specialist Truco (Transvaal Rubber Company), through its
associate company Table Bay Rubber Company in Cape Town,
has supplied various custom solutions during the
prototype and final development stages of a new diamond
mining platform. Weighing some 350t, the Jet Rig is a
purpose built jack up platform designed and manufactured
by Alluvial Diamond Projects (ADP) for special mining
operations in the Inter-tidal corridor (ITC), i.e. on
the beach and in the ultra shallow water. The Jet Rig
can move forward, backwards, sideways, up and down and
even turn on its axis.
The Jet Rig mining technology was developed for Namdeb from the experimental Jet Hex, which was a crawler-based machine using the same jet pumping technology. For the Jet Rig, Truco has supplied hoses ranging from 150 to 300 mm in diameter, while the Jet Hex was fitted with 200mm nominal bore hoses across the board.
Trucotuff, a highly abrasion resistant natural rubber compound was used on both platforms to strengthen the inner lining of the hoses that needed to withstand high impact and abrasion of materials pumped at pressure. In addition, the hoses needed to be very flexible and extra care had to be taken during design to ensure that the hoses do not rupture at the flanges through continuous flexing while the platforms mining tools suck up material from the inter-tidal coastal zones.
Without impacting on their flexibility, Truco's double flange technology ensured that the hoses remained securely attached to the flanges. This exceptional strength and uncompromised flexibility - an essential component of hose operating requirements on the Jet Rig - is the result of the imbedded double helix wire used in the construction of the hoses.
The success of the Jet Rig follows on numerous other innovative solutions that Truco, together with ADP in Cape Town, has developed for Namdeb in Namibia.