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News Release

Potain keeps Arctic Circle mine project on schedule


Six Potain cranes are working on a major mining project divided between two locations in the Arctic Circle. The cranes are working more than 10 hours a day in temperatures as low as minus 25˚C in long hours of darkness to keep the €560 million Kaunisvaara mine project on schedule.

The cranes are a mix of top-slewing and self-erecting models, and all are rented from Lambertsson, Potain’s Swedish distributor. They are working directly for main contractor Peab, a leading construction company in the Nordic region. They were chosen for the project for their proven reliability and strength even in extreme conditions, as Jan Heed, managing director of Lambertsson explains:

“Working in the Artic has many challenges. Visibility is a major issue with long nights and poor weather. But Potain’s Ultraview Cab provides the best view of the job – and is one of the warmest places to be on site,” he says. “Working to a tight schedule is expected on such a major project, but the cranes’ reach and capacity ensures more can be done in less time.”

Four of the cranes are located at the main mine site where they lift general building materials and equipment weighing up to 20 t. The other two cranes are 300 km away building a new port terminal in northern Norway, which will be the main transport hub for the new mine.

The location of the mine, more than 100 km north of the Arctic Circle, tests both operators and machines to the limit. Some of the cranes were transported more than 800 km to reach the site, on a journey which took just two days. On arrival, they were met by severe cold and harsh winds combined with long hours of darkness in winter. To counter this, all of the cranes have been specially adapted for extreme conditions.

Among their modifications are cold weather cabs and extra heating, while additional lighting is fitted to the jibs and masts to assist with working in reduced light. For comfort and security, and to reduce exposure when accessing the cab, the tower cranes are also fitted with operator hoists.

The mine is scheduled to start production by the end of 2012. Before then, the primary crusher, truck workshop, Grizzly hopper, concentrator, milling stations and the port terminal must all be built. The tight deadline and demanding workload mean the cranes operate for 10.5 hours a day, seven days a week. Reliability is crucial as faulty equipment could potentially cause major delays.

The top-slewing cranes working at the mine are an MD 365 B with a 75 m jib, which is located at the crushing station, and an MD 560 B with an 80 m jib, which is working between two stock piles. The two self-erecting cranes, an Igo 36 and an Igo 50, bring flexibility to the project and are moved around the site wherever necessary.

Potain’s MD 560 B is a 25 t capacity tower crane with a maximum jib length of 80 m and tip load of 5.4 t. The MD 365 B is slightly smaller and offers a 16 t capacity and 75 m jib length.

The two self-erecting cranes have a 4 t capacity with the Igo 36 offering a 32 m working radius and the Igo 50 a 40 m radius.

The two cranes working at the port are MD 365 Bs, which are both positioned on tracks to offer better coverage of the site. They are configured with hook heights of 61 m and 45 m, and both have a 55 m jib.

The cranes were transported to both sites from Lambertsson’s depots in Piteå and Bro. Although the journey from Piteå took just half a day, the 800 km journey from Bro to the mine took two days. The biggest crane in the convoy was the MD 560 B, which is Potain’s largest standard top-slewing crane, but it travelled to site in only 12 trucks.

The MD 365 B was the first crane to arrive at the mine in June 2011. The MD 560 B was erected in September 2011 and will remain there until June of this year while the two Igos arrived in June and will depart towards the end of 2012. The two cranes at the port only recently started work as they were erected in February 2012.

The ambitious Kaunisvaara project is being developed by Northland Resources, an international mining company. It will create a complete iron ore processing plant over what is regarded as Europe’s last big iron ore reserve in the north-eastern tip of Sweden, near Sahavaara.
About The Manitowoc Company, Inc.
The Manitowoc Company, Inc. (“Manitowoc”) was founded in 1902 and has over a 117-year tradition of providing high-quality products and support services that are tailored to customers’ needs. Its 2019 net sales were approximately $1.83 billion. Manitowoc is one of the world's leading providers of engineered lifting solutions. Through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, Manitowoc designs, manufactures, markets and supports comprehensive product lines of mobile telescopic cranes, tower cranes, lattice-boom crawler cranes, boom trucks and industrial cranes under the Grove, Potain, Manitowoc, National Crane, Shuttlelift and Manitowoc Crane Care brand names.
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