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Elphinstone Revolutionizes Mining Safety with Advanced Extraction Device

Introducing the MED Puller: A Leap Forward in Underground Equipment Recovery

by Oluwatosin Alabi

The mining industry is witnessing a significant advancement in equipment recovery operations with the introduction of the Mine Extraction Device (MED) by Tasmanian-based Elphinstone. The acquisition of the Beltor ‘Puller’, a proven underground mine extraction device, marks a pivotal step in enhancing safety and productivity in mine operations. Originally designed by Beltor Engineering, the device is engineered to facilitate the safe recovery of buried or bogged equipment, minimizing disruption and damage to mine operations.

Elphinstone, renowned for its commitment to operator safety and mine productivity, has been at the forefront of designing and manufacturing underground hard rock mining equipment from its headquarters in Burnie, Tasmania. The company’s acquisition of MED Pty Ltd in March and the intellectual property for the underground MED, also known as the “Beltor Puller”, underscores its ongoing dedication to these priorities.

The MED’s inception dates back to the 1980s when Aldo Beletich of Beltor Engineering identified a crucial need for a safe and efficient means to extract buried mining equipment. Initially designed to cater to the lighter equipment of the era, the first MED Puller, launched in 1988, boasted a pulling capacity of 90 tonnes, primarily serving the underground thermal coal miners around Newcastle.

However, the evolution of mining equipment towards heavier machinery necessitated the development of higher-capacity MEDs. Elphinstone responded by introducing the 150-tonne (MED150) and 210-tonne (MED210) models, followed by the launch of the MED360 in 2020, with an impressive pulling capacity of 360 tonnes for larger underground coal and hard rock machinery.

This range of MEDs has revolutionized the extraction process for buried underground equipment, prioritizing safety by eliminating the need for other production equipment for removal, thus reducing damage and disruption. According to Tim Mitchell, Elphinstone’s Global Sales and Marketing Manager, the MED’s unique design allows for a controlled, safe extraction process in relative silence, enhancing the operators’ ability to monitor the operation closely.

Elphinstone Pty Ltd will directly sell and service the MED from its manufacturing facility in Burnie, Tasmania, offering a comprehensive solution to mining operations worldwide. This development represents a significant leap forward in mining safety and efficiency, reinforcing Elphinstone’s position as a leader in mining innovation.

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