Our Underground Team Safely Access Mine Shaft by Mobile Crane
Working closely with Specialist Engineering Services and Bryn Thomas Cranes, one of our underground teams have successfully demonstrated that accessing mine shafts using mobile cranes can now be carried out safely and efficiently.
Although occasionally carried out when shaft sinking, the use of cranes is rarely carried out at UK mines and never to this depth. However, meticulous planning and liaison with the HM Mines Inspectorate from project inception has now clearly demonstrated that the modern mobile crane together with detailed risk analysis, safe systems of work and other additional preventative and mitigating control measures can be considered for manriding in mine shafts.
This is particularly useful for abandoned shafts that need accessing where normal winding systems are not available and represents potentially significant programme and cost benefits over fixed winding systems. Using a 90t crane with a second crane on standby, the team descended a 200m deep lead mine shaft in North Wales to enable almost 4km of partially flooded mine water drainage tunnel to be inspected.
For over 12 years Wardell Armstrong have inspected and undertaken repair works in the tunnel, with each phase of works generating its own unique set of challenges to overcome. As with previous works in the tunnel, we were appointed as Mine Operator under the Mines Regulations 2014, with overall responsibility for the safe operation of the works.