sink at PMC. Supplied Murray & Roberts Cementation

He says that the achievement of this remarkable safety milestone showcases the company’s commitment to ensuring the well-being and safety of its workforce. It demonstrates that, alongside its technical competency, Murray & Roberts Cementation prioritises the welfare of its employees and strives for a zero harm work environment.

“As the ventilation shaft project enters its final stages, the excitement and anticipation among all stakeholders, including PMC and Murray & Roberts Cementation, are palpable. The successful completion of this project will not only mark a significant engineering feat but will also have a profound impact on PMC’s mining capabilities,” Durand concludes.

Aidan Schoonbee, senior manager for PMC’s Lift II Construction, Concentrator and Vent Shaft congratulated the Murray & Roberts Cementation team and praised the collaboration that had been achieved between employer and contractor. Murray & Roberts Cementation has aligned with the owner’s team to display technical excellence, professional management and passionate safety leadership, from the day site establishment commenced in October 2019, he says.

For more information go to: https://www.africanmining.co.za/2023/07/06/sinking-palaboras-1-200m-ventilation-shaft-a-triumph-of-collaboration/