A shipment of lifting equipment despatched in late August to Mopani Copper Mines has taken Condra’s order intake from this company to more than R100-million. Zambia-based Mopani placed its first order on Condra in 2012. Comprising one electric travelling overhead crane, 38 hoists, two large and seven smaller jib cranes, the shipment is earmarked for various applications within the Mufulira and Nkana mines, and left Condra’s Germiston factory by road.Work will now begin on six further single- and double-girder overhead cranes for Nkana’s synclinorium shaft, and for the concentrator plants at both mines. Crane capacities will be between 5 tons and 10 tons, with standard lifting heights and spans of between 15 metres and 18 metres. Condra expects to receive additional orders for as many as nine further cranes while these six are on the factory floor. Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) operates the Mufulira mine, smelter, concentrator and copper refinery on the outskirts of Mufulira, and the Nkana mine, concentrator and cobalt plant near Kitwe, both towns situated on the Copperbelt in central Zambia. Condra’s deliveries to MCM are ongoing. Three years ago, the company delivered two 25-ton headgear cranes to the synclinorium shaft at Nkana mine, and two 70-ton maintenance cranes for the winderhouse, the latter designed with very high lifts of over 80 metres each. The company has manufactured several other overhead and high-lift machines for Mopani since its first delivery in 2012, and regularly supplies hoists in quantity. Underpinning this successful relationship between customer and supplier is Condra’s very tight focus on product quality and reliability. Manufacture is carried out to the ISO 9000 and GOST standards, and the company additionally complies with the environmental and health and safety standards of ISO 14000 and ISO 18000. Cranes are custom designed and assembled from hoists, drives, end‑carriages, brakes, gearboxes and some 250 other sub-assemblies all manufactured by Condra. Two hoist product lines are manufactured in a number of standard models suited to most mining and industrial applications, from 1 to 500 tons. Motors are bought from external suppliers in Germany. The company offers transport, installation and commissioning as complementary services. Commenting on the clutch of recent orders from Mopani Copper Mines, Condra’s managing director Marc Kleiner said that this customer had named reliability and prompt service as the main reasons for awarding the contracts to Condra. Service for Zambia’s Copperbelt is supplied by Kitwe-based agent EC Mining, which holds stocks of Condra spares. Kleiner explained that his company’s northern hemisphere competitors generally suffered from the handicap of long lead times on spares ordered from factories based abroad. “Mining companies need effective production levels, and this productivity is dependent on the reliability of all mining machinery and lifting equipment. “It is a fact that the ability of some of our competitors to respond to needs and realities of lifting equipment customers on the African continent lags behind that of Condra,” Kleiner said. Of the shipment just despatched to Mopani Copper Mines, high lifts of 30 metres on some of the hoists were exceeded by a very high lift of 48 metres on one of the jib cranes. Walkways on the overhead crane were completed with steel grating in place of the normal chequer plate, and weld seams on all machines were inspected for quality and integrity to counter the harsh, corrosive environment characteristic of Copperbelt mining. Protective paint finishes in light green were applied to customer specification.