Amphibious excavator enters the salt lake potash mining ventures

Rapid Dam Contractors has broadened its scope of activities from being a specialist in building and expanding Tailings Storage Facilities to providing services for potash mining in Western Australia’s salt lakes.

The company has added a 13tonne amphibious excavator to its fleet.

The excavator is able to float on the surface of a lake or work in extremely boggy conditions where a normal machine could not cope.

The machine developed by Rapid Dams could be the forerunner of specialised equipment needed to facilitate the recent increase of interest in mining salt lakes for the sulphate of potash that can be sourced from the lakes.

After drying the brine from the lakes, the sulphate of potash left is used as a premium fertiliser for fruits, vegetable and other plants that require this particular fertiliser.

Rapid Dam’s Area Manager, said the prime purpose of developing the machine was to increase the capability of working on very soft terrain or in water up to 1.2metres deep.

The unit has the capability of being able to float.

It has been fitted with a long reach boom and stick to give a combined length of 12 metres.

The amphibious excavator has been set up with 2 drive motors per pontoon to give it maximum drive power. Each retractable pontoon has a dual sprocket arrangement driving chain and grouser bars on an even load sharing basis so it eliminates the fear of becoming immobilised through losing traction thereby making it possible to work where other machinery simple cannot go.

In addition to working on salt lakes the machine could be used for:

  • Cleaning out slime ponds
  • Dredging and general marina maintenance
  • Establishment of diversion channels and Water Storage Facilities in very wet boggy areas.

If this could help solve your problems, please feel welcome to contact us for further information: Tel (08) 9452 5888 or:

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