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Special SANY coal-handling buckets boost productivity at Kusile Mining
12 November 2019
Special SANY coal-handling buckets boost productivity at Kusile Mining

The addition of special coal-handling buckets to the three SANY SYL956 front-end loaders acquired by Kusile Mining from Goscor Earth Moving has improved productivity dramatically at the company’s two opencast mines. Kusile Mining is part of African Coal Trading (ACT), a 51% black-owned junior mining company.

Kusile Mining operates Uitspan Colliery just outside Emalahleni, and Noodhulp Colliery close to Eskom’s Hendrina Power Station. Uitspan Colliery supplies its run-of-mine material to Puleng, while Noodhulp Colliery supplies Woestleen. The two processing plants have a combined throughput of about 220 000 tph, with Puleng accounting for 80 000 t, and Woestleen the remaining 140 000 t.

Two of the three SANY SYL956H loaders have been deployed at Puleng, while the third works at Woestleen. Brad Freeman, Sales Consultant for both brands under GEM explains that, having previously used rented front-end loaders, Kusile Mining recently decided to purchase its own equipment outright due to assistance from Goscor Finance.

The front-end loaders had to be supplied with special 4.6 m3 coal buckets, as opposed to the standard 3.2 m3 buckets. Mine Manager Dries van der Vlies explains that the bigger bucket loads a typical 15 m3 tipper in three loads, compared with six or more with a standard bucket.

The relative density (RD) of coal is light at 1.2 compared to other materials like sand at 2.7. “We took into account the lifting capacity of the wheel loader, the weight and dimensions of the bucket, and the specific weight of the material being handled,” ACT Group Engineer Hendrik Pieterse explains.
This made it possible to equip the 5 t SANY SYL956H front-end loaders, with an operating weight of 17 100 kg, with the larger buckets, to allow for quick and precise loading, resulting in faster cycle times. It not only increases productivity, but reduces fuel consumption significantly.

The SANY SYL956 front-end loaders feature a Cummins Tier 3 QSL8.9 engine for maximum power, high efficiency, and large displacement. A multipoint fuel injection system allows for instantaneous throttle response, enhanced fuel efficiency, and reduced noise.

The customised Dana axis-shift transmission with electronic control system allows for automatic shifting and a 10 000 hour service life. A forward/reverse handle and fingertip control ensures operator comfort and ease-of-use, while the combination of solenoid valves and logic control means smoother shifting and a quicker response.

The load-sensitive hydraulic system provides for a perfect balance between speed and power, resulting in a 10% to 15% energy saving. The high-pressure hydraulic system maximises displacement for a higher breakout and lifting force.

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