December 15, 2017

Roof support system: Achieving zero fatality in your mines

Robust mine roof support decreases the number of incidents that steal the lives of our loved ones. Falling roofs have caused detrimental effect in mining industry from taking human lives to loss of capital. With the current roof support technologies, roof falling incidents are avoidable.

The rise in investments has caused the mining industry to develop at a rapid rate. When more underground mines are established and existing ones being upgraded, mining houses seek support systems. It is critical that the roof support system service providers comply with government mining regulations, mine houses specification, including shaft safety components, underground and tunnel support, transport and collision avoidance systems. Through extensive research some companies have developed effective roof support systems to ensure that mines are safe.

MSP innovative new anchoring technology and dynamic test facility

Mine Support Products (MSP), in mid-2013 launched new hydraulically set anchoring device, Rocbolt to the Southern African market. MSP is jointly owned by international manufacturing and engineering company DCD Group and Robor – a world class manufacturer and supplier of welded steel tube and pipe, cold formed steel profiles and associated value added products.

Rocbolt is unique in that it is a friction bolt with the capabilities of an end anchor, thanks to a patented friction ring that fits around its shaped tube. It has been tested at a number of underground mining operations in Zambia and South Africa with successful results. During the trial periods in varying regions and conditions, Rocbolt devices were able to withstand loads in excess of 10 tons, which exceeds the industry requirement. Both Rocprop models are easy to transport and install, and their slender design ensures that they do not restrict underground ventilation in any way whatsoever.

The Rocprop support system has proven to be particularly successful within the coal-mining environment, where it offers a viable solution for systematic roadway support, belt drive support and long wall moves. MSP Marketing Manager Ivans Jacobs says Rocprop ensures a substantial reduction in material handling costs, while improving installation times too. “This innovation and versatility has opened up new avenues of growth for MSP, particular in soft rock conditions, where Rocprop is being increasingly recognised as a more effective replacement to timber packs.”

Becker Mining steel arch support system

Becker Mining South Africa also plays a key role in ensuring optimum quality, performance and safety standards in the local mining sector. With its latest technology, the company is commited to providing a critical service to the mines and general industry encompassing the design and manufacture of products and systems.

Johann Smit, Chief Sales Officer of Becker Mining South Africa (Pty) Ltd said, “Becker steel arch support systems are designed for use in friable ground in tunnel applications, including haulages, incline shaft portals and special shafts. These mine support systems are critical for the safety of any mining or tunnelling project.”

Becker Mining South Africa specialises in the manufacture of steel arch supports, but the company’s German and Polish subsidiaries also manufacture long wall coal mining shield support systems for European, Asian and North American coal mines.

South Africa’s strata conditions are not suitable for long wall mining, which is why the company only manufactures steel arch supports.The Becker steel arch support system finds application in all types of mining due to the adaptability of the design which fits into any shape of excavation. This engineered structure is timeless because of the characteristics of steel used and the mechanical properties derived for the shape of elements of the roof support system.

“More and more applications for these well engineered and adaptable systems are being developed for customers who require long term stand-up support solutions for friable ground conditions,” stated Johann

Local applications for these steel arch support systems include gold and platinum mines, as well as underground civil engineering projects. Becker’s roof support systems have also been exported recently into Australasian and African mines, with Zambia being a key user.

Before installing your roof support the engineers must evaluate your roof control solution and recommend the suitable roof support system. This will assist in avoiding roof fall while the roof support has being installed.

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