The order represents the eighth unit to the ordered by the company from Condra in just over a year, and as with the machinery previously purchased, the crane will perform workshop duty in the ongoing development and expansion of the mine being overseen by Senet consulting engineers.

The new system will be a 3t-capacity single-girder crane with a 9m span and a 5m lift.

The crane installation and servicing is being managed by Kolwezi Lifting Solutions, Condra’s authorised agent for the DRC. Kamoto Copper has also ordered spares worth R1.5m to complete this process, as well as for maintaining its existing Condra hoists.

The Condra cranes already installed at the facility include a 10t double-girder overhead crusher maintenance crane with a 20m span and a lift height of 19m; two 3t, 9m-span cranes with a lift height of 4m; and four 3.2t, 17m-span single-girder electric overhead travelling cranes also with lift heights of 4m.

Condra appointed Kolwezi Lifting Solutions at the beginning of 2017. Managing director Marc Kleiner said that other crane suppliers in Africa do not have agencies in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“Ours is the only one, so this gives us a competitive advantage in terms of the best and most cost-effective service, and the quickest response times to Kamoto Copper and our other customers in that country,” said Kleiner.

“At the moment we have other formalised agencies in Zambia, Namibia, Kenya and Botswana, and our qualified technicians based in Zambia, in Kitwe, travel to the DRC and Tanzania when needed.

“But we would of course ideally like technicians based in other African countries as well, and we are currently establishing service relationships with representatives in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Angola with a view to formally appointing agents in those countries as soon as possible.

“We are building a new workshop in Cape Town with easier port accessibility to allow us to ship further up the African coast from there, in preparation for the increase in business which we anticipate.

“Our Bulgarian, South American and Canadian operations are also expanding steadily.”