Manitowoc 2250 crawler crane builds $570-million mine in Senegal
A Manitowoc 2250 crawler crane is building one of the largest mineral sand mines in the world in the sand dunes of Senegal. The 450 t capacity crane, which is the largest crane in Senegal, is performing demanding lifts and carries at the $570-million Grande Côte Mineral Sands Project, north of Dakar.
The 2250, which is fitted with the MAX-ER capacity enhancing attachment, was bought by Grande Côte Operations, the main contractor and mine operator. Jason Eade, lifting services superintendent at the site, says choosing the right crane was a crucial part of the project.
“The crane is integral to the construction so we needed a powerful machine to rely on – and our Manitowoc 2250 is worth its weight in gold,” he says. “We have been planning these lifts for two years, and it’s great to finally see the crane perform so well. It is working perfectly in demanding conditions and the project is progressing exactly as planned.”
The 2250’s main tasks are installing the dredge, surge bin and pontoons that will make up the mineral processing plant at the mine. Each pontoon weighs 120 t and measures 29 m long, 5 m wide and 4.5 m high. The surge bin is a 225 t unit that has already been installed. The lift was completed in three sections, with the largest weighing 87 t and measuring 22 m in radius.
Situated on a mobile dune system, the 400 km2 site presents a number of challenges for the crane, among them sand and searing heat. To contend with these rugged conditions, the crane is regularly maintained and cleaned to ensure it performs at its peak, while the air conditioned cab is one of the coolest places on site.
The Manitowoc 2250 was transported to Senegal from the U.S. It was shipped to Dakar and then transported 145 km north to the remote coastal site on 29 truckloads. The crane arrived on site in December 2011 and will remain at the project until it’s completed in the second half of 2013.
Manitowoc’s 2250 offers a 272 t capacity as standard, which can be increased to 450 t with the MAX-ER attachment or all the way up to 1,300 t with a RINGER® attachment. The crane’s standard heavy lift boom provides a reach of 91 m, which can be extended to over 184 m with a luffing jib extension.
The Grande Côte Mineral Sands Project will function by dredging sand and pumping slurry into a floating concentrator, where the heavy minerals are separated from the lighter quartz sand. Over its predicted 20-year lifespan, the mine will produce approximately 575,000 t of ilmenite and 85,000 t of zircon each year.