Ball mill installation for ALE

By Katherine Weir14 June 2016

ALE installs the ball mill on the Mafuta diamond mining vessel

ALE installs the ball mill on the Mafuta diamond mining vessel

ALE, the international heavy lift and transport company, has performed the unique installation of a new ball mill on the Mafuta diamond mining vessel - the largest diamond vessel in the world - in De Beers, South Africa, the company said.

The mining vessel is being upgraded and a new ball mill, weighing 80 tonnes, needed to be installed from the quayside in to the vessel.

ALE installed the ball mill by using a crane to lift it onto skid beams, where it was skidded into position in the vessel. The company then jacked the ball mill to make sufficient clearance to remove the skidding beams from underneath the ball mill. It was then lowered into the final position.

Zayno Myburgh, project manager at ALE in South Africa, commented, “This was a really interesting project to be involved with. It was the dimensional constraints that come with working on a diamond mining vessel that made this project particularly unique and challenging.

“The client wanted to reduce the time spent in the dry dock and, as a result, removed as little as possible structural works for the installation of the mill. Subsequently, we devised a solution so that the ball mill had to be lowered into the vessel at a steep angle and then gently corrected as it cleared overhead obstructions. We managed to complete the installation in a safe way, ensuring that we met our client’s schedule.”

ALE completed the overall project, including installation and execution, in seven days.

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