Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
Print version ISSN 0038-223X
MEEK, A.. A critical comparison between a compressed air driven rocker arm shovel and a track-bound non-throw loader. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2009, vol.109, n.4, pp.217-221. ISSN 2411-9717.
This report compares the compressed air driven rocker shovel to the newly developed Warthog Non-throw development end loader. The two machines were compared on aspects such as safety, loading potential, energy efficiency and costs. The objectives of the comparison were to determine whether or not the replacement of the rocker shovel with the Warthog will be operationally and financially justifiable. The results from this study were obtained from underground observations and time studies on the machines, as well as consultations and data collection at the shaft and suppliers. This paper compares only the Warthog loader to the Trident 215 rocker shovel used at Anglo Platinum's Brakspruit shaft and does not compare the other models of rocker shovels, which are fundamentally the same but will have different loading potentials and specifications. Cleaning times for the rocker shovel are based on underground observations at Brakspruit shaft. These times can be influenced by factors such as blasting practices, compressed air pressure and operator experience and skill. For this reason the times will most likely vary at different shafts. The Warthog cleaning times are based on manufacturer specifications and results from trial stages and therefore further work is required to confirm cleaning times achieved. The findings from this study indicate that the replacement of the rocker shovel with the Warthog will improve the safety, production, cost and energy efficiency of development end cleaning operations. The Warthog also complements the system of rapid face advance achieved by the Mantis drill rigs, by achieving faster cleaning rates to handle the longer advances and larger volume of rock. In this way the Warthog benefits the overall efficiency of flat end development.