A gold mine in Mali has been so pleased with the performance of and support for its on-site Potain tower crane that, as this model reached the end of its operational life, it has been replaced with another Potain unit. With the de-rating of the mine’s Potain MD830 crane due to its age, local distributor SA French is supplying the new Potain MCT205 tower crane for general maintenance and repair duty on the remote mine site.SA French sales manager, Louw Smit, says that technical and after-market support are considered critical for customers, and even more so for those that operate on remote sites in Africa. “Significantly, SA French has been recognised as an Elite Dealer by Potain of France, which means a guarantee of 80% availability of spare parts on first call, and it is this level of customer centric focus that has ensured the success of Potain cranes in Africa,” he says.“We dismantled the crane for our customer in November last year, and the brand new Potain MCT205 model is being supplied as a permanent installation,” Smit says. “The load curve on this unit is well-suited to the mine’s needs on this site.”The crane will be erected in a configuration that includes a 65 m jib, a 59.4 m hook height, a 17.6 m counter jib and reusable fixing angles. Its lifting capacity is over 6 t at 25 m, and 1.75 t at the full jib length. “The crane will be erected to a hook height of about 40 m and then telescoped to its final height,” says Smit. “The standard erection will take three days and telescoping it to the final height will take another two days.”Among the advanced features of this Potain model – adding to its versatility in areas where stable power supply is not always available – is the 60LVF25 hoist winch that includes a new power control function. “While the normal starting power on this tower crane is 62 KVA, the advantage of this function is that the KVA requirements can be lowered to 38 KVA if there is not sufficient power available on the mine,” he says.Smit emphasises that this lower power supply has no effect on the slewing or trolley function of the tower crane, but only reduces the hoisting speed. The lifting capacity of the tower crane remains unaffected.