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Jan - Feb 2021, Volume 16 No. 1

Tyre Management and fleet productivity

XRT diamond sorting leaves no stone undetected Community engagement and involvement in projects Phased array ultrasonic NDT testing for industries



Ser ppo ect ifie De Man tect

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– Jan - Feb 2021, Volume 16 No. 1

ERED African Mining Brief

rvice ort tion Systems, d Tra ining esign and Budgetary Costing nufactured, as well as Worldtion & Suppression Equipment


OCtober - November 2019, Volume 14 No.6

Jan - Feb 2021, Volume 16 No.1

Wear plates


South Africa’s cored welding consumables and wear-resistant materials

DURBAN T +27 (0)31 266 8843


Hopefully, Vaccination Marks Return to ‘Normalcy’

2019/11/25 14:17

Industrial coating

EDITOR Jimmy Swira EAST AFRICA EDITOR Francis Makari GRAPHIC/WEB DESIGN Dennis Ayemba Writers: Andrew Ngozo, Matimu Mahundla COUNTRY LIAISON Thuthukile Mhlanga ADVERTISING EXECUTIVES

Corrocoat Plasmet ZF Coating system

Diamond sorting technology that leaves no stone undetected

Slack and tight rope monitoring in mine shaft conveyances


Rock stress measurement


Equipment rental


Community engagement and participation


Reliable rope monitoring, improved shaft conveyance safety

Nigeria: Seni Bello

Why rock stress matters and how to measure it

East Africa: William Mutama

Published by MCN Network a subsidiary of Group Africa Publishing Ltd African Mining Brief is published six times a year and is circulated to members of relevant associations, governmental bodies and other personnel in the mining industry as well as suppliers of equipment, materials and services in Africa, the Middle and Far East. The editor welcomes articles and photographs for consideration. Material may not be reproduced without prior permission from the publisher. The publisher does not accept responsibility for the accuracy or authenticity of advertisements or contributions contained in the journal. Views expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of the publisher.


X-Ray Transmission (XRT) 10 diamond recovery technology

South Africa: Winnie Sentabire Rachel Molapo Angeline Ntobeng Nomaswazi Mposula

COVID conditions makes a strong business case for equipment rental

Nurturing the relationship between mining companies and host communities

Diesel particulate matter management in the mining environment

Editor’s word

The effectiveness - if not the rationality - of random lockdowns in curbing the spread of COVID-19 remains a bone of contention. While, one would safely presume that they are well-meant, indisputably, they have plunged the world into an economic depression with untold ramifications. Either businesses are closing for good, at worst, or are operating below what can be considered sustainable level of capacity, at worst. Though somewhat resilient, the mining sector, which relies on the demand for minerals used to manufacture products used in different applications, has not been spared. Some industries that use minerals as raw materials have either scaled down or altogether shelved projects they had scheduled to implement. Sooner or later, unavoidably, in some way this will impact on the global demand for minerals, occasioning a reduction in mining activity. But at this juncture, one can’t wait for the return to normalcy any longer. Indeed, the world has sacrificed so much in implementing measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 that it cannot bear further collateral social and economic burden. No doubt, the launch of vaccines could not have come at a perfect time. Hopefully, successful mass vaccinations will mark the end of lockdowns and return to ‘normalcy’. Nevertheless, the road to recovery will be long and winding, not an overnight event.

Jimmy Swira


Reducing Workforce Exposure to Diesel Particulate Emissions Risks South Africa MCN Network 14 Ballyclare Drive, Bryanston, Sandton, Gauteng, South Africa info@miningandconstructionnewsnetwork.co.za Phone: 0027011 875 4328 E-mail: info@collegepublishers.co.za

© All rights reserved.

The editor accepts letters and manuscripts for publication from readers all over the world. Include your name and address as a sign of good faith although you may request your name to be withheld from publication. We reserve the right to edit any material submitted. Send your letters to: info@miningandconstructionnewsnetwork.co.za

Vinodeep Towers, Tel:+254722525326/+254208000307. P.O Box 10109-00100. Nairobi Kenya.


Tanzania Uganda-Tanzania

Africa Pipeline

Runs Into Legal Challenges

Four non-governmental organisations have moved to the East African Court of Justice to block the construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) by Uganda and Tanzania. The four – the Centre for Food and Adequate Living Rights Ltd and the Africa Institute for Energy Governance both based in Kampala; the Nairobi-based Natural JusticeKenya and the Center for Strategic Litigation Ltd based in Zanzibar – want the construction of the pipeline stopped until the matter is heard and determined. In the case filed on November 6 through the Kampala based M/S Semuyaba, Iga & Company Advocates together with Dalumba Advocates, the applicants are seeking orders against both Uganda and Tanzania ensures that, “prior to any similar project, the following are conducted; climate change impact assessment; Human rights impact assessment; and meaningful, effective and transparent public consultations ensuring robust community and broad public participation.” The four NGOs claim that the EACOP project, announced a month ago by Uganda’s President’s Yoweri Museveni and his Tanzania’s counterpart John Magufuli is yet to conduct an environmental and social impact assessment as required by both the EAC Treaty and other international laws. The NGOs are now seeking a permanent injunction against Uganda, Tanzania and the EAC, whom they have sued, from constructing the pipeline through protected areas, among other orders. The pipeline will transport crude oil from Hoima district in Uganda to Chongoleani in Tanga, Tanzania. “As a requirement by national as well as the EAC law, the project developer for the EACOP project in Uganda must be issued with a certificate of Approval of Environment and Continue reading online at www. africanminingbrief.com


Burkina Faso

Regional Power Pools Struggle to Keep Pace Burkina Faso Invests € 47.7 With Africa’s Growing Energy Demands

An estimated 580 million Africans lack access to electricity, three quarters of the global total. The International Energy Agency (IEA) expects this number to rise as the COVID-19 pandemic stalls efforts to keep up with rising demand. Before coronavirus struck, the continent had been making slow progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 7 – Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all – but it now stands little chance of meeting this target by 2030. Despite extensive petroleum reserves, high solar irradiation levels and vast hydropower potential, Africa receives only 4% of global energy supply investment, according to the IEA. This is largely a result of foreign investors’ fears that short-term political considerations will trump long-term policy goals, rendering energy master plans obsolete. Investors’ primary concerns include abrupt changes to the policy environment, unsustainably low electricity tariffs dependent on unaffordable state subsidies, and the poor governance and creditworthiness of state-owned utility companies. A whopping 95% of African energy utilities fail to recover their costs, according to the Energy for Growth Hub, scaring off potential investors. Source: Africa In Fact.

Mozambique Mozambique: Gas Bubble Deflates Further

Just as the Bank of Mozambique tabled a proposal for a sovereign wealth fund with a predicted $96 bn, the likelihood of a big gas bonanza declined further. ExxonMobil has delayed again any investment decision on Area 4 in Cabo Delgado, and its financial crisis makes it unlikely the gas will ever be produced there. Meanwhile, none of the projects to use Mozambique’s share of the gas will go ahead. Zitamar (4 Nov) reports that Norwegian fertiliser giant Yara has abandoned plans to develop a fertiliser plant using Cabo Delgado gas. Zitamar also reports that neither Shell, which was planning to develop a gas-to-liquids project at the LNG site in Palma, nor Great Lakes Africa Energy, which was planning gas-fired power plant in Nacala, have moved their projects forward since they won a domestic gas project competition in 2016. ExxonMobil’s Mozambique managing director, Jos Evens, told the Mozambique Gas Summit on 28 October that any decision “depends on how the market develops in the coming months and years” and it remains necessary to “assess the feasibility of the project.” Source: Mozambique News Reports And Clippings (Milton Keynes, UK)

M in Solar Power Farm

The National Electricity Company of Burkina Faso (Sonabel) has inaugurated a 33-mega solar power farm at Zagtouli in the Central Region of Burkina Faso. Estimated at €47.7million, the project was funded by the European Union, French Agency for Development and the Government of Burkina Faso, and forms part of the broader infrastructure and energy development agenda of the government of President Roch Marc Christian Kabore. With about 129,000 panels and 32 inverters, the project is currently the biggest solar plant in the West African sub-region. Currently, the country imports about 150 megawatts of power from Ghana, representing 40 per cent of its electricity needs. Conducting a group of journalists from neighbouring West African countries round the facility as part of a working tour of the country, the Project Manager of the facility, Mr Souleymane Konate, said the project formed part of the agenda of President Kabore to provide cheap and affordable power for the people. He said solar constituted approximately five percent of the energy mix of Burkina Faso and expected to increase to about 40 per cent the power needs of that country in the next five years. Read the original article on Ghanaian Times.

“solar constitutes approximately 5% of the energy mix in Burkina Faso but it is expected to increase to about 40% in the next five years.”

January - February 2021

Wear plates and cored welding wires for hardfacing of components in mining, cement,

Welding Alloys South Africa’s Cored Welding Consumables and Wear-resistant Welded Overlay Materials By working hand-in-hand with its customers and innovative research and development department in France, WASA’s solutions such as MillCarb for the refurbishment of coal and cement mill rollers and RPMaxlife for roller press roller refurbishment have been proven to be world-class solutions in their areas of application.

WASA’s solutions have been proven to be world-class solutions in their areas of application. frica’s only manufacturer of cored welding consumables and wearresistant welded overlay materials, Welding Alloys South Africa (WASA) boasts ISO 9001- and ISO 3834 Part-3-certified manufacturing facilities in Gauteng. Thereby, the company, a subsidiary of UK- headquartered Welding Alloys Group, is capable of producing high-quality cored welding consumables in excess of 70 t and 1 200 m2 of various grades of carbide-based overlay materials.


January - February 2021

Since its humble start in 1966, Welding Alloys Group has been actively involved in all areas of industry across the globe where customers experience wear. “Globally, our customers are active in the cement, mining, petrochemicals, defence, iron and steel, railroad, earthmoving, power generation, sugar and agriculture to name a few,” WASA says. Through the years, the group’s business model has been to provide world-class products and innovative solutions through a customer-focused approach. “At WASA, we believe in selling complete solutions instead of a mere product. Through our solutions, we are able to customise our offering to address specific customer and application needs. Our technical sales force and sales support teams are at the forefront of technology enabling them to solve customer needs daily,” emphasises WASA. By working hand-in-hand with its customers and innovative research and development department in France, WASA’s solutions such

as MillCarb for the refurbishment of coal and cement mill rollers and RPMaxlife for roller press roller refurbishment have been proven to be world-class solutions in their areas of application. Further, the company’s Makuri IMD offers the lowest operating cost per ton for any liner system used in large dig, load and haul mobile mining equipment. The recent acquisition of wear solutions provider Kram Engineering has enabled WASA to also offer expert wear solutions where ceramic materials are more suited than welded overlay materials. “Through this acquisition, we have completed our range of products and solutions to provide answers to most wear problems occurring in industry,” states WASA. As a local producer, the company, which has a 26% black economic-empowerment employee trust shareholding, can export both its flux-cored wires, composite wear plate and ceramic products into the Southern African Development Community with SADC certification.


Vertical roller mills for greenfield mining projects

Efficient comminution delivered at a fraction of the cost Loesche’s Vertical Roller Mills (VRM) can be customised to suit a mining project’s specific needs.


iners today are focused on reducing capital expenditure (CAPEX) and operating expenditure (OPEX) to maximise profitability whilst minimising their impact on the environment. Nevertheless, the main challenge they do encounter in this quest is that, today, the available ores are more complicated and are found deeper with lower yields. VRM ore grinding technology Handily, using ore grinding technologies has emerged as one of the options that mine operators can utilise to liberate the minerals efficiently to get as high yields as possible while reducing the overall footprint and the equipment required. This is based on information that Loesche’s Engineering Team has gathered from supplying customised Vertical Roller Mills (VRM) to mining projects throughout Africa. Loesche discussed with African Mining Brief on how mine operators stand to gain from adopting the VRM in their comminution circuits, the approach employed by Loesche is to solve client’s specific comminution needs, through the company’s product Research & Development department.


How mine operators benefit from VRM Loesche’s Engineering Team explains that the design, which can be customised to suit the client’s particular project needs, makes the VRM the perfect fit for the mine’s comminution requirements. The mine operator benefits through reduced capital expenditure and operating costs, in addition to improved equipment availability. i. Reduced capital expenditure and operating costs As a dry process, the VRM offers the following advantages: • Reduced electricity usage (40 – 45 % less than a Ball mill); • The VRM can also be adjusted whilst in operation to a changing ore type through online controls which an operator can monitor onsite or even remotely; • A VRM can reduce a nominal feed size of up to 150mm lumps depending on the mill size to a P80 at 45 microns in a single pass. is achievable; • The VRM uses particle on particle comminution which reduces the wear rate of the liners;

• As the VRM classifies the material continuously a steeper particle size distribution is realised which reduces the oversize and ultra-fines content which becomes waste; • The VRM cracks the particles on the weakest point which is the mineral line exposing the surface for better recovery.

“What makes Loesche’s system very relevant in the present mining conditions is that it significantly reduces circuit downtime.” • Due to the dry process the transformation to a wet process after the milling allows for a better and more controlled slurry phase which is controlled. By the controlled slurry phase a downstream saving can be seen with reagents usage and better water recovery due to the fresh un-oxidised surfaces of the mineral. January - February 2021



BETTER ✔ OPEX ✔ MINERAL RECOVERY ✔ MEDIA WEAR CONTROL ✔ MAINTENANCE COSTS ✔ WATER USAGE / WASTE ✔ REAGENT USAGE Loesche has been striving to take better to the best in ore grinding over the past 50 years in 12 countries processing 10 different materials with 28 mills sold to date.

Contact Loesche South Africa to find out the advantages of the Vertical Roller Mill technology in your application. Telephone +27 11 032 9360 E-Mail jsmith@loeschesa.co.za

www.loesche.com January - February 2021


Vertical roller mills for greenfield mining projects

ii. Reduced downtime What makes Loesche’s system very relevant in the present mining conditions is that it significantly reduces circuit downtime. Usually, a mine’s downtime is depicted on the process, as it has to reduce the ore and recover the mineral. A wet circuit is more complicated due to the amount of equipment required in the circuit. However, uniquely, as Loesche uses a dry process and the VRM can handle larger feed lumps, a considerable amount of high maintenance equipment can be removed from the circuit. In this way, the unexpected downtime of the plant can be reduced, improving profitability. Furthermore, to prevent further downtime, a surge silo is implemented to allow for general maintenance on the mill whilst enabling the recovery circuit to continue operating. The mill is also suitably protected according to the ore type, ensuring that the least amount of communition downtime is realised. Overall, reduced downtime of the VRM improves productivity, which translates to increased profitability.

says the Team. “After receiving an enquiry, an appointment is made with the customer to identify their needs, from here a project questionnaire is completed. This information is used to identify the mill requirements as well as the expected recovery of the identified mineral. A sample of the material is sent through to our test facility in Germany for grinding to establish power usage, expected mineral recovery, Opex costs and suitability of the ore to the VRM process. From these tests, Loesche can put forward the mill sizing and establish the guarantees for the customer and the project.”

The client’s comminution requirements Great attention is paid to detail in addressing the client’s particular comminution requirements from consulting with the client to designing,

Loesche can work with the appointed engineering house or the client can utilise the full service Loesche can offer relating to feasibility studies and a full engineering package, including construction and

“Usually, a mine’s downtime is depicted on the process, as it has to reduce the ore and recover the mineral. A wet circuit is more complicated due to the amount of equipment required in the circuit.”

commissioning of the plant (EPCM). From the test work, Loesche can establish the offered guarantees that need to be achieved. This is done through a stepped process, starting from the design of the process flow all the way to commissioning to ensure targets are met. During the commissioning phase, Loesche engineers will not leave site until all milestones are met and or exceeded through performance testing. Continuous Research & Development Through in-house Research and Development and partnerships with specialist companies, Loesche has perfected certain equipment to address the findings of exploration projects in Africa. There is increase in the discovery of high yield deposits that are not big enough for a mine to be established. And so, to cater for this, Loesche has developed a semi mobile processing plant to handle these deposits. This allows the owner to recover the mineral and then move onto the next site when the deposit is depleted. Markedly changing market conditions have placed the onus on OEM to develop relevant technologies. And so, The Team believes Loesche is well-positioned to continue developing new innovations that allow for ‘efficient comminution at a fraction of the cost’ in the future.


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January - February 2021

Industrial coating

PLASMET ZF: The surface, oil & moisture tolerant glass-flake Epoxy primer coating that keeps corrosion at bay.

Large bore butterfly valves protected with PLASMET ZF


orrosion of plant & equipment is an inevitable occurrence at some point during operations of a company involved in mining, power generation, water or oil and gas. For Maintenance Engineers the challenge has always been how to mitigate the impact of corrosion on production and plant up-time. One thing for sure is that the loss of productivity, incurred as a result of equipment down time due to corrosion or component wear and tear, translates into an irretrievable revenue loss. Corrocoat Southern Africa is aware that some organisations, experiencing reduction of revenue due to the impact of COVID-19, may be tempted to cut costs when selecting products used in corrosion protection applications. Considering this, the company’s Johannesburg Branch Manager Richard Collins, is reminding maintenance managers to be aware of inferior products which may appear to available at bargain prices, underlining the importance of using quality products like Plasmet ZF. So, what is plasmet zf? PLASMET ZF is a glass-flake reinforced, re-coatable & surface tolerant Epoxy Primer / coating manufactured by Corrocoat, incorporating a rust inhibitor, passivator and micaceous iron oxide (MIO) as well as glassflake platelets for increased barrier protection and is manufactured according to ISO: 9001:2008 Standard.

January - February 2021

The PLASMET ZF Epoxy coating is superior to many epoxy primers and coatings available in the market, as the product also contains micro-glass flake which improves the product’s permeation resistance to moisture vapour by creating a tortuous path within the coating as well as offering superior surface tolerance and outstanding abrasion resistance. The surface tolerant epoxy coating can also tolerate residual moisture. Owing to its surface and moisture tolerance, PLASMET ZF can be applied on rusted, damp steel as well as previously galvanised surfaces. In addition, the passivator in the resin system converts any existing rust into a passive film which inhibits further rusting, as well as offering barrier protection against diffusion of corrosive vapours or liquids into the coating and down to the substrate. PLASMET ZF can also be used to offer superior chemical resistance for atmospheric and some immersed corrosion conditions; does not contain sacrificial bulking pigments such as aluminium which degrade over time and most existing firmly bonded coatings can be tolerated and overcoated with PLASMET ZF. PLASMET ZF can be sprayed with conventional (pressure pot) equipment, airless-spray equipment and can also be handapplied with a brush and roller. PLASMET ZF can be applied over substrates with minimum

surface preparation, and also on flash-rusted or water-jetted surfaces, on its own or overcoated with a wide range of topcoats. It is a tough, durable coating which can handle high atmospheric humidity during application and is tolerant of vehicular traffic. It is not necessary to overcoat PLASMET ZF, except for aesthetic purposes and is available in a limited range of colours. The surface is protected from excessive UV degradation by the refracting and reflecting properties of the micro glass platelets embedded in the resin system. However, as with all epoxies and albeit much slower, it will chalk when exposed to UV light over an extended period of time. In terms of future maintenance and flexibility, PLASMET ZF remains overcoatable for extended periods, and can often be over-coated years later by merely water scrubbing and degreasing the surface. The resin is protected against UV attack by the glass flakes, which prevent deterioration of the resin binder after the surface layers have chalked. PLASMET ZF is normally applied at DFT’s of 100 – 150 µm per coat, for light atmospheric duty, or 2 coats at 100 – 150 µm per coat in aggressive atmospheric or immersed conditions. How good is it really? (Norsok approval) PLASMET ZF has been exceeding industry expectations in terms of product performance for 30 years. The NORSOK standards were developed by the Norwegian petroleum industry to ensure the safest and most cost-effective products in engineering, manufacturing and maintenance of structures in the oil and gas industry. To achieve the NORSOK 501 standard, a coating system must demonstrate particularly high levels of protection with a minimum need for future maintenance and low environmental impact. After six-month long exposure tests for cyclic ageing, seawater immersion and cathodic disbondment, the PLASMET ZF coating performed extremely well, passing all tests prescribed to meet or exceed the Continue reading online africanminingbrief.com




Quenched and tempered steel for abrasive conditions

Engineering reliable and relevant quenched and tempered wear protection products NLMK is sufficiently resourced with the right technology and knowhow to meet clients needs in quenched and tempered steel plates. NLMK Clabecq’s wide and thin Quard and Quend products, which are available to clients in Africa through NLMK South Africa referencing NLMK Clabecq’s wide and thin Quard and Quend products, which are available to clients in Africa through NLMK South Africa. NLMK Clabecq’s wide and thin Quard and Quend products have proved effective in wear protection in diverse industries, van den Berg informs potential clients in Africa. “Quard products are used in Mining and Earthmoving Machinery, Crushing, Dumper Truck Bodies, Cement Drum Mixers, Linings, Cutting Edges and many more Applications were our customers need Wear products. Quend is used in Truck and Tipper Chassis, Lifting and handling equipment and Trailers where customers need High Yield Strength Material.”


owntime to equipment is inevitable as mine operators are increasing productivity. Usually, long periods of equipment downtime lead to low productivity, which translates into loss of revenue, with implications on the balance sheet. Without question, effectively managing the impact of downtime on productivity is depends the technique an organisation uses to minimise component wear and tear. Using best possible wear protection Mining companies have to prioritise equipment wear protection in view of its impact on the bottom-line, states Anton van den Berg, the managing Director of NLMK South Africa, advising mining companies to use the best possible wear protection solution available. “Bearing in mind the irretrievable loss of revenue incurred from downtime, there is no merit in using substandard wear protection materials solely on the account of affordability at the expense of quality”. Quenched and tempered steel plates as an option Van den Berg tells mining companies about quenched and tempered steel as an option in heavy duty mining equipment wear protection,


The winning approach The organisation believes having meticulously engineered wear protection product does not suffice. Thus, it has devised a winning approach designed the client’s needs, which, mainly involves a thorough assessment of the conditions prior to supplying and the Verticalisation Strategy. • Serving the client needs In order to ensure that the client’s exact order is supplied, NLMK firstly seeks to establish the need of the customer in the specified application. This involves understanding the conditions the products will operate in to recommend the correct grade for that specific application. In addition, this entails rigorously adhering to an engineering process to ensure that quality of the wear product is not compromised, van den Berg points out. “Regularity in the performance helps you find routine in your production and processes. That is why we make sure Quard and Quend offer uniformity over time.” • Verticalisation strategy Positive feedback from clients underlines that NLMK’s verticalisation strategy works like charm. With verticalisation strategy NLMK is able to meet the customer

needs in terms of supplying Quard and Quend products in expected quantities and qualities to the client. Through a Central Stock facility, NLMK is able to draw material on urgent need. Its Mill ensures continuous runs in high runner thicknesses to ensure constant flow of material that all offices throughout the world can draw from. “We have the flexibility in offering, not requesting MOQ’s to our customers. But through local stock holding in South Africa we are able to service our customers on just in time basis,” van den Berg illustrates. Sufficiently resourced NLMK is sufficiently resourced with the right technology and knowhow to meet clients needs in quenched and tempered steel plates. Mainly, this is due to continuous investment made invested in its Steel Mill over the past 10 years, a commitment which is still being pursued. And this has paid off immensely, confirms van den Berg. “Through upgrading of our Rolling and Finishing lines, we are able to offer Flatness in accordance to EN10029 Class S standards. Premium Surface Finish that is guaranteed through our Quatro Rolling mill and 4-stand continues finishing mill and with that, Tight Thickness Tolerances.” Recommending NLMK Clabecq as the supplier of choice On the whole, van den Berg recommends industry to choose NLMK Clabecq as the supplier of choice for quenched and tempered steel plate needs for equipment component wear protection. “For NLMK the performance of Quard and Quend is as important as the satisfaction of our customers. Our entire team shares the same ambition – to contribute to increased productivity in your workshop.” Elatedly, highlighting NLMK’s track record, Van den Berg shares a case study of a recent project in mining where its flagship products, Quard and Quench were specified. He relates how the company rose to the occasion to Continue reading online at www. africanminingbrief.com January - February 2021

Rugged fire trucks and ambulances for mining environments

Rugged and specially engineered to handle emergencies Fire Trucks 4 Africa has a wide range of rugged fire trucks and ambulances for deployment to handle emergencies like fire accidents in the harsh mining environment. The company views increased spotlight on safety that COVID-19 has elicited as an opportunity for suppliers of fire trucks and ambulances.


o far, it has turned out that the most costly part about COVID-19 has not been fatalities, but the economic devastation hard lockdown measures that countries implemented to prevent and contain infection have caused. And the impact has been enormous on the global supply chain, sparing no area from food to machinery production. With reference to mining-specific machinery, one area where this has impacted is the supply of fire trucks, new fire engines and ambulances from OEMs to customers based in different regions. Foreseeing this challenge early this year, when lockdowns were imminent, Robert Pegg, the managing director of Fire Trucks 4 Africa, reveals that his organisation had made contingency plans to ensure that sufficient stock for clients was readily available. And so, he guarantees mining companies that his company is sufficiently resourced as mining companies in South Africa and the region are increasing production after easing of the hard lockdown. Pegg is confident that client preferences in fire truck and ambulance brands and quality will remain pre-COVID, as he reminds industry about features of rugged vehicles that should be prioritised. Common preferences • Fire trucks Based on Fire Trucks 4 Africa’s orders from clients, the most common range supplied are 4x4 and 6x6 drive fire trucks. The 6x6 are more expensive, but if the mine needs a large amount of water and foam, the company offers them. “Most common makes are Mercedes and Iveco with Iveco chassis being cheaper than Mercedes. A lot depends on the make of trucks used on the mines and the availability of spare parts in the country of use. If a mine operates a fleet of Mercedes trucks, then they prefer to have a Mercedes fire truck, so spares are kept to a minimum,” Pegg says. Fire Trucks 4 Africa ensures that the rugged mining-specific fire trucks it supplies are fitted with basic accessories to make them ideal for application in the mining environment. The primary component is a fire pump that delivers water and foam through outlets, hose

January - February 2021

reels and a roof monitor. The capacity of the pump may be specified by the mine, but if not, Fire Trucks 4 Africa offers the most suitable for the fire risk the mine has. Taking into account that a pump is a critical accessory of a fire truck, Fire Trucks 4 Africa strives to deliver the best possible quality, Pegg stresses. “There are many pump manufacturers and prices can vary considerably. We offer the best value for money pump that meets the requirement.” Another critical component is roof monitor, available both in remote control and manual options, which delivers water and foam. The most popular one is a manually operated model which is less expensive and easier to repair when damaged. Generally, the monitor must have a range of 50m + to allow the fire truck to remain out of danger. For small fires, Fire Trucks 4 Africa fits a 50m hose reel with electric rewind system. These discharge around 250 litres/min, implying that the tank supply of 5,000 litres on a 4x4 fire truck will last around 20 minutes at full discharge. The water tank on a 6x6 fire truck is normally 10,000 litres. Other equipment supplied with the fire truck consists of lengths of lay flat hose, water and foam nozzles, suction hoses for use from an open water supply, a dry powder hand extinguisher for electrical fires and a first aid kit. Some mines specify PPE for the staff and air breathing sets (SCBA sets) and other equipment relevant to the fire risk they have on site. • Ambulances The Toyota Land Cruiser 4x4 station wagon fitted out as an ambulance is very popular. Many mines operate a fleet of Land Cruisers for the managers and supervisors so a Land Cruiser ambulance fits in with the fleet regarding spare parts requirements. Typically, the requirement to have a fire truck and ambulance on site is often secondary to vehicles and plant required to operate the mine. Only quality vehicles engineered for rugged environments Continue reading online africanminingbrief.com





We supply NEW and USED fire trucks and abulances and related equipment to customers in all African countries and elsewhere. We source and supply emergency vehicles and equipment to meet a customers requirements

Visit our websites www.firetrucks4africa.com and www.ambulancesforexport.com and see our range of vehicles and equipment.Click on Hot News to see our latest sales.

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X-Ray Transmission (XRT) diamond recovery technology

Diamond sorting technology that leaves no stone undetected

TOMRA Sorting Mining’ specialty is not about selling an X-Ray Transmission machine, but a diamond recovery solution. TOMRA’s complete solution is a custom development, together with the end-user, from first contact to continued management of the asset. In this way the company ensures that the asset is always up to date and delivers the expected return on investment.


he burden of skyrocketing operating costs has prompted diamond producers to seek alternative cost effective and efficient mineral recovery techniques to be profitable. However, as you would have thought, not every transition to novel recovery technology produces the desired outcomes. Thus, it is important for mining companies to make informed procurement decisions regarding recovery technologies, with as little margin for error as possible. Partner with organisations with a proven track record This is what Geoffrey Madderson, Segment Manager for TOMRA Sorting Solutions Mining, tells diamond producers in Africa, through interview with African Mining Brief. Stressing the importance of partnering with organisations with a proven track record, he highly recommends industry to utilise TOMRA’s knowhow. TOMRA’s holistic approach and cutting-edge technologies have proved a winning combination which continues to deliver outstanding results for industry. As the world’s leading supplier of X-Ray Transmission (XRT) diamond recovery technology, TOMRA offers the convenience of a complete recovery solution, which is bespoke for client situation. Besides, the company ensures that its proven technologies add value at every stage in the flowsheet, resulting in


high recovery at lower costs, compared with traditional methods. The convenience of a complete recovery solution Recognising that every diamond producer has unique operational and business needs, TOMRA partners with the customer to deliver the convenience of a relevant complete recovery solution. “The recovery technology ecosystem is a custom development together with the end-user from first contact, through development of the project and transaction for the supply of the hardware that does the actual sorting, to continued management of the asset. This ensures that the system is always up to date and delivers the expected return on investment,” Madderson elaborates. TOMRA’s complete solution entails a detailed analysis of the customer’s business and operational requirements, which informs the redesign of a tailor-made flowsheet combining TOMRA’s flagship XRT technology with Near Infrared (NIR) and Laser Solutions. What is more, TOMRA is involved in testing (demo), installation and beyond, and should the client see the necessity, the supply of a web-based TOMRA Insight platform, that turns all the sorters into connected devices for monitoring and tracking the system’s performance. To boot, TOMRA manufactures all hardware and software, which is optimised for specific purposes, in-house.

Also, Madderson clarifies that the complete solution approach provided depends on what the customer requires. He states that the company can customise a solution for a primary diamond producer, an independent producer, smaller diamond mine and even an exploration company. “We access the customers’ needs and assess whether we are able to provide a solution. We ensure that we have got the correct resource portfolio or suite for each individual project. For instance, some customers might need a complete solution, where we do service and maintenance full time 365 days. There are also instances where customers might need part time coverage, once a month or a quarter because of their available skills and resources.” All the more fascinating, a customer is able to approach TOMRA engineers to develop a solution for either a greenfield or brownfield project. This confidence stems from the experience gained from enabling clients to successfully recover millions of tonnes of material in over five years. A recovery solution, not a machine Encapsulating the essence of the recovery solution, Madderson emphasises that TOMRA’s specialty is not about selling a machine, but a recovery solution. “A TOMRA ecosystem is about the value of the technology that affects the recovery of the product that you need in a cost effective manner to make January - February 2021

a profitable business. Whether that means one machine, or 50 machines, all depends on the recovery. “We are focused on value recovery, value generation. TOMRA advises on the recovery solution i.e. how much it will cost you in dollars, way of installation that will provide them with economic returns needed to produce a successful business,” he adds. Proven recovery value at every stage TOMRA’s two flagship sorting technologies, TOMRA XRT and TOMRA NIR, are just what diamond mining companies need for contemporary recovery requirements in hard rock Kimberlite/Lamproite, and Alluvial deposits. Fully automated, they offer proven recovery value at every stage of the process. By measuring spectral absorption information, TOMRA’s XRT high speed technology recognises and separates material based on its specific atomic density. With the data gathered, sorting purity is achieved irrespective of factors such as size, the degree of moisture or surface pollution present. When optimised, XRT high-capacity sorters can be incredibly effective in the recovery of free, liberated diamonds at high feed rates up to 300 tph, points out Madderson. “The key selling proposition of XRT is that we are looking at recovering carbon-based material while Dense Media Separation looks at density separation.”

Interestingly, XRT technology can replace traditional methods such as Dense Media Separation (DMS), wet magnetic separation and XRL final recovery with single-stage solutions for +8mm and double-pass for -8mm +4mm particles. For clients requiring to produce a kimberlite concentrate for further processing, TOMRA’s NIR sorters are the first resort technology. The sorters, which recognise and separate Kimberlite and waste rock based on their chemical composition, are ideal for upgrading lower grade ROM and stockpiles. By removing

non-diamond bearing material, not only do NIR sorters improve the crushing profile of the ore, but also increase the value of each ton of ore processed. Optimal performance through minimising downtime TOMRA recognises that diamond producers prefer sorting equipment to be working optimally at all time with as minimal downtime as possible. For this reason, it has Service Level Agreements that form part of the product offering with clients to ensure the delivered sorting system continues to deliver


DiamonD RecoveRy Technology TOMRA XRT technology delivers a hand sortable product after only two stages: Concentration and Final Recovery. This simplifies the process removing up to 7 diamond concentration stages resulting in significant financial and environmental benefits: drastic reductions in capital investment and operational costs, as well as significantly lower power and water consumption.

January - February 2021


X-Ray Transmission (XRT) diamond recovery technology the desired results. Bespoke to suit the client, the Service Level Agreement can include onsite presence, product support, application engineer visits, targeted site response, training, as well as spare and wear parts coverage to ensure maximum uptime. “We ensure that the equipment is properly maintained, which includes hardware and software upgrades. From a mechanical perspective, we make sure that mechanics are

available to handle the equipment as part of OEM guidelines,” Madderson explains. In addition, noteworthy, TOMRA’s new sorters have remote monitoring as a standard feature. The sorters have data collection and data aggregation systems which allow information and data from the machine to be aggregated and reported in real-time. “Through remote monitoring of the machine clients will be able to draw information

relating to average particle size, distribution of feed coming to the sorter to help better understand screen performance, expected average diamond recovery by way of carat on an estimation basis,” Madderson comments, pointing out that, effectively, diamond producers will utilise online telemetry to operate plants better. By and large, this holistic approach ensures maximum equipment, a guarantee of between 90 and 95% availability. How businesses benefit Overall, TOMRA’s solution offers an optimised flow sheet, which benefits diamond producers in the following ways: • Reduced stages translates into simpler process and lower costs; • Decreased operation complexity decreases the likelihood of failure due to downtime; and • High recovery as high as ten times that of traditional Dense Media Separation. Confidently, summing up, Madderson spells out TOMRA’s guarantee to customers: “TOMRA sorters deliver 100% detection in the specified range, irrespective of luminescence profile or coating, and a guaranteed diamond recovery greater than 98%.” It is not surprising that diamond producers globally have overwhelmingly endorsed TOMRA sorting as a technology that does not leave no stone undetected in diamond recovery. Currently, TOMRA Sorting Mining has 95% of XRT market share globally, with clients in South America, Canada, West Africa and Southern Africa.

TOMRA continues to break new ground…as always While its sorting technologies are universally considered the industry gold standard, TOMRA thrives on continuous improvement. Always breaking new ground, the company has built a niche in successfully developing technologies that replace traditional recovery methods with new technologies. Underlining this approach, the company is informing industry to look forward to two developments: an XRT sorter that will bring down diamond recovery down to 2mm; and the launch of a digital platform to engage better with clientele globally in the wake of COVID-19 travel restrictions. Without divulging much, Madderson reveals that TOMRA will launch XRT recovery technology down to the size of 2mm rough diamond in 2021, which delivers concentration factors up to 1 Million with a much-reduced number of concentration stages. This will be ‘an industry first’ as he pronounces that TOMRA will be the only company offering it globally. Also, TOMRA will be launching a Digital Platform in response to the challenge of engaging customers globally due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. To be managed from Hamburg, Germany, the Platform will offer sorter demonstrations, training and building customer relations.

“..most powerful system in the world” “..mapping shallow and deeper features with a very high level of resolution”

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3D conductivity maps regolith thickness map high resolution DTM anomaly selections including dip and depth to conductors

Electromagnetic, Magnetic & Radiometrics

www.spectrem.co.za info@spectrem.co.za +27 11 659 1518


January - February 2021

Airborne electromagnetic system for geological mapping

The efficiency of airborne electromagnetic system in geological mapping In a recent geological mapping project, where its flagship, SpectremPLUS system, was used, Spectrem underlined the efficacy of airborne electromagnetic system (AEM). SpectremPLUS system is capable of providing the depth penetration required, whilst maintaining high resolution in both the near surface and a lateral dimension. Equipped with SpectremPLUS system, Spectrem is able to provide geological mapping on a large scale

Modern geophysical methods, like airborne electromagnetic (AEM), are rewriting the way geological mapping and exploration projects are implemented.


reviously, geological mapping was reliable and, in general, produced the desired outcomes, even though hampered by the limited depth of the knowledge available to the interpreter to include. However, as Spectrem demonstrated in a previous edition of African Mining Brief, modern geophysical methods, like airborne electromagnetic (AEM), are rewriting the way geological mapping and exploration projects are implemented. The organisation demonstrated that AEM increases the depth, resolution, and accuracy of geological mapping by providing reliable information at depth below the surface.

January - February 2021

“The data undergoing initial real-time processing in the field, together the reliability and performance of the system, ensures that minimal time is required for QC (Quality Control).” Project requirements Recently, a high profile client engaged Spectrem to provide airborne electromagnetic services beneath extensive cover. The deposits are associated with rock units that are electrically conductive, making them good

AEM targets. However, the cover sequences are also electrically conductive, a situation which attenuates and obscures the signal associated with these mineralised sequences. Why SpectremPLUS was ideal Based on the area’s unique conditions, airborne electromagnetic (AEM) was recommended for the project. And SpectremPLUS system was just what the doctor ordered, says Brad Pitts, a representative from Spectrem who was part of the core team that worked on the project. “The client needed an electromagnetic system that could penetrate the thick, electrically conductive cover rocks and still see target at depths of 400 to 600 metres.


Airborne electromagnetic system for geological mapping governed by an in-house Quality system which conforms to ISO standards, which together with our experience and knowledge ensures that data of the highest quality is collected, and that interpretation undertaken addresses client’s needs,” he adds. The data undergoing initial real-time processing in the field, together the reliability and performance of the system, ensures that minimal time is required for QC (Quality Control). This enables the geophysicist in the office is able to undertake preliminary interpretation on a daily basis, and provide feedback to the client as soon as possible. Upon completion of the survey, or at regular intervals during larger surveys, the data can be fully interpreted and reported on. Spectrem also follows a strict approach to safety and the environment at all times. The company maintains a high safety standard by seeing to it that a strict approach to safety and environment are adhered to all times, Pitts stresses. And as the SpectremPLUS system has the highest transmitter RMS dipole moment (i.e. transmitting power) of any commercially available system, it was considered to be most suited to penetrating the conductive cover. “In addition, the 100% duty cycle square transmitter wave (meaning the transmitter never turns off and the receiver records continuously) enables the system to maintain high spatial resolution (which enables it to locate these units laterally as well as vertically),” Pitts relates. The thick cover sequences, the heat, and the remoteness of the area all attributed to the uniqueness of the area. Besides, the survey blocks were located far from infrastructure. These were familiar conditions for the experienced Spectrem crew, while the long range of Basler DC3 fixed wing aircraft was well-equipped to handle the distance between


the survey blocks and the infrastructure. Mainly, these factors contributed to the decision to select Spectrem, as the preferred provider of AEM services. Moreover, Pitts believes Spectrem crew’s strengths in projects is the commitment to ensuring the integrity of data through acquisition, processing and processing. which is core to the success of geological mapping and exploration projects. “With highly experienced pilots and an experienced operator on board, as well as an experienced aircraft engineer on the ground, every care is taken to ensure good quality data is collected safely. The data is partially processed in real time and the results sent daily back to the office where a strict quality control process is followed.” “All aspects of the survey, from data collection, processing and interpretation are

Uniquely positioned with SpectremPLUS system With an increasing need to find mineral deposits that are deeper, Spectrem with its SpectremPLUS system is uniquely positioned to provide the depth penetration required, whilst maintaining high resolution in both the near surface and a lateral dimension. “In addition to being able to provide geological mapping on a large scale, at the same time as identifying targets for follow up, proves our relevance in the current mining environment,” states Pitts, confident of Spectrem’s capabilities.

“Upon completion of the survey, or at regular intervals during larger surveys, the data can be fully interpreted and reported on.”

January - February 2021

Geological exploration

Trends shaping demand for exploration and mining equipment

OEMs are going all-out to keep abreast of new trends in demand for mineral exploration and extraction equipment, especially low maintenance and efficiency. It is widely predicted that more technological developments are the offing.

Industry is looking for equipment which can enable reduction in the cost of mineral extraction and equipment maintenance.


n the face of hundreds of thousands of brands out there, each screaming for the prospective client’s attention, understandably selecting the suitable equipment is akin to the task of looking for a needle in a haystack. In this hurlyburly, decisions should be based on prudence and not only on spur-of-the-moment sentiment. The review and forecast on equipment sales 2020-27 highlights a number of interesting trends in the sphere of global mining specific equipment procurement. First, industry is looking for equipment which can enable reduction in the cost of mineral extraction and equipment maintenance. From a standpoint of the cost of mineral extraction, decrease in ore grade has propelled the demand for high-performance equipment to cope with increase in energy consumption and total material production. There has been a large-scale adoption of different clusters of technologies, such as robotics & automation,

January - February 2021

smart sensors, and 3D printing to operational efficiency. Now, with high performance equipment equipped with these features, mining companies are able to extract ores of declining grades without increasing costs. Second, there is demand for environmentfriendly equipment as the mining industry seeks to cut the carbon footprint from it activities. The equipment has a smaller environmental impact, prominently achieved through reduction in fuel consumption, tyre wear and emissions. A case in point is the autonomous haulage system. Thirdly, realising that state of the art technology is not the end in itself, OEMs are improving their service and after-service strategies to provide value-added offerings to clients. In general, as OEMs go all-out to keep abreast of new trends in demand for mineral exploration and extraction equipment, especially low maintenance and efficiency, more technological developments are the offing.


Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry for water & environmental sampling

Reliable elemental analysis of samples with lowest detection limits

Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICPMS) affords efficient, sensitive trace element analysis for applications in multiple industries. Using reliable instrument, multiple elements can be analysed in a single aspiration. A perfect example of ICPMS instrumentation is on which Shimadzu supplied to a client in South Africa.


ecently Shimadzu successfully delivered an Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICPMS) solution to a high profile client in South Africa for water and environmental sample testing in the laboratory. Previously, the client had been facing challenges using an ICPOES instrument, due to low detection limits for water and environmental samples. The team of engineers related to African Mining Brief on how they exerted themselves to ensure that the client got the most suitable ICP-MS solution for their needs. First of all, it is important to appreciate the relevance of ICPMS in water and environment sampling and other areas, before referencing how Shimadzu’s instrumentation ticks all boxes in industry requirement and how it met the client’s needs. Relevance of ICP-MS in contemporary industry Shimadzu describes the Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICPMS) analysis as a method which uses a high-frequency inductively coupled plasma as ionization source and a Mass Spectrometer as mass/ charge filter device. “Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICPMS) analysis method uses a high-frequency inductively coupled plasma as ionization source and a Mass Spectrometer as mass/charge filter device. It is ideal for the elemental analysis of sample solutions, in particular where the lowest detection limits are demanded,” it describes. ICPMS affords efficient, sensitive trace element analysis for applications in multiple industries. Using reliable instrument, multiple elements can be analysed in a single aspiration. Common usage in multiple industries ICPMS enjoys common usage in the analysis of trace elements in multiple industries, in particular, environmental testing laboratories


(water and soils), pharmaceutical sector for the analysis of toxic elements, food industry, clinical laboratories, mining etc. Shimadzu’s ICP spectrometer ICPMS-2030 Shimadzu’s ICP spectrometer, ICPMS-2030, has set the benchmark in industry requirements in ICP instrumentation. An example of an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer is Shimadzu’s ICPMS-2030, which is widely respected for Outstanding Reliability, Exceptional Ease of Use, and the Industry’s Lowest ICP-MS Operating Costs. The spectrometer is used extensively in a wide range of analysis applications, ranging from trace levels to high concentrations. What is most distinct in the spectrometer is that its optimised internal structure, including the newly-developed collision cell, enables analysis at sub-ppt level sensitivity by minimised spectral interference and improved transmission efficiency of atomic ions. In this way precise quantitation results in elemental impurity analysis become more reliable. Two features stand out – the Development Assistant and the automated Diagnosis Assistant. The Development Assistant automatically selects the optimal mass and internal standard for the target elements, and suggests concentration ranges for calibration curves. This enables allowing any ICPMS user to develop reliable methods with ease - Fast, Easy Method Development. Through identifying the presence or absence of mass interference based on qualitative analysis, the Automated Diagnosis Assistant quickly generate reliable ICPMS results. The Diagnostic Assistant checks for any spectral interference based on data for all elements and mass numbers measured from all samples. In the event of a problem occurring, it indicates the type of a problem, and the sample where the problem occurred. This is very convenient, in contrast with checking data conventionally, where only target elements are measured and information about other elements is not obtained. The shortcoming with conventional data check is that the presence of interference cannot be determined. Additionally, conventionally, when spectra is determined for both target elements and other elements, then interference with target measurement elements is confirmed

Shimadzu’s ICP spectrometer ICPMS-2030 just like it is for method development. Positive results have been recorded in the number of analysed samples, analysed elements and detection limits in recent years. Due to this, the ICP Mass Spectrometer is now highly regarded for those seeking speed, accuracy and performance in ICPMS instrumentation. With this knowhow, Shimadzu successfully develops solutions for a wide range of client’s requirements. Shimadzu’s custom-made solution for client Shimadzu’s approach was to custommake a solution to suit a client’s project requirements. An instrument room upgrade and refurbishment for a clean room set up was recommended for ICPMS technology. The Lab is part of Shimadzu’s demo laboratories as it has a large number of Shimadzu equipment, demonstrating the trust that the client has in Shimadzu products. It is able to provide additional capacity for training for some of Shimadzu’s clients on specialised techniques. The ICPMS is currently undergoing SANAS accreditation for environmental sample analyses. After completion, a number of measures have been undertaken to ensure that the ICPMS equipment works optimally with minimal downtime, specifically: • Extensive training for staff on the use of the ICPMS; • Extensive training provided on the troubleshooting for the ICPMS; • Extensive programme for weekly and monthly inspections to ensure that that all components of the instrument are still in good condition; and • Sufficient service engineers to provide backup should there be a breakdown. January - February 2021

January - February 2021


Valves for PRV stations

Vital elements in pressure reducing valve station installations Valve technology veteran and managing director of Ultra Control Valves, Peter Telle, has been involved in pressure reducing valve station installations in South Africa’s deep level mines for over four decades. He was part of the team of specialists that pioneered pressure reducing valve technology at a gold mine.


he role of Pressure Reducing Valve Stations in contemporary mining operations might be taken for granted, but it is barely credible how water flow was controlled over 40 years ago. Until the advent or popularity of pressure reducing valve stations, water was traditionally distributed underground through Dams through a “Cascade” system, where water flows from one dam to the next one at a lower level and usually about 100m apart. With this system, Control of the water flow presents many problems, as there are different demands at different levels and each dam relies on the supply to and from an upstream dam. Also, contamination and heat gain is inherently a negative side effect. A ground-breaking development in 1974 was to revolutionise water flow control in SouthAfrican underground mines forever. A Control system was pioneered by Anglo American at Elandsrand Gold Mine in Carltonville, wherebywater pressure was reduced from an inlet pressure of up to 95bar (950m from the feeding surface dam), using a Self-Actuated Pressure Reducing valve imported from USA. Although a lot of problems were initially experienced, after a lot of Research and Development (R&D) and modifications to the valve, the were finally commissionedsuccessfully and have since proven to be a much better way of Water Distribution in the Mining Industry. The writer is proud to have been involved in this pioneering project.

in addition to performing water-hammer analysis, if required. Typically, PRVS are supplied as a unit, with all valves, piping and instrumentation (if required), skid mounted and with connecting flanges to the mine’s requirements. It is recommended that coded welders should be used, and the mine’s quality and corrosion requirements should be met.

The industry norm Ever since, Pressure Reducing Valve Stations (PRVS) have become the norm for the underground mining industry in South Africa and other mining countries in Africa. Typically, they come in a variety of designs, depending on pressure levels specified by

Valve (RPRV) The Ratio Pressure Reducing Valve (RPRV) keeps a constant ratio between inlet and outlet pressure. It does not use a pilot and is the simplest form of Pressure Reducing valve. Any ratio can be manufactured to suit a particular need. The Ratio valve has a very quick reaction time to flow or pressure changes, which makes it ideal for use where more than one Pressure Reducing valve has to act in series, and where pilot operated valves can become unstable. It is also ideal for use as a first stage “variableenergy dissipater” upstream of a Pilot Operated Pressure Reducing valve. The ratio Reducing valve is the simplest form of Pressure Reduction and ideally suited for the rough mining environment. As column sizes in Mines are normally big, friction losses are minimal and upstream pressures vary very little, so an adjustment to downstream pressure

mining engineers for projects. The vital aspects in PRVS are safety and, as they are mostly located in critical supply lines to the mining areas, the ability to sustain a continuous water supply without interruption. Performance parameters That’s why suppliers should assist the mining engineer with performance parameters of their product requirements. Specifically, this entails complete reticulation design of underground (and above ground) water supply systems, focusing on safety, continuation of supply,


Valves for PRV Stations To address the pressure reducing valve station requirements, Ultra Control Valves (www. ultravalves.co.za) has a wide range of products under the categories below. 1. Basic Pressure Reducing Valve The basic Pressure Reducing Valve is utilised in reducing a high inlet pressure to a lower downstream pressure. Ultra Control Valves has two different products for this application, namely Pilot Operated Pressure Reducing valve (POPRV) and Ratio Pressure Reducing Valve (RPRV). i. The Pilot Operated Pressure Reducing valve (POPRV) The Pilot Operated Pressure Reducing valve (POPRV) is available in various Pressure ratings up to 150bar and sizes from 50mm to 400mm. It keeps a constant downstream pressure irrespective of varying upstream pressures or varying flow rates. A few different reliable designs are available in the market. ii. The Ratio Pressure Reducing

is seldom needed. The benefits of the RPRV far outweigh the lack of adjustability and is a real Mining-friendly Pressure Reducing valve. The maximum ratio of 5:1 is recommended for good practice and to minimise cavitation. Should water quality and/or operating philosophy dictate that Self Actuated Control valves are not desired, other options, such as process control valves of a different design and operated by either Electrical or Pneumatic actuators, can be considered. Ultra Control Valves has two types of process control valves, Globe type or Segmented Ball valves. i. Globe Type Control Valve The Globe Type Control valve can be supplied with options of either a Pneumatic actuator or an Electrical actuator. This valve is available with Pressure Rating up to 250bar. Should pressure drop requirement be in excess of its capability, special trims are available or two valves could be installed in series. The use of the Ratio Reducing valve upstream would be a good option in such cases. ii. Segmented Ball Control Valve The Segment Ball control valve is available up to a Pressure rating of 64bar. It has a very wide range, controlling down to “whisper” flows. It ensures stable control during low demand periods. 3. Surge Relief valves It is recommended to install a relief valve downstream of every Pressure Reducing valve for the following reasons: i. Pilot operated Pressure Reducing valves have a delayed reaction time as water is being bled in and out of a control chamber to close and open the valve. If downstream demand is reduced too quickly (by fast closing of an isolating valve), the pilot operated valve may react too slowly thereby allowing the downstream pressure to momentarily rise above the required set-point. The relief valve would react to this and open to keep the pressure at say 1bar above the setting. ii. Any foreign dirt particles in the Pressure reducing valve may prevent its closure during demand shutdown. The relief valve will blow off to maintain the downstream pressure within required limits. On smaller Stations, where the actual PRV’s are up to 80mm size, direct acting Relief valves which are much simpler and without the Pilot Tubing can be considered. Specifically for this task, Ultra Valves has a totally spring January - February 2021

Continue reading online africanminingbrief.com January - February 2021




Valves for PRV stations operated Surge Relief valve which acts very fast and is available up to 150mm. PRVS Designs Ultra Control Valves has two designs tailored for the mining environment, basic pressure reducing valve station and dual pressure cuts station. 1. Basic Pressure Reducing Station In terms of Basic Pressure Reducing Station, in order to meet the most basic safety requirements and ensure continuous water supply, the layout in the figure on the preious page is recommended and is most often used. The station has an additional feature of an automatic Start-Up system, which allows automatic controlled filling of the downstream piping after shutdown of the PRV station. The configuration below is recommended for pressures up to 50bar. 2. Station with Dual-Stage Pressure Cuts This is recommended for higher inlet pressures where the required pressure drop is too high for the normal pilot operated valve. This is generally required for inlet pressures above 40bar and outlet pressures below 10bar. Electronic Control Panel for PRVS The Panel can be supplied with the following features, which are also dependant on the instrumentation provided on the station.


• Mimic panel indicating which leg is operational. • Alarm light to indicate fault condition has occurred, with indication of what the fault condition was. • Readout of Flow • Readout of pressure All the readouts can be sent to a remotelocation (such as a surface control room). Further sophistication is possible such as remote adjustment of pressure settings, remote shutdown and start-up of the station. Key issues in Pressure Stations operations 1. Safety i. Shutdown due to excess flow In case of a pipe burst on the downstream side of the station, an orifice plate with DP switch will signal an electrically actuated valve to close after a time delay of say 20 seconds. This function can also be provided by a flow meter with 4-20ma output and an electronic set-point controller mounted in a control panel on the station. ii. Shutdown due to extended relief valve blow off If the relief valve blows off for an extended period (exceeding say 20 seconds), it could mean that there is a permanent component or system failure. A flow sensor on the reliefvalve outlet will signal the station to shut down

through an Electrically operated isolating valve. iii. Automatic Station start-up Startup of the station after shutdown, has to be done slowly through the manual operation of the pilot operated valve or through the slow opening of the downstream isolating valve. If this operation is done too quickly, resulting surging and unstable operation could cause damage to downstream piping. An electronic “soft start” system is available whereby the slow start up is achieved through a control system added to the PRV Station. This will allow foolproof start up of the station through the push of a button. 2. Water Quality If the water quality is suspect it is always a good idea to add a Strainer on each leg of the PRV station. A few different types are available and Ultra can assist with the ultimate choice. Of course what is always important with these strainers is the ease of maintenance – it has to be done while the flow is continuing through the alternative leg, and must not interrupt the supply of water to the mine. Optimal performance With all the options available and in order to ensure correct sizing and application of Pressure Reducing Stations, it is recommended Continue reading online africanminingbrief.com



January - February 2021

Intelligent braking

Intelligent braking conveyors



he starting point of any conveyor brake

specification is the design parameters. This can be as basic as calculating the full load torque from the motor power and speed and applying a service factor for the simplest system and then selecting a suitable brake knowing what disc or rotor the drive can accommodate. From the number and frequency of stops a further calculation would be made to ensure the brake proposed was within acceptable thermal limits. For larger more complex systems it is usual for the consultant or OEM to use an in house or propriety software program like Sidewinder. From here we are given a specific range of parameters to match, including the disc diameter and thickness. This information is relayed to the Svendborg engineering team in Denver, Colorado who make a suitable proposal for the complete system using their own in-house software. The engineering team are responsible for application engineering all over the globe and are quoting systems daily. Over the years they have been responsible for many thousand successful installations in every major mining country. A complete solution would incorporate the Brakes, Brake Stand, Brake Disc or Rotor, Hydraulic Power Unit (HPU), SOBO iQ Controller (The Brains), Installation and Commissioning. Sintech as a company have been manufacturing brakes and braking systems since its inception in 1984. Svendborg are part of the ALTRA group from the USA. We have only had the Svendborg franchise since June 2020 but have historically looked after three of their brands being Industrial Clutch, Twiflex Brakes and Wichita Clutches and Brakes. All of which are fitted to similar equipment, so we started with a wealth of application experience. Svendborg is a small town in Denmark and while they have several manufacturing facilities around the world most of the design and manufacturing is done here. They are first

and foremost a ‘systems’ company providing a complete proven solution but equally have a holistic view of their customers and staff which is extremely refreshing. From the outset the emphasis was on detailed product knowledge and workshop training which could be translated into field service to support the complete system. Ordinarily this would have been done in Demark and the dedicated training centre in the Czeck Republic but because of COVID this was done by many hours of team’s meetings. The Intelligent and unique part of the Svendborg system is the SOBO iQ Controller. The Hydraulic Power Unit has been sized to provide the correct pressure and volume to release the spring applied brakes multiple times. The SOBO iQ features multiple different start-up ramps in order to customise the release of the brakes in the event that it is necessary to allow drives to build up torque during brake release. When a brake command is sent, the SOBO iQ will begin a predetermined braking ramp based on constant stopping time, constant stopping distance, constant braking torque or other braking ramps that can be customised to specialised requirements. Once the SOBO iQ registers a speed of artificial zero it will begin a parking sequence that can be defined simply as a complete dump of pressure or as sophisticated as a five-segment open loop ramp.


The ramps are initially set in the factory based on the original design parameters but can be changed during commissioning by a simple field laptop connection and indeed monitored and changed remotely via the software interface if necessary. In the case of complete power failure, the SOBO iQ is supplied with a UPS backup power source allowing the SOBO iQ to operate normally when a brake command is given. In case of a communication failure to the SOBO iQ, the unit will activate the highest priority braking ramp. In case of a SOBO iQ failure it will utilise the built in electrical or mechanical 2-stage backup to stop the conveyor. In the case of a Conveyor Take Up Winch the SOBO iQ is used to provide torque limited braking during winch drive failure by effectively allowing the take-up winch to slowly release the conveyor belt tension. This is achieved by monitoring the line pull of the winch cable. When the winch line-pull from the cable reaches the set limit, the SOBO iQ decreases the brake torque to allow the winch drum to slip. Maintaining control of the takeup winch in this manner prevents damage to the belt as well as the mechanical components of the conveyor. To optimise the system performance Sintech embrace the Svendborg holistic approach. First and foremost we commission the system then hand it over to our customer. At the same time we train his personnel in its correct use emphasising what they can and cannot do and what daily and weekly checks should be maintained. We recommend the back-up spares that should be stocked and frequency of service. All of this is contained withing the handover manuals but its important the information is at the working face especially with staff rotation and multiple shifts. In an ideal world Sintech would engage in a service contract of a monthly or quarterly nature to help maintain the system Allan Mackintosh – Managing Director of Sintech

Sintech and Svendborg look forward to working with you! Since 1989, Svendborg Brakes has been recognised as a leading global expert in intelligent braking solutions for industrial applications. Extensive application knowledge, innovative design, fast prototyping and exhaustive testing ensures that customers get the most technically advanced, most durable and safest braking systems to meet their specific requirements. Svendborg offers a wide range of highly engineered products including hydraulic brakes and power units, thruster brakes, soft January - February 2021

braking controls and couplings. Svendborg braking solutions are hard at work in key markets including, renewable energy, mining, hydropower, cranes and oil and gas, marine and offshore applications such as wind and tidal turbines, overland conveyors, propulsion systems, deck equipment, hoists, draw works, elevators and escalators and dam turbines. As part of the strategy to grow their business Svendborg has recently partnered with Sintech for the sales, service and distribution of their range to the South African market and

neighbouring countries. Sintech have been an Altra approved rebuild centre for Industrial Clutch Brakes since 2000 and are an experienced brake partner for both the mining and industrial markets. Their rebuild facility is both world class and ISO 9001:2015 approved, key service technicians are factory trained to support their range of products. Both Sintech and Svendborg look forward to working with you!


Carbon tax and renewable energy sources

A Smooth and Seamless Transition to Alternative and Renewable Energy Sources

The utilisation of alternative and renewable energy sources continues to be a strong focus for Associated Energy Services (AES) in its activities and forms a cornerstone of its focus on energy mix differentiation throughout its business engagement. The company has capacity to offer technical and engineering insights and operational support in the transition from fossil fuels to alternate fuels, including biomass is a significant advantage that AES offers.

Boiler delivery he introduction of Carbon Tax has prompted energy-intensive industries to diversify their energy mix by including renewable and more cost effective alternative sources. From a cost perspective, the financial impact of COVID-19 has heightened the urgency of leaving no stone unturned in seeking cost reduction avenues, and energy has been identified one such area. And Associated Energy Services (AES) is well positioned to play a major role in rendering informed advice as industry is making a critical transition in energy usage.


Aiming to be an on-site resource Associated Energy Services (AES) aims to be an on-site resource to its existing and potential clients and endeavours to continuously add value through its activities, pronounces Dennis Williams, Commercial Director at AES. “With a partnership-centric approach, AES delivers the client’s industrial energy needs through an outsourced energy operation. This is the broader format of engagement through which AES seeks to be a value adding entity and participant in the greater economy,” he says, spelling out three core areas: Driving an efficiency-based performance culture, Energy


mix differentiation, and facilitating clients access to project funding. • Driving an efficiency-based performance culture In the case of the South African energy landscape, in spite of the recent introduction of Carbon Tax, the fuel mix is such that fossil fuels, particularly coal, remains the most economically viable source of energy. Due to this factor, coal remains the energy source of choice for most industrial energy users. In order to help clients manage this situation, AES, through its expertise and operation of client energy operations, drives an efficiency-based performance culture, resulting in reduced fuel consumption, associated reduction in carbon tax/environmental impact and an economic advantage to its client partners. • Energy mix differentiation However, the utilisation of alternative and renewable energy sources continues to be a strong focus for AES in its activities and forms a cornerstone of its focus on energy mix differentiation throughout its business engagement. “The capacity to offer technical and engineering insights and operational support in the transition from fossil fuels

to alternate fuels, including biomass is a significant advantage that AES offers, “states Williams. AES recognises the cost burden the client bears of switching from conventional energy to renewable and alternative sources. Since the cost of energy impacts significantly on the sustainability of client operations, the uptake of renewable energy in industrial process applications is generally driven by a client’s cost appetite to switch to generally more costly “green fuels”. This is whilst managing the economic pressures facing production facilities in South Africa where extended factors such as cost of capital, administrative compliance requirements and slow consumer growth impact on the overall business economics. Notably, Carbon Tax and the expected trajectory of increases in the rate of Carbon Tax and the phaseout of rebates currently offered bring added complexity to the equation. AES demonstrated its capability in this area in 2004, when it took over the management and operation of a biomass fuelled power station at a saw mill in the Tsitsikamma region. For almost ten years, AES focused on improvements at the site, mainly driving reduced specific fuel consumption and overall energy efficiency of the plant for the generation of industrial process steam and electricity from the water tube boilers and steam turbines. Williams mentions the project’s milestones,

AES Remote Monitoring System (RMS) - where boiler operations are centrally monitored. January - February 2021

January - February 2021


Carbon tax and renewable energy sources

Boilerhouse after installation & commissioning “Although a by-product from the operation of cogeneration. its client’s sawmill, the wood waste (biomass) AES participated in the early Pilot National which was used as fuel was still viewed as a Cogeneration Programme (PNCP) and precious resource that should be optimised Medium Term Power Purchase Programme for energy generation. Additionally, every (MTPPP) with Eskom. However, very soon, it tonne of fuel that could be saved through more found that the terms of engagement were not efficient operation reduced CO2 emissions.” viable nor sustainable for small scale private Besides, AES channels engineering and cogeneration facilities. development resources to identifying suitable However, undeterred, AES has continued applications and opportunities for biomass in to engage various potential clients who industrial energy applications. In the early show interest and economic scale to warrant stages of biomass consideration in the market, consideration of renewable based industrial the obvious application opportunity seemed energy plant for steam or steam and heat To date, assessments and to be the rising interest in cogeneration and applications. specifically biomass / renewables based reviews have been done on technologies,

including gasification, pyrolysis, biodiesel production and novel combustion systems using energy sources including poultry litter, discard fish oil, wood, bamboo, producer gas from biomass and organic residues / waste streams from production processes. Access to alternative funding However, as you would have thought, in almost all instances, the economic costs of the switch from established fuel sources (capex and opex related) has proved to be the major challenge for uptake of these projects. “The cost to the business in the short term, has generally proven too much to enable economical achievement of a long term vision of sustainability. Conveniently, to help clients in managing this challenge, AES has recently developed access to alternate funding solutions that make it easier for parties to consider uptake of renewable and biomass fuel switches without using their own capital or equity,” Williams acknowledges. Generally, in all of AES’ activities, there is a mind-set of continuous improvement and this carries through to its activities for investment in people, the community and the environment (macro and micro). The company guarantees companies a Smooth and Seamless Transition to Alternative and Renewable Energy Sources.

Growing interest in renewables: Case studies support and oversight to the project, as well • Unilever Additionally, the industrial energy market as undertaking skills transfer for operations place has become increasingly interested and maintenance on the plant. AES has since in renewables for industrial process energy been operating and managing the plant for the applications. Certain organisations have supply of biomass based steam to Unilever. Thus far, the new plant has significantly planned to phase in renewable energy over a period of time to allow for the assimilation reduced the carbon footprint of Unilever’s of the higher energy cost into their business Maydon Wharf operation and AES continues models. One of AES’s client partners, to support optimisation of the fuel and Unilever, made a global commitment to phase overall plant efficiencies to drive fuel out fossil based energy by 2030 and coal in usage reductions even further. The project is a shining example of a commitment particular by 2020. During AES’s management and operation by Unilever as an energy consumer to its of the Unilever steam generation plant at sustainability agenda and environmental Maydon Wharf, AES was engaged to support obligations, whilst being supported through Unilever in its activities seeking a biomass AES’s local energy plant operations skills for based steam generation solution for the the continued maintenance of plant efficiency site. Unilever through its extensive global and effectiveness in maximising the expected activities had previously undertaken biomass financial and environmental returns. based energy operations at a number of sites, • Woodlands Dairy however the unique characteristics of the Another of AES’s client partners, South African context required local input. Woodlands Dairy in Humansdorp, has been Following Unilever’s selection of a suitable very active in the development of sustainable fuel source (wood biomass) and identification energy operations at its site. Following of a preferred equipment supplier, AES significant effort to get a biomass fired participated by providing commissioning steam generation solution developed for the

site, Woodlands Dairy managed to secure a combined fuel supply / technology solution that fitted their needs. AES was its operations and maintenance management partner for its existing steam generation facilities at the site already at the time that the biomass project was constructed. During this time, AES participated in support of Woodlands Dairy to ensure that the installed solution could be operated effectively and efficiently, in addition to a thorough transfer of engineering and operational knowhow. The plant has been in operation for almost four and a half years and is one of several “green solutions” invested in by Woodlands Dairy. Others include a water treatment facility generating biogas, which AES fires in a boiler for the generation and supply of steam to Woodlands Dairy’s process. Once again providing an example of the integration of business economic considerations with a sustainability agenda. AES is proud to be a partner to Unilever and Woodlands Dairy in their ongoing support of sustainable energy generation whilst maximising business returns.

A proudly South Africa company Associated Energy Services (AES) is a proudly South African company operating across all of South Africa delivering industrial process energy solutions and operations management to its client partners. AES operates over 20 client operations including steam generation and other energy plants. Its abilities extend to various technologies and

are being considered. AES also undertakes energy plant related projects covering greenfield / brownfield projects such as emission abatement solutions, control system upgrades, plant efficiency optimisation upgrades, complete energy plant installation on a turnkey basis and everything in between.


fuel types including biomass, biogas, coal, fuel oils, gas as well as novel fuel types. Besides, AES has significant expertise and capacity in technology and applications development where technologies such as gasification, pyrolysis, fluidised bed combustion, powdered fuel combustion and by-product utilisation for energy applications

January - February 2021

Slack and tight rope monitoring in mine shaft conveyances

Reliable rope monitoring, improved shaft conveyance safety The implementation of tight and slack rope systems is a tried and tested preventative approach which reduces the chance of a rope break in shaft conveyance. However, vital factors have to be followed in the procurement of tight and slack rope solutions, as safety in shaft conveyances is paramount, the engineering team at GST Guduza advises industry.

CCS - System


outh African mines are the deepest in the world and continue getting deeper. The gold mining sector, in particular faces challenges of conveying people, equipment and rock up and down shafts with depths close to four kilometres. To maximise productivity, high speed conveyances are used, which travel at 15 metres per second (54 km/h). However, this, combined with the 24/7 nature of mining operations, means that the risk of serious incidents is dramatically increased so much so that the law for slack rope monitoring, was promulgated. That is why mines have to be well-equipped with proven slack and tight rope monitoring solutions. Problems experienced in the shaft The risk of serious accidents caused by rope failure in shafts should not be underestimated. One of typical problems experienced in a shaft as the conveyance descends and ascends, is the possibility of colliding with an obstruction in the shaft, bringing the

Coded key January - February 2021

conveyance to an abrupt halt. A stop in the downward direction could cause the heavy steel rope to coil onto the roof of conveyance, overloading it to the point of break-away, causing it to fall free. In the upward direction, the jamming could cause the rope to stretch and possibly brake. Other issues that have been reported are the shaft guides being offset or broken due to seismic movement. Problems also have even been experienced during the offloading in the region of the camel back, causing a slack rope condition. Furthermore, conveyance doors have been known not to be closed properly, and thus getting stuck on the steel structure, once again causing a tight/slack rope condition. Various technologies used in tight and slack rope monitoring In the past, various solutions have been implemented tight and slack rope monitoring which are worth analysing. One of the solutions is a plate that is attached to the steel rope. The rope is attached in a way that in the event of a slack rope condition, it will bend the plate causing a switch to be depressed, sending a signal to surface to stop the winder. In the past two and a half decades, more advanced solutions have been designed to cater for slack slope problem using electronic technologies. The typical point-to-point radio communication between surface and the cage

is existing surface technology. Although this works well above ground when the points are fixed, can cause frequency scatter and standing wave when moving down a shaft and cause dead spots, and therefore a communication possible glitch, which is a “no no” for safety critical equipment. To avoid this situation, the conveyance’s steel rope is used to communicate this information from the cage to surface. This is done by mounting loadcells on the top of the conveyance measuring the actual weight of the conveyance, and with the software, calculate the warning and tripping points of a pending tight/slack rope condition. This information is then reliably sent to surface via the steel rope to the mine’s winder safety circuit. The winder is then brought to a halt in a controlled fashion before it can cause extensive damage. Other technologies have come onto the market using the indirect method of measuring the load of the conveyance and using software to determine tight/slack rope trips. Tight/slack rope system with added functionality • Belling The other danger that can occur with the moving conveyance is with the start stopping of the conveyance by a hoist driver who is situated in the driver’s cabin above ground, being “blind” to the actual happening on the conveyance itself. In South Africa at present, electronic


Slack and tight rope monitoring in mine shaft conveyances See advertisement, Guduza’s shaft sheriff (CCS 3000). • The electronic coded key Another safety consideration to be taken into account with tight and slack rope systems is the situation after a trip, where the cage must remain in that position until an investigation has taken place. This means that the driver must not move the conveyance until the investigation has been carried out. To manage this situation, a senior person, for instance, the supervisor or engineer can then reset the system. These levels of security should be in place when reviewing possible systems. The electronic coded key, is the ideal way to go, not allowing any duplication of keys apart from at the factory. • Logging of events Logging of events is crucial for the investigation of any accident and should be taken into consideration when searching for a solution. Another logging feature that is advantageous is the accelerometer, monitoring the vibration in the X, Y and Z axes and logging the data on a real time basis. It also provides predictive information regarding the movement of the guides and thus can prepare in advance of a pending problem. • Safety vs Productivity Insuring safety in mines is a large cost factor, however, if the same safety equipment can be used for production monitoring purposes as well, it becomes very cost effective. The information used for safety, tight and slack rope systems can be used for productivity purposes, for example, driver evaluation, counting of loads coming to surface, the speed per trip and more. Automatic conveyance system signalling (bells) is used to instruct the conveyance driver when to start and stop the conveyance during its travels through the shaft. The Guduza system offers a solution for this. • Digitals And so, in order to manage the risk during embarking/disembarking, at the different levels, additional functionality has been made available in the tight/slack rope system, monitoring gates, booms, clutch and breaks and then to interlock this information with the mine’s safety circuit. Factors to consider in choice of a solution Safety is the operative word in the mining industry, specifically in the shaft environment. Thus, the role of electronic equipment in enhancing safety is critical. However, equipment itself can fail, when least expected, causing a potentially dangerous situation. False security meaning that the system has become defective and is not reported as being faulty, leaves the driver/supervisor unaware of the potential


Tight and slack rope monitoring systems to gain traction The use of automatic conveyor systems (opersafety risk. Guduza provides a safety function ate like and elevator in a high rise building) in by providing a carrier signal travelling to sur- the mining industry, a few of which has been face, which when broken will automatically operating in South Africa for more than two stop the conveyance allowing for an investi- decades, should start gaining traction in the gation to take place. next five to ten years. So, the following are the main critical factors There is no question that the implementation to be considered when looking of tight and slack rope systems is a for a slack and tight rope tried and tested preventative monitoring solution: approach which reduces the chance • Track record of a rope break. of the design/ However, it has to integration be acknowledged company that rope breaks Thus, the can still occur. equipment should And to manage be designed for the this eventuality, highest safety levels. The E-FAS (Emergency In view of this, the track EFAS Fall Arrest System) has been record of the design/integration designed to arrest the falling cage, company should be considered when searching for a solution. Guduza is a which, thus far, has been used at various mines company that has a track record in the around the world over the past 8 years. design of tight and slack rope equipment as well as field experience for 2,5 decades. January - February 2021

January - February 2021


Rock stress measurement

Why rock stress matters and how to measure it In all cases of dealing with rock there needs to be some idea of the stress levels that are being dealt with, how they relate to the rock mass and the planned mining method. This may simply be by an observation of the situation. For example, if the rock mass contains open joints or joints that are filled with soil, or highly weathered material, the stress transmitted across these will be negligible and any design within that rock mass will be governed by gravitational forces. If a rock mass exists that contains frequent, persistent jointing then the stress within it is likely to be controlled by the friction within the joints. Depending on the joint orientation this may be determined by gravity. It is possible to have highly variable levels of stress in near surface rocks as well as those at greater depth. The more competent the rock, the more variability may be found, as joint friction ceases to be a limiting factor on stress.


tress matters because it controls virtually every aspect of mining or excavation. A mine requires stability in its permanent development works. If the stress level is too low then there is a lack of friction within the rock mass and blocks may drop out of the excavation. If the stress is too high then rock failure may occur. Failure may be due to shear or the development of tensile stress around stress concentrations. The manifestation of failure under high stress may be in many forms depending on the rock type. It may be shear along the bedding plane, strain bursts, the yielding of pillars or compressional failure of a shaft. Examples of these are shown in Figure 2. A mining method may also require a particular stress level for the operation of the extraction process. For example, block or sub level caving operations require the rock to cave. If the rock is jointed then it will probably do so under gravity unless the rock stress provides too much friction across the relevant joint sets. If the rock lacks joints, or has jointing at an unfavourable orientation for caving process to take place, then caving will only work if the rock stress is adequate to cause failure of the rock mass. In the absence of this either preconditioning of the rock mass will be needed or another mining method found. Preconditioning of the rock mass may be achieved by the use of hydrofracture or explosives. Explosives have a short range while hydrofractures may extend significantly further. The use of hydrofracture is controlled by stress in the rock mass in two ways. Firstly, the hydrofracture pressure must be adequate to break the rock around the borehole, and secondly, in the direction in which the hydrofracture progresses. In a homogeneous rock mass the hydrofracture will progress normal to the minor stress. In the presence of joints the hydrofracture may be captured by these. This will depend on the relative difficulty the fracture meets in breaking rock and progressing in the direction of minimum stress compared to that required to progress up the joint at a higher minimum stress level. It is necessary to know the level of stress


Figure 1. Sigra IST stress measurement tool in use in HQ wireline coring to determine whether an unassisted caving operation can work, and if preconditioning is required, it is also necessary to know the stresses to be able to design it. Open pit mining also requires an understanding of the state of rock stress. This may be to decide that limit state analysis under gravitational loading is adequate for design. However, if the horizontal stresses are of adequate magnitude then rock failure may take place. For example, an excavation may release the lateral stress on a bedding plane and shear on that plane occurs. This sort of behaviour has caused major blocks to be ejected into the pit. Excessive stress may also cause the pit base to heave and while this may be regarded as free mining, it is too uncontrolled. It will not provide a suitable sizing of either ore or country rock for ease of transport or processing, and will cause personnel serious concerns about their safety. It also causes drilling and blasting problems. While on average the vertical rock stress is determined by the gravitational load and increases linearly with depth, the horizontal

stress distribution is generally much more complex. The quaint idea that some factor relates horizontal to vertical stress is generally incorrect and geotechnical engineers should stop making this assumption. It is wrong! The lateral stress in rock is substantially controlled by rock strain. If we strain any solid it will develop stress depending on its mechanical properties. These mechanical properties are its Young’s moduli, Poisson’s ratios, plastic behaviour and the limiting factor of rock strength – yield or fracture. Let us take the simple example where we have three square section bars, one of steel, one of aluminium and one of wood. We can glue these together and squeeze them as a group in a very stiff vice so that they are all strained to the same extent. As a result the stress in the steel will be three times higher than that in the aluminium which will be higher than that in the wood. Rocks behave similarly; they have very different Young’s moduli and stiff rocks will change their stress much more than soft rocks subject to the same strain change. The processes within the rock mass that January - February 2021










Figure 2. Various rock failure manifestations due to rock stress control lateral stress are the vertical stress and the lateral strain. In a zero lateral strain environment then the lateral stress is directly a function of the vertical stress and is governed by Poisson’s ratio. However very little of the earth’s crust lacks lateral strain. On the large scale this may come from tectonic plate movement, and may on the more local scale be affected by faulting, folding and temperature change. Erosion changes the vertical stress and may lead to failure of the rock mass through the development of reverse faults or multiple joints as confinement is removed. Rock stress is not a static phenomenon. As the earth’s crust moves and erodes it changes. It is possible to have sudden swings in direction of principal stress due to stress relief caused by a fault movement. Faulting is generally not January - February 2021

continuous; it occurs in the rock mass that is stressed to the extent that it fails. The loading is then shifted so that another rock group will carry more stress. Fault tips are zones of stress concentration and may cause mining problems. The concept of a local tectonic strain is useful in analysing stress distribution. In this the rock mass self- weight is considered to provide the vertical stress. In a zero lateral strain environment the lateral rock stress due to gravity may then be calculated. If the stress is measured then this self-weight component of lateral stress may be subtracted from the total stress to arrive at the stress that is brought about by tectonic strain. The tectonic strain term here incorporates true tectonic strain, flexure in folds, the effects of faulting and

cooling. Tectonic strain is frequently fairly constant while stress varies widely depending on the rock stiffness. The task for mine design is to determine what the stress distribution actually is. This requires measurement. It also requires measurement where the mine will be, even if some mining has already taken place. It is no good measuring far field stress one or two kilometres from the mine so that the effects of stress concentration brought about by mining may be discounted. This concept of a uniform far field stress is generally nonsense. There are many factors that may change the stresses between the measurement point and the mine. The more complex the geological situation then the more complex will be the stress distribution.


Rock stress measurement

Figure 3. View of borehole breakout from acoustic televiewer scan. Stress measurement is conducted in boreholes and may be broken into two groups. The first group is for rock that does not fail in the borehole. In this case examination of the borehole will yield no information on stress. The standard process is to measure the stress by the process of overcoring. Overcoring involves drilling a pilot hole or cone in advance of a core hole. Into this a cell is fitted that measures diameter or strain change of the rock. This is then cored over and the change in diameter or strain is measured. The determination of stress from this requires the rock to behave elastically, though not necessarily linearly. The elastic properties and the change in diameter or strain are used to calculate the stress. This process can be achieved using a tool that measures the diameter change of the pilot hole. In this case the axial stress needs to be assumed and then the transverse major and minor stresses may be calculated. This process using Sigra’s IST2D tool fits neatly into a wireline drilling operation using Boart Longyear’s HQ-3 coring (96 mm hole and 60.9 mm core). In this

case if the hole is vertical the axial stress is assumed to be that due to gravitational load. It is possible to measure stress at 400 m depth in two hours and at 800 m depth in 3 ½ hours. The tool is shown in Figure 1. If the hole is not vertical or there is no basis for assuming the stress in the axis of the hole then overcoring using a three dimensional tool may need to be undertaken. This tool is conical and is glued into a cone at the end of the hole. The process takes longer because the IST3D tool needs strain gauges to be glued in place. Each stress measurement will therefore take at least 12 hours and is normally spread over 24 hours, allowing the glue to set overnight. The second group of stress measurement is in rock where the borehole wall fails. Here the first indication of stress is the degree of borehole breakout as shown in Figure 3. This occurs due to the concentration of stress around the hole which causes opposite sides of the hole to fail compressively. Occasionally high ratios of major to minor stress lead to a tensile failure in the borehole wall. Borehole breakout is an indication of the ratio of the tangential stress at the hole wall to the compressive strength of the rock in that direction. It is a direct indicator of whether failure around an opening may be expected. The complete analysis of stress around a hole wall from breakout is not possible as the stress at the hole wall is a combination of the major and minor stress, the rock strength and the fluid pressure. It is a good indicator of stress direction and it is easy to measure using an acoustic televiewer image. Similar, larger breakout failures may occur in shafts. The usual process to complete the measurement of stress with borehole breakout is to also undertake hydrofracture. This usually involves pressurising a zone between packers until it fractures. Pumping is continued to develop the fracture and is then stopped. As fluid leaks from the fracture it closes and the closure pressure is detected from the pressure

Figure 5. Core ovality testing equipment decline. This pressure is the minor stress. An example of the analysis of the pressure decline for closure pressure is shown in Figure 4. Getting the major stress from hydrofracture requires re-opening the borehole and making a large number of assumptions that are usually not justified. These include linear elasticity of the rock mass and the assumption that the plane of minimum stress passes through the axis of the hole. Great care must also be exercised to ensure that the packers used as seals do not push so hard on the hole wall that they induce failure. The use of the minor stress and borehole breakout information is the process most generally used by the petroleum industry to estimate stress. It can be used to advantage in mining too. Another variant of hydrofracture is hydrojacking. Here, a rock joint is isolated by a straddle packer system and the joint is opened by fluid pressure. The normal stress across the joint is assessed by the closure pressure after the cessation of pumping. It is frequently the only option where the rock is jointed. In all cases of rock stress measurement there is a need to interpolate value of stress between points of measurement. In the case of breakout there is a pattern that can be seen from the acoustic televiewer image. Another newly developed process to gain a near continuous assessment of rock stress differences is by the measurement of core ovality. This requires drilling with a core bit that does not regrind outside of the core by the internal action of the bit. Once retrieved the core is placed in a tool that rotates it and measures its diameter to micron accuracy. The difference in the major and minor diameters of the core can be used, with an estimate of the Young’s modulus and Poisson’s ratio of the rock, to arrive at the difference in major and minor stress perpendicular to the core. It may be economically used to measure every metre of core and serve as an indicator of where another overcore measurement should be made. The equipment to do this is shown in Figure 5. Finally it is just as important to develop a model of the stress distribution in the mining area prior to mining as it is to model the stresses brought about by mining. The latter must follow the former. Dr Ian Gray, Sigra Pty Ltd

Figure 4. G Function Analysis for hydrofracture closure.


January - February 2021



WWW.SIGRA.CO.ZA Sigra is a 27 year old Australian company that operates in the areas of civil, mining and petroleum geomechanics. It also deals with fluids in the ground. Using each industry’s jargon this range of work includes geotechnical engineering, rock mechanics, strata control, hydrogeology and reservoir engineering. The fluids may be water or hydrocarbon liquids, especially gasses. This cross disciplinary exposure has brought many benefits to our clients’ operations. To do this work Sigra has built up a suite of field and laboratory tools. These are backed by analysis techniques and software. Many items of the equipment and techniques it uses have been developed in house. These have been built to do something far better than anything available commercially or taken from a standard. Sigra works in several modes. It can simply provide a measurement service, such as that for rock stress, or it can undertake total exploration and mine design operations. Sigra designs longwall coal mines. It has also been involved in the exploration and design of metalliferous mines, civil tunnels, hydroelectric power projects and gas fields. In all of these processes Sigra is prepared to bring the benefits of innovation to our clients. The essence of what Sigra does is founded on establishing a sound understanding of the geology. This is backed by good measurement of the field parameters which typically include, rock stress, fluid pressure, permeability and fluid type. In the laboratory Sigra measures a suite of parameters including rock moduli, poroelastic behaviour, strength gas content and gas adsorption behaviour. This is then followed by a capability to design whatever is required. Sigra also has a strong instrumentation capability that enables it to measure what happens in the ground after construction or during mining. This can be applied to deformation measurement around underground openings or to pressure decline in gas reservoirs.



Another one of Sigra’s strengths is a good knowledge of drilling, including directional drilling. This has uses in collecting samples, draining fluids or placing services. January - February 2021


High quality oil water separator for mining operations

Guaranteed low life cycle costs and low environment impact in water treatment The Hydraspin, oil-water separator, a technology available at African Horizon Technologies (AHT) employs hydrocyclone technology. Using centrifugal forces 2 000 times the force of gravity, the Hydraspin separator can target and remove all different types of oil. AHT also offer the Hydramix water treatment system, which is a combination of different technologies and can be incorporated with or complements the Hydraspin.


ater treatment is integral to all operations. However, currently, the challenge mining companies are facing is bearing the burden of increasing operating costs from mine to mill, as well as the ensuring environmental compliance. Consequently, it is necessary that operators utilise water treatment technologies that guarantee low lifecycle costs and low environmental footprint. This is the sage advice from Jacques Steyn, Managing Director at African Horizon Technologies (AHT), an environmental engineering company specialising in water treatment technologies. The company has embarked on an initiative to raise awareness amongst decision-makers in mining companies about exploring opportunities in comparatively low lifecycle costs, more environmentally compliant water treatment technologies. Emphasising the importance of informed decisions in the procurement of water treatment technologies, Steyn calls attention to the limitations of some conventional technologies. “There are water treatment processes that often use plate-packs or gravitybased separators, which has a negative impact on the environment. Unbeknown to some, if not most people, the life cycle costs of these technologies are high and the impacts farreaching,” he says, referencing AHT water treatment technologies as a tried and tested alternative worth exploring. Alternative water treatment solutions In response to industry’s contemporary


requirements, AHT provides alternative water treatment solutions, the Hydraspin water separator, which is complemented by the Hydramix and other technologies. • Hydraspin Deployed in the first stage of water treatment, a specialised total suspended solids removal solution, the Hydraspin oil-water separator, employs hydrocyclone technology. Using centrifugal forces 2 000 times the force of gravity, the Hydraspin can target and remove all different types of oil, specifically: Free oil (greater than 150-micron droplet size); Emulsified oil (droplets between 150-2 micron); Dissolved oil (droplets less than 2 Micron); and solids coated with oil (Heavy solids denser than water). Highlighting the separation efficiency of Hydraspin, Steyn explains, “The Hydraspin separator is capable of producing final discharge oil content water quality typically between 20-30 mg/l (in one application 2.5 mg/l) and ensures an oil recovery of 97-98% for resale or reuse. Besides, it guarantees 95% removal of 10 – 15 micron oil droplets, while gravity-based technologies only remove a portion of free oil. Versatile, the Hydraspin oil separator can be used in diverse applications in mining projects, in particular: Solvent extraction, Mining workshops, Wash bay systems, Oil storage tank farms, Bulk fuel storage facilities, Storm water run-off from contaminated areas, Process water treatment and Desanding. AHT assures industries in South Africa and neighbouring countries that the Hydraspin, locally manufactured by a company with over 30 years of experience, offers a number of benefits. Mainly, a client benefits in the following ways: lower capital cost, remove data is easily available via AHT dashboard as and when required, decreased maintenance, ability to treat varying hydrocarbon loadings, and easy installation and reliable solids transfer and handling. Above and beyond, the Hydraspin oil water separator enables the company’s operations to be compliant with legislation on Environmental Compliance.

• Hydramix Hydramix is a multistage water treatment system, which can be incorporated with or complements the Hydraspin. The Hydramix process, a multistage treatment cycle (four stages) is used to remove oil, fat and grease and other contaminants from water. The stages involve flocculation, coagulation, flotation, and precipitation respectively. The process, which can be tailored to each client’s contaminated water treatment requirements, can produce 99.9 % pollutant free water. The Hydramix process is ideal for treatment of water contaminated with mainly the following material: dissolved oil (oil droplets less than 2 micron), solids coated with oil (heavy oils denser than water), heavy metals and petrochemicals. Just like Hydraspin separator, Hydramix has a low capital cost, easy installation and can be expanded, low maintenance, is user friendly and reliable. Above all, it produces solids with reduced moisture. In mining projects, Hydramix, when incorporated with Hydraspin, has proved effective in the following applications: solvent extraction, mining workshops, wash bay systems, Oil storage tank farms, Bulk fuel storage facilities, Storm water run-off from contaminated areas, Process water treatment and Desanding (oil sands). Water monitoring Besides, the company is able to provide equipment to complement these two technologies. The in-house designed Total Organic Carbon analyser to monitor pollution in effluent and Instralink telemetry systems to monitor all equipment in real time. Monitoring and collection of data from water samples in real time assist in improving water quality. In general, Steyn urges mines to explore alternative technologies, such as AHT’s Hydraspin and Hydramix, that have proved to be more sustainable, low life-cycle technologies. “By using or acquiring our technologies, mines will have a capital expenditure for equipment upfront, while the operational cost of the technology is virtually zero,” he says, adding that AHT’s water treatment solution ensures environmental compliance. January - February 2021

Environmental engineering the power of nature Adaptability, productivity and operationally driven

Our goal is to provide our customers with the innovative technology in water treatment and oil water separation solutions while complying to the discharge requirement.

African Horizon Technologies tailored solutions as per clients specific need... Innovative products and approach

Complex water and wastewater treatment

Designed as fluctuating flow rate and effluent quality

Environmental standards compliance

Optimum performance

Preventative maintenance and available support

Real time monitoring via AHT dashboard

012 940 8474 086 616 4207 info@ahtech.co.za

January - February 2021

119 Roeline Street Alphen Park Pretoria 0081 South Africa

Low life cycle cost



High quality oil water separator for mining operations

No Constituent




Reduction %

Limit Sewer



- 3%





Electrical Conductivity (EC)







Chloride (Cl)







Phosphorus (P)







Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) mg/l






Soap Oil and Greases (SOG)






Limit Source: Department of Water affairs Wastewater limit values applicable to discharge of wastewater into a municipal sewer Case studies of industry applications The Hydraspin oil water cyclone separators So far, the technology has been supplied to have proved effective in the treatment of mines belonging to major mining companies. contaminated water in a wide range of Recently, AHT unlocked a water treatment industrial applications. solution for effluent treatment. The effluent In mines, typically, the cyclone separators was extremely high in both oil content (SOG) are installed on all the wash bays, workshops, and Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), which diesel bays and diesel fuel-dispensing sites, makes it unfit for discharge into Municipal where pollution occurs at the source, resulting Sewer system. Experimental work to test in limited downstream pollution. the concept and effectiveness has confirmed

WCk Advert 180x130 AW.pdf



the effectiveness of the solution. From the chemical analysis obtained, indicated by the table below, both SOG and COD reduced significantly to the order of 94% (11021 mg/l to 629 mg/l) and 96% (6640 mg/l to 240 mg/l) respectively, with other constituents also showing a significant reduction.

3:46 PM

Condition Monitoring is at the heart of machine reliabilty! WearCheck, Africa's leading condition monitoring company, are dedicated to saving money for our customers by using data extracted from condition monitoring and uid analysis to schedule maintenance and avoid unexpected machine failure.









+ 31 700 5460 support@wearcheck.co.za wearcheckafrica WearCheck www.wearcheck.co.za Scan for brochure

Oil & Fuel Analysis | Transformer Chemistry Services | Reliablity Solutions 34

January - February 2021

Condition monitoring of earth moving and mining equipment

The Convenience of Complete ‘one-stop’ Condition Monitoring

WearCheck’s complete-one stop condition monitoring’ service benefits customers, in that they do not have to go shopping around for other service providers to conduct certain tests. WearChec does them all.

WearCheck AFS technician, Joe Kies, measures charging time of hydraulic system of a winder


earCheck is Africa’s leading integrated condition monitoring solutions company. The company has been dedicated to saving money for its customers for over 40 years by improving the reliability and availability of machine components, minimising downtime and increasing productivity. The company’s wide range of condition monitoring techniques incorporates the scientific analysis of used oil and other fluids from mechanical and electrical systems, as well as reliability solutions, transformer monitoring and advanced field services. All monitoring tests performed by one company Having all the monitoring techniques performed by one company is convenient for the mining industry. This is because a complete maintenance profile can be built for every component, where various test reports are assimilated to enable the maintenance department to make swift, informed decisions. WearCheck’s managing director, Neil Robinson, believes that, when it comes to potential machinery failure, it is a real advantage if all the tests are conducted by one company with standardised test regimes for the most accurate results. ‘An added convenience,’ he says, ‘is only

January - February 2021

having to deal with one condition monitoring company, rather than several different ones. This definitely streamlines the process of enhancing the reliability of machinery in the most cost effective and efficient way possible. ‘For example, when our oil analysis customers need vibration monitoring or thermal imagine or rope testing done, it is a simple matter to add the extra techniques to their test requirements. As they already know and trust WearCheck, the process is smooth.’ A host of test techniques WearCheck employs a host of test techniques in undertaking condition monitoring tests, in particular: • Asset reliability - specialist condition monitoring techniques The scientific analysis of used oil samples from a component gives insight into the condition of that asset, providing important clues on whether remedial action is needed for the asset to continue operating optimally. For example, using the data from the oil analysis, WearCheck diagnosticians can advise whether the oil needs changing, or if there is imminent of catastrophic failure. By pre-planning repair time, the customer saves money on unplanned maintenance.

Alongside the traditional fluid analysis services, customers have access to reliability solutions (RS) services, advanced field services (AFS) and transformer chemistry services (TCS). • Reliability Solutions Services (RS) The RS team specialises in condition monitoring techniques such as thermal imaging, vibration analysis, laser alignment, balancing, operational deflection shape (ODS), structural resonance and ultrasonic services. Besides, the team utilises many other specialist techniques that provide scientific data that helps to keep assets operating at optimum levels while boosting their lifespan. • Transformer Division The transformer team conducts dedicated transformer monitoring. They conduct the following services: standard transformer oil quality analysis (colour, visual, dielectric breakdown voltage, water content, interfacial tension, acidity, power factor and specific gravity), as well as specialist diagnostic tests such as dissolved gas analysis, furanic compounds, metals-in-oil, paper quality testing and tap changer / diverter diagnosis. • Advanced Field Services (AFS) The key functions of AFS are to create a secure safety environment for both man and machine, and to reduce operational risks. WearCheck’s highly-skilled and experienced inspectors are on call 24/7/365 to help identify underlying defects and mitigate these risks on critical equipment. The advanced field services include: • Non-destructive testing (NDT) – test the integrity of a component or system without damaging it. • Technical compliance (TC) - expert guidance to assist with regulatory requirements. • Rope condition assessment (RCA) – inspecting the integrity of steel rope cables, as per OEM or international standards. WearCheck’s wide range of tests on offer benefits customers, in that they do not have to go shopping around for other service providers to conduct certain tests. WearCheck does them all. Continued on page 36


Fire pump sets

Electrical pumped fire protection

From an operational perspective, an electric-driven pump is more convenient for fire protection, as it does not require a combustion-driven engine to start. When the pressure drops in the system, as long as power to the pump is available, the electric-driven pump will start unimpeded. What is paramount is providing a reliable source of power to the pump, under both normal and emergency conditions


eliable pumps are integral to fire protection in industrial sites, in which safety is both a business mandate as well as an occupational health and safety compliance issue. The type and quality of pump determines the reliability and cost of fire protection. When faced with a choice between diesel and electric driven pumps this should be the main determining factor. A comparison between the

two determines that the electric-pump is the more feasible option than diesel-driven pump. Diesel-driven pumps onerous to manage While the choice of the type of pump boils down to preference of the end-user, a comparison between the diesel-driven pumps and electric-driven pumps indicates that the latter offers more benefits than the former. There are three main advantages with diesel-

centre is completely up to date with the latest technology and techniques. ‘We also run many different training courses for our customers to ensure that they get the best return for their investment in our condition monitoring programme. These courses range from the basics, such as how to take an oil sample correctly, right up to specialist vibration analysis training and CAT 111 and more.”

Determining which technique is appropriate WearCheck’s highly-skilled technicians assess the machinery in question and advise customers what potential problems could occur. Based on this, they recommend the best monitoring techniques to employ to gain the earliest possible warning before a problem becomes serious. Top quality customer services WearCheck operates 14 world class laboratories across nine countries in Africa and beyond, with several agents around the continent. Top quality customer service is a fundamental part of WearCheck’s ethos. An important element of this is that all tests and lab instruments are standardised in order to produce scientifically reliable results. To this end, all our laboratory instruments are manufactured offshore, but calibrated in South Africa based on our own predetermined settings. Robinson explains further, ‘We have developed and written our own software to enable us to remotely control all laboratory instruments, even those in our cross-border laboratories. Using our in-house software enables us to fine-tune every test and to ensure that, regardless of which laboratory tests a particular sample, the results will always be


driven pumps. They require fuel storage tanks of combustible liquids to be stored in or near the pump room. In addition, they require ventilation of combustion products and a means to restock fuel used during operation, which involves frequent run tests. Electric-driven pumps more convenient In contrast, an electric-driven pump is more convenient for fire protection. From an operational perspective, an electric-driven pump does not require a combustion-driven engine to start. When the pressure drops in the system, as long as power to the pump is available, the electric-driven will start unimpeded. What is paramount is providing a reliable source of power to the pump, under both normal and emergency conditions. Besides, on sites where there are multiple pressure zone pumps it is much easier to supply electricity to electric-driven pumps than litres of diesel to areas where there are storage tanks for diesel-driven pumps.

Neil Robinson, MD of WearCheck identical. ’We conduct regular round-robin tests between our various laboratories as well as those of our siter companies overseas, to make sure that our results are standard and in line with international trends. ‘Ongoing internal staff training across all our divisions ensures that each WearCheck test

The WearCheck’s approach There are many providers who claim to be providers of ‘sound’ equipment monitoring solutions. Yet there is something unique about WearCheck’s approach. WearCheck has perfected its scientific oil analysis techniques since the company’s inception back in 1976: more than 40 years’ experience in this field. Our diagnosticians have created a database of test results and trends which spans more than four decades – this information is invaluable when assessing problem samples and is also used extensively in customer training. As the company expands to incorporate new techniques and technology, it identifies a leading service provider in that particular area, and then merge the company into the WearCheck team. WearCheck is the leading integrated condition monitoring company, thanks to this approach. January - February 2021

Ensuring the safety of one’s employees is of paramount importance. The insurance industry is becoming stricter world wide and this has filtered into South Africa too. There are definite requests for compliance with local and international standards when it comes to fire safety. Diesel Electric Services is proud to have acquired ASIB approval to design, manufacture, install, commission and maintain diesel engine driven and electric motor driven fire pump sets. Our scope includes the manufacturing of ASIB approved control panels, as well as repairs, upgrades and refurbishments of existing fire pump systems in accordance with SANS 10287, SANS 10400 and ASIB regulations. We have recently commissioned a fire pump testing facility at our premises, capable of carrying out all the necessary testing of the pumps before we despatch them to our customers. Our testing facility is capable of running the pumps at 100% capacity for over 8 hours and at varying pressures. Our fire pump sets are designed for reliable performance in critical applications for various sectors ie: office blocks, hotels, shopping malls, hospitals, mines and storage warehouses. Our in house Engine brand has been modified to meet ASIB requirements and thus we can provide an affordable and compliant solution for customer specific fire pump needs.

January - February 2021

For additional information contact: 086 110 6633 / 011 493 7079 or sales@dieselelectricservices.co.za www.dieselelectricservices.co.za


Equipment rental

COVID conditions make a strong business case for equipment rental

There could be massive cost-savings to be had for mine operators from rental equipment in current economic conditions when carried out prudently.

The main reason why renting as an option is preferable to outright purchase is mainly due to cost constraints. n current economic times, in order to an affordable price and, most importantly, attending to any breakdowns. The rate charged achieve long-term sustainability of their the local product support that is available, is for a fully operational machine, meaning businesses, mine operators are looking he points out. These make it quite difficult to that what you are paying for at the end of the for opportunities to enable them reduce the invest in equipment because when it breaks day is uptime and availability. You also need burden of managing operating costs. And down there are associated challenges in to factor in insurance while renting in order equipment rental is one of the possible options getting it repaired and up and running again, to cover any unforeseen contingencies. Is this cost included, or is it an add-on? he elaborates. worth exploring. Another aspect is that, if the OEM has a The economic slowdown that the impact Terms and conditions in contracts presence in South Africa, mine operators have of COVID-19 has occasioned could be a With respect to terms and conditions in to ensure that they are renting from a local valid business case for mine operators to contracts, it is essential to bear in mind that distributor. The local distributor should not consider equipment rental to outright purchase rented equipment is used in critical processes only offer plant hire but also can assist with (ownership). Nevertheless, for organisations in mining operations and has to be available spares and provide a service exchange unit in to make the most of equipment rental, all the time, with minimal downtime. the event of any breakdown. informed decisions are critical, highlighting Consequently, it is paramount that mine the importance of grasping the implications operators are aware about the fine print in Regular maintenance of contracts and crucial issues to consider in the terms and conditions of equipment rental Yet another critical element for mine operators decision making. contracts to ensure they are not left to their to ensure is catered for in an equipment rental own devices when they need assistance from contract is provision for regular maintenance, The business case: cost based on what African Mining Brief has constraints the respective service provider. Concerning terms and conditions, the whole gathered from a survey of top ten equipment The main reason why renting as an option is preferable to outright purchase is mainly due point of renting is because you don’t own the rental providers. A lot of the rental agreements to cost constraints. Relating to ownership, equipment, but you still have the benefit of entered into come with maintenance contracts. factors that need to be taken into consideration its use. You need to ensure that the terms and That is important to note because then at least are good service kits, durable equipment at conditions include full 24/7 support in terms of a mine operators will know the machine will



January - February 2021

operating close to 100%, the monthly inflow and outflow of cash will allow you to plan properly, and then you can see if purchasing equipment is feasible. It is essentially about the company managing risk and ensuring that it is not committing to costs that cannot be managed properly.” For companies with a contract for a limited period of maybe six to 12 months, it is beneficial to rent equipment due to the uncertainty of that contract being either extended or renewed. The worst experience for an organisation is buying equipment and then after six months when the contract ends, having a machine costing money as opposed to increasing productivity.

Equipment rental could help organisations manage uncertainty. be well looked after. It will be detrimental on some level to enter into a rental contract without having discussed maintenance and aftersales services. This is due to the risk of the equipment breaking down and standing idle on-site, which will cost a lot of money. Equipment rental could help organisations manage uncertainty. Pertaining to conditions in South Africa, on can draw attention to the uncertainty that organisations may have about the strength of the Rand as well as contract awards. As a result, organisations may not know how their operations will be faring over the next few years. Based on uncertainty, an organisation can manage is risk better by leasing equipment. If an operation does close down, an organisation will only have deal with the cancellation of a lease, with no capital tied up in any equipment that has been purchased. The decision: when to rent or not? In the final analysis, key factors have to be weighed up before settling on a decision to rent or not. Decisions have to be based on rational merits and not emotions as the outcome could have implications on a project. Circumstances under which a mining

January - February 2021

company could be advised to consider equipment rental depend on requirements. For instance, for a contract miner, it makes sense to own a fleet as there is enough work in the pipeline to guarantee a return on investment. However, the major consideration with owning equipment, especially big-ticket items, is the depreciation. This means that an organisation has to have a guaranteed revenue stream and not have any machines sitting idle while their value depreciates. For example, if an organisation has a limited six-month contract, for example, it makes much better business sense to just negotiate a six-month rental agreement to cover that limited contract duration. The rule of thumb with buying new equipment is: How long will it take me to pay it off, and what is my projected revenue for that period?” In a nutshell, equipment rental may work for new mining companies that have just started to manage their potential risk. This is because at the start of any new mining operations, the reality is that cash flow may be limited, and so the best option would be to start out renting. A new company can consider buying, once cash flow improves and the mine starts

Massive cost-savings In due course, there could be massive costsavings to be had from rental equipment in current economic conditions, when carried out prudently. There are massive cost-savings in equipment rental. Right now companies that are surviving the current economic climate have a good balance sheet and have managed their cash flow well. These factors are a key driver for rental being a preferred option.” In general, prevailing economic environment have a bearing on final decision. In particular, in South Africa’s context, with the uncertainty around the strength of the rand as well as contract awards, an organisation may not know how its operations will be faring over the next few years. Based on that, organisation can manage its risk better by leasing equipment. If an operation does close down, it will only have deal with the cancellation of a lease, with no capital tied up in any equipment that has been purchased.

Data-driven and proactive technology

preventative maintenance

All OEMs have invested a lot in technology and research in data-driven technology that enables preventative and proactive maintenance to ensure that equipment is more durable, tougher and lasts longer. Data-driven technology allows for a more proactive approach to prevent breakdowns and schedule service and maintenance as required. As a result, mine operators can utilise rented equipment rest assured that they will experience minimal downtime and high availability. With preventative and proactive maintenance technology, companies are able to fix something before it actually breaks, or having trackers and sensors to inform you about the ongoing condition of a machine. This data is used to determine service intervals, which allows you to plan for any associated downtime. However, technology stands to play an even bigger role in the mining industry going forward. It is just a question of its uptake.



January - February 2021

January - February 2021


Specialised drilling and mining solutions

BAUER Technologies South Africa Pty Ltd: A provider of specialised Drilling and Mining Solutions

The BAUER Resources group hosts several specialised drilling companies from deep vertical, inclined or directional core drilling to hydro mining and large diameter deep exploration drilling in Canada and wide bulk sample drilling as well as deeper exploration and water drilling in Australia and Africa. In Africa, drilling projects have been executed in 15 countries from operational hubs in Luanda, Accra, Johannesburg, Dakar, Lubumbashi and Kenitra for coordination and support of projects in the Southern and West African region.

An abundance of groundwater in the dolomitic aquifers of the Congolese Copperbelt frequently limits the continuation of mining operations, both open pit and underground. To address this problem, BAUER is providing large diameter groundwater dewatering and production boreholes alike. In Africa, drilling projects have been can range in size and design to 26” in diameter AUER Technologies South Africa was established in South Africa in 1999 and executed in 15 countries from operational and 800m in depth. forms part of the BAUER Group of hubs in Luanda, Accra, Johannesburg, Dakar, BAUER: Selective Cutter Mining companies together with its sister companies Lubumbashi and Kenitra for coordination and in Angola, Namibia, Botswana, DRC, Senegal support of projects in the Southern and West on narrow vein mineralization. One out of many special applications African region. and Morocco. In addition to the group’s activities related focusses on the selective mining opportunity The global activities of the BAUER Group are split in three main fields comprising the to drilling and foundation services, equipment on narrow vein mineralisation or narrow design, manufacture and supply of various and products BAUER specializes in open-pit scenarios. Vertical or sub-vertical drilling and foundation equipment, civil developing Mining Solutions for clients with engineering projects for piling and other special requirements. special foundation requirements and the BAUER: Water borehole drilling execution of turnkey services in the fields of for production and dewatering water and energy, mineral resources drilling applications. and environmental engineering. Some 12,000 An abundance of groundwater in the dolomitic employees contributed approx. EUR 1.8 aquifers of the Congolese Copperbelt billion annual group turnover in 2019. frequently limits the continuation of mining The BAUER Resources group hosts several operations, both open pit and underground. specialised drilling companies from deep BAUER is providing large diameter vertical, inclined or directional core drilling groundwater dewatering and production Vertical or sub-vertical ore extraction with to hydro mining and large diameter deep boreholes alike. State-of-the-art drilling the well-proven cutter technology – which exploration drilling in Canada and wide bulk equipment such as the multipurpose PRAKLA is mostly applied to the construction sample drilling as well as deeper exploration RB 40, engineered by German specialists of impermeable boundary walls for and water drilling in Australia and Africa. deliver the highest safety standards. Boreholes groundwater or contamination control



January - February 2021

technology has been the application of the selective mining method on a recent project in Canada, on appointment by one of the major mining houses, to undertake kimberlite sampling to a depth of 250m. This depth has never before been reached by a trench cutter in any commercial application worldwide and proves that BAUER cutter technology cannot only be used in specialist foundation engineering but is also suitable for the exploration and mining industry. BAUER: Bulk Sampling Solutions in mining or pre-mining operations. Bulk sampling in a mining or pre-mining

ore extraction with the well-proven cutter technology – which is mostly applied to the construction of impermeable boundary walls for groundwater or contamination control - may postpone the Life-Of-Mine ore depletion caused by access problems. Mining of previously “uneconomic” ore bodies may become feasible, time-to-mine and upfront capital costs are drastically reduced, minimal dilution of ore, the equipment is highly mobile and can be used along mineralised trends, very low environmental impact – synergies and advantages of a classic approach with BAUER’s Mining Solutions. A significant milestone in using the proven

context refers to excavating bulk material for the purpose of obtaining site-specific data to assess the quality and quantity of a deposit. A Rotary Drill Rig BG-system will provide support in both, exploration and mining scenarios for various commodities such as kimberlites, alluvial diamonds, coal, iron ore, REEs, manganese to name but a few. Sampling bucket diameters of up to 2.5m permit a retractable load of 6.0 tons of undisturbed material from depths of up to 100m. The holes can either be cased or stabilised with drilling mud, depending on hardness and stability of the lithological units.

Bulk sampling in a mining or pre-mining context - A Rotary Drill Rig BG-system will provide support in both, exploration and mining scenarios for various commodities.

Bauer is a leading provider of equipment and turnkey services for exploration and mining. BAUER Mining Solutions are deployed for bulk sampling, dewatering, remediation of tailings dams and mine infrastructure projects around the world. BAUER Technologies South Africa (PTY) Ltd • Unit 215 • Palms Office Park 519 Nupen Crescent • Midrand 1695 • South Africa • info@bauersa.co.za

January - February 2021



Facial recognition and temperature measurement

Face recognition and temperature measurement combined to fight COVID-19

Schauenburg Systems’ new facial recognition and temperature measuring scanner will provide companies in mining and other industries with a proactive temperature screening method. The new product complements other Schauenburg’s other COVID-19 specific solutions, enhancing industry’s efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. °C, and temperature exceeding 37.3 °C is considered abnormal. Integration with access control systems What makes the Facial Recognition and Temperature Measurement Scanner perfect fit for COVID-19 containment is that it can be integrated with existing access control systems. “As it supports face mask recognition, ID card reader, fingerprint instrument and other peripheral extensions, the system can be integrated with access control systems to achieve safe and efficient access control of personnel,” says Sales and Business Development Director, Martin Marais, citing some of the areas where the technology can be used as mines, communities, office buildings,


chauenburg Systems is clearly leaving no stone unturned in its quest to help mines and related industries in South Africa and the region comply with measures aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19. The company has just added an 8-inch Facial Recognition and Temperature Measurement Scanner to its range of COVID-19 specificsolutions. High security human face recognition technology The Facial Recognition and Temperature Measurement Scanner is equipped with industrial grade binocular camera and high security human face recognition technology, as well as infrared thermal imaging module. Through contactless temperature checking, the scanner delivers real-time export of attendance temperature measurement data. Using thermal imaging and temperature sensors, the scanner is able to identify temperature within an accuracy range of 0.2°. An audio and visual alarm is activated when an abnormal temperature is detected. Normal body temperature ranges from 36.5 °C to 37


“As it supports face mask recognition, ID card reader, fingerprint instrument and other peripheral xtensions, the system can be ntegrated with access control systems to achieve safe and efficient access control of personnel.” schools, hotels, scenic spots, transportation hub centres and other public service places.

Standard features The following features are standard in the Facial Recognition and Temperature Measurement Scanner: Software with user friendly dashboard and history logging, all in one hardware and software solution, optional NFC/RFID activation, IP65 Rating, temperature measurement access control displays. Committed to enabling compliance Marias believes the launch of the Facial Recognition and Temperature Measurement Scanner, underscores Schauenburg’s commitment to enabling industry’s compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). “The facial recognition and temperature measuring scanner will provide companies in mining and other industries with a proactive Covid-19 detection method. The new product complements Schauenburg’s other COVID-19 specific solutions, enhancing industry’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.” January - February 2021

Employee identification meets body temperature measurement

The deployment of biometrics in the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 in mines, where groups of employees work on shifts in close proximity, is ground-breaking. Equipped with this innovation, mines will be able to minimise the risk the pandemic poses on productivity, ensuring that work on mine sites is uninterrupted, in addition to complying with health and safety regulations.


he expression: Necessity is the mother of innovation, rings true in as far as the adaptation of biometrics in the preventing/ the spread of COVID-19 in harsh environments like mine sites is concerned. Traditionally, in operations of organisations biometrics have been confined to employee identification. Convenience Cameras, which technology companies have launched, conveniently, combine biometric facial recognition, thermal detection and streaming video transmission capabilities. The cameras can be placed at access points from where employees enter a working area can be screened. Through facial recognition

and temperature measurement capabilities, they are able to detect fevers with forehead measurements. An automatic alarm is triggered when a high temperature is detected. The camera’s hardware system saves facial images, temperature records, the time the camera was passed, and the individual’s name and ID card information, with alarm functions and storage for up to 10,000 records. Compliance and productivity The use of biometrics in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in mines and other sectors, where groups of employees work on shifts in close proximity, is ground-breaking. The technology will help mines achieve two core objectives: minimise the risk the pandemic

poses on productivity, ensuring that work on mine sites is uninterrupted, in addition to complying with health and safety regulations.

“The camera’s hardware system saves facial images, temperature records, the time the camera was passed, and the individual’s name and ID card information, with alarm functions and storage for up to 10,000 records.”

8” Facial Recognition & Temperature Scanner

Occupational Hygiene Products

Schauenburg Systems, through innovative solutions, is committed to working together with all stakeholders to protect the

health and well-being of employees, customers, and suppliers

Social Distance Watches

AI Social Distance Monitoring

Deconta Air Purifier Deconta Room Isolation Door Schauenburg Systems (Pty) Ltd 26 Spartan Road, Spartan Ext.21 Kempton Park, 1619 | Tel: +27 (11) 974-0006 Email: sales@schauenburg.co.za

during the COVID-19 World pandemic.

January - February 2021


Community engagement and participation

Nurturing the relationship between mining companies and host communities

Community engagement and inclusive participation should be the cornerstone upon which mining companies build relations with host communities.


ne of the most critical activities during the planning stage of a mining project is stakeholder engagement and the value of goodwill that can be created and maintained for the duration of the mining project. When appropriately undertaken, stakeholder engagement opens up channels for public participation between the project owner and all interested and affected parties, especially host communities and municipalities. In the context of high levels of unemployment and poverty, greenfield projects are invariably viewed as great economic opportunities by host communities, resulting in high expectations that need to be managed during the planning phase. By analysing the common oversights that mining companies make when setting up their operations in host communities, the most practical ways of creating a successful community engagement and participation initiatives can be established. Underfunding of community engagement activities During the planning phase of a mining project, there is huge competition for financial resources within mining company itself, with the bulk of that being invested in technical aspects of the project. However, the underfunding of community engagement activities could ultimately result in poor management of expectations during the operational phase of the project and poor planning and execution of socio-economic development interventions, Alex Khumalo, Head of Social Performance at the Minerals Council South Africa, notes. Such poor outcomes often lead to even greater pressure on mining operations from host communities, he adds. Negative perceptions around the performance of mining operations could lead to ongoing confrontation with the host community, and community dissatisfaction is often expressed through protest action. “While some dissatisfaction may be inevitable (for instance, no mine can provide economic opportunities for all members of a host community), better managed community relations create the opportunity for, at best, the co-creation of socio-economic solutions and, at a minimum, better management of expectations,” Khumalo advises.


Involving host communities For this reason, it is imperative that host communities must be engaged throughout all phases of a mining project, from exploration to mine closure and reclamation. However, in the course of implementing this, mining companies have to bear in mind that mine host communities have their own political, social and developmental dynamics that may change over time. So, Khumalo emphasises, it is important that each mining operation keep its finger on the pulse. “The best way to ensure that mining operations and host communities remain developmental partners, engagements must continue throughout all the phases of a mining project.” Managing aspirations, a process not an event Hence, to manage expectations, public participation and community engagement should be premised on effectiveness, transparency and trust. However, building trusting relationships is difficult and requires ongoing commitment from all parties, acknowledges Khumalo. “In the early phases of a mining project, it ought to be understood that financial resources might be limited, and it is therefore incumbent upon the mining project to ensure that each and every community development initiative delivers the best possible developmental outcome.” Besides, it has to be acknowledged that mining projects will never fully be able to meet the vast range of host community needs. So, it is critical for mining operations to play a catalytical role when it comes to socioeconomic development. Mining operations should, for instance, collaborate with various stakeholders to strengthen their ability to carry out their developmental mandates, Khumalo suggests. These stakeholders may include non-governmental organisations, communitybased organisations, local municipalities, and enterprises with high potential to create new or expand existing economic opportunities, he adds. The broader project plan There are also circumstances where a mining company may feel that ensuring community engagement and participation in a project could lead to delays in implementation. Nevertheless, community engagement and participation

should be regarded as pivotal to a project’s success, not a liability. “The successful (and timeous) execution of engineering projects depend on good project management, and mining projects are no exception. Community engagement and participation should be part of the broader project plan,” says Khumalo. “Community engagement activities need to be treated as key milestones on any project plan. Furthermore, engagement and participation activities must be well-resourced to ensure that any potential delays are effectively dealt with before they create avoidable delays.” A cornerstone to building relations Community engagement and inclusive participation should be the cornerstone upon which relations with host communities are built and maintained. Unavoidably, these relations can be dynamic and easily influenced by a number of political, economic, social and cultural factors. In view of that, sensitivity and awareness of the operating environment is critical to achieving successful community development outcomes, including peaceful coexistence with host communities. Impact of COVID-19 on relations between mining companies and host communities COVID-19 has spared no economic sector, not least mining. Inevitably, as expected, it has impacted on mining host communities, mainly due to massive job losses. Throughout South Africa, to alleviate the impact, mining companies have collaborated with various government entities, NGOs and host communities in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the massive job losses, the impact on mining host communities has been significant. While emergency efforts by mining companies have been welcomed by communities, it is clear that expectations of mining companies will increase. The COVID-19 pandemic has also resulted in a hiatus in terms of stakeholder engagement. This is as a result of lockdown regulations and “work from home” policies that the mining industry has put in place as part of the response to combating the pandemic. In some areas, relations between mining operations and host communities will require conscientious efforts and resources to rebuild and sustain them into the future. January - February 2021

Mining and Construction industry focuses on economic development, social awareness and environmental consciousness by Janine Espin, Managing Director at EDS


ndustries such as mining and construction, are being driven to modernise, support job creation and localisation efforts, become more carbon conscious, all while maintaining profitability. Companies should therefore be shifting the focus of their social and economic development projects and consult firms like Economic Development Solutions (Pty) Ltd (EDS), that provides guidance and support to ensure that this change occurs as smoothly as possible. EDS primarily specialises in compliance reporting, particularly in relation to Economic Development and Localisation for industries such as construction, large scale renewable energy and mining. Furthermore, our services to the mining sector include Social and Labour Plans (SLP) compliance, programme implementation management and stakeholder engagement services. We have extensive experience working in rural and peri-urban communities, where we act as intermediaries or facilitators between large corporates and the communities. This approach allows for fair, transparent and open engagement with all parties, whilst focusing on the overall objective. The company has a proven track record in providing strategic advice, Economic Development compliance reporting services which has achieved clean independent audits across numerous projects and industries, whilst supporting both large corporates and small SMMEs. Our diverse and experienced team, who travel extensively throughout South Africa can attest to the various levels of engagement, stakeholder engagement and compliance management, i.e. from working at construction sites to the boardrooms of Sandton. EDS also encourages the development of a local economy and

discourages practices which may lead to population exodus or migration. All of this is achieved through the implementation of a three-tiered approach, namely understanding the community, implementing engagement strategies and maintaining the business imperative. Our in-house IT teams have developed an economic development reporting tool for both the construction and mine sectors, whilst our online Carbon Tax compliance system, Ecogauge is another customised system on offer by EDS systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of EDS (Pty) Ltd. Recently launched, this technology has been developed specifically for the South African market where Carbon Tax is still a reasonable unknown. We can assist organisations who need to comply with the Carbon Tax Act, which will impact all industries, including the mining and construction industries. This online Carbon Tax system assists corporates with the management of their Carbon Tax calculations and their carbon footprint. So, as we see the local market impacted on all fronts whether it be economically, socially or environmentally, businesses need to use the right service providers, who can help them to evolve in an everchanging environment With EDS and its subsidiary EDS Systems, organisations can trust their project objectives will be met.

For more information go to: www.eds.holdings

January - February 2021


Tyre management

TyreSense’s tyre pressure monitoring system

TyreSense is fully designed, developed, and manufactured in-house by experienced RIMEX staff who stay closely connected to our clients and their needs.


yreSense, by RIMEX, is the best-inclass tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) that’s changing the way mining and industrial operations around the world monitor tyres. It boasts leading-edge software, hardware, tools and client support. Tyres can last years or be destroyed in hours. If you do not measure it, you cannot manage it. The TyreSense TPMS saves up to 780 hrs/32 days per truck, per year, on pressure maintenance checks.” As per a Mine in the Pilbara Region of Western Australia. A Tyre Pressure Management System or TPMS is an electronic system designed to monitor the air pressure inside the tyre. In the Industrial and Mining sectors, the systems also monitor the air chamber temperature of each tyre along with a host of other features which vary by manufacturer. In 2002, RIMEX allocated capital for a core group of engineers to develop a TPMS for the mining industry. RIMEX’s knowledge of the tyre industry made it easy to expand on the system. They already knew what the mining sites wanted from a TPMS Since the beginning, RIMEX has maintained its ideal of open communication to create customer-tailored products. Every TyreSense system comes with the highest standard of durability, strength and reliability, as well as a long list of optional components that allow sites to customize the product to their needs.


RIMEX incorporates these high standards into every system upgrade and new release. As TyreSense continues to evolve, it aims to perfect not just tyre monitoring, but tyre management. “We’re moving into asset management with tyres,” says Dave Laird, when asked about the future of TyreSense. “Our vision is one where all information is tracked – such as cost per hour and operational efficiency – so sites can make comparisons between tyres. We want to give our clients the most advanced tyre management system possible.” A typical TPMS consists of the following components: battery based wireless sensor/ transmitter device, high frequency antenna module, and a central receiver. The sensors are directly mounted inside the tyres and they are responsible for measuring the tyre pressure and temperature which is then wirelessly transmitted to the server and optionally to an in-cab receiver in the vehicle. The receiver analyses every piece of data sent from the sensors and issues warnings whenever there are abnormalities in pressure and temperature levels. TKPH versus TPMS Ton kilometer per hour (TKPH) is the calculation based on the weight and speed a tyre can handle without overheating and causing damage. When a tyre reaches its TKPH rating under operation, it should theoretically be at its maximum operating temperature (critical temperature). The critical temperature

for a radial tyre is approximately 105°C / 221°F and this temperature is typically found in the tread. To date, the only way to determine the actual tread temperature is by drilling tires and measuring the temperature. This is called a heat study. A heat study, to compare actual belt temperature levels to the suggested TKPH and to internal sensor readings, was undertaken by an Australian mine. Four Komatsu 930E trucks which were fitted with 53/80R63 XDR2 B Michelin tyres were used. The purpose of the study was to determine whether the correlation between TKPH and tread readings or tread readings and internal sensor readings are more accurate. At the conclusion of the study, it was determined that internal sensor readings offer a better estimation, and fluctuate closer to the actual tyre tread temperature than TKPH readings do TyreSense is fully designed, developed, and manufactured in-house by experienced RIMEX staff who stay closely connected to our clients and their needs. This flexibility allows us to adapt and respond quickly to all customer requirements. Our comprehensive software provides everything you need to monitor your entire fleet, ensuring you’re always in touch. Now there is a tool to manage the assets and get that tyre costs further down the rung of expenses. Contact us for a free demonstration

January - February 2021

January - February 2021


Tyre management

Sound tyre management, high fleet productivity

Comprehensive tyre management, with preventative maintenance playing a central role, should be a standard practice, not optional, in mining operations. a repair or even a tyre retreading program.


yre management should always be an integral part of an integrated fleet management program, for purposes of maximising fleet utilisation in mining. When this critical area in fleet management is absent from the primary fleet management strategy, frequent cases of unplanned tyre related downtime occurs, which unnecessarily contributes to fleet downtime. Considering the strong correlation between tyre condition and fleet productivity, sound tyre management should be highly prioritised. As with machine maintenance, tyre management must be meticulously planned and implemented, and there should be no compromise, says John Martin, VP Southern Africa, Kal Tire’s Mining Tire Group, stressing that key elements of basic tyre maintenance, have to be prioritised . Costly common mistakes For any mining company that has elected to revise its approach to tyre management, the first step should be to make a couple of strategic decisions that will ultimately impact on site operational performance, as well as the Data as the enabler of sound tyre Data gathered in real-time or near real time has become integral to a comprehensive tyre management strategy. The scope of capabilities of the latest generation of mining TPMS systems, with integrated GPS sensors, accelerometers and increased level of telematics is incredible. Not only is this allowing managers to be alerted in real time if tyres are operating outside of pre-determined parameters, but also to know exactly where, when and what happened in each incident. This feature allows Kal Tire to be far more proactive in working with customers to address specific


cost management of mining fleet tyres. Martin singles out two common mistakes in tyre management, based on tyre-related problems mine operators experience with their fleet of vehicles on sites worldwide. • Focus on maximising tyre performance Firstly, mine operators often focus their attention purely on trying to maximise tyre performance in a singular dimension. The lowest priced tyre is not necessarily the best cost performer. More often than not, this approach has a negative impact on equipment downtime and operational efficiency. • Fairly low-level’ expectation on planned tyre maintenance The second strategically important decision relates to what most often comes across as a ‘fairly low-level’ expectation that tyre maintenance work can actually be planned. Erroneously, with this kind of mindset, tyres are often considered as a “run to failure” component, thereby never realizing the renewed potential of a second life through management mine design and operational issues that may negatively impact fleet productivity from the resulting tyre issues. In general, TPMS systems – specifically when they are integrated into tyre management platforms – are a critical tool in a successful tyre management strategy. Near real-time data on mine operations will give mine operators an increasing ability to predict tyre failure in the coming years, based on aggregating data in significant detail of the life that each tyre has lived, Martin predicts. “As more miners, manufacturers and service providers such as Kal Tire, work on

Key elements in mining-specific tyre management Contrary to a popular misconception, Martin clarifies that mining specific tyre management does not necessarily need many components to be manageable. Alternatively, he suggests that it can be consolidated into two main manageable parts. • Mean Time Between Service (MTBS) The first step is bringing a well-known maintenance concept of Mean Time Between Service (MTBS), to tyre management as a core Key Performance Indicator (KPI). This is a standard maintenance measure which is equally relevant in a holistic approach to tyre management. “MTBS has the specific advantage of combining two core elements of tyre management: tyre performance and work planning,” states Martin. “Improving tyre performance and extending tyre life involves the identification of the right tyre for the application and ensuring the tyre is run within the correct pressure and temperature parameters. In the same vein, it is fundamental to plan tyre work by combining it, wherever possible, with other planned maintenance tasks, to reduce the number of tyre related downtime events. Get both elements right, and that is reflected in a much-improved MTBS.” • Making the most of available data The second part is to make the most of the data available today to understand better what operational factors are causing variations in tyre performance. In this way, Continue reading online africanminingbrief.com



this problem, the modeling gets smarter, more relevant and more accurate at being able to correctly respond to answer the question, ‘Is it time?’” “Near real-time data will furthermore give mine operator the ability to know, with increasing accuracy, as to when is the best time to remove tires at their end of life, without sacrificing unnecessary hours or km of performance. This will enable tyre management to move from a “run to failure” model, to one based on predictive and prescriptive maintenance concepts,” he explains. January - February 2021


owerworks with over four decades of In order to maximise uptime and optimise the life knowledge and firsthand experience in expectancy of the equipment, Powerworks offers the OTR tyre bay industry prides itself in a minor on-site maintenance programme aimed at offering the correct turnkey solutions to their most taking this time consuming task off the hands of the end user. The company will come to site and important assets (customers). The locally designed and manufactured range perform all the necessary preventative maintenance of tyre presses utilising the latest cutting edge tasks, do a full assessment of the equipment and technology in order to maximise safety and report back on the findings and advise on any productivity are testament to the commitment of further steps to be taken. The maintenance is the company to ensure that a previously carried out by highly skilled personnel and unsafe, time consuming and cumbersome Youtube Video service vehicles are fully equipped with all operation is efficiently performed under safe the necessary spares, consumables and other equipment necessary for a quick and conditions. It is no wonder that customers such as South32, Assmang and Rio Tinto efficient turn-around. to name but a few continue to purchase Since safety is a critical part of any operation involving such large machinery, Powerworks and put their trust in Powerworks and its as the OEM provides comprehensive products. theoretical and practical on-site operator The Powerpress boasts unique safety features, not available with other presses. training and certification of competence is Operator access control via proxy cards, a touch issued upon completion of all required training, screen user interface, proportional speed remote in addition electronic access cards valid for a with integrated jib/davit crane control, recessed period of 12 months are also issued to operators, heavy duty LED work lights and infrared safety ensuring that only current operators may access beams are some of the unique features which make the tyre press. the Powerpress the ultimate tyre press in terms of safety and productivity. Models are available for wheel assemblies ranging from 24� up to 72� diameter.

January - February 2021


Diesel particulate matter management in the mining environment

Reducing Workforce Exposure to Diesel Particulate Emissions Risks

Diesel particulate matter risk management is a continuous undertaking as risk exposure are always changing. As far as possible, mining companies have to utilise best possible technologies in their mitigation plans, including emission monitoring, low emission vehicles and filtration equipment.

Exhaust purifier (Pic: Rush Vent)


iesel particulate matter (DPM) from vehicle emissions is one of the occupational health and wellness risks employees in mining operations, both in open pit and underground environments, may be exposed to. Most vulnerable are employees working with machinery in confined underground spaces, over and above those operating diesel-powered vehicles, face high risk of exposure/are most vulnerable. It is in view of this that regulators in all countries oblige mine operators to adopt measures to protect their workforce from exposure in compliance with Occupational Health and Safety regulations. Comprehensive strategy Mining companies need a comprehensive strategy to manage occupational exposure to DPM amongst their employees. And it has to be stressed that the use of filtration equipment is only a component, not a cure-all. • Monitoring to establish risk The first step in the management of DPM in the mining environment is establishing the risk it poses to mineworkers. And the rule of the thump is: You can only manage the level of occupational exposure you know. And this is only possible through regular monitoring to ensure that DPM is within the legal threshold.


While regular monitoring may seem onerous to mine operators, the reality is that DPM poses a high risk. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), a division of the Centre for Disease Control & Prevention, in information on the subject, warns: “Exposure to elevated diesel exhaust concentrations has been linked to negative health effects such as eye and nose irritation, headaches, nausea, and asthma. Diesel particulate matter (DPM) has been classified as a possible carcinogen by both the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Diesel engines are a major contributor to elevated concentrations of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, and hydrocarbons in underground coal and metal/nonmetal mines.” Moreover, currently, underground miners can be exposed to more than 100 times the typical environmental concentration of diesel exhaust and more than 10 times what might be found in other workplaces. “As mines add more and more pieces of diesel equipment the potential overexposure becomes an even greater risk,” the NIOSH explains. Currently, regulators in respective African countries have not promulgated the occupational exposure limit (OEL).

Alternatively, mining companies in Africa align themselves with the industry best practice limit of 0.16mg/ m3 which mines in Australia and North America use. Normally, measurements of exposure to workers are undertaken over a period of time. • Low-sulphur diesel and low emissions vehicles There are two ways through which mining companies minimise exposure. First, globally, mining companies have made part of the procurement policy the purchase of vehicles with new generation engines that use lowsulphur diesel and produce less emissions. Australian gold producer, Goldfields, which has operations both in Australia and Africa, said it had adopted this policy in its 2019 Annual Report (“Occupational Health and Wellness at Goldfields”). “We only purchase new machinery that falls into the tier 3 and 4 category for DPM,” said the gold miner, indicating that all machines purchased for its South Deep operation in South Africa will be tier 4. A positive development is that currently, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have heeded the call to accelerate the development of mining vehicles that minimise DPM, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

January - February 2021

Most affordable and robust Diesel Particulate filter, Designed for the South African Market.

Rush Exhaust Purification cc primary line of business is catalytic converters (Purifiers) and Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF). Specializing in designing and manufacturing of exhaust systems, diesel particulate filters, water cooling pipes, air filtration systems and turbo intercooler charge pipes as to customer’s specification, on underground mining equipment and forklift industry. We strive to provide quality services that exceed the exaptation of our esteemed Customers. •


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January - February 2021

Our emission systems DPF and Catalytic converters has been tested and proven to eliminate between 60% and 98% of emission gasses depending on which sulfur fuel is being used. Our DPF and catalysts is, most affordable that runs at the lowest cost per kilowatt per hour in the market place. Robust Patented design specifically for our harsh South African mining conditions Can be used on any Tier Diesel engine and any diesel from 10-500 ppm (Sulfur). Before the advent of Diesel Particulate filters (DPF’s), soot particles were releases into the atmosphere at the end of the combustion process causing health and air quality problems. The principle of the Diesel Particulate filter (DPF) is to collect the sooty partials and periodically burn them of On Site Emission Testing and DPM Testing Latest Imported Emission Test Equipment, With Infralyt N gas Analyzer and a Saxon SMG200M


Diesel particulate matter management in the mining environment • Filtration Filtration of equipment is a standard procedure in managing DPM in underground mines. This involves fitting DPM filters to vehicles that emit the highest levels of DPM, which include but not isolated to load haul dumpers, dump trucks and utility vehicles. Additionally, it is recommended that DPM filters have to be tested regularly for efficiency. However, filtration cannot work in isolation. In order to be more effective, it needs additional controls to be in place as maintenance schedules, ventilation requirements, operator Affordability, robustness and relevance in diesel particulate filtration Rush works closely with customers to cooling pipes, air filtration systems and turbo develop tailor-made catalytic converters that intercooler charge pipes to the customer’s perform outstandingly, significantly reducing specification, on underground mining particulate matter and other emissions in equipment and forklift industry. Rush works closely with customers to South African mining applications. Worldwide, regulators are becoming develop tailor-made catalytic converters stringent with enforcing compliance with and Diesel Particulate Filter Solutions emission standards. And one of the areas is performance of Catalytic Converters and in diesel particulate matter (DPM) emissions Diesel Particulate Filters. The Catalytic from diesel engine-powered equipment in Converters and Diesel Particulate Filters industries. Rush Exhaust Purification cc, the perform outstandingly, significantly reducing supplier of catalytic converters (Purifiers) particulate matter and other emissions in and Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF), helps South African mining applications. Overall, Rush strives to provide quality industries comply as well as reduce exposure services that exceed the expectations of its of their employees to DPM emissions. Rush Exhaust Purification specialises in esteemed customers, in the following ways: designing and manufacturing of exhaust • Emission systems Diesel Particulate systems, diesel particulate filters, water Filters and Catalytic converters have

Robust and Reliable

A continuous undertaking Generally speaking, diesel particulate matter risk management is a continuous undertaking as risk exposure are always changing. As far as possible, mining companies have to utilise best possible technologies in their mitigation plans, including emission monitoring, low emission vehicles and filtration equipment. This has to be complemented with sound maintenance initiatives and continuous operator training. been tested and proven to eliminate between 60% and 98% of emission gasses depending on which sulfur fuel is being used. • The Diesel Particulate Filters and catalytic converters are most affordable that run at the lowest cost per kilowatt per hour in the market place. • The robust patented design of the Diesel Particulate Filters and catalytic converters is specifically for harsh South African mining conditions • The Diesel Particulate Filters and catalytic converters can be used on any Tier Diesel engine and any diesel from 10-500 ppm (Sulfur). Visit: https://www.rushsp-ent.co.za/


Water Storage Midi Series: 5,000L - 20,000L

Maxi Series: 100kL - 1,500kL

training, monitoring protocols and corrective action processes for indications of exceedances of the OEL, Goldfields recommends.

• Highly economical cost to volume ratio • Easily transportable, especially for multiple tanks • Easy assembly, even at elevated heights • NO CRANES REQUIRED • Robust steel tank with high life expectancy • Replaceable liner allows for extended life

Manufactured by Structa Technology (Pty)Ltd BBBEE Level 1

MEYERTON | Tel: 016 362 9100 watertanks1@structatech.co.za Director: rodney@structatech.co.za | 082 575 2275 www.structatech.co.za | www.circotank.co.za Manufactured in SOUTH AFRICA Halfpage African Mining Nov20.indd 1


2020/11/02 15:54:48

January - February 2021

Water storage tanks

Structa’s New Easy-toassemble Tank

In a timely response to demand for easy-to-assemble water storage tanks, Structa Group has launched the new Circotank range of rolled sectional tanks.

The Structa Group’s new Circotank range of rolled sectional tanks


tructa Group, the steel products and related service company, recognises the importance of sustainable management of water, an increasingly scarce resource in Southern Africa. That is why the company continuously develops new economical and robust innovations for the storage of water and long-term water supply. Currently, Structa Group is raising awareness to industry about its new Circotank range of rolled sectional tanks, which is manufactured from galvanised steel sheet, cold rolled, with a stiffening profile. Structa Group chairperson, Piet Coetzer, says the launch of the tank is Structa’s response to industry current need, underlining the range of options, and the convenience that the design has brought. The range The Circotank is available in a Midi range and a Maxi range. • The Midi range In an environment where industries are looking for practical ways to cut costs, not least in construction of structures, the Midi range is handy, mainly from two perspectives. “The range is simple to build and requires no special equipment. Assembly staff can easily assemble and lift segments onto tanks stands using standard rope and pulley systems,” says Coetzer.

January - February 2021

Besides, the range fills a gap not covered by typical moulded plastic tanks and is particularly suited to applications where users need storage between 5000 litres and 20 000 litres, often elevated on stands to create distribution pressure,” he adds. The Midi range is optimally suited for application in schools, clinics and small ruralwater storage. • The Maxi range The Maxi range covers tank sizes of between 100 000 ℓ and 1.5 Mℓ. The range targets largescale water projects, with typical application in industrial water storage such as fire tanks and mass rural water supply schemes. Engineered convenience and improved quality Coetzer points out that, one thing that stands out in the Circotanks is the design. The tanks are specifically engineered to ensure convenience in both transportation and erection, he explains, highlighting transportation and erection on site. • Transportation Circotanks are transported in segments and can be assembled on top of stands if required, eliminating the need for cranage in difficult rural applications. The tanks are transported in prerolled segments, which allows for compact transport and easy offloading. • Erection The tanks are erected on concrete ring-beam

foundations and require reasonably simple earthworks beforehand. Erection is done using a strake lifting system that requires no craneage, resulting in an economical total cost for every cubic meter of water storage. Circotanks use a polyvinylchloride (PVC) liner that improves the speed and quality of the structure of the tank. Furthermore, using the PVC liner negates structural leaks, which consequently speeds up the assembly and sealing process. In the end, as they can be repaired and replaced, with the structure of the tank remaining intact, liners extend tank life. Milestone Structa’s Group Chairperson describes the development of the Circotank as a milestone. “The Circotank range took 18 months to move from concept to the first manufactured products, with non-linear finite element analysis being used to optimise structural performance during the design cycle.” Coetzer believes Circotank couldn’t have come at a more perfect time as increasing drought conditions necessitate the use of new economical and robust innovations for the storage of water and long-term water supply. The Circotank system was developed by the Structa Group’s Pretoria-based engineering team, after which the custom-made rolling system was built at its Meyerton factory, in Gauteng, Republic of South Africa.


Structural Insulated Panels for modular buildings on mining, oil and gas project sites

Product Selection, Building design and Post-installation Inspection

For a structural insulated panel (SIP) modular building to perform optimally as expected, from project onset, the material with the correct requirements has to be selected, the design has to include key elements, in addition inspections have to be undertaken as required.

Structural Insulated Panels (SIP)


structural insulated panel (or “SIP”) is a high-performance building system for residential and light commercial construction. SIPs house kits are made with panels that consist of an insulating foam core sandwiched between two steel panels.

Reminding industry about the significance of product quality, Collins highlights three components core to optimal building performance: vital material specifications, fundamental facets in building design, in addition to post-installation inspection.

Product quality and integrity concerns There has been an upswing in the demand for SIP modular buildings for use in greenfield mining, oil and gas projects as industrial activity is resuming, following the relaxation of hard lockdown COVID-19 restrictions. Seeing this trend, TIPSASA is advising end-users to be conversant with the quality and integrity of products that they may be offered. Barry Collins, an executive member of TIPSASA and Managing Director of IPC Industries, argues that, while demand augurs well for the SIP businesses, there is need for end-users in various industries to be circumspect about the quality of the products that service providers use. The main concern is that, due to the economic downturn that COVID-19 has caused, organisations may be inclined to make price as the sole determinant of procurement over quality to offset effects of the economic downturn, he points out. Nine times out of ten these decisions backfire, as the product fails to live up to desired expectations in terms of performance, he advises.

1. Basic material specifications At all times clients should insist that the SIPs used in their projects meet basic specifications, particularly in terms of the following: • Structural Strength; • Thermal Resistance; • Fire Properties; • Resistance to UV; • Water resistance; • Mould or Mildew resistance; and • Rust or Oxidation of the Metal Elements.

Components core to optimal performance


2. Fundamental facets in building design There are a number of fundamental facets have to be considered in the design for an SIP to have expected optimal performance. These are mainly the choice of material, ambient temperature on the site and ease of construction. • Core material chosen Firstly, the core material chosen should meet the following features: specified thermal and acoustic requirements, corrosion resistant and high mechanical strength to withstand physical degradation over time, in

addition to fire resistance and resistance to delamination. Collins stresses that acoustic properties are very important, specifically for buildings which are to be used to house staff located near industrial sites. Relating to mechanical strength, he explains, “Material with the required mechanical strength enables the design of a building able to withstand harsh environments.” • Ambient temperatures Secondly, as very hot climate may require thicker insulation, the ambient temperatures on the site should be an essential factor. • Ease of construction and dismantling Thirdly, ease of construction is key since the buildings can also be used for temporary housing. The building should be easy to construct and dismantle for use in other areas. Hence, the panels have to be easy to transport, modular and manageable on site. • Water proofing and sealing Last but not least, the design has to have provision for waterproofing and sealing. 3. Post-installation inspection Inspections are recommended after installation to ensure that the SIP used in the building is performing as expected, Collins emphasises. “SIP Panel buildings should be regularly inspected for leaks, corrosion, mildew and general faults. The panels should also be checked for delamination and movement between joins. We would recommend that a basic check be done once a month, with a full inspection every 6 months to year.” Service provider track record key In the end, an end-user gets the SIPs building performance they pay for. Any structural insulated panel that does not tick all the boxes is most likely bound to fail at some point. Thus, as far SIPs are concerned, it is always advisable to get everything right from procurement of suitable products, design and post-installation inspection. As TIPSASA recommended in a previous edition, it is sensible to engage as an experienced service provider to be able to render relevant expertise in all the three stages. January - February 2021

Structural Insulated Panels P olyurethane rigid foam acts as the structural component of sandwich panels and has permitted the development of light, wide-span, loadbearing building elements which are quick and easy to erect. These new methods have become particularly popular for PUR in the construction of industrial buildings.

The PUR metal sandwich panel has become a well-accepted building product for facades and roofs due to its superior thermal and structural properties. Thicknesses used today are between 40 – 150mm. • Maximum length per panel – 16.5M no joints

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Dalucon is proud to include IBR Insulated roofing into its product range. We have our own in-house roll forming machines that make up our own design, 1000mm wide roof “IBR profile type” roofing panel. Advantages of Insulated Roofing Panels • •

The ultimate and latest in EU technology, in dosing equipment 16.5 m long PU press the longest in South Africa! These building panels are widely used today for facades and roofs for: • All types of industrial buildings for production, Pharmaceutical

95 Park Ave, Rooihuiskraal Centurion, South Africa Tel: +27 12 661 8480 /1 /2

January - February 2021

and storage facilities Partitioning Low-cost on-site accommodation

• • • •

Barrier against cold and heat temperatures Sound improvement in noisy environments and in environmentally noisy situations Power savings, use of air conditioners or refrigeration is lower Polyurethane option has good fire properties and characteristics Long length spans Will save on roof supports and will have a wider coverage per panel

Email: info@dalucon.co.za



Vision-based equipment monitoring systems

Mining the Data You Need Trimble Vision-based Systems Monitor Rolling Stock Even in the Harshest Environments Automatically Make the Most of Condition Monitoring Data The Trimble Nexala range of data aggregation and analytics solutions are used by engineering, maintenance, and fleet operations managers to optimise maintenance programs, increase asset utilisation, and improve fleet management. Real-time remote diagnostics provide savings on maintenance by avoiding costs and decreasing staffing time to address faults. Automated processing of diagnostic data in real time via flexible rules engines can detect anomalies in on-vehicle component behavior to identify the status of component health. The automatic generation of actionable alerts and the ability to replay event and signal data that led to faults or incidents can significantly reduce the time to resolution of maintenance issues.


he Trimble Beena Vision range of vision-based wayside non-contact measurement and inspection technologies enable the automated, proactive monitoring of rolling stock condition, providing data feeds that can be processed to effectively assess rolling stock condition from component level to full train inspection. Pinpointing issues minimises incidents and interruptions to keep rolling stock on the move, reducing operational costs. These solutions can maximize the life of expensive components like wheelsets, enable maintenance cost savings, and increase the predictability of long term maintenance scheduling. Trimble equipment is specifically designed for purpose and field-proven in the harshest rail environments in the world. Worldwide Trimble has numerous systems in live operation in diverse and at times challenging environments from within the Arctic Circle and Canada, to the Middle East and Central America.

as lighting, temperature, precipitation, etc. This necessitates that systems are built using robust image capturing hardware and software suitable for a railroad environment. The second significant factor is that for the system to produce images that can be processed, with identifiable features, then proper lighting and effective optical systems must be used. Trimble Beena Vision systems are designed with these factors in mind. After capturing, labelling and storing images, Machine Vision Algorithms (MVAs) are deployed to process the images and to create the relevant information for the identified components. The information extracted from each image can be used to measure objects such as a wheel profile, brake shoe thickness, or the coupling angle of a brake hose. Once a fault is detected warnings and alarms are generated to alert maintenance teams of required actions.

Designed for the Real World The move to automated inspections is driving change in the longest, heaviest, and highest value rail operations in the world. Many of these operations use Trimble technology to improve how they operate, maintain, and utilise their assets. Trimble Beena Vision solutions are relied upon to improve safety, reduce costs, improve asset utilisation and optimise reliability for some of the longest, heaviest and fastest trains in the world. Trimble has a significant number of systems installed at most major North American Class 1 railroads, including BNSF, Norfolk Southern, CSX, Canadian National, Union Pacific, and Canadian Pacific. Over 200 Trimble Beena Vision wayside monitoring systems are in operation globally with multiple major operators, including over 50 systems in Australia with Aurizon, BHP, Rio Tinto and FMG, in Europe with SNCF in France and VR in Finland, in South America with Vale, VLI, and MRS in Brazil, and in the Middle East with Etihad in the United Arab Emirates. For more information go to rail.trimble.com or email Daragh Lowry (Sales Director) at D_Lowry@trimble.com.

Working in the Harshest Environments In the application of machine vision technology using wayside detectors, such as the Trimble Beena Vision systems, there are three key phases. Image data acquisition, image and data processing, and fault detection and alarm generation. Machine vision systems are installed on and around railway tracks where environmental conditions can be extreme. In general, image quality is a significant factor in the success of condition monitoring quality. For the successful deployment of vision-based systems, image quality and fidelity must be independent of environmental conditions such


January - February 2021


Mining for data. Monitor Rolling Stock. Even in the harshest rail environments.

Remote Diagnostics Proactively ensure efficiency and safety by preempting failures sooner than later. Monitor rolling stock condition to find faults using Trimble remote diagnostics.

Real Time | Fleet Wide

Wayside Monitoring Rely on Trimble rolling stock condition monitoring solutions to deliver greater rolling stock reliability and fewer incidents for improved operational efficiency.


Machine Vision | Non Contact

Automatic Inspections Trimble condition monitoring solutions enable the detailed automatic condition assessment of rail assets from wheels and brakes, to couplers and undercarriages, to full train inspection.


Inspect & Measure | Identify Issues

Asset Maintenance Management Complete rolling stock condition awareness facilitates effective maintenance. Delivering timely information to the right people informs proactive operational and engineering decisions.

Accurate Overview | Analyze & Act

rail.trimble.com | rail@trimble.com January - February 2021

Š 2021. Trimble, Inc. All rights reserved.


Phased Array Ultrasonic Non-Destructive Testing for power generation, MOG

Increasing Awareness on the Fundamentals of PAUT NDT Testing Vital

There is need to intensify initiatives to raise awareness about the application of PAUT NDT Testing amongst operators to foster adherence to best practice in projects.

A technician performing PAUT NDT Testing • There can be greater difficulty in achieving hased Array Ultrasonic Non-Destructive good ultrasonic coupling due to the larger Testing (PAUT) has revolutionised probe dimensions. Thus, difficult to get to how inspection and testing of critical areas can be problematic; equipment is performed in power generation, mining, oil, gas and other industries. • Additional UT training especially on the Fascinatingly, in comparison with conventional different makes of UT PA machines is techniques, with PAUT, complicated tasks are necessary. accomplished effectively in no time, enabling • Phased Array can do everything !!!!!!!!!!!!! predictive and preventative maintenance to be implemented timeously, minimising Best practice in the application Bearing in mind the abovementioned scenario, downtime. On the other hand, it has been noticed that Digby acknowledges that there is need to the technique is sometimes misunderstood, intensify initiatives to raise awareness amongst leading to misapplication. Consequently, operators to foster adherence to best practice Mark Digby, NDT Training Manager at the in the application of PAUT in projects. Drawing attention to what industry can Southern African Institute Welding (SAIW), says it is vital that end-users in industries are benefit from PAUT through better awareness, he explains: “Ultrasonic phased array systems well-versed with fundamentals of PAUT. can potentially be employed in almost any test Common misunderstandings where conventional ultrasonic flaw detectors SAIW has identified common have traditionally been used. Weld inspection misunderstandings amongst operators after and crack detection are the most important conducting a survey on end-user awareness applications, and these tests are done on the appropriate applications PAUT NDT across a wide range of industries including equipment, predominantly: aerospace, power generation, petrochemical, • PA units are more expensive to purchase metal billet and tubular goods suppliers, than are conventional UT sets pipeline construction,maintenance,structural metals, and general manufacturing. Phased • One probe doesn’t suit all applications; • Operation and data interpretation are more array can also be effectively used to profile remaining wall thickness in corrosion survey difficult; applications.”



In a nutshell, the benefits of phased array technology over conventional UT come from its ability to use multiple elements to steer, focus and scan beams with a single transducer assembly. Essentially, the effectiveness of PAUT NDT testing and inspection helps industry forestall unscheduled repair and replacement expenditure on equipment components. Progressive deterioration of materials by chemical or electrochemical reaction with their environment is recognised as one of the most significant problems, which results in hundreds of millions of revenue losses each year. “Corrosion or erosion impairs strength, appearance and impermeability to gases and liquids in materials and structures. Several industries have recognised that ‘not having’ effective corrosion management is too expensive, and that substantial cost savings are possible through NDT especially Phased Array UT inspection of critical assets,” states Digby. The training of operators Clearly, the significance of training personnel involved in PAUT inspection and handling PAUT equipment to build capacity should not be overstressed. Specifically, the following are critical areas recommended in the training of operators: • Principles of Phased Array probes • Principles of inspection sensitivity • Phased Array Instruments • Scanning with Phased Array probes • Calibration and checks • Software for data collection and data analysis • Principles of data analysis • Software familiarity • Use of software tools for defect detection and sizing • Data analysis • Procedures for verification of flaw existence and position • Reporting Continue reading online africanminingbrief.com



January - February 2021

January - February 2021


OUR PROMISE IS TO WORK CLOSELY WITH OUR CUSTOMERS TO HELP THEM SUCCEED, USING INDUSTRY LEADING INSIGHTS AND SOLUTIONS. With tyres being one of the most significant costs for mining operations, we understand the importance of increasing productivity whilst reducing the total cost of tyre ownership. That's why our onsite service contracts focus on delivering: Increased site profitability; Minimising tyre costs; Maximising plant availability and service life; Reducing management and maintenance expenses; Continuous improvement and education; and Maintaining the highest possible quality, safety and environmental standards. Engineered Workshop Equipment/Tooling, tyre/rim related accessories for safe and efficient solutions.



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African Mining Brief January/February 2021