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A Canadian order for South African high-lift cranes suggests that word of local manufacturing expertise in this specialised field is spreading, with consulting engineers JDS Energy & Mining Inc of Vancouver directing that Condra high-lift machines be ordered for a Botswana diamond mine.

The order was placed via a Johannesburg-based buying house in August. Manufacture at Condra’s main works is about to begin.

The two high-lift double-girder electric overhead travelling cranes are of different configuration and design. The larger of the two, for the winder house, will be a 60/15 ton crane of 30-metre span with a lifting height of 25 metres on the 60 ton main hoist and 26,2 metres on the 15-ton auxiliary. There will be dual-speed movement throughout this crane; on the long-travel, cross-travel and lift.

The second crane, for the mine’s headgear, will be a 20-ton machine with a span of 11 metres. Movement along the extreme lifting height of 60 metres will be aided by variable-speed drive on the hoist, allowing quickest possible vertical travel across the distance of the lift as well as very slow speeds for accurate load positioning. Dual-speed drives will manage movement on the long- and cross-travel.

DIAMONDS - the factory floor at Condra

North American consulting engineers specify Condra high-lift cranes for new diamond mine.

Delivery of the completed cranes to site is scheduled for the second quarter of 2021, a delayed date caused by Covid-19. The pandemic has extended the time requirement for site mobilisation at the mine. Road transport will be used.

This is the second time that JDS Energy & Mining Inc has specified Condra lifting equipment. Last year, an overhead crane and five hoists (two of them articulated) were manufactured to specifications defined by the Canadian consultants for the Bonasika bauxite project in Guyana, South America.

Management at Condra believes that there is growing overseas market awareness of the company’s capability in high-lift. Generally recognised in central and southern Africa as the leader in this segment, Condra high-lift machines have also been installed at a dam in Chile for hydroelectric turbine maintenance.

The Canadian order means that there are now centres of recognition on both American continents.

Commenting on the new order, a Condra spokesman said that he thought a competitive price and rapid response times during the tender process had contributed to a successful close.

“Clarification requests were particularly quickly executed to comply with customer time frames,” he said.

“These cranes will include some interesting features such as load cells, limit switches, remote control, warning lights and sirens.

“They will be good, solid machines to build. We will enjoy manufacturing them.”
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