The mining industry’s requirement for tight schedules and limited downtime when it comes to routine maintenance has allowed Skyriders Access Specialists (Pty) Ltd. to showcase the benefits of rope access for a project at a major coal-mining company in Mpumalanga.
Sub-contracted to Enprotec of Middelburg, the scope of work for Skyriders was twofold, explains Marketing Manager Mike Zinn. The first aspect was to rig and install a system to give access to an inverted cone within a discard-coal silo, in order to carry out cutting-and-welding work.
The second major aspect of the project was rigging the old inverted cone that was being replaced. In addition, Skyriders provided a standby work-at-height and confined-space rescue service. “After the silo had been emptied, a considerable quantity of coal build-up was revealed, so we rigged a system to allow for it to be removed safely and quickly,” Zinn adds.
“The specialised services we offer to the petrochemical and power generation industries are highly applicable to the mining industry. The traditional means of carrying out maintenance of this kind is to erect scaffolding, which is time-consuming and costly. With rope access, the necessary work can commence straightaway, making the most of the tight timeframe of the shutdown,” Zinn elaborates.
Part of Skyriders’ strategy to continue to make inroads into the mining industry is to embark on roadshows in major mining areas such as Emalahleni in Mpumalanga and Kathu in the Northern Cape, where it showcases the benefits of rope access and the complete solutions it can offer directly to major mining clients.