The original RM 800 machine was designed, manufactured and installed in a deep level of the Townlands Platinum Mine in Rustenburg, SA. The results of this testing were analyzed and causes for the problems identified.
These were due to underestimation of loads, design errors, poor manufacuring procedures, and delays caused by trying to integrate into a D&B mining system schedule.
Several years of operation and repair did result in enough encouraging excavation so that a follow on program was funded.
After an extensive data analysis carried out by AGA and reviewed by an independent consulting engineer, the machine was redesigned and rebuilt for testing in an incline shaft mine also near Rustenburg, SA.
The machine was installed in it's launch 'cubby' in January 2012.
During the time since then the machine has operated intermittently after being plagued by failures of more improperly manufactured or assembled
These failures were caused by a few design errors, uneven loading due to a poorly prepared launch 'cubby', gross failure in parts manufacture and failure to follow assembly instructions of cylinders and cutters.
See below for detailed reports on these activities.
The RM 950 is scheduled for another trial period in August 2013.