Condra has completed one of the crane industry’s biggest manufacturing contracts for the past year, and announced an order for a further four cranes from the same customer, AMEC Minproc.
The order was received in the same week that Condra despatched a 24‑metre span 50/50-ton maintenance crane with two 15-ton auxiliary hoists, the final machine in AMEC Minproc’s initial order for seven. The eleven cranes have a combined value well in excess of US$2-million, and are all for installation in Swakop Uranium’s Husab mine in Namibia.
The Husab project is an open-pit mine under development near Swakopmund on the west coast. The high grade, granite-hosted uranium deposit at this mine is Namibia’s largest, and the third-largest uranium-only deposit in the world. A number of Swakop Uranium’s Condra cranes have unusually large spans, necessitated by the very large size of the mining machinery that they will be used to maintain.
The 24-metre span of the 50/50-ton machine just completed is itself larger than that of the average maintenance crane, but Condra earlier this year manufactured two 40-ton cranes with spans of 30 metres for this mine, and two of the four machines in AMEC Minproc’s latest order are 20-ton units with spans of 22 metres.
The remaining six cranes in the clutch of eleven have spans of 20 metres and under. All cranes feature case-hardened gears, live-axle direct drives, squirrel-cage motors and adapted V-belt technology, all of which increase machine reliability and lower the overall lifetime cost.
Condra is currently expanding the range of its hoists designed around V-belt technology drives because of their very low maintenance requirements. V-belt drives need no greasing or cleaning.
A company spokesman explained that performance delivered to the hoists by V-belt drives is considerably superior to any alternative in tough operational environments where routine maintenance is likely to be overlooked.
On the 50/50-ton crane just completed for Husab, Condra installed controls that include a selector switch connected to the main hoist drives, allowing synchronised movement of the two 50-ton hoists to lift a load of 100 tons, or allowing independent operation of each hoist to manipulate a load of 50 tons.
Delivery of this machine to Husab took place by road over the first two weeks of September.
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