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Huge expansion project at Kaz Minerals Copper Mine, Kazakhstan

Battalion of Genie® boom lifts assist in steel construction assembly in extreme conditions

As part of $1.2 billion (€1.08 billion) expansion project at its copper mine in Aktogay, earlier this year, Kaz Minerals turned to Genie for an equipment solution adapted to steel construction assembly work performed in conjunction with Terex® cranes. Terex equipment providers Korund Group of Companies based in Oskemen, Kazakhstan, supplied 18 Genie® machines for the project. Models included 12 Genie Xtra Capacity (XC) boom lifts — six, 34-m (111-ft) Genie SX-105 XC and six 40.10-m (131-ft) Genie SX-125 XC units. The challenges of the task? An intensive, three-year mission performed in a challenging, remote environment.

Located in the east of Kazakhstan where the closest border meets with western China, the Kaz Minerals Aktogay site is a large scale, open pit mining operation with a maximum annual ore processing capacity of 25 million tons. By 2021, when the site’s expansion is completed, capacity will reach 50 million tons, doubling its capacity for a mine life of 28 years.

In the meantime, work is underway on a big scale, from the installation of a new concentrator used to extract copper sulphide from raw ore to new conveyors and other processing equipment. The site’s development also includes a link with the national rail network, access to roads to the Chinese border and office buildings and living quarters for the 1,500 people employed at the site.

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Mr. Sergey Bereza, the owner of Korund, says: “When you have around 20 large models of the same brand working on a project like Aktogay, the challenges involved make it easy to gauge their performance. We are glad to say that, in the eight months that they have been in operation, our Genie XC booms have proved to be extremely robust and reliable, running virtually non-stop. On a job that involves working at height with heavy tools and materials, we can definitely say that increased lift capacity is big productivity benefit.”

Engineered to work more productively in heavy lifting access applications, these Genie XC booms combine a 1.52-m (5-ft) robust articulating jib with a dual lift capacity of 300-kg (660-lb) unrestricted and 454-kg (1,000-lb) restricted — one-third more than the industry standard to provide the ability to get more work done using a single machine.

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Genie SX-105 XC and SX-125 XC models also feature the unique Genie mini XChassis design that provides the benefits of a compact 3.94 m (12 ft 11 in) x 4.11 m (13 ft 6 in) footprint and an extendable/retractable axle system with a narrow profile for easier transport and simple-to-access, low-effort maintenance.

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Genie machines work on steel construction assembly work performed in conjunction with Terex® cranes

To increase performance, reduce set-up time and improve overall productivity, all Genie XC models boast zero-load field calibration thanks to a load sense cell that continuously checks the weight in the platform to make sure that the machine stays within the machine’s load limit. Key applications include heavy lifting construction, bridge inspection, and maintenance on stadiums and sports arenas, industrial oil and gas, telecommunications and utilities facilities.

“Three years may seem long enough, but on a project of such a massive scale in such a remote part of the world, time can be a real challenge,” adds Sergey Bereza. “Access to the site is generally relatively challenging, but our harsh climate makes things tougher. Temperatures here range from −20 °C (−4.0 °F) in the winter and 30 °C (86 °F) in the summer. This can slow the process of bringing equipment and the necessary components to the site.”

Bereza continues: “At the same time, intensive heavy work on rugged ground conditions in extreme cold and heat can also have an adverse effect on machinery. The cold weather option fitted on the machines, which includes ad-hoc features to warm up their most critical components, was ideal to help us keep working no matter how low the temperature! In terms of productivity, it is imperative to be able to rely on skilled support to ensure that equipment is maintained properly. And when we have needed specialised technical support, Gökhan Gültekin, Genie Technical Manager, Terex AWP, for Turkey and the Caspian Sea Region has been great, responding to our needs in a timely fashion – despite the five-hour flight and 11-hour train journey it takes to get here!”

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