April 8 - Johnson Crane Hire was contracted to undertake heavy lifts for two separate customers at the Kolomela mine in the Northern Cape, South Africa.

The projects involved a counterweight boom exchange for Tenova, while a bucket wheel exchange was performed on behalf of EMC Engineering - both for a stacker reclaimer positioned at the mine site.

Careful planning ensured that the project timeline flowed on schedule, explained Brandon Grange, heavy lift technical manager at Johnson Crane Hire: "This attention to detail during the planning phase allowed us the flexibility to select a solution which would meet both customers' needs and still meet the stringent safety requirements in the mining sector."

The scope of the heavy lifts for Tenova comprised the removal of the counterweight - 18, 10-tonne concrete blocks lifted two-at-a-time in nine separate lifts. The old counterweight boom was then removed before a new 108-tonne boom was positioned on the stacker reclaimer. An LR 1600 crawler crane performed these lifts.

Finally, the counterweight was reinstalled in its original position using an LTM 1300-1.

 The old bucket wheel, which tipped the scales at 30 tonnes, was removed for EMC Engineering using one LTM 1300-1 and an LTM 1095-5.1 crane. Once it had been lifted off the boom, another LTM 1095-5.1 was used to tail the large component until it was laid down safely.

The two projects were safely completed over the course of eleven days.

The bucket wheel being lifted