In the wake of a successful decline sinking project completed last year at Lubambe copper mine in Zambia, Murray & Roberts Cementation has been awarded a new contract for trackless high speed development. The project is scheduled to extend to January 2014.
The mine is a joint venture between African Rainbow Minerals, Vale and Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holdings. The original contract, which commenced in January 2011, comprised a twin decline system on the East Limb and ramps to access the ore body. This was completed in October 2012 ahead of schedule.
Wyllie Pearson, senior project manager at Lubambe for Murray & Roberts Cementation, said: “Our team achieved 14,190m and we remained ahead of target against the mining schedule for the duration of the contract. The support regime involved welded mesh with split sets being installed by the drill rig operators after every blast from grade line to grade line, and extended to 0.5m from the face.
“Additional work included in the first contract involved the installation of 75m Level tips – 6.1m in diameter by 18m in length. These tips were raise bored. Construction of the tip and box front infrastructure were subsequently also awarded to Murray & Roberts Cementation. Cover drilling, which was included in the contract to ensure safe and effective development, was undertaken using Kempe diamond drills which covered advance development.”
The latest contract involves all horizontal and inclined development for trackless high speed technology in Ramps 3, 4 and 5, situated in the mine’s Eastern Limb. The Murray & Roberts Cementation team will continue the development of infrastructure for two conveyor belt systems and will maintain the owner’s fleet of equipment.
The first sand zone, 30m wide, has been successfully negotiated using Titan soil nails, Becker Arch Sets, 5.6mm welded mesh and shotcrete as support mediums, and the second zone is currently being developed. Sand is excavated out of the face using a Hyundai 35Z7 mini excavator.