Skyriders, Vee-Jays collaborate on silo clean-up at Booysendal

An example of general silo cleaning undertaken by Skyriders

Partnering with specialised service providers is a sure-fire recipe to not only gain experience in different industries and market segments, but also expands the business opportunities for all stakeholders. An example is the successful partnership between leading rope access specialist Skyriders Access Specialists (Pty) Ltd. and Vee-Jays Mining & Engineering Supplies.

Vee-Jays provides engineering support to Northam Platinum’s Booysendal PGM operation near Mashishing on the eastern limb of the Bushveld Complex. “We were requested by the Vee-Jays team to provide rope access service for cleaning out a silo,” explains Skyriders Marketing Manager Mike Zinn. Rope access was opted for due to it being quick, cost-effective and safe, without the need to erect and then dismantle cumbersome scaffolding, which is also a time-consuming and hazardous process.

By deploying rope access and anchoring methods, the Skyriders team was able to remove the raw mineral material out of the silo, so it could be properly cleaned out for the next phase of the mining plant’s operation. Following this successful project, which only took a day and a night, Skyriders again provided its services for the Booysendal South plant.

“The challenge here was that the material build-up in the silo was relatively stickly. Unlike traditional ore material, it did not begin to flow once it started moving. Our scope was to remove all of this material, but within a limited window of opportunity,” elaborates Zinn.

Working with Vee-Jay’s gave Skyriders insight into the mining operation’s specific requirements and maintenance procedures, presenting opportunities for future collaboration. It also gave the end client peace of mind and confidence in the capabilities and expertise of both companies.

“We have forged a good working relationship based on coming up with customised solutions for a range of specialised maintenance requirements. The main issue in the mining industry is that any downtime has a significant impact on the bottom line, so we have to ensure we are as quick off the bat as possible, while still adhering to all health and safety and Covid-19 protocols,” concludes Zinn.


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