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Low voltage power cable for mines


The change from pneumatic drilling to electrically powered Hilti rock face drills in many South African mines, has created a demand for a safe electric cable that will in addition stand up to the rigorous underground conditions experienced in hard rock mines.

Aberdare Cables has introduced SafeEarth Copyright R cable, a low voltage 16mm2 five-core mining cable comprising three phases, a neutral and a reduced 10mm2 earth conductor for use in underground applications where, for safety reasons, earth integrity is critical. SafeEarth is PVC insulated and bedded, SWA armoured and PVC sheathed, and manufactured to the SANS 1507-3 standard.

The voltage rating is 600/1000 and the core identifications are red, yellow and blue for the phases, black for the neutral and green/yellow for the earth. The one-second short circuit ratings for the 3 phase conductors, the neutral conductor, and the earth conductor, are 1.84 kA, 1.84 kA and 1.15 kA respectively. SafeEarth cable has a mass of approximately 1660 kg/km and is supplied in 500m lengths on wooden drums.

Louis Steyn, Mining Products Manager at Aberdare Cables, says the presence of an earth conductor overcomes unreliable earthing problems associated with cable joints between gully electrical boxes and the rock face, and considerably improves safety in the stopes. The cable is also ideal for carrying electricity supplies to mine winches, which also require a reliable earth.

He adds that a significant order for SafeEarth has recently been received from a major platinum mining organisation, and that many more customers are expected to use this product when its safety advantages are realised.