Impala Platinum no. 17 Shaft complex


Impala Platinum Ltd


Rustenburg, South Africa


Engineering and Construction Management (ECM)

With a depth of wind of 1922 m, the No. 17 shaft is considered one of the deepest shafts currently on any platinum mine and the winding equipment is consequently of substantial proportions. Alongside No. 17 Main Shaft which will be used for hoisting the ore and transporting men and materials as well as an intake airway, are the No. 17 Vent. Shaft and the No. 17 Fridge Shaft.

DRA Global was appointed the Engineering and Construction Management (ECM) consultant for the design, specification and project management of the winders required for the No. 17 Main Shaft, totalling nine machines in all for sinking and final duties.

A study showed the most economical way for permanent hoisting to be conducted in the main shaft would be with ground-mounted Koepe winders. A further investigation revealed that none of the shaft-sinking companies, worldwide, had winders large enough for the proposed sinking kibble duty. Not only would the procurement of a new sinking winder involve considerable capital outlay, but delivery time for such a winder would have resulted in an unacceptable delay to project commencement. In addition, the presence of a large temporary kibble winder would exacerbate conditions in an already congested bank area.

The required Koepe winders could however be procured within the required time period and DRA Global recommended that these be used initially for the sinking of the shaft. Accordingly, the two Koepe winders were configured to operate initially as single-drum winders and they are currently sinking the shaft with 21t payload kibbles.