TDS Projects Construction is completing a mammoth installation of extensive ground handling infrastructure at Petra Diamond’s Finsch Mine.

The project which commenced in November 2014 was awarded to TDS Projects Construction by Petra Diamonds following a successful tender process. TDS Projects Construction’s affiliated company, Thuthukani Engineering Solutions designed the C-cut ground handling infrastructure at Cullinan mine and were then tasked with the design of Finsch’s infrastructure required for the sub-level caving expansion project.

Bulkhead 2A at Finsch

This project (phase 1 completed, phase 2 in progress) includes the fabrication, construction and installation of nine tipping points, five ore pass retaining walls, four bulkheads, two crusher stations with overhead cranes and four conveyors. Phase 1 commenced on November 20, 2014 and was completed on March 25, 2016, while Phase 2 commenced on April 4, 2016 with completion estimated for July 2018.

Hennie Coetzee, MD of TDS Projects Construction says the successful execution of the project thus far is a testament to the depth of the expertise and commitment of the team. “TDS is capable of continuously adapting to the challenges and changes of a construction environment. Our experience in the construction of mining infrastructure allows us to be innovative when presented by particular requirements dictated by a project or site. This is evident in aspects of the project such as the ore pass retaining walls, which are pre-casted and a first of their kind for underground operations and allow flexibility for the construction of tipping points on multiple levels simultaneously,” says Coetzee.

The bulkhead structures include steelwork well in excess of 100 t per bulkhead and were installed at the bottom of a 5,1 m diameter ore pass, ranging from 70 to 190 m in height. One of the bulkheads consists of a staggering 165 t of steel, 150 m³ of concrete and 15 t of reinforcing to be constructed within a matter of four months – while the conveyor system constructed at Finsch covers a distance of 1 650 m at an incline of 9 degrees and was completed within a construction period of 13 months.