Monday, January 24, 2022

Jwaneng mine procures biggest shovel in Africa

In its energised drive to transform Debswana into a High Performance Organisation by 2013, Jwaneng Mine has procured the largest shovel to hit the Africa shoreline.

The investment will ensure that the mine attains its targets at the same time reducing operating costs thereby improving efficiencies and productivity.

The shovel, Caterpillar 7495, named the Bucyrus 495HR2 before the recent acquisition of Bucyrus by Caterpillar, has a carrying capacity of 110 tonnes per scoop and is 50 percent larger than the largest rope shovel currently operating in Africa.

Speaking of the Cut 8 Project for which the shovel was procured, at a shovel launch held in Jwaneng Mine last week, Jwaneng Mine General Manager, Balisi Bonyongo, said that Caterpillar 7495 will ensure that the mine extends its life through the Cut 8 Project.

Bonyongo added: “The project has to remove 658 million tons of waste material between 2010 to 2016 to expose an additional 90 million tons of ore, yielding 95 million carats and thus extending the life of the mine by at least seven years”.

The GM noted that in order to secure the future of the mine and Debswana beyond 2017, two more Caterpillar 7495 shovels would be procured.

He said the procurement of these shovels is not only significant to Debswana, but is also significant to the nation of Botswana.

He went on to add that Debswana contributes about 60 percent of public revenue, about 33 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product of which 70 percent comes directly from Jwaneng mine.

The GM added that investments in technological advancements will ensure that the mine constantly and efficiently continues to produce diamonds so as to sustain the much needed revenue for the shareholders.

Fernando Armas, General Manager of Caterpillar Southern Africa applauded everyone who ensured that the shovel was assembled on time and that there were no injuries recorded.

“Achieving and sustaining Zero harm is top priority for both Caterpillar and Bucyrus teams,” Armas said.

He noted that Jwaneng’s electric rope shovels are the first new rope shovels employed in Southern Africa in ten years and the first ever to sport alternating current electrics. The shovels are 20 m in height and weigh 1382 tones and it took 40 truckloads and six rail cars to transport them to the Mine. Commenting on the skills transfer, Armas noted that 40 Batswana technicians were involved in the assembly of the shovel.┬á

The Caterpillar 7495 shovel launch was attended by a host of officials from the mining industry, including representatives of the Botswana Chamber of Mines, Caterpillar Management, Bothakga Burrow Botswana and Majwe Mining, to name a few.

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