Johannesburg-based winder consulting company, DRA Technical Services (DRATS), has secured a contract for the refurbishment and delivery of two winders for the Burnstone gold mine near Balfour in Mpumalanga province. The mine is a greenfields project owned by Canadian gold miner, Great Basin Gold, which operates a second mine in Nevada in the USA.

The turnkey project encompasses the complete refurbishment of a man and materials winder and a rock winder from two different mines, as well as design of the winder house and civil works. DRATS is not only the winder consultant and design engineer but also the principal contractor for winder supply subcontractors on the project.

The man and material winder was sourced from the Okiep Mining Company’s Nigramoep Mine in the Northern Cape. The winder is a 1,865kW, 14ft, double-drum winder. Only the winder drums on this unit were replaced; the rest of the components, including mechanicals and electrics, have been refurbished to current specifications. Despite the age of the electrical components, around 15 years, they were found to still be serviceable. Plans are in place for their replacement in the future.

The second unit, a 2,686kW, 16ft double-drum rock winder, was sourced from the Luanshya Mine in Zambia. While the mechanical components were refurbished, the unit’s electronics were replaced with a new system, featuring PLC control and a human machine interface.

The new system will provide the winder with a high degree of automation as well as improvements in performance and reliability. In addition, the mine will be able to monitor every operational aspect of the winder, making fault finding easier.

DRATS offers a comprehensive range of services for winder projects from new installations to the refurbishment and modernisation of older systems. Winder refurbishment offers a cost advantage as much as 40% when compared to new installations, while at the same time reducing the delivery time by half.

For refurbishment contracts, DRATS determines all the mechanical and electrical requirements; carries out the basic design profile and compiles a detailed mechanical and electrical design, refurbishment and operating specification. It then issues the profile and specifications on behalf of a client to different winder supply companies, inviting them to tender for the refurbishment, supply, installation and commissioning of the machines.