Skyriders Access Specialists combined the use of a hi-tech drone with a specialist abseiling team at Dundee Precious Metals Tsumeb in Namibia.
The remote location of the copper refinery, Dundee Precious Metals Tsumeb in Namibia is about 430 km north of the capital Windhoek.
This combined with the height of the structure, meant that traditional scaffolding posed a logistical challenge, Skyriders Marketing Manager Mike Zinn highlights.
The solution combined a drone to inspect the smokestack internally, and rope access to perform all external inspection, as well as core sampling.
The Canadian-owned DMPT requires periodic inspection of the structural integrity of its smokestack and related areas.
This article first appeared in Mining Review Africa Issue 9 2018
“Once our team received all the necessary permits [we were ready] to go as soon as the shutdown commenced,” Zinn notes.
The initial inspection revealed ash build-up from free gases inside the smokestack, which can restrict the airflow necessary to vent the internal gases.
This build-up therefore had to be cleared. The team of six, comprising two Level 3 supervisors and four Level 2 technicians, accessed the top of the smokestack before drilling and placing anchor points into the structure, from which rigging ropes could be deployed to abseil to the areas that required cleaning.
Now cleaned and with no impeded airflow, the smokestack is ready for a few more years of uninterrupted service life.