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Elphinstone buys underground mine extraction device

Manufacturing News

Tasmanian engineering and mining equipment manufacturer Elphinstone has acquired the Beltor ‘Puller’ system – an underground mine extraction device (MED) designed to safely recover buried equipment.

Originally developed in the 1980s by Newcastle, NSW business Beltor Engineering, the MED met a need by underground miners to extract buried or bogged equipment in a safe and efficient way without damaging the mine or negatively impacting production.

The MED range has since revolutionised the way buried underground equipment is extracted and made this process safer.

Elphinstone’s Global Sales and Marketing Manager Tim Mitchell said: “What makes the (Elphinstone) MED unique is that it eliminates the need, damage and disruption of using other production equipment to remove the buried machine and operates in a more controlled and safe way.

“When the MED is towed into position in the mine, the boom is raised against the roof and the wheels are lowered on the floor, effectively wedging the machine into position.

“A bridle assembly is interlocked into the teeth of the MED racks which are then pulled via hydraulic cylinders.”

When Aldo Beletich invented the first Beltor MED Puller mining equipment was much lighter than it is today.

This saw the MED’s original pulling capacity of 90 tonnes rise to 150, then 210 and finally 360 tonne capacity.

In addition to the retrieval of buried equipment, the higher capacity models are also capable of extracting drill rods embedded in the rock face, as well as much larger underground coal and hard rock machinery.

“The process is conducted in relative silence allowing the operators to hear and see exactly what is happening during the extraction, a stark contrast to the traditional method with wheeled or tracked tow vehicles that produce noise and dust.”

Executive Chairman of Elphinstone Pty Ltd Dale Elphinstone was awarded the Champion of Innovation award during Austmine 2023, recognising his significant contribution to innovation in the mining, equipment, technology and services (METS) sector.

The award celebrates an individual who has pioneered and championed innovation and has changed the course of the mining industry through their outstanding vision, inspirational leadership, passion for innovation and advancement of mining equipment, safety, technology and services.

Elphinstone has been a long term partner of Caterpillar, developing his own equipment based on the company’s chassis at the small mining, industrial and port town of Burnie on the north-west coast of Tasmania.

Most recently he entered the defence field, winning contracts to build armoured turrets and hulls for the Australian army’s next generation artillery system, the Hanwha Defense Australia AS-9 Huntsman.

Further reading:
Dale Elphinstone makes it yet again in Burnie
Elphinstone chosen to manufacture armoured hulls
Browse @AuManufacturing’s coverage of Elphinstone here.

Picture: Elphinstone

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