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Contents November - December 2017, Volume 12 No.6

inside this issue... Front Cover: Q&A with Troy Timm Spirited and inspired, Troy Timm created a product that is saving mines tens of millions of dollars that are lost to preventable problems. EDITOR Jimmy Swira GRAPHIC/WEB DESIGN Augustine Ombwa Writers: Nyiko Mahundla, Matimu Mahundla COUNTRY LIAISON Thuthukile Mhlanga Thuli Nkosi ADVERTISING EXECUTIVES South Africa: Winnie Sentabire, Angeline Ntobeng, Nigeria: Seni Bello

Published by College Publishers 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.

Editor's Note 1 News 2 Rental equipment and fleet management 6 Lightening the burden Mine site security 7 Curbing ‘inside job’ crimes MB Crusher 8 Enabling cost-effective crushing, demolition and screening on-site Fuel filtration 9 The contamination headache Ground support, stability and monitoring 10 Innovative tools central to enhancing safety Tyre handlers for mining haul vehicles 14 Smooth, swift and safe On-site nitrogen generation 20 You can now control the level of inflation! Vertical roller mills for coal pulverisation 22 Grinding to perfection Moisture measurement 23 High yield through accurate data Electronic blasting 28 AEL Mining Services’ IntelliShot™ perfectly suited for every blasting need Ionic liquid cooling 32 ILTEC - A Revolutionary New and Safe Cooling Solution Heavy-duty Alternators 35 Engineered for rugged duty Automated fleet fuel management 36 Automated cost reduction Water-cooled furnace cables 40 Water-cooled heating efficiency Conveyor fire detection 46 Improved safety through early detection Conveyor maintenance 48 The nuts and bolts of conveyor maintenance Doors for mining 50 Opening doors to long-term sustainability Iore trays for mining and exploration 53 Safer and more secure custody

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Editor’s word Navigating the long and winding road to recovery


f only we had a crystal ball to predict the future! Initial expectations were that the downturn in the mining sector would be short-lived. Nonetheless, with the recent course of events, the reality that the road to recovery will be long and winding has dawned upon even the most eternal optimist. Sensibly, instead of banking on the resurgence in the demand for commodity from China, which indications are that it may not come anytime soon, mine operators are investing in effective ways of sustaining their operations. Hackneyed as it might sound, mainly, they are focusing on increasing efficiency and reducing costs, including doing away with non-core areas of their operations from pit to port and, reluctantly, retrenching even their most dedicated of their workforce. One can only hope for a turnaround of fortunes in 2018.

Jimmy Swira Regional Offices South Africa Office College Publishers Ltd 1st Floor, No.267 Oak Street, Oakfields, Randburg Tel: +27 11 781 4253 / Fax: +27 11 781 4287 E-mail: info@

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Zambia Office Dayflex Limited, 4th. Floor Tazara House Dedan Kimathi Road, Lusaka, Zambia. Tel: +260 211 230 529 / +260 977 756 663 Email: makukasue@mail. com E-mail: dayflex06gmail. com

Nigeria Office B23/24, Aishetu Emoewa Plaza, 196, Iju Water Works Road, Ifako Ijaye Lga,Agege, Lagos. Tel: 234-1-7347860 Email: nigeria@

Uganda Office Smg Uganda Limited Kamukamu Plaza, Entebbe Road, Kampala-Uganda, Tel: +256 774 079 804, uganda@

Ghana Office Image Consortium Limited 1st Floor, The Trust Bank Building, Tesano Tel: 233(0) 302 232 728 Fax: 233 (0) 024 882 8286 Email: ghana@


South Africa



Karoo anti-uranium mining lobby aided by Economic forces

TanzaniteOne Mining Limited ready for 50/50 profit-sharing deal with the Tanzanian Government

Rio Tinto former top executives charged with fraud

Lobbyists fighting against the Karoo Uranium Project (KUP) in the Karoo region, Western Cape, South Africa, will not need to go the circuitous legal route to push for their cause, as economic factors have hindered the implementation of the project. According to press reports, Peninsula Energy has decided to divest its interests in the KUP. The news is music in the ears of the the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (Safcei) and its community partners, which, for years, has been fighting to prevent uranium mining activity in the Karoo region . Activists have argued mining is a direct threat to the complex underground water systems, which serve as the main water source for this arid region. Market forces have driven Peninsula on the brink of technical insolvency. In the past months the price of uranium oxide has breached $35 per pound of uranium, a figure that does not favour a greenfield mining investment, let alone existing mines. AngloGold Ashanti selling its loss-making mines in South Africa. AngloGold Ashanti has agreed to sell its loss-making mines to Harmony Gold Mining and Heaven-Sent, a Chinese investment firm, a development which will see the gold miner halving production in South Africa. AngloGold Ashanti, the world’s third-largest gold miner, will sell Moab Khotsong, which includes the Great Noligwa mine, to Harmony for about $300m and Kopanang to Heaven-Sent SA Sunshine Investment for roughly $7.4m, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement. 2

TanzaniteOne Mining Limited, the largest miner of the rare gemstone, has said it is ready to review its existing joint venture agreement with State Mining Corporation (Stamico). A special parliamentary committee that investigated tanzanite mining in the country.discovered loopholes in the mineral supervision such as theft, embezzlement, corruption and lack of accountability. As a result of this, the government has lost million of dollars in undeclared or undervalued exports. In a statement released on Saturday 21 October, TanzaniteOne said, "We would like to take this opportunity to assure President John Magufuli that we will cooperate fully with the government and together we will ensure positive conclusion (of the negotiations) that will be of greater value to our nation." TanzaniteOne statement follows an agreement reached last week between the government and Barrick Gold, the majority shareholder of Acacia Mining firm, on the 50/50 profit sharing. Following the signing of the agreement between the government and Barrick Gold, last Thursday, President John Magufuli directed Constitutional and Legal Affairs minister, Palamagamba Kabudi, ti kick-start similar negotiations with tanzanite and diamond miners.

South Africa South African mining magnate boots out 'compromised' KPGM African Rainbow Minerals, founded by South African business tycoon, Patrice Motsepe, has terminated the working relationship with auditing firm KPMG. In a statement, the company's reveals: “ARM has noted with concern the questions raised about KPMG’s governance and ethics compliance as well as allegations regarding the lawfulness of KPMG’s conduct. The ethics, governance and quality of the South African auditing firms have been globally respected for many years. It is extremely important that the behaviour and conduct of our auditing firms continues to justify the respect, trust and confidence that they have earned. After careful consideration, ARM has decided to terminate its relationship with KPMG”. Amongst companies that have terminated contracts with the scandal-ridden auditing firm, KPMG, in recent weeks include: The Foschini Group, consumer goods distributor AVI, Munich Re of Africa and Sasfin. Other organisations have said they are reviewing their respective contracts with the auditing firm.

South African mining magnate, Patriice Motsepe

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged mining company Rio Tinto Plc and two of its former top executives with fraud, saying they inflated the value of coal assets in Mozambique acquired for $3.7 billion and sold a few years later for $50 million, the US regulator said in a statement released on recently. The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority also said it had reached a settlement with Rio Tinto under which the company would pay a fine of £27 million ($35.6 million) to settle claims that it breached accounting rules in connection with the Mozambique assets. In a lawsuit filed in U.S. federal court in Manhattan, the SEC said Rio Tinto, former Chief Executive Officer, Thomas Albanese, and former Chief Financial Officer, Guy Elliott, failed to follow accounting standards and company policies to accurately value and record the assets. The securities regulator said Rio Tinto concealed the problems with the deal, in part because Rio Tinto had already disclosed huge losses in connection with its 2007 acquisition of Alcan. The lawsuit centers on Rio Tinto’s 2011 acquisition of Mozambique coal explorer, Riversdale Mining, for $3.7 billion. The SEC said that soon after the deal was completed, Rio Tinto learned that the acquisition would yield less coal, and of a lower quantity, than expected. The securities regulator said Rio Tinto concealed the problems with the deal, in part because Rio Tinto had already disclosed huge losses in connection with its 2007 acquisition of Alcan. November - December 2017

Cover story - Q&A with Troy Timm

Innovator makes U.S.A technology affordable to South Africa Spirited and inspired, Troy Timm created a product that is saving mines tens of millions of dollars that are lost to preventable problems. Troy Timm - Owner and founder of Earthrings (Pty) Ltd, South Africa.


roy Timm is the proud owner and founder of Earthrings (Pty) Ltd. Durban born and raised, Timm admits that while growing up, innovation was his main passion. He wanted to create something unique or new and to become wealthy doing it. Life had other plans, though, and like everyone, he had to get a job to pay the bills. And at only twenty years old, he joined an armature winding company. The repair field is not known for innovation or making millionaires and Timm saw this just as a fleeting stint. However, twenty years later, he was still in this old school field, but the difference was that he had created a product, tested it, and funded it, and was now ready to launch his product to an international audience. African Mining Brief finds out what inspired the spirited entrepreneur to risk-it -all and venture into this new field, and where he feels innovation and entrepreneurship are heading in South Africa. AMB: Troy, what is this new product you have created? TT: It is called “EarthringsTM” and it was designed to solve a new problem experienced worldwide - the premature failure of electric motors’ on variable speed drives. Bearings of electric motors that run from VSD’s have what they call high “shaft currents”, which

destroy motor bearings, gears and gearbox bearings, bearing grease, pump bearings, just to mention a few problems, mainly due to electrical arcing. Factories and mines in western countries have standardised bearing protection on all motors run from variable speed drives as a necessity. The USA for example has an engineering status quo that all motors on drives must be protected from shaft voltages, irrelevant of the size. That is why I saw this as a great opportunity to innovate in a new field with new problems that need a solution. AMB: What motivated you to take the plunge and invest in a new field when most people are risk averse? TT: While at the armature winding company we noticed a trend in bearing motor failures due to this shaft voltage arcing. I headed up a Research and Development (R&D0 project and I analysed thousands of bearings over 3 years, and was shocked how this fitted in with overseas research papers. My entrepreneurial spirit was honed from my upbringing, besides, I have always enjoyed innovation. I was fortunate to have been born in a family that was running small businesses, but my family was poor, worked very hard and battled to get ahead, living from month to month. I quickly learnt that innovation and

"Earthrings (Pty) Ltd is one of only three manufacturers of shaft grounding rings in the world. This is a new technology that is growing at an incredible pace. "

differentiation of a business is the fastest way to get ahead. I studied this a lot. Now I even consult to companies in the field of “Innovative Differentiation” where we change the unique selling point (USP) of the businesses to give them an edge over their competitors. It always came natural to me. Earthrings solved a new problem that is growing all over the world and costing companies millions in lost production, so it just made sense to take the plunge. AMB: Is this problem unique to South Africa? TT: No. It is not unique to us, but surprisingly, the problem of bearing failure in electric motors that run on VSD technology is rarely faced in Western countries. This is because, in Western countries, the problem is taken very seriously, and almost all VSD electric motors are fitted with bearing protection and/or shaft grounding rings as an industry standard. Actually most manufacturers have a range of motors with factory fitted protection as an off the shelf item. AMB: What could be a realistic estimate of the percentage of actual motor failure in South Africa? TT: Well, as an example, recently 12 brand new electric motor with drives were installed in a reputable blue-chip company in Kwazulu Natal. Of the 12 installed, 3 had arcing problems immediately on startup (25%), using their own testing equipment. They sent us there report as they were shocked at this insight into their factory. Our own on site tests show that 9 out of 10 motors fail IEC standards, and 2 to 3 motors out of 10 are arcing in factories in South Africa and Africa. This is a huge percentage and is why bearing protection on all VSD motors is regarded as a necessity all over the world.

November - December 2017


AMB: But I was told insulated housings in VSD electric motors also offer sufficient protection? TT: I wish this was true, but based on empirical evidence, they don’t. I have countless stories even in Gauteng where insulated housings did not solve the problem. Actually we just had one two weeks ago on a 600kw motor. Exasperatingly, failure is still being experienced with electric motors with insulated housings as there are two types of currents, and insulated housings only eliminates one type (eddy currents) and not capacitive currents. That is why all blue chip OEM motor manufacturers overseas insist on shaft grounding even if insulated housings or bearings are used. AMB: Why would respectable OEMs treat customers in SA differently? Is this because South Africa is a small market? TT: “Ignorance is bliss”. From what I have observed, it is more of a consumer awareness issue. Consumers are not educated because motors that fail are not correctly diagnosed so most OEM staff don’t educate the customer. “It’s too small , we hardly see this problem” is a common comment I hear from OEM staff in South Africa. Most of these failures in South Africa (95%) are never diagnosed or are incorrectly diagnosed so OEM staff don’t place much importance on it . The challenge we have in South Africa is that we don’t have the diagnostic capabilities of our first world counterparts, mainly due to our legendary skills shortage. In the USA for instance, all medium and large motor failures that go to large armature winders are analysed as a standard. Here most bearing analysis has to be requested by the customer, and if it is analyzed it is misdiagnosed as old traditional failures as EDM arcing can be hard to analyse, especially if only the grease is negatively affected.

resources on fancy marketing campaigns. It is a matter of strategy. When you enter a market you have to introduce a unique product which adds more value to the end user than what is available. Innovation is your strength. Consumers are always keen to explore unique benefits which a new product brings. At this juncture, a product’s brand does not matter to the enduser, but how it is going to influence their life or business does matter. Good news spreads fast. Word of mouth marketing works like a charm. You benefit from referrals of satisfied customers. Earthring fitted to Siemens Motor

AMB: It must be tough introducing a product in a market accustomed to a certain way of doing thing. How has response to the EarthringTM been? TT: Well, Earthrings (Pty) Ltd is one of only three manufacturers of shaft grounding rings in the world. This is a technology that is growing at an incredible pace. We have had a larger response in the US and overseas markets than in South Africa, as the problem is unknown by most engineers in South Africa. However, in the past few months education of this problem has seen growth in the South Africa market. In Sub-Saharan Africa, we have installed EarthringsTM in Nigeria, Malawi, Swaziland, Zambia and other countries. I can confidently declare that future prospects are very bright. AMB: Introducing a new product is not easy. Hasn’t your marketing budget runs into tens of millions of dollars by now? TT: As a small business, you don’t have the luxury of splurging your limited financial

AMB: What do you think is the future of entrepreneurship and innovation in South Africa? TT: Entrepeneurship in South Africa is not enough, a shrinking market and increased competition require Innovation not just entrepreneurship. Innovation in products or innovation in marketing is required to start or grow businesses. “Innovative Differentiation” is the new key word to success. AMB: How do you see yourself as entrepreneur in the next ten years? TT: We believe Earthrings (Pty) Ltd will become a market leader of this technology over the next 3 years . We are seeing new vendors sign up weekly. In the long term, I want Earthrings to grow into a multimillion dollar entity -Africa’s equivalent of Elon Musk in the industrial sector. Currently, we are at an advanced stage of launching a store in Florida State, USA. We want to make the most of e-commerce technology.

AMB: So, South African industries have accepted the problem of bearing failure in VSD motors as something to be expected….? TT: No, the industry is just completely unaware of the size of the problem in South Africa. AMB: What do you imply? TT: Factories and mines think it is small as they feel they don’t see it much. Naturally this is nonsense, the problem is huge, why would all OEMs in USA insist that all electric motors on drives be protected otherwise there is “No Guarantee”. As well as motor manufacturers offering electric motors with factory fitted shaft grounding rings as a standard off the shelve items. Even SKF manufactures a tester that detects shaft arcing - once again, proving that the problem is abundant all over the world. 4

Low Voltage Earthrings

November - December 2017

Rental equipment and fleet management

Lightening the burden Overburdened by rising running costs and plummeting profitability, renting equipment is emerging as the most feasible cost-cutting option to ownership available to mine operators. writes Matimu Mahundla.

Leasing equipment is being considered as a more viable option to buying and owning.


hen it comes to managing assets, mining companies are frequently confronted by the dilemma of either leasing or buying operational equipment. Increasingly, in the current environment, leasing is becoming the preferred option due to its benefits in comparison with ownership. Ownership is becoming a liability on mining companies. Benefits Whether on a short-term or long-term basis, leasing (outsourcing) allows companies to focus on their core businesses. Outsourcing machinery is the most cost effective way, as there is no major capital outlay required and companies may not have to waste time applying for finance. Other benefits include the fact that maintenance is done by the

hiring company, and any breakdowns would be quickly attended to. Furthermore, customers are guaranteed quality machines when renting from a reputable company. They also have peace of mind knowing that they are paying a fully inclusive rental price which comprises of all the maintenance, parts, labour and travelling costs of the technician. Rental also offers back up machines in the event of a breakdown to ensure that productivity is not affected while the machine is being repaired. Due diligence For customers to benefit from leasing, they should have the flexibility of tailored solutions that cover the entire fleet life cycle. Before finding a suitable and qualified service provider, the client, in this context the

"Customers are guaranteed quality machines when renting from a reputable company. They also have peace of mind knowing that they are paying a fully inclusive rental price which comprises of all the maintenance, parts, labour and travelling costs of the technician. " 6

mine has to identify goals of the project, and the required outcomes based on contractual requirements. The client has to exercise due diligence by having sufficient information on potential services providers. Ideally, a client has to background check in the credibility of service providers identified and shortlisted, specifically, correct information on annual sales, skills and company history with all projects finished on public platform. After that, a risk analysis should be conducted. A qualified service provider should be well-versed in areas such as fleet operation, machinery policy, procurement, maintenance, disposal and replacement management. The way to go Considering current conditions in the mining sector, the benefits of outsourcing outweigh ownership. Evidently, overburdened by rising running costs and low profit, renting equipment is the most feasible option to ownership. The task of real-time monitoring and equipment can turn out to be a very timeconsuming and costly exercise. November - December 2017

Mine site security

Curbing ‘inside job’ crimes Mine site security involves different aspects, one of the critical ones being employee pilferage. For enhanced protection of invaluable assets, all potential risks have to be identified and managed thoroughly, writes Matimu Mahundla.


mployee fraud and pilferage is probably one of the biggest challenges facing any industry all over the world. That’s why outlining procedures for reporting (internal or external) theft, ensuring confidentiality, and laying out consequences of thievery is extremely imperative. It is for this reason that mining companies should take a more holistic and proactive approach to address their onsite security challenges creating a credible set of control procedures. This is to plug loopholes for potential employee theft. For example, on a mine site, the security has a mandate to protect assets of the company which includes people and different operations. Assets like extracted resources, intellectual and physical property must be priorities. The risk of employees is not an exaggeration, according to two security experts, Colin Brown and Rob McJannett. McJannett, says, “Today internal workers are responsible for the majority of theft from mines, a crime which leads to a drop in production and a huge dip in shares.” Substantiating this view, Colin Brown, global head of security at De Beers Group, says, "The reality is that theft is an issue. In a diamond mine, it would be quite usual to have people that are stealing the diamonds from the process." Adequate controls Instituting adequate controls and implementing asset protection policies prevent a potential criminal from acting on their temptations. Potential risks areas should be identified. While, on the one hand, the use of contractors comes with major benefits for the company, with regards to minimising costs, on the other hand, it is a cause for concern when it comes to security breaches. According to security researcher, , Neville Murrish, primarily, this is due to the fact that contractors normally have their own management structure and these are not always aligned with the mines management team. To curb contractor culpability, robust and clear directives must be instituted right from tender process through to actual work on site. Control of their recruiting is necessary to ensure that criminal elements, who would otherwise not be employed by the mine, do not end up being employed by contractors.

Procurement and use of materials on site is another concern, and unless there are clear contractual arrangements for such issues, can also lead to loopholes being created for criminal activity. It should be noted that a controlled access to high-security areas alone cannot fully prevent internal theft. However, constant surveillance, and strict adherence to security procedures ensures that the opportunity for theft is removed. For instance on a diamond mine, in addition to the built-in, multi-layered physical and technological safeguards, any access to rough diamonds should be restricted to no less than two people from differing functions. As with most business enterprises, the workforce seeks accommodation within the immediate geographic area due to convenience. According to Murrish, this has a potential to lead social ties being formed between the workforce and individuals within the local communities, and potential collusion in criminal activities. “Although such ties are common in any society, it has the potential to be exploited by those with criminal intent. In most cases collusion is not limited to physical theft and

could include other criminal activity such as fraud. “Personnel involved in this type of activity are most often in positions of trust, employed in areas such as warehouse, finance and security,” says Murrish. Thus, one ways approach to preventing and limiting internal theft is that all potential employees should be subject to the successful completion of a rigorous background screening. All materials, personnel and effects in product handling areas should be subject to thorough searching. However, the security personnel should execute their duties, consistent with high moral and ethical standards, and maintaining an atmosphere in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. All told, mine site security involves different aspects, one of the critical ones being employee pilferage. For enhanced protection of invaluable assets, all potential risks have to be identified and managed thoroughly.

"It should be noted that a controlled access to highsecurity areas alone cannot fully prevent internal theft. However, constant surveillance, and strict adherence to security procedures ensures that the opportunity for theft is removed."

November - December 2017


MB Crusher

Enabling cost-effective crushing, demolition and screening on-site One of the world’s leaders in equipment for crushing, demolition and recycling, MB Crusher offers the widest range of crusher buckets to suit the client requirements globally. fuel that would have been used up by a mobile crusher, which would in any event be powered by an excavator. iii. Superior performance The crusher bucket is respected for superior performance. Its power exceeds exceeds 110m3/hour, allowing the bucket to crush the hardest and most tenacious materials such as basalt and granite. This ensures a finished product with the lowest price in the market and in compliance with the high quality standards required for waste material reuse.

A Crusher Bucket by MB Crusher, model BF90.3 mounted on Hyunday excavator, operating in a quarry.


B Crusher’s range of crusher buckets have emerged as the most appropriate tools amongst operators in Africa for cost effective crushing, demolition and recycling on site. Underscoring the relevance of MB crusher buckets in meeting contemporary industry requirements, the company’s press office comments: “Our product range allows companies to manage the full cycle of recycling at the site, simplifying crushing, screening and handling of aggregates and allowing companies to save time and money.” Wide product range One of the world’s leaders in equipment for crushing, demolition and recycling, MB Crusher offers the widest range of crusher buckets, 12 models from the smallest to the largest. Its smallest models are the MB-C50 for mini excavators, and the MB-L that can be mounted on wheel loaders, skid steer loaders and backhoe loaders. The largest, the BF150.10 is suitable for excavators from 70 tons. Furthermore, MB completes its range with 7 models of screening buckets, 4 grapple rotary movement models and 3 new drum-cutters.


Specific applications MB crusher buckets have far-reaching applications, spanning the following areas: quarries, mines, environmental reclamations, rock applications, general building demolition, the redevelopment of disused industrial and urban areas, the treatment of materials from digs, the earth moving sector, and road works. Benefits i. Versatility The MB crusher bucket’s versatility helps mines to achieve much higher production levels than any comparable product would. Directly on site, the machine crushes any type of material, and allows the product that requires crushing to be collected by placing it in a mound on the truck or in the site to be filled in, thus hastening operations. With an MB attachment, companies save money, minimise their safety risks and recycle materials that are already at their disposal. ii. Easy to transport and low fuel consumption The crusher bucket is easy to transport, has low maintenance costs, does not require an additional operator (other than the one who operates the excavator). Moreover, it saves

iv. Low hydraulic demand and extreme compactness MB crusher buckets have a low hydraulic demand both in terms of the need for pressure and hydraulic flow rate. The extreme compactness and low centre of gravity improves balance and drastically reduces strain on the excavator arm. MB crusher products are suitable for confined areas and spaces that are difficult to access. Additionally, they do not need drainage. Quality assurance and global footprint Made of Hardox-certified materials, MB crusher buckets are made to stringent quality certifications like UNI EN ISO 9001:2008. Headquartered in Italy, Globally, MB Crusher has seven international subsidiaries and has logistics centres located in various countries, in addition to extensive network of authorised dealers and service. Track record MB Crusher’s solutions have been used to customer satisfaction in high profile projects in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. In Africa, MB crusher buckets have been used in the construction of Soccer City in Johannesburg, where the World Cup was held on July 2010. Now, MB Crushers can be found in many sites all over Africa. Indeed, MB crusher buckets are just what mine operators in Africa need in the current environment, as they seek efficient and cost effective ways of processing aggregates.

For more information, visit

November - December 2017

Fuel filtration

The contamination headache Fuel contamination remains one of the biggest causes of downtime to critical equipment in mines. By Matimu Mahundla

The right equipment should be used in fuel purification


eavy duty machinery in mining requires clean fuel in order to perform efficiently. Sadly, use of contaminated fluids can is resulting in equipment downtime and loss of productivity. But how does filtration occur when supposedly good practice is followed in fuel handling? According to a study by filtration expert, A.J Von Wielligh, fluids and fuels leaving refineries are normally filtered to the highest level of cleanliness. However, during transportation and handling, fluids risk contamination by dust. For instance, fuel products leaving refineries in South Africa are of top quality as they conform to international standards such as the European EN 590 specifications. However,

during transportation and handling of fuels, contamination occurs due to poor housekeeping or carelessness. Impact of contamination As a result of contamination, a combination of high velocity and high-pressure on fuel flow, with even the smallest amount of particles, will gradually erode the sealing surface of the injector valve seat, automatically initiating valve wear and a chain reaction of functional failures. Dust contains a high level of silica, a very hard substance which causes wear and stickiness in machinery engines. Microdroplets of water can enter fuel storages like tanks through condensation resulting either from breathing of the tanks when

exposed to sunlight or when cooling down during the night. At times water can enter fuel supply tanks criminally when it is used to compensate for stolen fuel from the tanks. From either end, water as a contaminant will thus interfere with the durability and performance of the machinery or equipment The onus on mine operators The buck stops with respective mine operators. Considering the huge impact on productivity, mine operators should adopt effective efficient filtration and contamination control systems, which should include proper installations of filter equipment and ensuring that fluid material handling equipment is free from particles or other contaminants.

November - December 2017


Ground support, stability and monitoring

Innovative tools central to enhancing safety Innovative technologies can help underground mining operations cope with safety risks that they encounter in deep level mines. writes Matimu Mahundla.

As they go deep level mining companies are encountering safety risks.


xcavating deeper and deeper underground has become the viable way for miners to extract more resources from existing mines due to the depletion of quality ore in shallow areas. One of the many challenges constantly encountered during underground mining operations is rock busts, which besides leading to rock falls and entrapment, damages tunnels and machinery. And so, effective ground monitoring, support and control systems are essential to ensure modern and safe underground mining activities. A key safety issue The ultimate objective of effective ground support, stability and monitoring is primarily safety of employees and equipment. Safety risks have escalated as mines are going deep level. Therefore, due to the constant pressure and increase in demand for safety measures to achieve zero harm in the sector, 10

particularly in the underground mining environment, researchers are constantly is working on identifying technological solutions to the challenges that holds back the absolute safety of underground mining. The main thrust is identifying the means to economically stabilise rock faces and geological structures that would otherwise threaten the safety and viability of the mine, its personnel and material assets. Due to its further potential to cause damage to surface buildings and various structures, comprehensive systems that cover the full span of ground management functions in a mining environment are a necessity. A groundbreaking innovation One of the ground-breaking innovations to have come out of research and development initiatives is underground monitoring tool that uses intensity based grayscale images to portray scenes in low light environments

such as underground and during the night. This tool monitors and alarms on any underground movements and instability, thus ensuring proactive safety management to personnel and infrastructure during on and off operations. Holistically, these sorts of tools operate as underground instability risk profilers set for earlier detection of potential risks likely to arise due to ground instability. The process involves real time collecting, saving and analysing of risk data to visualise potential incidents by interpreting these information on a greater scale. This report provides essential information on the underground mining history in the vicinity, together with natural geology to provide a comprehensive overview on potential risks. It does not to be overstressed that mines have to adopt innovation and technological developments to complement other safetyenhancing measures they have instituted to safeguard their assets. November - December 2017

Underground roof-support for deep level mining

Cost-effective and robust Noticeably, mining activity at deep-level has increased since 1997, when Mine Support Products (MSP) introduced its flagship underground roof-support solution, ROCPROP (ROCPROP), to the market. Operating in this environment is presenting mine operators with complicated safety risks. Amongst the most common risks is fall of ground (FOG) which can result in fatalities. In a demonstration to African Mining Brief, at MSP’s Research and Development Centre, MSP’s Research and Development Engineer, Christian Nissen, highlights the effectiveness of ROCPROP in providing underground roof support.


ue to the depletion of valuable ore bodies at shallower levels, increasingly, mining companies are going ultra-deep. However, a massive capital outlay is required to sustain operations in such an environment, in addition to the need for improved safety measures. And with respect to safety, one of the common risks which mines are most likely to encounter is fall of ground (FOG), which can result in fatalities. Effective roof-support mandatory Ensuring safety in underground mining, through reliable roof-support is one of the areas that is mandatory under Mine Health and Safety regulations in different countries. In South Africa, the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) enforces this under the Mine Health and Safety Act (MHSA). ROCPROP technology To help mining companies manage the potential risk of roof collapse or rock fall, as an ISO 9001 manufacturer of products and services for underground mining applications, MSP is raising awareness about the efficacy of its ROCPROP underground roof support product range. ROCPROP is an all-steel elongated support system engineered to maintain load-bearing characteristics in static and dynamic load conditions in both high closure and seismic mining environments. With repeatable and predictable performance, ROCPROP is available in three versions MK I, MK II and MKIII. i. ROCPROP MK I Originally designed for deep level gold mines for use in tabular ore bodies with mining widths from 0.9m to 6m, the ROCPROP MK I is now used in other commodities. Available for 20 and 40 ton support loads, it is suitable for static and dynamic load conditions.

Stressing the effectiveness of ROCPROP MK I, Nissen says: “Under static conditions, the system offers consistent loadbearing characteristics during blasting, ensuring that the hanging roof remains intact. Furthermore, it keeps key blocks in place by providing resistance in both static and active conditions.” ii. ROCPROP MK II Nissen draws attention to ROCPROP MKII, another version of the ROCPROP brand. Launched in 2011, the ROCPROP MKII is a costeffective, smaller diameter, and lighter weight version of ROCPROP MK I. In lengths ranging from 0.9m to 2.3m, it employs the trusted constant yield technology of MK1 20ton and the same prestressing pump and accessories are used during installation. Available as a 20t load-bearing version only, it is appropriate for stope mining operations suitable for seismically active areas.

Array of applications Nissen indicates that the ROCPROP roofsupport system is suitable for both hard rock and soft rock mining environments. “In hard rock mining, the ROCPROP is mainly used in stope support deep-level gold mines between mining heights of 1.1m and 6m and tunnel rehabilitation for building sets,” he says. In soft rock mining support applications, he explains, it is used for Longwall moves (shield recovery), belt drive support, brow support, systematic roadway support, tailgate and headgate support, barrier line support, and vent wall construction. “In soft rock mining in particular, ROCPROP enhances safety and increases efficiency.” Markets MSP’s ROCPROP products are widely used in mining, particularly in deeplevel gold, and coal mining in African countries, USA and Australia, Italy and the United Kingdom. MSP is also supplying ROCPROP technology to platinum mines in South Africa.

MSP's Rocprop

iii. ROCPROP MKIII ROCPROP MKII was introduced in 2015 as an alternative to the MK1 ROCPROP for roof heights of 2.3m-4.5m in 20ton load bearing capacity and up to 3.5m in 40ton. The 20ton version is also suitable for seismically active areas.

Benefits of ROCPROP Made of steel, the ROCPROP has a number of advantages over ‘conventional’ timber props, mainly safety, ease of transportation and installation, and cost effectiveness.

i. Transportation and installation The ROCPROP was designed to be easy to transport and install. ROCPROP steel units have a lighter overall weight compared to timber props of the same lengths. The ROCPROP has a shorter transport length as it can be collapsed during transport. For

November - December 2017


Underground roof-support for deep level mining instance, a transport vehicle can carry up to 120 MKII ROCPROPs compared to 20 timber props, considerably reducing transport costs and shaft time. A mine is able to make fewer trips than it would with timber props and considerably decrease transport costs. . ii. Cost effective Through ease of installation and transportation, ROCPROP enables a mine to significantly reduce roof-support installation and transportation costs. Maximising end-user benefits Nissen reiterates that to ensure its ROCPROP products are used effectively and that the mines fully benefit from the ROCPROP features, MSP undertakes rigorous product testing and end-user training. i. Rigorous product testing MSP is aware of the importance of using quality products to improve safety in underground mines. So, consistently, the company ensures that ROCPROP technology is of the highest possible quality. Accordingly, through its dynamic testing facility, MSP physically tests its products in ‘real-life’ applications. Used for in-house quality assurance and product development, the facility enables the company to work closely with rock engineers to determine specifically what they require for their respective projects. The most important component of the testing facility is the vertical press. The vertical press is able to accurately simulate


underground seismic activity by testing static loads of up to 100 tons and dynamic loads of up to 40 tons at 3m/s and units of up to 4,2 m. MSP is one of the few companies locally that can substantiate their product quality through physical testing. ii. End-user training To ensure optimal end user safety or that end users utilise its products according to specifications, MSP provides training in the correct use and installation of the ROCPROP. Regular product audits are also carried out. Research and Development Through its Research and Development (R&D) programme MSP is constantly seeking innovative ways of improving its products. Through the program, the company is able to modify its solutions to customers’ requirements. A central role In the changing mining landscape, where compliance with safety requirements is mandatory, MSP sees ROCPROP technology playing a key role. “We are committed to enabling mining companies manage their respective roof support demands and increase safety for both their employees and their machinery,” Nissen pronounces. Located in Elandsfontein, Gauteng (South Africa), MSP is solely owned by Robor (Pty) Ltd. Robor is a manufacturer and supplier of welded steel tube and pipe, cold formed steel profiles and associated value added products.

November - December 2017

Tracking and tagging systems for the mining industry

Optimising operations through effective tracking and tagging Impact tracking technologies improve production, safety and maintenance in underground mining. Business challenges Today’s mining industry has seen an ongoing decline to both volume and cost basis in their productivity and have been dealing with this through a series of cost-cutting exercises or point solutions. However, the size of the problem might be too great for point solutions to solve on their own and often they may have the effect of simply moving the problem further on. In order to ensure actual sustainable productivity improvements mining houses will have to look into the implementation of better techniques and technologies. One of these technologies is the real-time tracking of resources (man and machine). Tracking has multiple business applications that impart will increase productivity, improve safety and monitor maintenance within a mine. MST Impact Technology Suite The MST IMPACT Technology Suite is designed to lead mining communications and digital infrastructure into the future. The IMPACT Tracking System reports the location and tracks the movement of resources in real-time as they travel through the mine. This is achieved


by strategically placed Wi-Fi Access Points (with built-in tag readers) and RFID Tags that are carried by miners or attached to machines & other equipment. The IMPACT Application Software (called MineDash) provides users with a customisable viewer and powerful sorting, filtering, and searching tools, with comprehensive logging and extensive report generating facilities all done via a web interface and can be hosted physically on site or within a virtual environment. Business benefits Includes but is not limited to real-time collection of information such as Shift-, Zone-, & Exception Reporting where information such as; Location Data (Single or Group, Present or Historical) / Go & No-Go Zones / Evacuation Data / Environmental Monitoring / Equipment Maintenance Trends / Time & Attendance / Face Re-entry Time after Blast / Production Visibility such as Loading, Hauling & Tip Times / Engine Data such as Engine Start, Temperature, Brake, etc. / Production Measurements such as Shift Tons Tipped, Meters Drilled vs Time in Ore Body,

Live Asset Visibility: All Zones

etc. / Alarm & Notifications but to name a few production enhancing, safety focused and maintenance monitoring benefits available using the IMPACT Tracking System. A reputable supplier of tracking and tagging MST provides communications networks and operational optimisation solutions which assist mines to optimally manage their core business operations. Established in Australia 28 years ago and operating globally, the company specialises in the design, manufacture,

deployment and support of critical technologies for robust communications, automationenablement, production optimisation, machine and personnel tracking, and safety in hazardous underground and surface environments. A pioneering force within the mining industry, the company has over 600 deployments at mine sites worldwide. Customers across the globe trust MST solutions to help optimise output, minimise cost and reduce risk, resulting in a compelling ROI on their technology investments.

+27 (0) 12 345 6100

m: +27 (0) 72 970 0008 e: November - December 2017


Tyre handlers for mining haul vehicles

Smooth, swift and safe Tyre handlers, powered by advanced technology, have turned tyre handling from a time consuming and intricate liability into a value-adding task.

Manitou’s telescopic tyre handler being used on a dump truck


urface mine operators might focus on areas that they consider as “bigger fish to fry” and disregard tyre handling as a “non-essential”, in pursuit of maximising efficiency and minimising costs. Nonetheless, it is through the addition of efficiencies gained in “non-essential” tasks like tyre handling that mines can sustain their operations in the medium to long-term. This is what African Mining Brief comprehends from a review of mining-specific tyre handlers from leading OEMs. From liability to a value-adding activity Depending on how it is implemented, tyre handling can either be a liability, or a leverage to improve efficiency and safety in operations. Conveniently, thanks to groundbreaking advances in technology, mine operators can turn tyre handling from a liability into a value-adding activity. Lightening the burden Just to appreciate the value of tyre handlers: Imagine needing to change a 15 ton tyre, with 4, 166mm diameter on haulage trucks


and wheel loaders at the peak of production? Indeed, this is far beyond the capability of conventional methods. Exceptionally, efficient hydraulically-operated tyre handlers have simplified elaborate tyre handling tasks. Conventional tyre handling methods cause unnecessary downtime to haul vehicles and can pose a risk to staff handling the tyres, for the tasks they can handle. Immense value Through their designs, high quality tyre handlers - if used properly - can benefit mining operations in a number of ways, mainly especially in achieving pit-to-port efficiency, safety for personnel handling the tyres, and handiness (as a result of versatility). i. Low safety risks Tyre handlers minimise inevitable safety risks in tyre handling tasks. One of the most noticeable safety-enhancing features in products from some OEMS is the hydraulically-operated fall-back protection on the attachment, which makes a technician to safely loosen or fasten bolts in front of the tyre with minimal chance of injury.

ii. Enhanced efficiency Through minimising tyre-changing times, tyre handlers also increase utilisation times of mining vehicles, especially wheel loaders and haulage trucks. The efficiency gained can be reflected in the bottom-line. Moreover, a mine benefits through low total cost of ownership costs. iii. Handiness Attachments to the tyre handlers allow for the flexibility for the tyre to be rotated, tipped, and side-shifted during changing task. Some products allow for 360 degree rotation. Also, the ability to be interfaced with a number of host vehicles like articulating cranes, fork lift trucks and front end loaders, has enhanced flexibility. Essential area Evidently, through turning tyre handling from an onerous liability into a value-adding task, realiable tyre handlers can help mining companies accomplish the urgent objective of minimising costs and maximising costs from pit to port. November - December 2017







Tyre handlers for mining haul vehicles

Safety and efficiency from removal to fitment Through Manitou’s telescopic tyre handlers, mining companies can be able increase safety and productivity in their operations.


anitou sees rugged tyre handlers in particular its products - playing a key role in increasing Safety & productivity in the operations of mining companies in Africa & around the World. The company has a range of locally manufactured tyre handlers with capacities ranging from 3 ton to 22 ton. The attachments are fitted to its range of telescopic handlers, offering the customer a safe method to change tyres on their equipment. Enormous benefits Manitou Managing Director, Lindsay Shankland, says there are massive benefits of using a Manitou Telescopic machine when changing tyres on equipment, mainly: • Tyres can be removed safely & transported safely to the workshops for repairs or to the storage areas. • Tyres can be safely refitted to the equipment. • The Manitou can rotate the tyre to the left & right for alignment of the bolts – as well as forward/backward to lay the tyre down on the ground.

• The removing and fitment of tyres can be carried out from within the cab of the Manitou Telescopic or by remote control on the ground. • Another huge benefit of the Manitou Telescopic machine fitted with the tyre handler is the flexibility of the machine through the quick hitch attachment system. The Tyre Handler can be removed within ten minutes and the machine can then be used for other applications. For instance, the machine can be fitted with forks, wheel Motor handling attachment, Strut Handling attachment, A Jib, a personnel cage, a Bucket, etc. Giving a vastly improved utilization of the machine. Market presence Shankland believes that, in the face of products available in the World, Manitou’s tyre handlers still stand out. The machines are used in different mines in Africa & Internationally. “We have tyre Handling machines of various sizes on Surface on Iron Ore Mines, Coal Mines, Copper Mines, etc as

well as units operating underground in both Hard & Soft Rock (Coal) Mines – ie: Coal Mines, Platinum Mines, Diamond Mines, etc Continuous product innovation Aware that demands from mines and other industries are constantly changing, Manitou seeks innovative ways to improve the performance of its handlers. Manitou has the flexibility to design and manufacture any attachments to suit almost any specific mining requirements. Recently, the company designed a tyre handler to change a tyre at 90 Degrees on LHD`s in underground haulages where there is no space for the tyre handler to face the LHD. Bearing in mind that tyre handling machines are vital to efficiency and safety in mining haul vehicles, Shankland tells mining companies to consider tyre handlers that are able to do the change safely, in the shortest time & with one machine from removal to fitment. He adds that the machines should be able to provide flexibility, with additional attachments, to carry out other tasks with the same machine, to increase utilization on of the machine.

Tyre Handling Solutions Available in various capacities from 2 -18 tons capacity, offering a safe and efficient method to fit and remove tyres on heavy mining equipment. Safer, Productive and Cost Efficient!

MANITOU SA Head Office

Tel: +27 11 975 7770 · Fax: +27 11 975 4646 · Email:

Represented throughout South Africa with dealers in: Gauteng, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Northern Cape,Mpumalanga, Vaal Triangle/Free State and North West Province Africa representation includes: Mozambique, Zambia, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana


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November - December 2017 2017-11-02 2:28:50 PM

EAZI Access

A 30t Magni HTH 30.12 telehandler equipped with a cylinder clamp attachment is proving to be a timesaving solution on South African mines.

Versatile Magni additions to Eazi Access offer significant onsite benefits "Magni’s range of high-capacity telehandlers has been a valuable addition to mines across South Africa. Now, in addition to conventional tyre clamps, Magni has developed several interchangeable attachments that can make a significant difference to productivity."


hen every minute onsite needs to be maximised, it’s vital to have the right equipment for the job. For Eazi Access, the material-handling machinery in its fleet not only does the required work but also enables productivity gains and cost savings. “We are always looking for ways to provide safe and reliable material-handling solutions for our customers across all industries we serve,” explains John Maddern, Commercial Manager at Eazi Access. “Earlier this year, we added the first 30t Magni HTH 30.12 to our fleet – a versatile machine with a new attachment that’s already proving its worth in the mining sector. Maddern says that JLG, Magni and Maeda’s ongoing commitment to development and innovation is what makes these manufacturers ideal partners for the kind of solutions Eazi Access offers. “Magni’s range of high-capacity telehandlers has been a valuable addition

to mines across South Africa. Now, in addition to conventional tyre clamps, Magni has developed several interchangeable attachments that can make a significant difference to productivity,” he explains. One of these is the new cylinder clamp, which Eazi Access recently demonstrated to customers. “We successfully trialled the cylinder clamps on a few sites earlier this year, and found them to be more cost effective, and safer, than traditional solutions,” says Maddern. “Moreover, they have massive time-saving potential for the mining sector.” The cylinder clamp has a capacity of 11t, opening measurements of 250 to 620 mm, clamp rotation of 344˚, cylinder rotation of ±30˚, a tilting angle of 90˚ and longitudinal safety clamps measuring from 2 760 mm to 5 800 mm. Previously, using conventional solutions such as scaffolding or cranes to replace cylinders could take up to 48 hours. With a

cylinder clamp, the same job can be done in 35 minutes. “We are passionate about selling and renting machines that are versatile so that we can enable as much cost savings for our customers as possible. This is where the interchangeable attachments prove to be extremely beneficial. It takes just 3 minutes to take a handler from tyre rotation or conveyor-belt handling to cylinder handling – meaning you need only one machine to do the job of many.” Safety, Maddern stresses, is always the number-one priority for any Eazi Access solution. “This is why we partner with the best brands in the world, and why every machine in our fleet is maintained in line with manufacturers’ specifications. Magni has a great range of products, and we ensure that we provide the safest, most reliable machines best suited to each site,” he concludes.

November - December 2017


At Eazi Access, our philosophy is to achieve significant productivity improvements for our customers in conjunction with improved safety standards and overall risk management. All this whilst generating significant cost savings and revenue generating opportunities.

Contact us for all your Work-at-Height and Material-Handling Solutions. Eazi Access South Africa: +27 86 100 3294 | | Eazi Access Namibia: +264 83 330 3294 | Eazi Access Mozambique: +258 87 211 5809

On-site nitrogen generation for tyre inflation

You can now control the level of inflation! Through on-site generation, mines, which typically operate in far-flung areas can fully benefit from using nitrogen for their tyre inflation requirements, African Mining Brief gathers from the Sales Director of South Africa based- NitraLife, Tom Sowry. Though originally targeted at the commercial transport sector, NitraLife’s on-site generation systems have a growing niche uptake in the African mining sector. Mining houses are appreciating the advantages of on-site nitrogen to their operations.

The Sales Director of NitraLife, Tom Sowry


n an environment of fluctuating commodity prices, mining companies are seeking innovations that can help them to contain costs and enhance efficiency from pit to port. One area that they should seriously consider in this pursuit is tyre management, specifically adopting sound tyre inflation practices. The inherent flaw of using tyre inflation methods of conventional compressed air, partly comprising of oxygen and water vapour, which has been substantially documented over the years, should be sufficient to elicit an attitude change in the mining industry. To date, amongst comparable alternatives that mines can consider, concrete evidence indicates that nitrogen tyre inflation is most viable from both safety and cost saving perspectives. Through an interview with African Mining Brief, a specialist in nitrogen tyre inflation technology, the Sales Director of NitraLife, Tom Sowry, informs mining companies about the advantages of switching


NitraLife nitrogen gas generator for off-the-road (OTR) tyre inflation

from conventional inflation using air to nitrogen for their tyre inflation requirements. Over the years, Sowry reveals, NitraLife has been observing the scale of the impact of poor tyre inflation on mining operations, which is either overlooked or goes unnoticed. Established in 1996, NitraLife has been at the forefront of nitrogen tyre inflation technology, as the first internationally to use a membrane separation process to generate high-purity nitrogen for commercial tyre inflation and subsequently also in large offthe-road (OTR) mine vehicle tyres. The downside of oxygen and water vapour Firstly, addressing mine operators, Sowry draws attention to the expenses which mines incur by persisting on using conventional air tyre inflation and the potential safety risks that they face. i. Costly degradation and corrosion What organisations are not aware of is the speed at which oxygen and water vapour

escapes through a tyre, indicates Sowry. “Once air is pumped into a tyre, the water vapour and oxygen that permeates through the rubber casing , degrades the rubber compound and makes it more porous. -. This reduces the tyre’s ability to hold pressure and also leads to early casing failures.” ii. High risk of combustion What's more, Sowry points out that, as oxygen is flammable, its use in tyre inflation can cause potential combustion or even an explosion. “All tyres flex during normal operation and this leads to the build-up of rubber particles inside the tyre. Rubber is composed primarily of carbon and therefore, when these very small particles are exposed to high heat levels caused by binding brakes or a wheel bearing failure, they can – when mixed with air - combust or even explode with potentially calamitous consequences,” he says.

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Vertical roller mills for coal pulverisation

Grinding to perfection A vertical roller mill has to be in an excellent condition to deliver quality ground coal to a thermal power plant.


ertical roller mills (VRMs) are used for pulverising coal, a key ingredient in large capacity thermal power plants. A clean technology platform, ClimateTechwiki, estimates that pulverised coal power plants account for about 97% of the world's coal-fired capacity. Conventionally, coal power plants have an efficiency of around 35%. With the high demand for energy efficiency, extremely advanced coalfired technologies have been developed which can reach an efficiency level of 45%, ClimateTechwiki notes. Relatively low cost, low grade fuel is used as it has been established that it gives high thermal efficiency and better control. Using vertical roller mills, coal is ground to a fine, micron sized powder, which is then injected into the boiler furnace with air via burners to generate thermal energy. Key processes in coal pulverisation are grinding, heating, classification and transportation of the pulverised coal from the mill.

Excellent condition A vertical roller mill has to be in an excellent condition to deliver quality ground coal to a thermal power plant. A slight anomaly can be costly. Findings of a study by the US-based Electric Research Institute (EPRI) have established that pulveriser related problems cost a coal power plant an average over 1% availability. Furthermore, the study has determined that oil contamination and excessive leakage as two areas are two main causes of pulverise train failures, which constitute 53% of pulveriser problems. Lower and upper mill bodies There are two vital areas in coal pulverisers: the upper mill body (classification zone) and the grinding zone (lower mill body). Air flow is the bridge between the lower grinding zone and the upper classification zone. For effective conveyance of pulverised coal (fuel), proper metering, distribution and control of air flow through the mill are essential.

Industrial preferences With increasing demand for electricity globally, the power industry needs different range of products to be readily available at all times. Currently, the standard of vertical roller mills for solid fuels on the market ranges from 2, 3 and four mills, with capacity (throughput) between 8 to 240 tons per hour. Basically, the sizes cater for any scale of requirements. The vertical roller mills have to conform to requirements that are now the norm in industries: efficiency, safety and low-carbon emissions. In addition, they have to be made of hardwearing parts and ease replacement of worn parts, result in increase of lifecycle costs, reduce downtime and increase productivity. Some of the most common problems in vertical mills is re-circulation of pulverised fuel within the mill and ‘irritating’ noise. Power plants need plants that miminise or eliminate these experiences. In the power industry needs of VRM vary. The requirements of organisations that manage or own coal-fired power plants include retrofitting of existing

mills, new installations of mills, or even turnkey services for complete grinding plants. Demand prospects ClimateTechwiki reports that research and development initiatives exploring the possibility of increasing efficiency of thermal power plants beyond 50% to meet rising demand are ongoing in industrialised countries. Possibly, once findings conclusively establish the viability of increasing efficiency, certainly, high performance vertical roller mills will be needed.

EVEN 111 YEARS OF BEING AN INNOVATOR AND MARKET LEADER DOES NOT KEEP US FROM INVENTING BETTER SOLUTIONS EVERY DAY From the very start up to the present, nearly 1,000 vertical roller mills for pulverized coal have been sold.

Now it’s time for a new technology. For further information contact Udo Meyer, phone: +27 (0)11 482 2933, fax: +27 (0)11 482 2940, Email to LOESCHE South Africa (Pty) Ltd | Block C, Empire Park, 55 Empire Road Parktown, 2193 Johannesburg, South Africa |


Loe_AD_Coal_SA_90x180.indd 1

November - December 2017 04.10.17 11:06

Moisture measurement

High yield through accurate data Rapid and accurate data acquisition in moisture measurement enhances process control, increases resource value, and reduces operating cost. With the real time compositional data provided, plants can achieve consistent product quality.


apid and accurate data acquisition in moisture measurement enhances process control, increases resource value, and reduces operating cost. With the real time compositional data provided, plants can achieve consistent product quality. Mining and mineral processing have identified accurate moisture measurement as one of the ways through which they can produce ore of superior quality and increase revenue. Moisture measuring sensors with real time and continuous monitoring capabilities have simplified this process in ways that were once considered barely credible just a few years ago. Now, mines are able to ascertain the properties of material before processing, as accurately as the technology can allow. African Mining Brief has identified common features in moisture measurement sensors that OEMs have supplied to some mine operators in Africa. As standard, the products have real-time data sensing, data collection, and data analysis and

For instance, in copper mineral processing, a series of moisture measurements are needed at stages such as leaching, re-leaching, postleaching, at the outlet of the filters, before transfer into furnaces, and prior to loading. For instance in coal mining, it gives plant personnel proactive control over mineral processing, as it provides timely information on moisture quality variability regularly. Mining companies can measure, control quality variability in processing operations. A moisture monitor from Scantech

interpretation capabilities. Through sensors with these features, end-users benefit in a number of ways, mainly proactive control, continuous measurement and accuracy. i. Proactive control and measurement Data gathered from accurate moisture measurement can facilitate better product control and preparation for further processing.

ii. Continuous measurement In a bid to maintain quality of their product, mining companies adjust moisture continuously, which can significantly reduce treatment costs. With accurate data, the process can be more effective. A fine balance is needed in terms of moisture content. Both extremes can reduce the reduce quality of the product.

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Accurately, Cost-effectively Measure Moisture The CM710e on-line gauge measures moisture in many bulk materials such as ores, minerals, clays, ceramics, biomass, woodchips, pellets and other products. ► Realtime measurements ► Process and quality control ► Digital and analogue connectivity ► Improve process efficiency Working in partnership with

Tel: +27 (0) 11 610 5600 Email: Email:

Making Light Work November - December 2017


Moisture measurement

Continuous non-contact measurement in real-time The NIR-6700 mining and mineral moisture analyser can be used with a local HMI display and/or fed to your process control system. Once installed and calibrated, its maintenancefree operation does what no laboratory methodology can offer

The NIR-6700 mining and mineral moisture analyser


oisture is an important consideration of the mining and mineral industry. Maintaining control of moisture provides several key benefits that impact quality, productivity and the bottom line. Too much moisture can reduce the quality of your product producing inconsistency and clumping of the material and excess weight driving transportation costs unnecessarily high. Too little moisture can generate unwanted dust and over drying can significantly raise energy costs. Sensortech’s NIR-6700 is a premium moisture analyser offered at a great price! It provides a continuous non-contact measurement in real-time which can be used with a local HMI display and/or fed to your process control system. Once installed and calibrated its maintenance-free operation does what no laboratory methodology can offer; 24 hours a day and 7 days a week


moisture measurement and control. Over the years Sensortech’s clients have found that, once installed, the NIR-6700 becomes an indispensable and key part of their process. Mining and mineral applications are characteristically unreceptive to IR moisture measurements. The NIR-6700, however, integrates the industrial grade features of Sensortech’s flagship IR Series instruments with the proprietary high sensitivity hardware required for mining and mineral applications. The secret behind its success relies heavily on the proprietary hardware and not simply from amplifying the measurement signal alone. No other system can match the performance of the NIR-6700 and why it has been the standard for the mining and mineral industry. Sensortech Systems, Inc. has been the trusted name in moisture measurement and control for over 34 years. Whether you are a first time customer or have been a client

for over 30 years you can be assured that Sensortech’s commitment to customer satisfaction is still our highest priority. The company’s eputation for customer support has been built with superior quality instruments and the unmatched support that compliments their performance. signal that the lives of mineworkers matter far more than the profits which are made daily and spirited off to the pockets of a few greedy beneficiaries,” he said. While regulations have been enacted to plug legislative loopholes, which mines have been exploiting, the general view is that punitive measures are needed. Currently, mines get away with murder. Beyond doubt, if mines are to increase productivity they need to enhance safety. November - December 2017

Moisture Measurement & Process Control

Mining & Mineral Moisture Analyzer Maintenance-Free Operation Non-Contact Measurement Industrial Construction Real-Time Data

Protea Automation Solutions (Pty) Ltd +27 (0) 11 719 5792

November - December 2017


Timber based support for underground mines

Enabling safe and productive underground mining Timrite is dedicated to addressing complex ground support challenges in underground mining in Africa

Timrite Temprite underground support system.


imrite designs, manufactures and supplies underground support products and services to the mining sector, as well as industrial timber products throughout South Africa and Africa. The company is proud to be a true 94% blackowned supplier to these sectors. Timrite has been in the mine support supply industry for 22 years. During this time, it has been at the forefront of mine support product design. Emphasis is always on safety but also keeping operational costs in mind. From its original ‘mining timber’ standpoint, it revolutionised timber mine support from conventional ‘mat’ type of


pack support, to stiff but yieldable support acceptable in seismically active deep level conditions. Timber elongate support has progressed to props that can yield through large deformations without brushing, once again giving excellent stable seismic performance. The design of its CemRite grout packs which allowed grout support to be pumped in tight contact with the hanging wall, gave rise to a whole range of grout and backfill bags, using small compartments to significantly enhance installation safety and performance, reducing hydraulic pressures and danger of bag burst and spillage. The ability to pump

tight against the hanging wall has made it possible to pump grout pillars underground to support areas where pillar reclamation can enhance life of mine by many years. Timrite is now spending a great deal of time developing steel based support, from temporary face props, permanent high yield props, roof-bolting, mesh and strapping, offering the customer a wide range of support solutions. Timrite is backed by a state of the art research and development centre, with in house and third-party manufacturing facilities, and has a front line of dedicated sales and training personnel, for the safe and successful application of their products. November - December 2017

Electronic blasting

AEL Mining Services’ IntelliShot™ perfectly suited for every blasting need

AEL Mining Services’ IntelliShot™ has simplified complicated tasks.


s leading innovators, AEL Mining Services and DetNet are proud of their ability to satisfy the needs of their clients by constantly innovating their range of Electronic Delay Detonator (EDD) technology. Based upon many years of research and an in-depth look at customer needs, AEL Mining Services’ IntelliShotTM range is perfectly suited to cater for blasting wants and needs of their clients. IntelliShotTM is one of the components of AEL’s value proposition named intelliBlast™ which demonstrates to our customers that we are perfectly positioned to deploy into their operations seamlessly, through our innovative and agile products and services. Through intelliBlast™, we highlight to our customers that our approach can help them improve their balance sheet and pursue cash preservation, which is imperative in the current economic climate. “IntelliShotTM is our most advanced wire based Electronic Detonator blasting solution ever. It merges class-leading technology with simplified user interfaces, making complex blasting simple, fast and accurate. The system is entirely designed and engineered in South Africa,” explains Christo Peltz, Product Manager at AEL Mining Services. The IntelliShotTM system consists broadly of three components: • The IntelliShotTM detonator, 28

• The CE4 tagger, and • The Blast Commander. The IntelliShotTM detonator has been developed with over 30 years of electronic detonator learning incorporated in the detonator design for improved resistance to blasting phenomena generated during detonation such as electromagnetic pulse, static electricity, shock- and pressure waves. “Safety is at the heart of everything we do. We have gone to even greater lengths to ensure our customers receive the excellent safety record they have come to expect with our products. Our new system utilises an Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) electronic chip and not the average off-the-shelf microprocessor. The same technology is used in mission critical electronics such as aerospace and defence applications where a guaranteed outcome is required,” says Peltz. The memory of the IntelliShotTM ASIC has been upgraded to have 15 times more storage capability, thereby allowing more functions and features not previously possible; while the programming speed has been increased by sevenfold. “Even the communication leads have been upgraded to be tougher with increased abrasion resistance, increased ability to stretch and tensile properties that ensure the detonator remains functional in the most demanding of applications,” explains Peltz.

The system can fire 16 000 detonators in a single blast and uses encrypted radio frequencies to set up a blast network which can stretch over several kilometres. The product suite is mainly focussed on the large surface blasting operations where the designs may vary from simple line blasting all the way through to complex designs requiring multiple decking on several synchronised box cuts and/or benches. “What makes IntelliShot™ unique is that the system merges industry leading technology with ease of use. The product has been designed to handle complex blasting requirements in an easy manner,” states Peltz. The Blast Commander automatically detects detonators connected to it and can monitor the voltage level in the last detonator to confirm the blast design is getting the required energy from the control equipment right up to the point of firing the blast. All of the enhancements have been introduced to make the product more robust, save time and ensure the user has a successful blast on time, every time. As part of the system, the tagger is GPS enabled allowing the GPS coordinates of a detonator to be stored in the tagger memory against the individual detonator IDs. This can be used to simplify fault finding on large benches, should it become necessary. “Our market research indicates that our system is the only Electronic Detonator solution that can perform encrypted wireless synchronisation and control of the equipment. The system incorporates built-in long range (3km) transmitters/receivers so there is no need for additional external antennae,” explains Peltz. The product uses the latest electronic communication protocols such as Wi-Fi and Near Field Communication (NFC touch-tocommunicate). The Commander module has a multi role capability as it can act as a Bench (blast) device, Base (remote) device or RF Repeater. Another great feature is the remote control (Wi-Fi) facility of the Commander. This device can be wirelessly controlled using the tagger, smartphones- or tablet running specific CE4 software. “All of these features combine to give the user, ease of use, speed of connection and communication, extremely robust detonators and control equipment (IP57 rated) which leads to accurate, successful blasts, on time,” concludes Peltz. November - December 2017

Safely initiating quality tons

intelliBlastTM is a holistic and flexible approach to help customers on their unique journey to optimal blast outcomes. Through optimal energy expenditure we ensure predictable blast outcomes for significant profit growth. AEL Mining Services Tel: 011 606 0000 Email: Web:

Lonmin Advert - Mining Weekly.indd 1

2017/03/31 12:55:30 PM

3D volumetric load scanning for mine haul vehicles

Payload efficiency through accurate real time data

3D Volumetric load scanning has revolutionised payload management in the mining sector. Transcale anticipates the niche market of 3D volumetric scanning to grow globally as mine operators seek innovative ways of dealing with effects of a slowdown.

3D Volumetric load scanning has simplified complicated payload management tasks.


n today’s mining climate, the key to sustainability is leaving no stone unturned in maximising efficiency in all critical operations from mine to mill, as far as possible. One of the areas is in the management of haul truck fleets, where the ability to gather and make decisions with accurate real time data inputs is paramount. Conveniently, thanks to 3D volumetric load scanning, mines are now able to collect accurate data in real time as and when they need it. Transcale’s 3D Volumetric Scanning Australia headquartered and globally focused, Transcale provides 3D Volumetric Scanning (TVS) Solution to mining companies worldwide. TVS is deployed in both permanent and portable applications that are driven by the specific challenges that each operation is focusing on. Transcale’s key focus and experience revolves around Payload and Productivity solutions in mining. The company’s experience in the Africa region is in excess of 20 years, and its reputation as the industry leader has been hard earned and retained over this period. Ross Grayson, Managing Director, Transcale, is sharing information about TVS with mining houses in Africa. He tells African Mining Brief: “The dynamic sampling operation of TVS negates any


Weight and Volume Baseline Analysis Transcale carries out a Weight and Volume Baseline Analysis to determine Payload and Volumetric capabilities of the existing fleet, uncovering areas of opportunity ranging from simplistic behavioural changes loading to target, through to investment in more appropriate truck bodies and buckets better matched and suited to the material types of that operation. This data and processes form part of a growing compliance environment that is assisting Operations and some Truck OEM’s manage a new framework of increased Payload and Gross Vehicle Weights.

operational delays as opposed to surveying type solutions. Aside from a Payload Analytics function, Transcale’s reporting platform ‘Truck Analyst’ allows the mine to establish acceptable alarm limits in the sampling areas selected.” Also, Grayson mentions that alarming is another distinctive feature of TVS. “Physical alarms can be delivered to the most appropriate person for real time intervention for Underload, Overload, Bias Loading, and Extreme Tire Bias loading. Material Carryback reporting/alarming is another outcome that is assisting some operations that suffer from this condition,” he says.

Globally accepted system Grayson also states that Transcale’s TVS system is the only globally accepted system in mining, and whilst other products claim similar outcomes, the accuracy, reliability and ease of interfacing with weighing and Fleet Management Systems continues to have TVS lead the race. Similarly, he adds, whilst UAV and survey based products can deliver components of the solution, TVS delivers a simple streamline automated process that doesn’t introduce additional operational delays and additional levels of data interrogation and reporting.

A unique solution for each mine Bearing in mind that every mine has unique needs in volumetric load scanning, Transcale has made it standard practice to tailor its solutions in line with a client’s particular needs, according to Grayson. “The scope of each solution is dependent on the challenges of each operation. The results of a Baseline Application study will determine the target areas of challenge and Transcale works then with each operation to deliver an appropriate scope and solution. Typically, the final scope will vary from a fully autonomous weighing and scanning solution interfaced into the mine’s Fleet Management System through to individual weighing or scanning solutions. Regular Validation Studies are also an acceptable option in some cases,” he says.

Commodities Transcale’s solutions rank amongst the most popular in mining worldwide. The company has over 200 weighing and volumetric solutions, both as combined systems and deployed singularly, in 29 countries. In Africa in particular, its track record supports a strong existing client base including all major Mining Companies, Truck OEM’s and all the key players in tyre and rim arena. Mining companies such as Barrick, FQM, Debswana, AngloGold Ashanti, Tenke Fungurume, and Newmont have various weighing and scanning solutions ranging from fully autonomous to portable.

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Maximizing Payload Opportunities


Manned and Autonomous installations

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TS Series Scale Systems

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Ionic liquid cooling

ILTEC - A Revolutionary New and Safe Cooling Solution To achieve low refractory wear and good furnace availability, effective cooling is a key factor in today’s economic and cost saving operation mode. In addition, a safe operation mode and ensuring safety for personnel and environment is of major interest. All this was the driving force for developing a revolutionary new and safe cooling solution by substituting water with an alternative cooling medium – the ionic liquid IL-B2001. employees and environment • Non corrosive → no decreased system availability caused by material failure of the piping and coolers • No increase in volume at lower temperatures (“freezing”) → no problems in case of intermediate shutdown

Example of an ILTEC System as installed in Germany

Superior in cooling With Mettop’s patented cooling technology ILTEC it is possible to overcome these disadvantages by using an ionic liquid as an alternative cooling medium. The main characteristics, which makes IL-B2001 so favourable, are the neglectable vapour pressure and the non-flammable, nonexplosive and atoxic behaviour. The fact that no explosion occurs when the ionic liquid gets in contact with molten metal leads to a revolutionary solution for the entire metallurgical industry. In conjunction with an optimized design of the cooling elements and circuits, there are endless opportunities for improving the cooling efficiency, which can prospectively lead to a water-free plant. Most recently the SMS group received the exclusive license for the ILTEC Technology. However, the commercialization is conducted by Mettop, SMS group as well as PolyMet Solutions (a 50/50 joint venture of Mettop and SMS group). 32

IL-B2001 – The ionic liquid at a glance After several years of investigation, the most promising combination of a cation and an anion led to the best available ionic liquid IL-B2001. This special designed ionic liquid unites all superior properties: • Comparable values for dynamic viscosity compared to water → possible of exchanging water in existing systems with respect to capacity of pumps and piping • No vapour pressure below decomposition temperature → no explosion • Operation range and long term stability between 50 °C – 200 °C → not a consumable • Not flammable below decomposition temperature • Decomposition temperature 450 °C → total vanishing, no residues • Non-toxic, no dangerous good, REACH certified → perfect safety for

The ILTEC Technology The core parts of every ILTEC facility is consisting of a tank, pumps, heat exchangers, manifold measuring devices and instrumentation systems. The actual capacity and the dimensioning depends on the application and the installation situation on site. All unique and superior properties of the cooling medium IL-B2001 result in a broad range of industrial utilization. The potential fields of application might be subdivided into three categories, although each of the different categories can be linked and combined. Substitution of water in existing systems The physical and thermal properties of ILB2001 makes it possible to easily substitute water whenever there is a closed water circuit present. The existing pipelines can be used since there is no corrosive attack to any material and the same heat can be removed by increasing the temperature difference between inlet and outlet. New cooling applications because of improved safety In general, it can be stated that whenever there is need of cooling, IL-B2001 can replace the prevailing cooling medium water within any existing water cycle. But furthermore the ILTEC cooling technology provides safe cooling in areas where cooling with water is considered a high safety risk (i.e. no explosions in case of a leakage). Examples for high risk applications are tapholes, launders, side walls below bath level etc. (…). All of these areas are suitable to be equipped with an ILTEC system. November - December 2017


More and more customers worldwide trust in the ILTEC Technology. The ILTEC Technology combines all advantageous properties to implement: perfectly safe operation, due to the non-explosive cooling medium IL-B2001, heat recovery and energy saving through operating temperatures of up to 250 °C and new and revolutionary approaches to cooling solutions.

Leading partner in the world of metals

SMS group GmbH Eduard-Schloemann-Strasse 4 40237 DĂźsseldorf, Germany Phone: +49 151 145 33688 November - December 2017


Ionic liquid cooling a new design of the cooling blocks can be realized. With cooling loops reaching deep into the refractory material a better cooling performance is accomplished.

Heat recovery The fact that the ILTEC Technology with the ionic liquid IL-B2001 allows a temperature difference of 150 °C between inlet and outlet makes the process suitable to be combined with a heat recovery system for direct usage or power generation under feasible conditions. In conjunction with the higher absolute temperature, the extensive temperature range permits a heat recovery in an efficient way rather than being lost (creating steam instead of warm water). In case of continuously provided heat the possibility of heat recovery through an Organic . Rankine Circle (ORC) exists, which is a technology not suitable for employing water as cooling medium. Under these circumstances primary energy resources and hence CO2 can be saved.

Infitite possibilities of application Within every application, beside the safety aspects, the improvement of a process economically by increasing service life is a key factor. Tap hole cooling Tapping is always one of the most dangerous steps during the operational sequence. At the blast furnace in Germany the tap hole is cooled by ionic liquid instead of water cooling. In this case the cooled cooper plates are at the very outside of the tap hole block due to potential danger of explosion in case of water contact in case of leakage. On applying ILTEC cooling technology,

EAF - Cooling of a side wall beneath bath level Since the bottom part of an electric arc furnace is a vessel of severe wear it is of interest to increase lifetime of refractory material and, hence, increase the lifetime of the whole vessel, which results in less downtime. With ILTEC and furthermore a special design of the coolers, cooling beneath bath and slag level can be realized. The nondestructive behavior in case of malfunction or leakage when using the cooling medium IL-B2001 enables a shift of the cooler position towards the hot face. Due to the steeper temperature gradient, the infiltration of the refractory material will be decreased and the stability to mechanical erosion will increase. Furthermore, the heat removed will lead to a solid accretion layer, which further prevents wear of the refractory. Let us together think out of the box This novel technology is however not only limited to these very shortly described applications but could be used in multiple other application were cooling with water is not possible mainly due to safety reasons. Some example beyond the discussed side wall and tap hole cooling are: • Side wall cooling below bath level of all different types of furnaces • External cooling devices (loops) for melt cooling • Cooling of tuyeres / injectors / lances • (Parts of) off-gas shafts for heat recovery • Cooling of moulds in ingot and pressure die casting Besides the iron and steel industry, every other industry facing hot temperatures and/or liquid melts, namely nonferrous metallurgy, ferro-alloy industry, glass industry, petrol industry etc., is in need of safe and economically improved cooling solutions. One important future trend in terms of a cost efficient and environmentally friendly operation mode is inevitably leading towards saving in primary energy resources and with the possibility of cooling medium temperature of 200 °C for heat, the ILTEC Technology has extraordinary future potential. For finding out how ILTEC can optimize your process in terms of safety AND performance don´t hesitate to contact us any time: Dr. Andreas Filzwieser

3D engineering drawing of the ILTEC facility at voestalpine


Dr. Rolf Degel November - December 2017

Heavy-duty Alternators

Engineered for rugged duty New alternators are designed with a wide range of output capabilities, suitable for modern mining operations.


t is hard to fail to notice remarkable developments in off-road vehicle industry alternators from various OEMs, which can benefit mines that operate in harsh environments, through substantial savings and improved efficiency. The alternators are designed to help mining operations cope with inevitable challenges - mainly falling turnover and rising business running costs - that have arisen as a consequence of a depressed business atmosphere.



Output capabilities What can be considered most remarkable about the alternators is that models are designed with a wide range of output capabilities.

removes the need for brushes and slip rings that wear and need intermittent replacement to relay power to a rotating field. Mainly, bearings are the only components of the design that wear.

1. Brushless alternator technology The most groundbreaking development in alternators is brushless technology, which is designed to handle most demanding applications. In the brushless design, the stationary

2. Savings Laudable attempts, which, cumulatively, can bring substantial savings to the companies operating in off-road sectors, have been undertaken. Prominently, the lightweight and design which uses less engine

horsepower and translate into substantial engine fuel savings. 3. Efficiency Brushless design is considered more durable than brush alternatives. It has fewer moving parts, which means less wear, which translates into low downtime. With low downtime, save for routine maintenance, the alternators improve the efficiency of vehicles for various tasks in a mine. 4. Low life cycle costs Low fuel costs and low maintenance costs both contribute to low life cycle costs through of the alternators. 5. Performance Remote sense technology in some alternators can reduce battery charge time by up to 50%, reducing downtime. 6. Rugged Alternators are designed to withstand to withstand the chaff, dust and corrosive

November - December 2017

agents of mining environments. Additionally, the design in some products on the market has eliminated internal arcing, making them ideal for harsh environments. 7. Flameproof Going further, some OEMs have produced certified flameproof brushless alternators specifically for volatile environments like mining, oil and gas. Additional options Some OEMs have catered for specific needs of industries include: soft start protection, overvoltage protection, temperature and voltage sensing, battery-specific charge capabilities and multi alternator installations. All in all, as demands of industries that use off-road vehicles evolve, accordingly, OEMs will continue investing in research and development to innovate.

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Automated fleet fuel management

Automated cost reduction As mines aim at reducing operating costs, especially fleet fuel consumption, automated fuel management systems should be adopted.

Automated fuel management is a must-have for dump vehicles like the one above.


n todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s environment, mines are placing significant focus on improving efficiencies and reducing expenses across their production activities. Amongst the areas that they are targeting is fuel consumption in vehicles and other mobile equipment, which accounts for a substantial percentage of total energy costs in a mine. Definitely, fuel consumption is an area where substantial cost savings can be achieved. Nonetheless, while increasing awareness in the sector is reassuring, it is preposterous for mines to cling to using dated manual fuel management systems and expect to curb wastage. It has been established that manual systems, with their inherent limitations, can thwart initiatives aimed at using fuel sparingly.

Automated fuel managment illustration -image credit Petrocon


Manual limitations According to Petrosmart, a Cape Town-based organisation that provides fuel and fleet management solutions to mines and other industries, mainly, manual fuel management entails manual note taking, ERP entry, manual billing processes, manual audit processes, manual audit processes, data input errors, manual odometer, and engine hour reading and recording. Consequently, says the firm, with these flaws, it is not uncommon for the following inefficiencies to be encountered: theft and fraud by operators, overconsumption of fuel by vehicles, restricted fuelling hours, lack of regulatory compliance and slow site operation. November - December 2017

A fresh approach In view of the above challenges, Sean McQuade, Group Marketing Executive at Gilbarco AFS, urges mines to rethink their approach to fuel management if they are to remain sustainable. “Obsolete fuel management solutions do not enable driving efficiencies as in many cases inputs are manualised and reporting is only provided daily or weekly. In some cases, only monthly reporting is provided. Standalone fuel management systems are also becoming redundant as they record only one or two elements of the entire production cycle. This does not provide enough actionable insights to the mine engineer to manage crucial resources,” he asserts. Automation Fortunately, the advent of automated fuel management systems has significantly simplified the way fuel-intensive industries, more especially mines, manage fuel consumption hitherto considered complicated. Through automated fleet fuel management systems, which employ sensors, tags and devices, are scalable and fully integrated, consumption data is gathered automatically. The main benefits automated fuel management brings include: eradicating fuel fraud, lowering operating costs (which results in meeting saving targets and improving profit margins), timely detection of losses and abuse, and through electronic recording and reporting, it significantly reduces administration costs. Mainly, automated systems monitor deliveries, transfers, storage and dispensing. All transaction data is pushed directly to a server, eliminating the need to manually monitor each site. With the system, a manager can be able to control the days, hours, quantity and frequency of fills of each of his vehicles individually. Incredible In today’s world, McQuade notes with the proliferation of IoT (Internet of Things) and requirement to produce actionable data in real time, there are new demands in the performance of automated fuel management systems. Specifically, he elaborates, fuel management solutions have to be open-architecture and have a core capability of receiving data from many sources, relating information from many systems to produce a “golden KPI” which the mine engineer can monitor. Moreover, McQuade suggests that all devices connected to the fuel management solution should provide automated high definition data on regular intervals. This, he explains, enables real-time assessment of the efficiency of the fleet operating on the mine and ensures that the fuel usage recorded and allocated to each machine is utilised in the most efficient manner. “Traditional fuel management solutions focussing only on fuel, cannot provide the required insights. Litres/ hour is no longer a metric that can be used to drive efficiencies as it does not consider production output or operating conditions. To be effective, production output and potentially elevation distance travelled by a machine must be related." McQuade adds: “With all information related and presented in a user-friendly dashboard, the mine engineer can track litres/tonne/ meter elevation. This metric gives the engineer a much clearer picture of how efficiently the litre of fuel is being utilised and where any potential problems exist. Is there better convenience?” On the whole, as they buckle under the pressure of skyrocketing operating costs and narrow profit margins, mine operators have to make rational decisions that will ensure their long-term sustainability in a volatile climate. Certainly, as mines aim at reducing operating costs, especially fuel consumption, automated fuel management systems should be adopted.

A graph illustrating the performance of Gilbarco's automated fuel management system

launched its GMS Connect platform. GMS Connect integrates data from many sources and pulls this data into a single warehouse. This data is then related to a single machine, allowing for complex metrics to be tracked. The data integrated includes information from many OEM onboard telematics devices, 3rd party tracking solutions, tyre pressure monitoring systems, fluid analysis labs, and, of course, the Gilbarco AFS fuel management solution. Gilbarco brands this an “integrated fuel and fleet management”. Through active exception dashboards that allow quick drill down to the source data, a mine engineer can identify an issue as it occurs and through quick actions, determine the cause of the issue and resolve it. Whether it pilferage, inefficient operator behaviour or more importantly equipment failure - the ability to resolve issues as they happen drives efficiencies on the mines we operate on.

GMS Connect platform Companies are going all-out in developing very relevant products, as Gilbarco AFS has done. Gilbarco AFS reports that it has just November - December 2017















Gilbarco AFS delivers proven solutions to our customers within the commercial and industrial fueling industries. BUSINESS SUPPORT AND REPORTING

Our technology provides a full audit trail required for eligibility of a SARS diesel rebate in the mining sector.

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Water-cooled furnace cables

Water-cooled heating efficiency Changing requirements in operations of electrical furnaces are driving the migration towards water-cooled cables. to optimise current transfer by reducing electrical resistance and electrical losses, in addition to better cooling water-flow. Conductors with very high cross sections are required. ii. Hard-wearing Secondly, inevitably, environmental and operating conditions impact on a water-cooled high current cableâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lifespan. More often than not, the cable is subjected to abrasion, radiated heat, bending, twisting and impact. For this reason, the cable should be made of material with high abrasion resistance. As a standard, high quality hoses should be used to provide resistance, in addition to radiated heat protection. Interestingly, some OEMs use vulcanised protection.

A banded water-cooled furnace cable


ore and more, organisations in the ferroalloys industries are using high current water-cooled cables in their electric and ultrahigh power (UHP) furnaces in a drive to manage increasing operating costs, in addition to ensuring compliance with increasingly stringent safety and environmental legislation. Electricity accounts for the biggest percentage of operating costs in electric furnace operations. Water-cooled cables of superior quality can bring out optimal performance in electric furnaces. Fortunately, in response to rising demand, manufacturers are ensuring a steady supply of products. The upside with this development is that organisations in the ferroalloys industry are spoilt for choice with a wide range of products flooding the market. The downside is that the veracity of claims on quality from some suppliers cannot always be established, creating a dilemma.


Due diligence In view of that, since water-cooled furnace cables are central to the performance of electric furnace cables, it is sensible for organisations to exercise due diligence when purchasing decisions. Any hasty decisions can be costly, not just financially, but also result in damage to furnaces, in addition to flouting safety and environmental regulations. Basic capabilities More is at stake in the current environment as organisations are battling to survive. Indisputably, organisations should invest in water-cooled furnace cables with the required capabilities. i. Low electrical resistance and better cooling water flow Firstly, furnace cables should be able

iii. Flexibility Product flexibility reduces the cable required length, as well as the furnace installation area. iv. Ease of maintenance At some point, in the course of operation, maintenance of water-cooled cables has to be done. For this to carried out easily, the cables installed have be of the quality that can be easily disassembled and reassembled without damage, over and above be easy to clean. There are strong indications that the prediction made six years ago by a speaker at a conference organised by Southern African Metallurgical Conference that watercooled cables will be installed on 70% of electric furnaces is being fulfilled. Changing requirements â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the quest for energy efficiency, enhanced safely and low carbon emissions - have occasioned the migration towards electric furnace cables.

November - December 2017

Lightning Protection, Earthing & Surge Protection

Meticulous planning, right installation and consistent inspection DEHN Africa advises mines in Africa to be well-resourced to manage the increasing risks of lightning flashes and surges to their operations.


hen lightning flashes occur in mines, in most cases, the consequences can be catastrophic, with fatalities recorded and untold damage to equipment running into hundreds of millions of rands. The greatest concern is whether mines are well-equipped enough to mitigate the potential events. Various pieces of legislation, mainly the Mine Health and Safety Act (MHSA) and Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act, which emphasiSe safety of workers in mines, render lightning and surge protection compulsory, yet it isn’t readily considered and implemented. DEHN Africa fears that many mines in South Africa and other countries on the continent might be more vulnerable to lightning flashes events than they think. For this reason, it is imparting advice to mines on implementing a sound approach to surge and lightning protection in their operations. DEHN Africa is the local subsidiary of Germany-based lightning and surge protection, earthing components and safety equipment manufacturer, DEHN + SÖHNE. DEHN specialises in earthing and lightning protection solutions in various market sectors. This includes areas such as building technology, transportation, telecommunication, process automation and the energy sector (photovoltaic systems, wind turbines, renewables and so on). In an interview with African Mining Brief, the Managing Director of DEHN Africa, Hannes Ackermann, says he believes that most mines in South Africa and other countries on the continent might be more vulnerable to lightning flashes than they think. “Most mining companies may think that the chances of damage from lightning

discharges are remote, but they do not imagine that they could be facing the next event. DEHN believes that prevention and mitigation is better than cure,” he comments. Common oversights While working with mines, DEHN Africa has noticed a number of oversights which increase the vulnerability of mines to lightning flash damage. These are mainly a relaxed attitude, thinking that ‘one lightning protection system (LPS) design fits all’, poor installation practices and lack of inspections, overlooking protection for sensitive and critical electronic equipment, non-compliant products of poor quality / design and a lack of knowledge with respect to external lightning protection (ELP) design. Looking at each point in more detail, Ackermann notes the following: i. Proactive rather than reactive approach There is a tendency to be reactive rather than proactive about LPSes belatedly, after fatalities and damage to valuable equipment have occurred. ii. One LPS design does not fit all There is an erroneous assumption that the design of earthing protection systems and an LPS that has worked in a specific scenario in one mine can be just as effective in another. This flawed approach is in itself a risk, cautions Ackermann. Instead, for a more effective LPS design when it comes to a particular mine, a prior risk assessment according to SANS IEC 62305 is obligatory.

iii. Overlooking sensitive electronic equipment Another oversight, Ackermann points out, is that mines focus on external lightning protection and earthing and overlook the vulnerability of their sensitive electronic equipment. “Some mining companies neglect to consider surge protection on their sensitive electronics and electrical equipment. Surge arresters fitted on the high voltage (HV) lines cannot offer the required protection to low voltage (LV) equipment,” he explains. Ackermann adds: “As more technologysensitive mechanisation, automation and communications equipment is deployed in mines, the level of lightning-related damage and safety risks which mines face is escalated. Electronic equipment in a mine is not safe, unless adequately protected, contrary to what some believe.” iv. Poor installation practices and inferior products Owing to fluctuating commodity prices, mining companies are being tempted to opt for ‘affordable’ means in their procurement processes in order to cut costs. Ackermann says that when we consider earthing and lightning protection, the practice of hiring installers who are ‘jacks of all trades and masters of none’, instead of organisations with a proven track record, backfires. “First of all, installers who are not qualified do not follow the correct standards and procedures of installation.

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November - December 2017


Lightning Protection, Earthing & Surge Protection

Integrity, innovation and industry HHK Earthing and Lightning Protection Systems, the biggest lightning protection and earthing contracting company in Southern Africa, is well positioned to address the Lightning Protection, Earthing and Surge Protection challenges that companies in mining and other industries face. The managing director of HHK Earthing and Lightning Protection Systems, Mr. Helmut Hermann Kanwischer


ne of the biggest oversights in lightning and surge protection is poor installation practices by noncertified and unaccredited companies. Poor installation practices can render a mine’s lightning protection system ineffective or weak, exposing workers and critical electronic equipment to damaging and dangerous lightning flashes and surges. HHK Earthing and Lightning Protection Systems, the biggest lightning protection and earthing contracting company in Southern Africa, is worried about the costly effects of poor installation of lightning protection and surge protection systems, an area which, it has noticed, is ignored in most mines. HHK is therefore, advising mines in Africa about the importance of upholding the required standards in installation of lightning protection, earthing and surge protection systems. Through an interview with African Mining Brief, the company’s managing director, Mr. Helmut Hermann Kanwischer (HHK), stresses: “Lightning and surge protection ensures the safety of employees. In South Africa, the Mine Health and Safety Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) call for mining companies to prioritize the safety of their employees. For this reason, it is important to be in compliance with the various SANS standards in the installation of lightning and surge protection devices. We have to bear in mind that the effectiveness of a lightning protection system is as good as its installation and the reliability of the devices utilized.” Complete turnkey solutions HHK is ready to render its extensive expertise in the installation of lightning and surge protection systems to mines in African countries. With 41 years of experience, HHK has built a reputation as the first resort provider of turnkey installation solutions to different industries. The company provides complete turnkey solutions in the following areas: • Structural lightning protection systems 42

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for both industrial and domestic projects, including all mining plants. Provide risk assessment and protection level reports. The performance of soil resistivity surveys so that an earth can be designed to exact electrical specification rather than by physical dimensions, based on the Wenner and fall of potential methods. Resistance test measurements on installed earthing systems for structural lightning protection and electrical earthing systems. All installations in strict accordance with SANS Code of Practice 10313 (2012) in conjunction with SANS 62305 and IEC Standards. Supply and install high voltage lightning conductor cable for Protection Levels 1 – 4. Designs of lightning protection and earthing systems for structures, substations, computer and data systems, exposed power lines, etc., including approval and stamped drawings by SANS and ELPA (Earthing Lightning Protection Association). Surge protection to electronic equipment and computers, etc. Maintenance tests on lightning protection and earthing systems on all existing structures and mining plants, etc. Issuing of Certificates of Compliance (COC’s) on all structure lightning protection and earthing systems.

Edge over competitors HHK has four things that give it the edge over competitors: sufficiently resourced, credibility in the industry, hands-on management and steadfast passion. i. Sufficiently resourced With an employ of 130 with diverse skills, 45 light pick-up trucks and the latest equipment in the game, HHK is sufficiently resourced to handle projects of different scales in mining and other industries. “We tap into our capabilities to address the specific needs of clients. We don’t flinch from challenges.

We know that every client’s requirements are different, and we strive to find a solution,” says Kanwischer. ii. Credibility Underlining HHK’s devotion to quality, HHK has undertaken processes to comply with best practices in lightning, earthing and surge protection, since 1976. It was awarded the SABS Quality Management System listing in 1987. Kanwischer serves as a member on the various SANS/IEC committees/ working groups for lightning protection, Earthing and Surge protection Standards. Recently, HHK got the nationwide approval and accreditation of the Earthing and Lightning Protection Association (ELPA). All the company’s twenty contract managers, designers, estimators and their managing director achieved accreditation for the exam which was held at the ELPA training centre in Midrand. Kanwischer says: “ELPA accreditation is important as it underpins our reputation as a credible service provider.” iii. Hands-on management Kanwischers’ hands-on approach ensures that projects, from to commissioning and post-installation maintenance are well tended. In true German style, he meticulously keeps track of the finer details of a project which potentially have implications on the quality of the service offered. “We do not compromise on quality. We know that our service is central to protecting people’s lives in various industries that we serve,” he stresses. iv. Steadfast passion Having the same management since establishment has ensured that HHK’s passion for quality service delivery in lightning and surge protection is steadfast. Through Kanwischers’ vision, innovative thinking, unrelenting determination and willpower, the company continues to flourish and build trust amongst clientele in various industries throughout Southern Africa.

Read More of this article on: November - December 2017

November - December 2017


Off-road vehicle fire suppression

A well-implemented maintenance regime paramount An effective fire suppression programme should prioritise the safety of employees over compliance. Mines have to put in place measures to mitigate all possible risks that their employees face.


he dismissive attitude that the probability of a motor vehicle fire accident occurring is remote makes mines more vulnerable, as it results in lapses in preparedness. Actually, it is safe for mines to err on the side of caution, by assuming that they face a high level of fire accident risks at all times. A South African-based OEM of fire suppression solutions for diverse industries, I-CAT has been extensively analysing the state of vehicle safety in the African mining sector for years. Conspicuously, the data the company has gathered has reveals a certain pattern. The most recurrent themes in 90% of the cases are, either bad workmanship or poor maintenance, as epitomised by two cases narrated below. Fire suppression installation In the first scenario, a fire suppression system installation was recorded as the cause of fire. The suppression hoses chafed against fuel or hydraulic lines, thus causing them to rupture and spray fuel on hot engine surfaces.

A motor vehicle fire accident

Prudent choices have to be made in purchasing products


Overheating break In the second one, an operator operating a vehicle with an emergency brake engaged was the cause of one of the biggest underground fires in South Africa. The vehicle was parked next to other vehicles, and during a shift change, the brakes overheated to the point where the tyres started burning. Fortunately, with no one present, the fire quickly spread to adjacent vehicles and ended up in a scenario where the mine had to close of the particular shaft due to the incident. Costly oversights In most cases, I-CAT has noticed that oversights in the implementation of fire suppression increase the vulnerability of mines to fire accidents, in particular, thinking that merely installing a fire suppression system is sufficient defence. However, this approach is flawed,

according to I-CAT’s managing director. “The fact that a mining vehicle is fitted with a fire suppression system doesn’t mean a lot if it is not accompanied by an action plan in the event of an incident as well as proper training of the operator on how to respond in the event of a fire incident,” he says. Also, the other mistake is that installations that organisations undertake tend to more driven by compliance with regulation than protecting the lives of employees, laments the managing director. “A big problem in the market is that a customer will install something just to be “compliant”, and sometimes does not care what they install, as long as they feel they are complaint. Eventually, this creates the problem that most decisions on what to install is done on a basis of what is the cheapest system, and not necessarily the correct system for the particular application.” Worse still, the commercial fire industry has moved away from risk-based product applications tested for specific environments and applications, instead they are trying to expand and stretch the capabilities of off the shelve products. This is exposing end-users to high risks of fire accidents. The effective approach In order to address the challenge effectively, I-CAT recommends starting with a risk assessment before implementing a fire mitigation measure. However, it draws attention to the fact that the same mining vehicle might have a totally different risk assessment in two different environments. Underscoring the importance of a risk assessment, the managing director says, “A large factor easily overlooked is that fire suppression systems are generally not installed to protect the vehicles or equipment, but to save the life of the operator and those around the vehicle in case of a fire incident. This is why it is important to conduct a formal risk assessment that is agreed upon by all parties involved - client, consultant and service provider. Use this as your base and then see if the product will speak to the risks identified.” All told, an effective fire suppression programme in mines should prioritise the safety of employees over compliance. Mines have to put in place measures that mitigate all possible risks their employees face. November - December 2017

Conveyor fire detection

Improved safety through early detection Using a reactive conveyor fire protection is not only a breach of the Mine and Health Act, but also can potentially put the lives of workers at risk

Fire fighters watch haplessly as a fire guts a conveyor furiously


t has been observed that one of the biggest safety risks mines face is using conveyor fire detection equipment that lacks the ability to act preventatively upon the rapid heating of conveyance components due to frictional heat buildup. One of the most disregarded areas in conveyor fire protection, frictional heat buildup, can be the source of a deadly fire explosion. For better management of frictional heat buildup, one has to understand what entails and its causes. Pyrolysis One of the most common sources or causes of frictional heat buildup, known as pyrolysis in fire suppression parlance, in conveyors is the conveyor belt slipping over a stationary pulley or idler. This frictional heat buildupin conveyor belts goes undetected and can escalate into a fire explosion. Pyrolysis is recognised as a one of the most greatly overlooked risks in the mechanics of combustion involving conveyor belts. In pyrolysis, the heating of polymeric material induces thermal decomposition, emits toxic and flammable gases such as hydrogen chloride (HCI), toxic gas and smoke. After sustained pyrolysis, when an ignition point is reached, inevitably, the conveyor belt will burst into flames.


Suitable equipment Considering the potential impact of pyrolysis, suitable equipment should be utilised to monitor the level of pyrolysis so that appropriate interventions can be sought timely. Besides, to determine the scale of risks to a respective conveyor that has to instituted, it is recommended that flame resistance tests of components be conducted. Flammability testing standards Mines can use standard that provide guidance on testing the flammability of conveyor belts due to pyrolysis. SANS 971:2013 on flame resistance test provides guidance on the testing of a conveyor’s fire retardant properties, for instance, Drum friction test - SANS 971:2013/EN 1554 and Flame propagation test – EN 12881. These test significant heat energy and time required before the conveyor belt burns freely. Mandatory In most mining jurisdictions in Africa, regulators have passed acts which oblige mines to protect their workers from fire explosion or related events. In South Africa, in particular, the Mine Health and Safety Act, 1996 (At No 29 of 1996) – Chapter 5.1.(1) (b)

calls for adequate measures to be put in place to prevent, detect and combat the start and spread of mine fires. This is complemented by another chapter: Chapter 8.9 (3), whic calls for the employer “to take reasonably practicable measures to prevent persons from being exposed to flames, fumes or smoke”. Moreover, the Guideline for the Compilation of a Code of Practice on Emergency Preparedness and Response calls for mines to ensure that emergencies are detected as early as practicably possible and persons are warned timeously of such emergency. Indeed, on the whole, using a reactive conveyor fire protection is not only a breach of the Mine and Health Act, but also can potentially put the lives of workers at risk. And so, the significance of suitable conveyor fire detection in creating a safer mining environment does not have to be overstressed. Information Credits: adapted for African Mining Brief from a presentation: Conveyor Belt fire safety – A new proactive way of thinking. November - December 2017

Conveyor maintenance

The nuts and bolts of conveyor maintenance To ensure optimum conveyor performance, regular and effective maintenance is essential.


egardless of how supposedly well manufactured conveyors are, routine checkups and maintenance is obligatory. Even the most robust, longlasting conveyors, conveying equipment and accessories need maintenance. The importance of a well-maintained conveyor does not need to be overstated. Due to the changing operating environment, the current priorities in industries are monitoring energy consumption, sustainability of their operations and efficiency. Thus, poorly maintained equipment can cost a company time, energy and money. For routine conveyor maintenance to be efficient, the right procedures should be followed. It is important to follow OEM safety guidelines when performing maintenance work, for instance, a part of the conveyor, what should be done, and how often. As a standard, most conveyor manufacturers include specific maintenance steps in their manuals. Maintenance tasks can either be carried out in-house, or outsourced to specialist organisations, depending on what a mine

operator considers viable. Increasingly, there is a drift towards outsourcing maintenance services to independent contractors. Evidently, conveyor maintenance is not

optional but obligatory. Any lapse or negligence can result in loss of potential revenue and accident. Therefore, it should be a first priority.

Routine conveyor maintenance checklist Check Point Action Interval Motor Check Noise Weekly Check Temperature Monthly Check Mounting Bolts Monthly Reducer Check Noise Monthly Check Temperature Quarterly Check Oil Level Quarterly Drive Chain Check Tension Weekly Lubricate Quarterly Check for Wear Quarterly Sprockets Check for Wear Quarterly Check Set Screws & Keys Monthly Belt Check Tracking Monthly Check Tension Weekly Check Lacing Monthly

ifm’s solution for conveyor technology with AS-i Interface ifm’s Rope Switch is a heavy duty safety rope emergency stop switch designed to protect long conveyor belts. The die-cast housing is robust to survive indoor or outdoor use. A bi-colour LED ensures switch status can be easily seen from a distance. It has four NC and two NO contacts to guarantee flexibility with all modern control applications such as AS-i Interface. Using the two core AS-i cable, numerous rope switches can be monitored and the BI-colour LEDs can be switched to indicate the status. The new belt drift switches are designed for heavy duty applications and are used for drift monitoring of conveyor belt installations. They are used to protect the installations from damage or destruction in the event of belt drift and are positioned in pairs on both sides of the conveyor belt. The ball bearing stainless steel actuating roller is resistant to wear and is used for belt speeds up to approximately 5 m/s. The devices feature a robust aluminium housing and are equipped with two force-actuated changeover contacts with snap-action function with two adjustable switching points. This makes the belt switch easy to integrate onto an AS-i system and both switching signals can be utilized for control.


National: 0861 IFM RSA (436 772) International: +27 12 450 0400 November - December 2017

Foam-based fire suppression for fuel storage facilities

Fighting fire with foam concentrates Fuel storage fire protection is critical and even more so when it is done underground. Detection systems for early response to a fire outbreak are essential. In this article, fires safety specialist, Mike Feldon, discusses the use of firefighting foam as a means of fire suppression and extinction.


There are basically two types of fire that utilise firefighting chemicals to enhance or to make firefighting with water more effective: ‘A’ class fires which are solid fuel based ‘B’ class fires which are liquid fuel based In A class fires you use chemicals called wetting agents or A class foam concentrates which increase the boiling point of the water and breaks the surface tension of the water which allows it to penetrate the material, making the fire fighting far more effective. This allows the water to penetrate deeply into the internal pile of solids and the higher boiling point allows the water to sustain its firefighting capabilities for much longer. These A class chemicals are added to the water at 0.1% and 1% for wetting agents and 2- 5% for foam. In B class fires there are two types of concentrates namely: Hydro carbon liquids (non-polar solvent) and alcohol based (polar solvents) liquids. To effectively manage a hydro carbon based liquid fire an Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) concentrate is used to enhance the water capability and provide foam to fight the fire. Alcohol based liquid fires on the other hand are more

complexed, and another layer of chemistry is added to the fire fighting chemicals in order to provide the correct weapon to attach these fires and are Using concentrated foam to fight fire. called Aqueous Film-Forming Foam with Alcohol Resistant polymer added or AFFF-AR. These complexed chemicals are Thixotropic and Pseudo plastic There are two genres of chemical foam available to the market: 1. Protein Based Foams 2. Synthetic Based Foams The trend worldwide is to move towards synthetic foams which is newer modern technology with improved stability and life span, in addition, included in this new trend is a move towards fluorine free foams which offer an environmentally friendly solution for some types of B class liquid fire applications. When selecting a foam chemical the amount to be added to the water or dosage percentage is a critical selection factor. When selecting the dosing rates, there tends to be confusion based on the difference between 6% foam concentrate, 3% foam concentrate and 1% foam concentrate and the related costs.

November - December 2017


Doors for mining

Opening doors to long-term sustainability Maxi’s Megadoors and Albany RR1000 rubber doors bring immense benefits to mining operations.

Doors purposely engineered for the harsh mining environment.


he local mining industry is under severe pressure to find ways of reducing operational costs and improve productivity in order to ensure a sustainable future. Consequently, plants, systems, processes and equipment are being scrutinised to identify all possible areas where efficiencies can be increased and unnecessary costs eliminated. Noticeably, door systems are among the equipment that is being adopted. Nevertheless, not all doors are suitable for the mining environment, the Managing director of Maxiflex, Bram Janssen clarifies to African Mining Brief. “When it comes to door systems for the mining industry, there can simply be no compromise on safety, efficiency and ruggedness,” he says. Janssen elaborates that the doors must be energy efficient and tough enough to withstand dirty corrosive environments, high wind conditions and extreme temperatures. Most importantly, they have to pass the mines’ strict safety standards. Doors engineered for mining For the door systems that offer more value to mining operations, Jansenn refers to the ASSA ABLOY range of vertical lifting fabric doors (better known as Megadoors) and the highperformance Albany RR1000 rubber doors. “These industry leading door brands tick all the mining criteria boxes. The doors are ideal for a wide range of facilities such as wash bays, truck shops, loading docks, maintenance facilities, parking garages, transportation centres, distribution facilities, wastewater management and utilities typically found on mines. These premium brands are manufactured by global automated door specialist, ASSA ABLOY Entrance Systems, an organisation with over half a century of engineering experience and expertise.” 1. Immense benefits Megadoors and Albany RR1000 rubber doors bring immense


benefits to mining operations, from a cost effective to a safety perspective, which are listed below. 2. Energy efficiency Energy efficiency is a prominent feature of both doors. The Megadoor is considered to be one of the most energy efficient doors currently available on the market. The choice of a translucent fabric on the Megadoor helps minimise the carbon footprint and saves energy by providing natural ambient light in the interior which also enhances the working environment. Further, the operating speed of the Albany RR1000 offers energy savings through efficient interior climate control. 3. Safety The doors are designed with promoting safety on mines in mind. For instance, Megadoors are designed with patented safety arrestors that prevent a ‘free-fall’ condition in the unlikely event of failed lifting mechanisms. More to the point, sophisticated controls and sensors protect the Megadoor and continuously monitor the opening. Through-beam photo eyes in the high-performance Albany RR1000 doors detect objects in the doorway and safely open the door before contact. These safe operating conditions protect workers. 4. Customisable Versatile, the Megadoor is suitable for both retrofits and new construction. It can be customised for a wide variety of access needs, for instance, around an existing crane and crane rails. In addition, for severe environments like washbays, there are multiple control alternatives, including PLC and self-diagnostic panels, as well as control panel enclosures designed for severe environments like wash bays. Worth mentioning, the flexible design means there are no practical configuration limits to the size and configuration.

Read More of this article on: November - December 2017

IBIS Guardian TrueVector

Safely and Productively

Managing Slope Stability Risks Powerful and user-friendly, the IBIS Guardian software manages slope stability risks in both geo-hazard assessment and open pit mining operations.- By Niccolò Coli, Director of Mining Business Unit, IDS GeoRadar


DS GeoRadar was the first company to introduce to the mining market an innovative slope monitoring radar based on the SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) technology which has previously been successfully applied to landslide and dam monitoring. Since the first deployments in open pit mines, this technology has demonstrated its potential thanks to superior capabilities and performance compared to dish-antenna radar. IDS GeoRadar has constantly evolved the SAR technology to satisfy multiple needs in different mining scenarios. Today, the company offers a vast portfolio of SAR radar units able to adapt to all safety critical monitoring needs: mobile and semi-fixed solutions, flexibility for tactical deployment, and long range for strategic coverage, as well as the most

advanced and complete data processing software IBIS Guardian TrueVector. Powerful and user-friendly, the IBIS Guardian software manages slope stability risks in both geo-hazard assessment and open pit mining operations. IBIS Guardian enables fast interpretation and therefore fast reaction time to vital real-time information delivered by the IBIS radar systems. Highly accurate displacement data is provided to monitoring specialists in real-time using the most advanced automatic atmospheric correction algorithm. IBIS Guardian offers alert messaging options and comprehensive geotechnical analysis tools. Monitoring specialists are immediately alerted in the event of slope displacement by means of various instant messaging options such as email, SMS or pop-up alerts.

Advanced Data Integration for Even Clearer Understanding of Slope Stability Automatically import different total station and GNSS datasets, (i.e. Leica GeoMoSŠ) to enable even clearer understanding of slope stability. Monitoring experts can compare prism and GNSS displacement trends, by mean of time series or stereonet charts, with IBIS radar data to understand movement behavior that much faster. The IBIS Guardian software is also integrated with MineSight 3D by Hexagon Mining. Data acquired from our IBIS radars can now be imported to MineSight 3D in support of mine planning to optimize pit design and Life of Mine (LOM) by evaluating the impact of instabilities on the expected mine expansion. Full Pit Monitoring 360 IBIS Guardian offers Full Pit Monitoring (FPM) capabilities, stitching together data sets from multiple IBIS radar systems onto a single radar map. The True Vector technology automatically resolve the spatial direction of displacement for hundreds of thousands of overlapping radar pixels monitored simultaneously by two or more radars, with sub-millimetric accuracy. No prisms, markers or reflectors are needed on slopes to rapidly resolve displacement information.

IBIS Guardian TrueVector Take Slope Monitoring to the Next Level

Multiple fixed and mobile IBIS radar datasets merged in a single user interface for Full Pit Monitoring (FPM) Spatial direction of displacement vectors resolved for hundreds of thousands of overlapping radar pixels Seamless integration with TPS and GNSS data without the need for third-party software Alarm generation with user-defined levels and multiple alarm criteria 3D interactive data visualization and fully geo-referenced radar data The most advanced automatic atmospheric correction techniques

IDS GeoRadar Srl Part of Hexagon Via Enrica Calabresi 24, 56121 Pisa (PI) Italy Tel. +39 050 3124 501

November - December 2017



TAKRAF Africa rapid train-loading systems offer high loading accuracies and a fast turnaround


ey equipment supplier, Tenova TAKRAF Africa’s material handling expertise is recognized as an industry leader throughout Africa, with an important part of its in-house technology offering being rapid train-loading systems, which have been installed successfully for different commodities. These systems are a specialized part of the materials handling industry, with the turnaround time for a train being crucial, as well as the accuracy of loading. Recent projects include the supply of two rapid train-loading stations for a coal project in Mozambique. Both systems supplied handle 18 trains per day, and provide automated loading of the trains as they move through at creep speed (0.5 m/s), with each 63 t capacity wagon being filled with coal in 60 seconds to an accuracy of 0.2%. This allows the train, which consists of 40 wagons, a

75-minute turnaround time before it departs. In South Africa, TAKRAF Africa has installed train-loading equipment at Assmang’s Khumani iron-ore mine in the Northern Cape, as well as for a manganese operation. The latter project was completed within a record time of 32 weeks, compared to the industry standard of up to 52 weeks. The TAKRAF rapid train-loading station is a flask-loading system. Flow of the product out of the storage bin and weigh flask is controlled by single pass radial gates, which are activated hydraulically, ensuring that the gates close fully without jamming. The profile chute, which is fail-safe in the event of an electrical or hydraulic power failure, is designed to increase loading distribution accuracy. It automatically moves out of the way of rolling stock entering the load-out bay. The weigh flask system weighs each

wagon’s load prior to depositing the load into the moving wagon. With a built-in ‘learning capability’, the system assesses the effect of the loaded material’s density and flow characteristics as the first few wagons are loaded. Automatically accounting for the prevailing conditions, it then loads the train’s wagons accurately, to the exact height with the same uniform slope, based on the wagons that have already been loaded. This ensures that axle-loading requirements are met. Truck numbers are automatically validated as they are entered into the Scada system and operations are visually monitored through closed-circuit television systems.

For further information, visit:

DELIVERIN G IN MOZAM B IQU E TAKRAF Africa offers innovative, reliable and sustainable solutions in mining and metals. We have supplied a second rapid rail loading system for a flagship coal project in Mozambique. From excavation and comminution, solid / liquid separation, environmental control, conveying and stockyards, through to loading and unloading, we have the systems and expertise. Including locally based spares and support. A Level 2 B-BBEE Company. 125% spend recognition.

TAKRAF Africa 96 Loper Avenue, Aeroport, Spartan Kempton Park, 1619, South Africa T: +27 11 201 2300 52

November - December 2017

Core trays for mining and exploration

Safer and more secure custody Through research and development (R&D) initiatives, manufacturers of core trays are going all out to meet contemporary requirements of exploration and mining industries. The efforts undertaken are ensuring that the exploration and mining industries benefits through improved safety, high level of productivity, convenience, durability and transportation and storage.

Ample space is needed in core trays


rganisations in the exploration and mining industries are contending with operating costs that are skyrocketing unabatedly, profit margins that are narrowing, over and above complying with obligatory regulations on health and safety. Among a bouquet of critical tools, are contemporary core trays good enough to help industries in their endeavour to manage these challenges? If not, how are manufacturers enhancing their products? Without core trays, as one of the most indispensable tools in mining and

exploration, exploration and mining companies cannot be able to report accurate results, which provide substantial data to help them make wise decisions. Consequently, it should be understandable why companies are very particular about the quality of the core trays that they utilise, not least in the current atmosphere. Falling short Sadly, according to what African Mining Brief observed from a short survey on experiences of mining and exploration

companies with some core trays they have used, some products do not always meet expectations. Companies say that it is not uncommon to encounter a product with one or two relevant features that address their needs, but fall woefully short in other areas. For instance, a core tray might have sufficient safety-enhancing features, but can prove to be more expensive to transport and store. Reassuringly, heeding industriesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; calls, manufacturers of both plastic and steel core trays, are striving to improve the performance of their products, mainly in terms of safety,

November - December 2017


durability, and productivity. With respect to plastic core trays, there have been notable advances in the production of core trays, mainly in the areas of transportation and site storage, safety, durability, convenience and productivity. i. Transportation and site storage First, designs which are being produced are aimed at reducing transport volume, transport costs and site storage volume requirements. Ultimately, this significantly reduces transport and storage costs. ii. Safe Second, very noticeable are efforts that have been made to ensure safety of both the core and the workers. For better worker safety, core trays have built-in handles, which ensure that the core trays are to carry and move. The handles are aimed at minimising the risk of injuries such as cuts, strains, and lifting injuries that arise as a result of handling core trays. Further, to miminise contamination of core with water, core trays are being designed with drainage holes and manufactured with water, chemically and high density polyethylene (HDPE). iii. Durability Several steps have been taken to address concerns about durability. With regard


Handles enhance safety in the handling of core trays

to material utilised, some companies are going for UV stabilised polypropylene, a non-magnetic and chemical resistant thermoplastic polymer resin. Then, the manufactured products are subjected to rigorous stress-testing to ensure that they have optimum strength and durability in rugged conditions according to project demands. The final product is able to withstand rugged environments with less wear and tear. iv. Convenience Convenience is another aspect that has become paramount in contemporary plastic core trays. Ergonomically designed and with built-in handles, core trays have become much easier to pick up and handle. In addition, standard colour coding makes

recognition easier, and the design has considerably simplified stacking. v. Productivity Through improved design, the plastic core tray are easier to use and stack for storage and transportation. This results in saving time and resources, improving productivity. Indeed, through research and development (R&D) initiatives, manufacturers of core trays are going all out to meet contemporary requirements of exploration and mining industries. The efforts undertaken are ensuring that the exploration and mining industries through improved safety, high level of productivity, convenience, durability and transportation and storage.

November - December 2017

Hybrid power systems for mining operations

High hopes in hybrid power The DeGrussa project for a Sandfire Mines’ copper-gold project in Western Australia demonstrates the viability of hybrid power generation in meeting the demand for a consistent and adequate supply of power in mines in Africa.


ne aspect seen across most of the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa is a weak/poor grid (transmission and distribution) which then limits the amount of generation capacity on the grid, as well as the ‘reach’ the grid has. This has heavily affected productivity in energy-intensive sectors like mining, which need an adequate and consistent supply of power. The DeGrussa project for Sandfire Mines in Western Australia has illustrated the viability of hybrid power generation in addressing the demand for reliable power in mining. The DeGrussa project was developed by juwi Renewable Energies’ sister company, juwi Australia. juwi Australia also completed the EPC, and is now operating and maintaining the plant. The Solar PV plant size is 10.6MWp, the energy storage is a lithium ion battery with 4MWp (1.8MWh) which connected to 19 MWp of already operating diesel gensets. The project was subsidised by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) as the PPA duration is a short 6 years. Huge potential Foreseeing huge potential for projects similar to DeGrussa in Africa, juwi Renewable Energies Business Development Manager, Monya Bassingthwaighte, states, “We believe there is a large need for this solution in Africa where there is a huge reliance on fossil fuels. Our solution is aimed at commercial and industrial users (such as mines), which have a high energy consumption and are largely reliant on fossil fuels (such as diesel or HFO) to operate due to a weak or unavailable grid.” Decreasing fossil reliance According to Bassingthwaighte, juwi Renewable Energies’ solution can decrease reliance on these fossil fuels. The solution is a full turnkey Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) offering of adding Solar PV with an option of adding energy storage to the fossil fuel power station. What’s more, the solution can be added to grid-tied off-takers as a captive plant concept. Juwi Renewable Energies’ solution includes adding Solar PV with an option of energy storage to either the fossil fuel power station or the grid. Through utilising the company’s hybrid power solutions, mining operations are guaranteed uninterruptible power supply via the hybrid power solutions.

Doors purposely engineered for the harsh mining environment.

Benefits Bassingthwaighte stresses the main benefits of having hybrid plants in mining. From a financial perspective, there is a direct cost savings due to reduction in the use of fossil fuels. For instance, Sandfire project is currently savings around 5 million litres per annum, which is about 20% of their diesel usage. Another benefit is being able to forecast your energy cost and therefore hedges against volatility such as diesel price, transport, exchange rate, current and future costs of CO2. Last but not least, from a technical perspective, benefits includes energy

security, power quality (voltage, frequency) and detailed monitoring - Juwi has developed a SCADA system which allows for very detailed monitoring). Though touted as one of the viable alternatives available to power-intensive industries, mainly, various renewable energy offerings across the continent have been used for residential homes and rural electrification. Now, hybrid power generation at an industrial scale presents a new paradigm shift in power generation in Africa.

November - December 2017


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African Mining Brief is a bi-monthly magazine for the mining industry, incorporating quarrying, oil exploration and drilling; and other large scale extractive operations aimed at the discovery, extraction, storage, transport, sale and utilisation of Africa’s mineral wealth and resources. The magazine aspires to be the preferred and authoritative resource for the mining sector in Africa by featuring pertinent and topical issues of interest to the industry. This includes technological innovations, new mineral finds and legislation; as well as the economic, environmental, and developmental impact of mining on Africa’s economies. Given the forward and backward linkages of the mining sector, the entire supply chain of the industry, comprising suppliers and service providers constitute an integral part of the magazine’s coverage.












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Hybrid solar energy for mines Reduce costs. Improve power quality. Improve reliability.

Hybrid solar PV + diesel + storage offers: Quality power supply Security of supply Cost savings Reduced carbon footprint Hybrid solutions can be successfully applied on mines, large-scale farms, at desalination plants and at off-grid manufacturing plants.

DeGrussa mine juwiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s award winning hybrid solution, installed at DeGrussa mine in Australia, is the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest hybrid solar PV + diesel + storage power plant at an off-grid mine. Project specs: 10.6 MWp Solar plant, 6 MW (1.8 MWh) battery storage integrated into the on-site and pre-existing 19 MW diesel power station. Commissioned in June 2016 20% fuel saving 12,000 tonnes CO2 reduction per annum Improved power quality and reliability

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African Mining Brief  

African Mining Brief 2017 Issue Vol 12 No.6 Africa's leading bi-monthly magazine for the mining industry in Africa, bringing you all the be...

African Mining Brief  

African Mining Brief 2017 Issue Vol 12 No.6 Africa's leading bi-monthly magazine for the mining industry in Africa, bringing you all the be...