MacLean Engineering
MacLean Engineering
WC3–Water Cannon

Image of a MacLean WC# Mining water cannon in an underground mine setting.

The Success Story Down Under


Contributors: Peter Jarvis, General Manager, Australasia; Peter Bates, Product Manager; and, Rhett Parry, Aftermarket Manager


The MacLean Water Cannon is one of the safest and most efficient ore recovery tools in underground mining today.

The success story at Newcrest, Western Australia mines endorses MacLean’s commitment to creating measurable value for  mine operators by delivering returns on three fronts simultaneously – increased ore production, increased operator safety,  and increased profitability.

The Rig: MacLean WC3–Water Cannon
The Mine: Newcrest’s Telfer mine, Western Australia

The Issue:

The mine uses sub-level caving method to access the lower portion of the underground ore body,  leaving many high grade areas unrecovered.

Long hole stoping was implemented to recover these high-grade areas left behind, running 45 degrees or less.   Metal scrapers were used to clear the shallow stopes. Lengthy set-up operations and the problem of cable breakage due to scraper jamming meant that it took about two days to clear a 12 m wide stope.

The Solution:

In just under a year, MacLean partnered with Newcrest to develop an open stope version of the Water Cannon with boom and nozzle geometry that could blast water downwards and provide wide coverage.

The Result

• 75% reduction in operating time  
• 9-month payback period


Customer testimonials:

“We are recovering more dirt, we’re doing it faster and, importantly, we’re doing it safer.” — Del Whaling, Senior Foreman at Telfer

“Using the scrapers we’d take a day to set up, and would clear one 12-metre stope the following day – if we were having a good day. With the new gear, set-up is reduced to four hours and in the balance of the day we can comfortably clean out two stopes. We estimate that we’ll recover our modest investment in the Water Cannon in around nine months.” — Paul Mitchell, Senior Mining Manager at Telfer


The MacLean Advantage:

Rugged and reliable, the MacLean WC3–Water Cannon is designed to eliminate ore flow blockages and release trapped reserves in draw points brows without endangering mine workers. It also provides auxiliary capability for miscellaneous water applications. Integrated Radio Remote Control with video option allows tramming and spraying operations to be conducted from a safe distance.

  • Self-propelled 4 wheel drive articulated MacLean Mine Mate 977 carrier
  • 11,000 L / 2900 Gallon tank
  • 750 gpm pump
  • Radio Remote control option with Video
  • Self-stowing Water cannon Boom. Stores within length of the water tank for tramming.
  • Available Auxiliary Hydraulic Pump for Water Sprayer System (Ramp Wash-down)
  • Release drawpoint hang-ups with complete safety and without explosives
  • Recover hard to reach high-grade ore by washing it down with high pressure water jet
  • Stope wash-down application (water scaler) for bringing down potential loose ground
  • Dust suppressant for mucking stope or muck piles
  • Ancillary water spraying application with 3- or 4-spray boom systems
  • Increased productivity with a one-man operation
  • Accelerates development cycle
  • Suppress dust and wash down ramps


Twitter Feed
Cookies on the MacLean website:
This site uses cookies to optimise your user experience.
If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the MacLean website.