Page 1

March - April 2018, Volume 13 No.2


● Water treatment ● Mine site perimeter security ● Underground mining roof-support props

Contents March - April 2018, Volume 13 No.12

Editor’s word

inside this issue... Tel: +27 11 974-8013

Botswana Pula 60.00, Ethiopia Birr 140.00, Ghana Cedi 23.00, Kenya Ksh 500.00, Namibia N$80.00, Nigeria Naira 1,300.00, Rwanda Rwf 4,800.00, South Africa Rand 60.00, Tanzania Tsh 12,700.00, Uganda Ush 20,000.00, Zambia Zmk 40.00, Zimbabwe US$7.00

Front Cover: Underground mining roof-support

EDITOR Jimmy Swira GRAPHIC/WEB DESIGN Augustine Ombwa Writers: Nyiko Mahundla, Matimu Mahundla COUNTRY LIAISON Thuthukile Mhlanga Thuli Nkosi

Editor's Note 1 News 5 Eazyreach Swivel pole for mining and industrial Reliable lighting access for complex work-at-height maintenance tasks

Pump rental for Mining

Underground mining roof- support props

Water treatment 16 Water sufficiency through treatment

South Africa: Winnie Sentabire, Angeline Ntobeng,

Real-time ground monitoring an essential safety requirement

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.


Propping up safety underground

Blast vibration monitoring

Published by College Publishers a subsidiary of Group Africa Publishing Ltd


Pumping the burden out of mine management


Nigeria: Seni Bello



Gas detection: 36 Managing the methane menace Occupational Hygiene 45 Health and Safety Two legs to stand on

Chromium carbide 52 CrC solution extends liner lifespan at chrome mine to five years

Winds of real change or false dawn?


he realignment of Southern Africa’s political landscape, which recent developments in Zimbabwe and South Africa epitomise, has ushered in an era of hope for the region. Under poor leadership, governments took ill-advised decisions which were perceived or proved to be obstacles to any form of new investment in various economic sectors. Perhaps nowhere had the impact been more intense than in the mining sector. In Zimbabwe, the Indigenisation Policy, which was purportedly aimed at ensuring that indigenous Zimbabweans (whatever that implied) benefited from the country’s economic resources scared off foreign investors from the country’s mining sector. In South Africa, under former President Jacob Zuma, the unpredictability of the trajectory of Board Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) Policy, not helped by a fractious relationship between labour and mining companies, repelled capital inflows into mining. Optimistically, the new leaders in the two countries are slowly but surely steering mining sector in their respective countries away from the path to stagnation. But are we seeing the real change or a false dawn? Only time will tell.

Jimmy Swira

Chromium carbide overlay plate 53

Regional Offices

Keeping equipment wear at bay

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@

Kenya Office Northwest Ventures Ltd P.O. Box 16414 Nairobi 00100, Kenya Tel: +254 20 2679809, 2679808, 2091305 Email: kenya@

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@

Tyre changing solutions


Eliminating the tyre changing burden

Reusable thermal insulation 65 covers and expansion joints Hydrometallurgy 67 Prioritising water efficiency

© All rights reserved.

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

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@

Eazyreach Swivel pole for mining and industrial

Reliable lighting access for complex work-at-height maintenance tasks South Africa-based PlantSafe Systems (Pty) Ltd is raising awareness about Eazyreach Swivel pole to mining companies in Africa. Eazyreach Swivel pole is used for lighting purposes, primarily for plants and mining applications, such as conveyors, gangways, and other equipment. Eazyreach is patented and PlantSafe has sole manufacturing rights in Africa.


t is now conventional wisdom that, for mines to operate productively, safely and cost-effectively in the present erratic climate, using appropriate tools is vital. Managing Director, Desmond Basson, has strategically equipped PlantSafe to network and work alongside the mining industry to offer sustainable and innovative solutions within this specific industry. Sales Director of PlantSafe, Jan Lombard, tells African Mining Brief that PlantSafe Systems (Pty) Ltd has suitable solutions to help mine operators in Africa realise this objective. Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, PlantSafe Systems (Pty) Ltd services any type of industrial installations, with a comprehensive range of products, aimed at the safety of a plant, personnel and operational processes. The company provides a different range of solutions for both mining and industrial applications, which include: Eazyreach Swivel pole, Patented, Specialized custom Lockouts, both Electrical & Mechanical, Standard type Lockout.

Eazyreach Swivel pole installation in process


Eazyreach Swivel lighting pole Noticing the current course of developments in mining, PlantSafe is raising awareness about its solutions to mining companies in Africa. The Eazyreach Swivel lighting pole is the benchmark of Swivel pole technology. “Eazyreach is used for lighting purposes, primarily for plants and mining applications, such as conveyors, gangways, and other equipment,” says Lombard. “The Eazyreach Swivel pole allows for the safe and efficient maintenance of lighting and other fixtures, which might otherwise be complex to handle. The design of the pole can be used for lighting fixtures and bulkheads of various shapes, sizes and designs.” The pole is designed to take a weight of about 10kg. However, it can be fitted with counterweights, depending of the bulkhead weight. All cabling runs inside the pole. March - April 2018

Eazyreach Swivel pole for mining and industrial countries. The company designs, develops and manufactures specialised switchgear Lockout apparatus or tailor-made solutions as per customer requirements. “Our Lock Out Tag Out (LOTO) range is simple, robust and cost effective, such as padlocks, hasps, toggle type circuit breakers, pneumatics, plug lockouts, valves, substation logbooks, among others,” says Lombard. “All our products are of high standards, manufactured from robust stainless steel and patented to prevent substandard quality. In effect, we have all the products you would need to fulfill all your required Lockout procedures.”

Eazyreach Swivel pole in use at Sishen Mine, South Africa

Custom designs are available for different applications and conditions. Lombard illustrates how Eazyreach works: “The Eazyreach swivel pole is a one man operation. By simply loosening two nuts, the Easyreach swivel pole can pivot down to a point at which maintenance can take place in a controlled and safe manner. “When swinging the pole back to its normal functional position, a safety finger flips down and locks the pole in place,

in order for the worker to safely retighten the nuts that will secure the system.” The Eazyreach Swivel pole can be customized to customer requirements, for instance: i. Different types of base mounts ii. Junction box mounting requirements iii. Length of pole iv. Pole diameter (or as per customer requirements) • 43mm • 50mm • 60mm

• 76mm What makes the Eazyreach pole appropriate for harsh mining environments is that it is manufactured from hot dipped galvanized steel, made to withstand most harsh conditions, or as an option, from stainless steel. Lockout Tag out (LOTO) PlantSafe is also going all-out to promote its patented Lock Out Tag Out (LOTO) product range to mine operators in African

“Our Lock Out Tag Out (LOTO) range is simple, robust and cost effective, such as padlocks, hasps, toggle type circuit breakers, pneumatics, plug lockouts, valves, substation logbooks, among others,” says Lombard. PlantSafe's Lock Out Tag Out (LOTO) products”

March - April 2018

Lightning protection Lightning protection is PlantSafe’s other specialty. The company’s lighting protection product portfolio includes earth rods, clamps, down wiring (annealing process as well), and earthmats. Principally, says Lombard, PlantSafe deals in all parts for a full installation of lightning protection. “We are the only local manufacturer of lightning protection in South Africa.” PlantSafe has recently designed, developed and manufactured all lightning protection for the well-known “Meerket” Project, Telescope Satellites designed and used by Nasa for deep space research, biggest ever developed Globally. Supplementary products PlantSafe produces a range of supplementary products such as field isolators, welding socket feeders with integrated earth leakage protection, stop-start stations etc. If truth be told, it may take quite a while for commodity prices to return to the boom year levels. While the situation is entirely out of the control of mines, what mine operators can control is how they manage its impact on their operations from mine to mill. So, PlantSafe sees its range of products as reliable tools that can enable operators navigate current conditions through improved safety, productivity and efficiency. 3

Mining and Industrial: Eazyreach Swivel pole, Specialised custom Lockouts – Electrical & Mechanical, Standard type Lockout

Eazyreach Swivel & Lighting poles

PlantSafe System (Pty) Ltd Reg. No. 2012/190462/09


escription and Functionality

Easyreach consist of a range of poles for lighting purposes, primarily for plants and mining applications, such as conveyors, gangways, etc. The purpose of this product is to allow the Safe and Efficient maintenance of lighting and other fixtures. The Eazyreach swivel pole is a one man operation By simply loosening 2 nuts, the Easyreach pole can pivot down to a point at which maintenance can take place in a controlled and safe manner. When swinging the pole back to it’s normal functional position, a safety finger flips down and locks the pole in place, in order for the worker to safely retighten the nuts that will secure the system. The pole is manufactured from a hot dipped galvanised steel, made to withstand most harsh conditions, or as optional, from stainless steel. The design of the pole can be used for lighting fixtures and bulkheads of various shapes, sizes and designs. The pole is designed to take a weight of about 10kg, however can be fitted with counterweights, depending of the bulkhead weight. All cabling runs inside the pole. Custom designs are available for different applications and conditions.

Tel: +2711 027 5804 Fax: +2786 298 2597 Cell: +2782 554 8988 E-Mail:

4b Molecule Rd Vulcania Ext 2 Brakpan, 1541 Gauteng South Africa

For more information contact Jan Lombard on +2782 554 8988




DR Congo

Studying Botswana’s diamond mining management model

Exploration of ‘battery minerals’ positive for local mining sector

DR Congo to declare cobalt a strategic mineral

Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) has disputed reports that it is exporting diamonds to Botswana, but says it is drawing lessons from the neighbouring country’s mining and processing of the gems. According to Zimbabwe Standard, ZCDC CEO, Morris Mpofu, said the government was engaging entities in Botswana involved in the diamond industry. Botswana is one of the largest producers of diamonds in the world with the sector accounting for over 85% of the country export revenue. Botswana has also managed to gradually reduce its reliance on the precious mineral through building capacity in other economic sectors - something that Zimbabwe is trying to emulate. “In order to tap into Botswana’s experience in diamond mining, in 2017 the government of Zimbabwe engaged Botswana's Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security to facilitate engagements between its state entity ZCDC and other Botswana state entities such as the Minerals Development Corporation of Botswana, Diamond Trading Company of Botswana and the Botswana Diamond Hub,” Mpofu said. ZCDC has acknowledged the need to address bottlenecks in downstream processes that have for long led to poor branding of Marange diamonds, consequently resulting in under-pricing. “Facilitated by the ministries of Mines from the two countries, ZCDC is engaging Botswana in the following areas of cooperation aimed at increasing operational efficiency.

The Namibia Chamber of Mines CEO, Veston Malango, says the outlook for the mining industry is positive with several new players targeting a larger array of minerals and noted that these developments widen the opportunities for investment, job creation and broadening of the value chain. Malango said this at the launch of the 7th Namibian Mining Expo and Conference which will take place in Windhoek on 25 and 26 April. “In terms of outlook, we are extremely positive with the recent uptick in commodity prices, especially for base metals and minerals that have recently been coined battery minerals. These include lithium, graphite, rare earths and cobalt, among others,” Malango added. He stressed that the surge in prices for such commodities was being driven by electric vehicles and renewable energy storage technologies, while improving global growth was also driving demand for commodities. “The outlook for exploration especially for these minerals, is particularly positive as evidenced by the increase in such activity and new projects in 2017,” Malango said. The most notable projects to date have been Desert Lion lithium project near Karibib, Gecko Opuwo Cobalt project, Namibia Rare Earths projects and the Namib Lead and Zinc mine near Swakopmund which is currently progressing with mine development.

Tanzania Tanzania’s Mugabe-style ‘indigenisation’ to hit insurers and banks hard There is fear and uncertainty in Tanzania’s financial services sector, as the government of President John Magufuli is pushing the implementation of regulations to limit the involvement of foreignowned insurers and banks in mining-related businesses. In its reportt, Reuters, quoted the following section of the Mining (Local Content) Regulations of 2018: “A contractor, sub-contractor, licensee (mining company) or other allied entity shall maintain a bank account with an indigenous Tanzanian bank and transact business through banks in the country.” On the matter of the insurable risks to mining activity, Reuters highlighted the following: “The insurable risks relating to mining activity in the country shall be insured through an indigenous brokerage firm or where applicable an indigenous re-insurance broker.” According to the regulations: “an indigenous Tanzanian bank” is a bank that has 100% Tanzanian or a majority Tanzanian shareholding.” Major foreign-owned banks operating in Tanzania that are likely to be affected include Barclays Bank, Citi, Standard Chartered Bank , Stanbic Bank and South Africa’s First National Bank (FNB). Last month, under orders from Magufuli, Tanzania’s mining ministry passed regulations which will make it mandatory for foreign-owned mining groups to offer shares to the government and local companies.

March - April 2018

Democratic Republic of Congo will declare cobalt and coltan, used in electric vehicle and renewable energy technology, as “strategic” minerals which will earn the country higher royalties, a report on Reuters said. This follows on a new mining code that was signed into law on Friday by President Joseph Kabila despite vigorous opposition by global mining companies with operations in Congo such as Glencore, Randgold and China Molybdenum. Royalties paid to the government from cobalt and coltan mining will jump to 10 percent from 2 percent previously. Miners of the two metals used in batteries, would have paid a royalty of 3.5 percent under the new code if they had not been designated as strategic. The government considers minerals with the “strategic” designation important for the economic, social and industrial future of the country. As reported on Reuters, Jean Nkunza said "We need to make enough money before we run out of these minerals so that is why they are strategic to the country". “We have to make sure for the next 20 years we make money from these minerals because demand is going to be so high. It’s going to continue to grow and we are not going to stop raising the royalties on these minerals.” Other “strategic” minerals on the list include lithium and germanium, Nkunza said. Congo is the world’s biggest source of cobalt, the price of which more than doubled last year. The central African country is also Africa’s top copper producer. 5

Pump rental for Mining

Pumping the burden out of mine management Xylem has a pump rental service specifically bespoke for mines. The company’s pump engineers underscore the merits of pump rental over ownership as low revenue and rising operating costs overburden mines.

Immense benefits Palpably, switching from pump ownership to rental is a step that mine operators should consider, the engineers assert, highlighting three areas where benefits can be realised, as mainly, availability, maintenance and economy, which are elaborated below. • Availability Pump rental ensures that equipment is readily available. A client is able to obtain much needed equipment in short notice, direct to site. • Maintenance Rented equipment includes full maintenance, with no repair costs. A mine does not incur repair costs due to: no workshop, no spare parts inventory, no maintenance record keeping and no mechanics (no maintenance on the payroll).

Xylem's pump range


ining operations are under immense pressure to increase profitability, while containing skyrocketing operating costs in a challenging atmosphere. This calls for identifying non-core operations to be jettisoned, and core areas to be retained. Noncore areas can both be a drag and drain, a liability whose effects can impact on the bottom-line. But which areas should mines prioritise? Pump engineers from Xylem, a globally recognised

pump technology firm, draws attention to pump management, as one area where mines can reap massive benefits. Typically, pump management is a costly and time consuming task. Attending to pump issues can take away a mine’s energies from focusing on the core business. Dealing with pump failure can cost mines millions in repair and replacement costs. The ensuing downtime of the equipment can result in an irretrievable loss of revenue.

• Economy Renting equipment is economical, as a mine pays only for the time the equipment is used. For instance, buying equipment for a temporary job might be a poor investment. • Minimum inventory Renting equipment frees capital for other, potentially more profitable uses. Besides, use of rental equipment eliminates the need for large storage areas (warehouse).

• Cost control Knowing the true cost of owned equipment is difficult. However, rented equipment has only one accountable cost figure: the rental invoice. The Xylem approach There are numerous companies offering what they call “turnkey” pump solutions. What does Xylem have for end-users, particularly mines, overwhelmed as they are with tasks? Xylem understands that the requirements of each mine is unique, and would like to inform mines about the following its pump rental concept can offer: • Know that all Xylem products and applications present a rental opportunity • Begin renting into concentrated areas • Determine your key target markets/differentiate your order, • Provide 24/7 rapid response • Run professional rental systems and structures • Provide complete water handling solutions • Standardize your equipment • Include delivery, installation and supervision in your offer • Find your niche: Larger pumps provide a unique niche, municipal and industrial applications • Rental provides flexibility and a complete solution to the customer.

Godwin pumps are built with discharge head capabilities to 193 m with a single-stage open impeller and close coupled pump-end. Built to handle the toughest dewatering jobs these automatic self-priming pumps demand minimum


maintenance and can run dry without damage; sturdy and reliable under all conditions. Count on our service and support whether you purchase, rent or opt for a total solution. Godwin pumps are readily available to you from your nearest Xylem rental, sales and service centres. Office:-

+27 11 966 9506

24/7 Rental :-

+27 83 262 3865

6 Godwin rental advert.indd


March - April 2018

2018/02/07 04:29:23 PM

RA International

A roadmap for a sustainable African mining industry By John Mitchell, Director of Project Management at RA International a remote site specialist company


n 2009, the African Union Commission (AUC) created the Africa Mining Vision (AMV). It says, ‘Africa’s own response to tackling the paradox of great mineral wealth existing side by side with pervasive poverty.’ Many governments in Africa have made major progress over recent years – we now see mining companies working hard to ‘put back’ in to society through skills development and environmental protection policies. The African mining industry has matured. Over 30% of the world’s global mineral reserves are found in Africa, yet less than 5% of the total global mineral exploration and extraction budget is invested in the continent. Africa is an important focus of mining business operations due to the emerging economic power and capabilities of the region for continuing industrial development. The industry is offering unparalleled opportunities for both local and international investors. For the period from 2018 to 2030, an estimated $50 billion will be invested into mining projects over the same period. Kenya’s 2016 mining act, which forms part of its 20-year mining strategy, specifically sets out the country’s aim of attracting up to 20 new mining companies. The act provides simplified permits for small-scale operations and simplified licenses for larger companies. And, on the other side of the continent, we are seeing similar moves to incentivise investment - the Angolan government is currently working on a new special tax regime for the sector, which may include new incentives concerning tax deductible costs and losses. We are also now seeing opportunities to invest increase right across the continent, including in Angola, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritania and Senegal. The Angolan Ministry of Geology and Mining confirmed in February 2017 that it had secured funding for the Angolan National Geology Plan (Planageo), which is described by the Minister of Geology and Mining, Francisco Queiroz, as “The main instrument of the government’s strategy for protecting the

RA International - John Mitchell

March - April 2018


RA International

geology and mining sector.” The plan has already identified over 200 priority targets for the prospecting of iron, base metals, copper, manganese, titanium, gold, lead and aluminium (amongst others). Despite the positive news, challenges remain. Illegal mining is one of them. And, as commodity prices rise, the problem will worsen – unless governments and other stakeholders address the problem head-on. The South African government has identified illegal mining as a national threat, with illegal syndicates employing around 30,000 people many of whom are illegal immigrants. The issue is not only a threat to the industry and national economies but to the health, safety and wellbeing of those working in unsafe mines with poor access to basic services – even clean drinking water. Infrastructure is often poor, working conditions usually dangerous and salaries are low. Women can earn as little as R100 per day in South Africa by grinding up a 20-litre bucketful of rock. Often, workers are paid in kind, taking a tiny percentage of the takings or leftover soil. In addition to the need for greater levels of policing and law enforcement, is the need for sustainable mining practices, right

across the value chain. Support services are a crucial element – access roads, potable water services and operation and maintenance facilities provide for resource optimization, a better quality of life for workers and safer working conditions. Of these, health and safety is one of the most important day-to-day operational objectives, which is why thirdparty companies such as RA International are increasingly becoming important logistical partners. RA International provides life support, facilities management and health and safety services to mining companies in some of the most challenging terrains, including right in the heart of the desert. The Company’s expertise includes the delivery of fully functional, remote and self-sufficient prefab camps in the middle of the desert to the north of Khartoum – these mega-projects require the laying out of roads and waypoints, life-support facilities, accommodation and maintenance for hundreds of people. If mining in Africa is to grow responsibly – and if all Africans are to benefit from the wealth generated from the continent’s natural resources – mining companies must adopt and enforce sustainable practices. Companies must take personal responsibility

for the natural environment they operate in, and respect the health and wellbeing of those working for them – often in very difficult conditions. Mining companies can also benefit from partnering with specialized logistics, life support and maintenance companies that are able to rapidly deploy teams of experts that understand the local communities. Such companies can set the highest standards of excellence – including in compliance, industry best practice and social responsibility. The journey towards achieving environmental accountability, social responsibility and commercial success will help to prevent illegal mining and inevitably lead to more foreign investments. Sustainable practices through investment in on-site facilities, infrastructure, training, safety and the environment will raise standards across the value chain in Africa – which is good for the industry, for economic growth, sustainable jobs and the millions of people working to build a better future for their families and communities.

RA General Infographic - African Mining


March - April 2018

Terrestrial Trunking Radio (TETRA) Systems

Safe, secure and productive mining through efficient communications Due to the numerous benefits that it brings in improving safety standards and increasing productivity, the use of suitable critical communications systems has become a standard within the mining industry. TETRA has evolved into one of the industry’s leading de-facto standards for critical communications in open cast mining environments.

Effective communication tools are key to safety in mines


n the past six months, fatalities have been recorded in recent incidents in the South Africa’s mining sector. Beyond question, if ever mine operators in South Africa - if not in Africa as the whole - have been taking safety measures lightly, these high-profile events should be a sufficient clarion call for them to reassess their approach. In relation to South Africa’s mining sector, according to the Department of Mineral Resources, among the

most important steps that mines are obliged to take to ensure a safer working environment for their employees is investing in safe and secure communications tools. Adequate and appropriate radio communication tools ensure safety, security and operational productivity. In a sequel to an interview, he had with African Mining Brief in 2016 on the issue of safety in open cast mines, Johan Hoolsema, MD for Expert System Solutions (ESS),

underscores the significance of making the right choice when purchasing mining-specific wireless communication tools. “It is not just a matter of buying communication tools, but right tools for specific requirements,” he states. “Since mining sites are often in geographically remote areas with very little infrastructure, choosing and installing a suitable radio communication system should be one of the first decisions to be considered.”

March - April 2018

The value of Communication Consulting Services ESS offers expert advice to the industry, considering the correct suitable wireless communication systems to support the mine operational and safety requirements. ESS, as an experienced communication system consultant in Southern Africa, can assist in evaluating operational user, system and safety requirements to ensure a sound foundation on which 9

Terrestrial Trunking Radio (TETRA) Systems available communication systems and its capabilities can be identified, evaluated and selected for implementation. In no doubt, oversights made during defining system requirements, specifications and procurement can have serious financial implications, even leading to safety, security and operational risks. From experience of almost 20 years of consulting on wireless communications systems in the industry and based on various successful installations. Johan Hoolsema concluded that the cost of consulting services accounts for only a couple of percentage points of the project costs. A small cost that contributes significantly to the success of the balance of project expenditure.

and data traffic. Tracking of miners has become an excellent means to enhance mine safety. As an example, during an incident the miner can simply press the emergency button and emergency services are immediately notified with the location of the miner. TETRA is an industry’s leading standard for critical communications due to the numerous

Open standard TETRA’s open standard (interoperability) means that network operators and end users are free to choose from the many manufacturers and suppliers offering TETRA infrastructure and radios for solution to meet their precise needs. The unrivalled TETRA interoperability certification Process (IOP), managed by the TCCA, gives TETRA users complete confidence that certified interoperable TETRA equipment will work seamlessly in multivendor systems.

• Value adds-on suitable for hazardous environments TETRA’s value addson, makes the system capable of dealing The value of with the everyday Terrestrial Trunking Monitoring and control block diagram between Control Centre and Public address system. operational tasks Radio (TETRA) and maintenance of the site, sometimes in benefits that it brings in improving safety extremely hazardous conditions. The TETRA systems Johan Hoolsema recommends TErrestrial standards,” he says, referring to a number of standards include the following features: Trunking RAdio (TETRA) Systems as a features which make TETRA appropriate for cellular radio network architecture (like cell suitable critical communications that rugged mining environments. phone GSM); frequency efficient (2 x better ESS Hpfc advert.pdf 1 3/7/2018system 6:00:47 PM than conventional radio or GSM); digital can be considered for high volume of voice










March - April 2018

Most importantly, the GPS location data can be transmitted during emergencies and used to track missing and potentially endangered personnel.

4 slot TDMA(6.25 kHz equivalent) no audio noise like in analog; 25kHz radio bandwidth: full duplex capabilities; voice and data service simultaneously; automatic call hand-over between cells; fast call set-up network-wide; and scalable with high level security options (authentication, encryption), makes it one of the must have in order to guarantee safety as well as productivity.

• High volume GPS In comparison with other digital radio technologies, TETRA is a much better carrier of high volume GPS and other data messages such as Telemetry/Telecontrol data transmission.

Excellent voice quality and integrated voice and data services over an IP network TETRA provides excellent voice quality, elimination of background noise. TETRA’s voice capabilities are second to none, with instant connection and excellent voice clarity. Besides, TETRA delivers integrated voice and data services over an IP network. TETRA enhanced data services (TEDS) is the wideband solution delivering higher speed data transfers for richer applications interworking within the secure TETRA communications environment. What's more, TETRA offers status messages and short data service (SDS) which can be organised and stored.

• Data archiving TETRA provides another important safety feature that is archiving of all the voice and data messages (e.g. GPS, Telemetry/ Telecontrol etc.) that can be used for incident and accident management investigations. • Telemetry and Telecontrol TETRA provides an ideal data transport layer for Telemetry/Telecontrol application that can be used for monitoring and control. As an example, the ESS Remote Terminal Unit (ESSRTU) has a build-in TETRA modem and provides various digital inputs, digital outputs and analogue instrumentation inputs. The ESS-RTU applications in the mining sector is for water utility, power utility, security applications and aid for production monitoring and control.

Trunked Mode Operation (TMO) and direct Mode Operation (DMO) TETRA also has the options for Trunked Mode Operation (TMO) and Direct Mode Operation (DMO). Trunked Mode provides full TETRA’s capability within the radio coverage of the entire network. Direct Mode is used for direct communication between users and groups without the use of a TETRA network. DMO is also used for extending the range of TETRA, especially for telemetry applications that are not in reach of the TETRA coverage area. • Sharing single infrastructure Centralised control makes it possible to provide virtual TETRA networks providing efficient method of sharing a single infrastructure by different mines in case of mine emergencies, share of services between other mines is again improving the mine safety in general. • GPS for easy location TETRA devices can be equipped with internal GPS receiver to receive and decode data from GPS satellites and establish the geographic location of the device. If the event of an emergency, the miner will activate the emergency button and the control room will know exactly where the incident is taking place, and accordingly dispatch help from the closest emergency personnel.

Fully transportable Wireless Public Address system, requires no excavation works. Communication via the mission critical TETRA network. Designed and manufactured in RSA

Wireless ESS-RTU for monitoring and Control. The ESS-RTU is designed and manufactured in RSA

March - April 2018

Informed choice is vital Taking everything into account, since communication tools are integral to increasing safety, security and productivity, the burden is on mine operators to buy the right product. Nevertheless, the question is: How do you choose the right communication systems and tools for your critical requirements and operations amid piles of similar products awash in the market? In order to address this challenge, Hoolsema urges mines, considering new or the upgrading of existing communication systems, to ensure that a clearly specified communication user requirement is defined. From a mine production and safety point of view this is an important building block in its planning and project development process. There are quite a number of mines in South Africa that have adopted TETRA as their mission critical communication system for improving production and mitigating safety risks. This allows for valuable “peer group” information sharing and support between various mines. 11

TO BRING YOU THE BEST COMMUNICATIONS SOLUTION CONCEPTUALISE Understand Mine Safety, Productivity and Operational User Requirements DESIGN Managing Customer Expectations, combined with Regulatory Compliance to suit Customer Budget DEPLOY Installation and Commissioning of Network and Peripheral Devices MAINTAIN Service Level Agreements to ensure Mission Critical Communications

For further information contact the Emcom Team on +27(31) 312 9288 or

Underground mining roof-support props

Propping up safety underground Recent developments in underground mining have raised the profile of hydraulic roof-support props as one of the effective means of enhancing safety in underground mines, writes MATIMU MAHUNDLA

Appropriate roof-support props are essential for safe and productive underground mining


t has been established that underground entrapment resulting from roof collapse during blasting, which results in vibration and shock, is one of the risks to the safety of workers in underground mining environments. For this reason, regulations of the Department of Mineral Resources oblige mines to invest in appropriate solutions to mitigate such risks. Non-compliance may result in prosecution and a huge penalty, where it has been established that the relevant mine operator is culpable. Given the nature of various mines, successfully preventing the fall of roof in underground mines depends on identifying and implementing the right support systems and strategy. A specialist in underground ground support systems, Dr. Christopher Mark, states that the performance characteristics

of the identified roof support systems must be in line with the loading environment and ground behavior if they are to succeed. More to the point, a report from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) illustrates that that the capability of support systems depends on factors such as the material, configuration, and height of the support props. In particular, they work best when they are matched to the ground conditions in which they are used. Hydraulic roof support props are widely regarded as reliable tools in underground roof support. Hydraulic roof support props consist of a cylinder that is extended against the mine roof and floor by pumping water or some other hydraulic fluid into the cylinder. Once the cylinder is set, a locking collar transforms the cylinder into a mechanical prop where the steel tubing

is deformed in a controlled manner. This promotes the prop stability, prevents rock falls and the control rock bursts in the stope. One of the advantages of Hydraulic Support Props is its ability to be applied in various heights very easily while at the same time providing an active load to the mine roof during installation. Rigorous tests obligatory As Hydraulic Props are used to enhance safety in extreme underground environments, it is critical that they have to be subjected to rigorous testing in conditions that simulate the inservice loading conditions in underground mines. The tests determine the active loading capability of those supports through proper matching of the support performance to the mine conditions.

March - April 2018

Installation practices Writing on the subject, a specialist in underground support, the managing director of Minorva SA, Pete Ferreira, tells mines that, when it comes to compliance, quality control and procedures covering the installation of any support props should always be specified by the mine in accordance with the requirements of Mine Health and Safety Act. This, he specifies, should cover the use of approved materials and equipment, while at the same time laying down the installation procedures to be followed. Indeed, the Mine Health and Safety Act covers regulations and standards, require managers to ensure that the ground control measures (support structures) in use at their mines will fully secure the operational environment. Potential demand The a report from the South African Chamber of Mines reveals that huge mineral deposits for minerals such as coal, chromium, diamonds and gold in the country remain untapped in deep level and ultradeep conditions. Extracting the resources in deep-level mining will present a challenge safeguarding the safety of workers. In addition, large portions of these reserves are found several kilometers below the surface, thus presenting an opportunity for mining, and also a significant safety challenge for safeguarding personnel assigned to work in those levels. For suppliers, this calls for supplying dependable solutions for safe and productive mining. 13

Water treatment

Water sufficiency through treatment Water treatment is one of the key tools that miners have at their disposal to address onsite water demands whilst reducing the impact on precious freshwater resources, thereby, enhancing sustainability.

A desalination he facility at BHP’s Escondida copper mine in Chile’s Atacama Desert


t the onset, in examining water treatment initiatives at mines, it is important to take two scenarios into account. In the first case, where mines are water positive, they have too much water and must deal with the excess. In the second, where mines are water negative, they do not have enough water and need to ensure sufficient water to operate. To ensure the sustainability of operations mining companies are required to become proactive in maintaining their licence to operate through undertaking initiatives that are geared towards managing either water excess and/or shortfall . To manage water shortfall effectively, mining companies are looking at diversifying their water sources to reduce risk and enhance water resilience. For this reason, 16

they are using performance and risk-based criteria to identify and prioritise opportunities which deliver best “bang for their buck”.

"At the outset, it is important to recognise that every mine situation is different, and the solution may differ depending on various considerations"

Traditional water supply options including recycling, reuse, as well as an increased use of innovative treatment methods and desalination are broadening the portfolio of solutions. Developing a water solution Experienced Engineering Procurement and Construction Management (EPCM) firms have a bigger role to play in helping mines to address their particular water treatment needs, points out a specialist from Black & Veatch, a global EPCM firm with a strong presence in Africa. “At the outset, it is important to recognise that every mine situation is different, and the solution may differ depending on various considerations,” says Dennis Gibson, Chief March - April 2018

Technical Officer for Mining, Black & Veatch. “The optimal solution will entail identifying and assessing options from all potential opportunities, considering factors such as safety, technical feasibility, reputation, reliability, cost, environmental aspects, as well as the social impacts and benefits.” According to Gibson, this stage may require working closely with regulators, and regional environmental and water planning groups, and also relies heavily on integrated water resources planning to develop sound contingency plans that factor in resilience and cost-effectiveness. This is paramount as mines have to be guided through the maze of permitting and environmental studies, as well as considering closure and remediation

impacts. Noteworthy, water sustainability in mining operations can be achieved through effective and efficient usage and minimising negative impacts on the external environment. Desalination as a possible solution Desalination is one of the viable water treatment supply options for mines in Africa. The advantage of water desalination is that it takes water from a source that is uncorrelated with hydrologic cycle risk, notably from the sea. The concept of desalination, which has been around for hundreds of years, continues to offer solutions to help improve the world’s supply of potable water. However, implementing it on a large, global scale poses

March - April 2018

a host of challenges. Current technology relies on reverse osmosis, which pumps water through semi-permeable membranes to remove impurities. While cost-effective, this technology is not ideal, as it uses large amounts of energy and can impact the environment in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and brine disposal. Hearteningly, there is currently a lot of research and development going into the technology, from investigating new types of membranes to testing out vaporisation. Two new approaches – closed-circuit desalination and concentrated solar stills – are pushing the boundaries with valve technology. But these solutions may only be available for commercial application in the next decade or more, while many mines need more immediate remedies. So, creativity and innovation will continue to play a critical role when developing water and wastewater treatment options. Advanced technologies can be specific to the challenge. For example, the facility at BHP’s Escondida copper mine in Chile’s Atacama Desert, which is one of the driest regions on earth. In the project brief, BHP wanted to deliver a sustainable solution which did not impact on the environmentally sensitive water sources that it previously used. BHP then consulted Black & Veatch to lead the engineering design, procurement, resident engineering and commissioning for the marine and desalination components of the Escondida Water Supply (EWS) project. The project scope was for the water conveyance and storage system, the high-voltage substations and transmission lines, and a new private communication network for the mining operation. The network included supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), voice over internet protocol (VoIP), security video, and fire protection circuits. In the project, a remote-controlled microtunnel boring machine was used to carve a 530-metre-long tunnel to capture water from deep within the sea. This allowed getting a water quality and consistency that eliminated some pretreatment processes, making the desalination process even more efficient. Ultimately, the desalination solution brought about improved water supply reliability, as well as preserving the area’s important fresh water resources. Presently, the EWS is the largest desalination facility in the Americas, delivering 2,500 litres per second of fresh water to the Escondida mine almost 170 km away to an elevation of 3000 m . Black & Veatch water treatment specialists foresee desalination facilities similar the Escondida may be used to address water supply shortages in mines and related sectors in Africa. 17

Water treatment

Facing the acid mine water menace squarely Acid mine water pollution is affecting communities surrounding disused mines in South Africa. Efforts that are being taken to deal with the problems by relevant organisations are agonisingly short. African Mining Brief finds out from Karen King, Senior Associate, WSP, Environment & Energy, Africa, how the problem can be managed effectively.

Acid-contaminated water near an abandoned mine in South Africa

AMB: What is the scale of the problem of acid mine water pollution in South Africa? KK: South Africa’s acid mine drainage (AMD) problem is a serious, long-term environmental problem, previously termed, ‘the single most significant threat to South Africa’s environment’. The problem is centred around the Witwatersrand old mining area, and considerable AMD damage has occurred in the Wonderfonteinspruit, Tweelopiespruit, Tudor Dam and Robinson Lake areas. Depending on the area in which the AMD is occurring, the water may contain high levels of salts, sulphate, iron, aluminium, cadmium, cobalt and radioactive elements. Currently millions of litres of AMD are still flowing into streams connected to both the Vaal and Crocodile Rivers and groundwater systems. This can 18

have and has had devastating consequences for communities and the environment. KK: Apparently, what would it take to address the problem effectively? AMB: Measures aimed at AMD migration need to be concerned with its transport medium; water. Surface water flowing toward the pollution sources should be diverted, water seepage and groundwater infiltration into the site should be prevented and acid-generating waste placement needs to be controlled. Recognition of the fact that polluted water can be a resource and not a liability is also needed. There is no short-term solution to the AMD issue. Considering the existing pollution, the AMD needs to be pumped out of the mining areas and treated, but this

exercise is often started and not continued, and is often so expensive that it could bankrupt some mines. Awareness of the extent of the problem is good in South Africa, and this needs to continue. Increased pressure needs to be placed on the government to address the issue, and adequate responsibility and funding for AMD treatment need to be assigned to the relevant mining houses and government departments. This is often difficult as the older AMD-generating mined have been closed for many years. Considering the potential for additional AMD generation, The Inter Ministerial Committee on Acid Mine Drainage (IMC) has been established. The mines need to stop further seepage and polluted water leaving their properties. Many mines have, however, been poorly managed in the past, and environmental regulations under the National Water Act 54 of 1956 were not strict enough March - April 2018

to adequately protect the environment previously. While abandoned mines are now controlled under the Water Amendment Act 58 of 1997 and South Africa’s current environmental policies centred on mining and polluted water are far better, these need to be far more strictly enforced. Mine closure plans need to adequately account for AMD prevention solutions and make adequate financial provision for such solutions, and new mines should not be allowed to open without such closure plans. Solutions such as flooding of potential AMD-generating areas before oxidation can occur are being considered. AMB: As a reputable and extensively experienced EPCM, what would you advise as the sustainable way to address the problem? KK: The best solution for treating AMD will vary depending on the extent and specific make-up of the AMD, its volume, the geographical area in which the problem occurs, the finances available to treat the problem and where the liability lies. The most commonly used commercial process for treating AMD is lime neutralisation, which involves lime Half Page advert 27 Feb 2018.pdf 1 2018/02/27 3:02:41 PM precipitation in a high-density sludge process,

whereby lime is added to AMD to increase the pH to about 9. At this pH, most toxic metals become insoluble and precipitate. Air may be added to oxidize iron and manganese and assist in their precipitation. A number of variations on this process exist. A simpler version of this process, such as lime neutralisation, can be used, and is far less costly to build, but less efficient. This would be more suitable to small flows or less complex AMD. Using similar chemical principles, calcium silicate neutralisation, carbonate neutralisation and precipitation of metal sulphides can also be used to treat AMD. A South African company has patented an ion-exchange process that treats AMD economically and constructed wetlands have been successfully used to treat AMD in South Africa. AMB: What do you consider when constructing a facility to treat acid mine water efficiently, from design to commissioning? KK: One needs to consider the potential AMD decant volumes and specific chemistry, pre-treatment including removal of certain particulates, the best methodology to select for the specific type/types of AMD that the facility will be treating, maintenance of the

facility, financing of the facility, the training of the personnel tasked with managing the facility and the water quality monitoring programme for the water pre- and posttreatment. The standard to which the water needs to be treated should also be considered, as this will affect the design and pricing of the facility; this may to a potable, industrial or agricultural standard. AMB: What are possible causes of the failure of acid mine treatment plants? KK: Possible causes of failure include planning failures, such as selection of the incorrect methodology to treat the specific AMD problem or inadequate pricing or financing schemes, as well as mechanical failures, such as pipes used for transportation of treated acid mine water to aerators and settling basins becoming clogged, aeration equipment failure as treated mine water can contain calcium sulphate in a supersaturated solution, as well as large quantities of ferrous and ferric hydroxide and some aluminium. Aeration equipment that treats metallic ores may not supply sufficient aeration and the components of the system need to be cleaned frequently. The impellers of an aerator tank pump and the water decant system can become clogged when calcium sulphate levels are high.









March - April 2018


Welding machinery for projects

Easy plastic welding with semi-automatic control Combining the features of automatic CNC control system, with the manual control systems, the semiautomatic control option brings cost reduction and high quality in the process of plastic welding.


owadays, plastic welding of water, gas, mining pipelines is considered to be a rather simple process and is frequently approached with a condescending attitude. Consequently, there are more and more cases where this process is carried out by untrained and inexperienced welders, using low quality equipment. Instead, as a molecular fusion of two parts made of the same material, plastic welding needs precision and there should be no margin for error. Hence, the reliability and quality of a welding is strongly connected with correct processing in the welding cycle. If not performed according to welding standards, welding can result in explosions, fires, floods victims that could have even extremely dangerous consequences to people. For this reason, the welders’ training and use of certified equipment is a key element. Modern butt-welding technology Modern butt-welding technology has developed 3 types of control system, each with a different automation level: • Manual control system: the hydraulic gear case and the whole welding cycle is managed manually by the operator, who has the responsibility of adjusting the pressure and counting the necessary time of each welding phase. • Semi-automatic control system: the operator’s interaction with the control unit during the different welding phases is greatly reduced, and so is his responsibility and the probability of a mistake. The control unit is in fact electronically managed by software that automatically adjusts pressure and time during the welding process. • Automatic CNC control system: the operator has to enter basic information (pipe material, diameter, SDR and welding standard) into the control unit, which is needed for the machine to perform the welding cycle automatically without the operator. Semi-automatic control: a handy option Obviously, the CNC control system brings more advantages during the entire welding process, as it carries out the cycle automatically. However, a CNC butt-welding machine is considerably more expensive than a manual control system. And so, a semi20

A welder using EASY LIFE

automatic option becomes undoubtedly a good compromise, as it minimises the investment, significantly reduces the probability of welding mistakes and related quality problems. All these aspects, combined with a 40 years’ experience in the plastic welding machines manufacturing, led RITMO to develop the EASY LIFE CONTROL SYSTEM, an intuitive and user-friendly technology that simplifies the welding process. How EASY LIFE works and differs from manual control systems When using an Easy life control system, the operator sets the welding parameters: material, diameter, SDR, time and pressure per welding phase. This requires only a few simple and extremely intuitive passages, which are easy to carry out even for less experienced operators, with the additional support of an on-line tutorial. Once the parameters have been set, they can be saved and stored in the Easy life control system’s memory. With ease, the operator takes care of the preparation of pipes for welding, milling, alignment, etc. Thereafter, once everything is ready, the heating plate is positioned and the welding cycle can start. With a manual control system, the operator has to adjust the pressure and manage the duration of each phase, open and

close the carriage, remove the heating plate. This requires the operator’s both hands use very frequently engaged fulfil two actions at the same time. With this approach, there is bound to be room for mistakes. On the contrary, with Easy Life Control system, it is the machine computer which adjusts the pressure and calculates the time per welding phase. The operator is not involved in manually managing the pressure valves and lever, it has only to validate each welding phase, when the control unit requires it, just by pressing the corresponding button and removing the heating plate after the automatic opening of the carriage. As a result, the probability of a mistake from the operator’s side is drastically reduced. The option of saving customised welding cycles enables the operator to use those saved parameters whenever needed, therefore saving setting time. Furthermore, the control system is equipped with a data-logging function that records the welding cycle and generates up to 4000 welding reports which can be downloaded in PDF format. With manual machines, the certification of welding is done by data-logging devices which have to be connected to the welding machine and are rather expensive. Massive benefits In conclusion, Easy Life brings fundamental benefits to the entire construction industry, such as the simplification of the welding process at the jobsite and the reduction of time losses and therefore costs, in addition to high quality standards. Additionally, through high quality and long-lasting pipelines, EASY LIFE can enable the delivery of clean water to communities in Africa. Latest technology The latest release of EASY LIFE control system, includes characteristics and functions which are very similar to those of a CNC, but at a cost closer to manual butt welding machines. In addition, Ritmo is about to release a dedicated APP for Easy Life, which will increase the efficiency and automation of the welding cycle. Over and above construction projects worldwide, welding technology has been implemented in high productivity machines, particularly suitable for the mining industry for which the cost, productivity and profits benefits have an extremely importance. March - April 2018

Crushing and screening

Proactive crusher maintenance essential

As with anything, you get out of it what you put into it. Learn to do maintenance jobs right the first time, and continue the discipline throughout the life of the equipment, writes MATIMU MAHUNDLA


rushing equipment is of extreme importance in the mining industry, primarily for its ability to reduce the size of raw materials, such as mined ore into small pieces, so that they are easily differentiated for the desired end use. However, as a result of this process, crushers are exposed to a great deal of wear and tear, necessitating maintenance throughout their lifetime. The last thing mine operators would loath to encounter is crusher downtime. For this reason, mining enterprises should ensure that their equipment is always in peak condition to sustain productivity. One of the ways is the adoption of crusher monitoring and maintenance systems that perform optimally at all times.

For instance, Gouging Impact Abrasion is a common problem encountered in crushers, according to information from crushing and screening firm, Metso. This frequently affects the primary crushing phases of mining and ore processing. The abrasive forces deform the equipment’s surface, resulting in oversized material passing downstream, where it is later sent back for secondary crushing. This costs mines additional time and labour. Recommended approach To forestall this problem, industry experts recommend that companies should be aware of wear and abrasion mechanism that are prevalent in the industry.

Impact of wear and abrasion • The choice Crusher maintenance does have a significant The choice of wear protective components for impact on operations if downtime happens a particular process has a significant impact African Mining Brief 1.2.qxp_Layout 1 08/02/2018 08:29 Page 1 too often and over a long period of time. on the total cost of ownership of equipment

The leading aftermarket manufacturer and supplier of precision crusher spare parts and premium manganese wear parts for the Mining Industry. 22

The right coating ensures long crusher uptime

ownership, Metso says in its manual. The company recommends that crushers should have protection equipment that has high resistance to corrosion, abrasion and wear. • Monitoring Considering the current economic conditions in mining, a wear protection specialist, Steven Bowditch, Global Market Development Manager for ARC Efficiency and Protective Coatings, advises that mines should invest in measures that are geared towards reducing maintenance expenditure. Bowditch says one such measure is monitoring the wearing and abrasion of equipment.

Read More of this article on:

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The Genuine Alternative March - April 2018

Blast vibration monitoring

Real-time ground monitoring an essential safety requirement Advanced technology has simplified ground vibration monitoring tasks hitherto complicated. It is only ethical for mining companies to make wise decisions by investing in appropriate technology to ensure safe blasting.

Effects of blast monitoring have to be monitored consistently and accurately.


lasting is widely regarded as an economical and viable method for rock excavation and displacement in mining. However, it can also be a serious and potentially dangerous practice because of the use of explosives, which cause ground vibrations that are harmful to both mines and the surrounding communities. For instance, small surface movements on mines may be precursors of failure that, if detected early, can provide sufficient warning to enable workers and machinery to be withdrawn to safety. Failure to detect small surface movements may have catastrophic consequences. Regulatory limitations There are general regulatory limitations on blasting vibrations in relation to the maximum charge and the distance to a concerned location. For instance, the South African Explosives Act No 15 of 2003 requires that mining enterprises should take reasonable measures to ensure that when blasting takes place,

air and ground vibrations, shock waves or fly material are limited. Primarily to ensure that there is no risk towards infrastructure such as buildings, railway, power lines or places where persons congregate. Proper control and monitoring Thus, proper control and monitoring of blasting practice ensures the safety of employees, machinery and the surrounding community. An industry analyst, Justin Winter, says ground vibrations can be minimised up to permissible levels that avoid damage to operations through using systems that efficiently monitor, predict, and then give an indication on where interventions are needed to mitigate the impact of ground vibration.

able to capture data about the variety, volume, and the velocity of ground movements while at the same time determining the structural integrity of an operation, in both underground and open cast environments. According to another specialist, Ritesh Mehta, in the event of a significant danger such as ground slide or tunnel collapse, the monitoring system sends out an early warning to miners to evacuate before any incidents occur. For instance, a slope monitoring radar can actively monitor slopes in open pit mines, and ensure timeous interventions. It provides immediate alerts for the safety of workers and infrastructure in the event of progressive movements which could potentially lead to slope failure.

Real time vibration monitoring Automated vibration monitoring tools have taken ground vibration monitoring a notch higher. In real-time, they are

IBIS radar A classic example is the IBIS radar, which is capable of collecting quantitative information on slope behavior from either a spatial or a

March - April 2018

temporal point of view. The device provides an earlydetection alerts on impending failures in real time, as well as, accurate geo-referenced outputs over long periods of time, allowing users to integrate radar data into geotechnical analysis of slope failure mechanisms. It can operate range within a radius of up to 4500 m. The radar allows enterprises to safely deploy the system in comfortable and accessible areas, without having to expose people and equipment to hazardous zones. With advanced automatic algorithms in the market, the system is able to deliver accurate data in all weather conditions. Ethical All told, advanced technology has simplified ground vibration monitoring tasks hitherto complicated. It is only ethical for mining companies to make wise decisions by adopting appropriate technology to ensure safe operations. 23

Perimeter security

‘Big Brother’ is watching you illegal miner! The number of arrest of illegal miners at a gold mine in Tanzania now ranges between 75 and 100, after the mine adopted FLIR pan/tilt thermal imaging camera for its perimeter security. MATIMU MAHUNDLA finds more about this technology. own power reticulation which includes solar panels mounted to the roof, to battery banks installed within the container. The system allows wireless communication back to a centralised control room. Existing installations have a 36 km wireless link that allows complete surveillance and control. 360-degree situational

FLIR pan/tilt thermal imaging camera for its perimeter security has minimised illegal mining and intruders in Tanzania


report from the South African Chamber of Mines indicates that illegal mining is on the rise and it presents multi-dimensional challenges that need a collective multi-disciplinary approach. The Institute of Security Studies agrees with this observation. While there is more coverage on illegal mining activity in vulnerable closed-off and abandoned mines, most perplexing is that even operating mines that are supposed to have systems in place have not been spared. Incidences of illegal mining that have been recorded in operating mines indicate that conventional security methods like conventional perimeter fencing fall excruciatingly short. This necessitates an efficient perimeter security to deter illegal miners from entering mine sites. African Mining Brief has been following current trends in technology used for curbing illegal mining or intrusion on mining sites. Secu-Systems, 24

a Johannesburg based security solutions company, came up with a solution for the security problem for two trial sites in Tanzania. The company developed a robust, mobile and highly advanced security system, based on the use of FLIR pan/tilt thermal imaging camera as an alternative to setting up fences around those areas. Erecting a fence around the perimeter would have been a huge investment. No supportive infrastructure Self-sustaining, specifically for remote regions with no supportive infrastructure, the system comprises: a wireless, mobile 20 ft container which securely houses all peripheral

"The streaming cameras can easily detect movement down to 4 pixels"

intrusion and detection equipment, including external, passive infrared detectors, highpressure pepper systems which trigger on activation of security systems or remotely detonate upon verification, as well as a PT-602CZ thermal imaging pan/ tilt camera that is able to detect motion within a 6 km radius from nominal ground level. Long-range perimeter intrusion detection and surveillance The FLIR PT-602CZ is a thermal security camera that offers excellent long-range perimeter intrusion detection and surveillance at night as well as during the day. The solution has already proven very successful with one of the world’s largest gold producers at a mine in Tanzania, resulting in weekly number of arrests even reached a staggering 75 – 100. The streaming cameras can easily detect movement down to 4 pixels. The military specified container solutions are completely fitted with their

awareness The system provides mining sites with complete 360-degree situational awareness and is a radically new approach compared to the typical practice of perimeter fence security installations. Charles Harrison, founder of SecuSystems, explains that, this is in sharp contrast to conventional perimeter security systems, which will generate an alert when the perimeter is breached, but once within the perimeter, intruders can get lost. The huge impact of Illegal mining Harrison calls for mining companies to take their perimeter security seriously, not least in the current environment: “Managing illegal mining is a major challenge at mines. It is not just about the theft of valuable ore, illegal mining presents a safety hazard, especially around large opencast pits. Without the right equipment and safeguards, any mistake could be fatal, halting production, but also potentially putting employed mine workers at risk.” March - April 2018

Drone photogrammetry for stockpile measurement

Bringing aerial accuracy to stockpile data gathering Mine Stockpile measurement has been identified as one of the avenues where mines can achieve significant cost savings. Ian Freemantle, a specialist from Aerovision South Africa foresees drone photogrammetry changing how stock pile measurement is implemented in mines - improving productivity and reducing costs.


he biggest snag that mines face in stockpile measurement is confidence in the tools they use, and more so, in the results they produce. Aerovision South Africa, a South African based “fixed wing” commercial drone manufacturer and service provider, recommends that mines use drone photogrammetry for reliable results in stockpile measurements. The company’s aircraft, the ALTiMapper AV01, is designed specifically for mapping and surveying and are used extensively for stockpile measurements (volume estimations) in the mining industry. Mines have realised that the most practical way to outlast sluggish market conditions is to increase output and reduce overhead costs. Freemantle suggests that the use of drone photogrammetry can help them achieve this end.

accurate DEM’s, drones are starting to compete with traditional methods. Although more expensive, LIDAR equipped drones can also be used for stockpile measurements,” Freemantle states.

ALTiMapper AV-01

Advantages Freemantle sees mine operators in Africa benefitting from using drone photogrammetry for their stockpile requirements in numerous ways. Mainly, he stresses, drone photogrammetry can bring faster turnaround time and is more cost effective than comparative methods. “With a faster turnaround time, drone photogrammetry can be done on a daily basis for more efficient

management.” Adapted for stock pile estimations Although drones have been used mainly for mapping and surveying, the improvement in technology of modern drones enable usage in demanding stockpile measurements. “With the continued improvement of on-board GPS (including RTK), flight control hardware and modern photogrammetry software that can produce

Huge growth potential Drone technology is being used widely in many countries worldwide, while in Africa it is still in its infancy. Nevertheless, Freemantle forecasts that 2018 will see improvements in all aspects of the technology. “Integration of AI will make equipment much more reliable and easier to use as well as streamlining the work flow. Continued improvement and cost reduction in cameras and sensors will lower barriers to entry. The cost of on board RTK GPS will continue to fall, making it much more affordable and easier to obtain reliable, cm accuracy with fewer GCP’s.”


High quality nadir imagery for aerial mapping and surveying Easy to use and cost effective (fully autonomous waypoint missions) Built for African conditions, so extremely durable Included documentation / manuals to fulfil the SACAA requirements Up to 90 minutes flight time*

We also build custom remotely piloted aircraft solutions for security and surveillance. For further details and specifications please visit our website or contact; / 082 564 1809 powered by

March - April 2018



Dredging Solutions in Water Scarce Environments

Images above and below - Dredging equipment from Dredging Africa.


By Dredging Africa redging projects are normally associated with wet environments or at least countries that have a positive water balance on average per annum – this is where the amount of annual rainfall exceeds the annual evaporation rate thereby creating excess water for the area under consideration. The question is, would there be a demand for dredging services in water scarce environments? And does this service offer value benefits for the client? Our involvement in dredging of the last couple of years and with an engineering background in water management and dam design, I can unequivocally answer yes to both questions above. In fact, I would like to make a case that dredging is essential in water deficient countries to ensure water supply in an ever increasing demanding environment. Dealing with the question of demand for dredging services first, I present the following argument. All dams are built with a certain capacity in mind. The capacity requirements are calculated from the supply as well as the demand side and a water balance calculation - taking into consideration the statistical variation on the supply as well as the demand side - will guide the designer towards the sizing of the dam. This volumetric storage size will always be subject to a statistical 26

chance of the reservoir running dry (or overflowing) at certain times during its life expectancy. For obvious reasons, this statistical chance needs to be minimized, also depending of the severeness of the consequences when such event were to occur. The designer may then opt for instance for a 95% supply reliability and will modify the water balance and the size of the dam such that this number is, statistically speaking, met. But. Dams and reservoirs are operating in nature and are subject to naturally occurring processes which include erosion and scouring. Even in mine water or industrial process streams the transportation of suspended solids is a given. It is the rate at which this erosion takes place that determines the rate at which silt builds up in the reservoirs. And the fact is that the suspended solids will settle out exactly where the flow velocity (energy) is at its lowest

– i.e. always in the reservoir or the dam. This will cause all but the most stringently controlled vessels to eventually silt up. So why is this important? Well, with the increase of silt build-up in the reservoir comes a decrease in the capacity of the dam. Thereby, the statistical chance of supply reliability in the example above is reduced. This means an increase in the risk of supply over time and a failure to meet design criteria. Maintenance dredging of dams and reservoirs is an action where this creeping reduction in reliability and serviceability over time is effectively reduced and restored. And this principle goes for all kinds of reservoirs – for water supply dams, pollution control dams, return water dams, industrial process storage dams, maturation ponds at treatment plants and many more which are designed to store water in some way or another. It is worth noting that for every cubic meter

of silt removed, one additional cubic meter of water can be stored when the dam has been dredged. Then onto the second question – Does dredging offer value to the Client? The answer to this question should be evaluated against any other form of water storage space creation. What does it cost to build a new dam per cubic meter? And include in this cost the value of land sterilized by its establishment. How long will it take? What disruption does it create during the construction period (to for instance production facilities)? And if there is value to be recovered from the silt, this picture becomes even better. The answer to the value question is undoubtedly a yes. Even more so in a water deficient country where the value of water will just go in one direction, and that is higher. Maintenance dredging should not be seen as an intervention that is required when a system has already failed its intended use, but rather as an integral part of the maintenance cycle of a valuable piece of infrastructure over its lifetime. On a per cubic meter rate, dredging is the most cost effective way to the creation of water storage space with the least operational disruption. If you have a dam maintenance need which you want to discuss, you can call one of Dredging Africa’s specialist advisors to give you advice and an obligation free quotation. March - April 2018

Pressure vessel fabrication for Mining, Oil and Gas (MOS)

Minimising costly engineering challenges With meticulous planning and execution, common engineering challenges that surface in high pressure vessels for Mining, Oil and Gas (MOG) can be managed.


he Mining, oil and gas (MOGs) environments are inherently harsh. Considering this situation, it should be understandable why, universally, regulations specify that there is should be no margin for error in the quality of the design and fabrication of high pressure vessels for these environments. Any error or lapse can result in fatalities. Accordingly, strict rules and guidelines have been drafted and adopted. In South Africa (the same applies to almost all countries in the region) South Africa

Bureau of Standards (SABS) SANS 347:2000, “Categorisation and Conformity� provides assessment criteria for all pressure equipment. This regulation obliges a manufacturer of pressure equipment to operate a certified quality system for production, final inspection and testing and be subjected to the statutory regulations for pressure equipment. For this reason, to ensure quality products, manufacturers utilise American Society of Mechanical Engineers' (ASME) Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (BPVC),

Dredging Africa Hpfc.pdf 1 3/19/2018 2:48:54 PM

Precision is key in pressure vessel manufacturing.









March - April 2018


Pressure vessel fabrication for Mining, Oil and Gas (MOS)

one of the oldest and most wellknown regulations for boilers and pressure vessel equipment. Section VIII Division 1 Appendix 10 highlights rules governing the design, fabrication and inspection of boilers, pressure vessels and other equipment. This relates specifically to fabricated and welded products. Elementary costly oversights However, no matter how committed they might be to undertaking precautions in accordance with ASME guidelines, inevitably, at some point engineering challenges surface, when least expected. In fabrication, there are a number of elementary oversights that have a bearing on the quality of the final product. Information US-based Didions Mechanical, a manufacturer of ASME-certified high pressure vessels to the US market, has provided to African Mining Brief, highlights the most common engineering

challenges that are likely to be encountered and how best they can be managed.

treating processes. • Specialised autofrettaging can be implemented.

i. Shell design Use of the right type material and thickness is recommended in the construction of vessel shells, spherical or cylindrical. Using material that is too thin for the pressure contained, may fail leading to potential fatalities. Wrong material, may lead to failure too. All the more challenging for pressure vessel manufacturers is designing for vessels that take higher pressures. For high quality vessels, Didions Mechanical advises the following facts to be considered: • Spherical shaped cylinders have almost twice the strength of cylindrical pressure vessels. • Custom pressure chambers can be built for extremely high pressures. • Vessel materials can be selected that have increased tensile strengths resulting from specialised heat-

ii. Addressing size matters Relating to the fabrication of large vessel sizes, Didions Mechanical draws attention to the fact that expenses of high pressure vessels increase with the size, pressure, and configuration. Many clients have custom demands, and many a time, the size and shape may be difficult to produce, the company observes. By having in-house facilities for design, fabrication, manufacture, and testing of components, manufacturers can have the ability and option to come up with solutions that will help create the final product in a timely fashion. This is better than third party outsourcing, says Didions Mechanical. iii. Nozzle Cracks There is always the possibility that during operation, a nozzle can crack, catching end-users

unawares. The main reasons for this could be: • The increase in temperature during normal operation • A poor functioning support system • Lack of adequate weld filler when welding the nozzle to the vessel. Thus, to forestall cracked nozzle issues, the Didions Mechanical suggests: • Creating support systems to allow the vessel to expand and contract. • Using the correct weld filler when adding the nozzle • Putting the vessel through rigorous quality testing. While there will always be challenges in the design of high pressure vessels, perhaps, with the advancement of technology and stricter guidelines, Didions foresees that such problems will become easier to manage.

Tel: +27 (0)16 986 0030 Fax: +27 (0)16 986 0127 e-mail: 12 Fairbank Street NW7 Vanderbijlpark, 1911 PO Box 2092, Vereeniging, 1930

Fabrication and reconditioning specialists supplying your total needs for:

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March - April 2018

2018-02-07 12:15:51 PM

Pressure Vessel Testing

Improved pressure vessel integrity through smarter testing RBI management system can enhance the integrity of pressure vessels through accurate assessment of actual damage mechanisms and structure inspection and test plans, inspection techniques, scopes of inspections and intervals more accurately.

A section of one of Eskom's faciliies at which Risk Based Inspection (RBI) is being used


n a ground-breaking move, touted “the biggest roll-out of its kind in the world”, South Africa’s state-owned power utility organisation, Eskom, is using Risk Based Inspection (RBI) to test, detect and evaluate deterioration and damage in its power plants. According to Sebenzana, a South African consulting firm that

is involved in the process, so far, the RBI process at Eskom power generation plants has been successful in fulfilling certification requirements and increasing the visibility of risk to enable better decisions. The process has been independently certified in line with the South Africa’s statutory requirements.

Why RBI not hydraulic testing? It is quite tempting to ask why Eskom opted for RBI, instead of hydraulic testing, widely considered the ‘tried and tested method’ of pressure equipment testing in power plants. African Mining Brief sources views on this new development from Malcolm Dadina, TÜV

March - April 2018

Rheinland’s General Manager of Industrial Services. To provide a better understanding of the current development, firstly, Danida underlines the the necessity of pressure vessel testing in mines and other industries, then the legislation governing pressure vessel testing, and lastly, the analyses relevance of RBI. 29

Approach to Pressure System Compliance M

not aligned to the relevant local regulations. Common non-conformities end-users face is: • Pressure Vessels with no Certificate of Compliance or not countersigned by an Accredited Inspection Authority • Non-compliant nameplates • No design records or indication of the materials used for construction and design thicknesses • Air systems without drain cocks Inherited regulatory shortfalls • Pressure Vessels with no inspection openings that end-users face • Inadequate over pressure protection Regulatory compliance must start at the design, manufacturing, and installation phase for new pressure systems of new mines, It is of imperative importance that the engineers identify nonexpansion and or optimization projects. These responsible projects are executed by using one of many conformities they have on-site. Most noninternational standards available to industry. conformities can be addressed by: Unfortunately, these standards are normally • Re-certification (Reverse engineering,

By James Bellew ost African countries have regulations in place to regulate pressure systems on their mines. In countries lacking in this regard, the management of the mine would normally adopt an international standard to ensure the safety of its personnel and safeguard against property damage.


inspection, test and certification) • Or, addressing in-service internal and external visual inspection limitations with a proper risk prevention action plan. In-service inspection challenges Most African regulations require Pressure Vessels to be inspected annually or two yearly. These inspections will include: • External Visual inspection • Internal Visual inspection • Pressure test • Re-set and seal of Pressure Relieve Valves Besides the restraint on mines to have a complete shutdown for an extended period, the mentioned inspection activities do not necessarily add value to ensure the integrity of the pressure equipment. Pressure testing is a typical example of an inspection March - April 2018

technique which normally does not add much value to ensuring the integrity of pressure vessels. In fact, pressure testing can reduce the remaining life of vessels. Proper wall thickness testing in lieu of pressure testing is much more indicative to the condition of the pressure envelope and provides the information required to perform remaining life calculations. Value adding approach Mines that are not restricted by set regulation requirements or where Risk Based Inspection is allowed, the following approach will ensure the soundness of the pressure envelope and shorten shutdown periods: • Determine deterioration mechanisms for each vessel • Select an inspection and test method suitable to detect specific degradation mechanisms • Perform periodic wall thickness measurements • Visual external inspections • Dispense with internal and pressure test for vessels not subject to deterioration processes • Re-set and seal Pressure Relieve Valves

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• Calculating the remaining life of the vessel • Report all risks immediately to the client responsible person At mines with regulatory restrictions the normal inspections will be applicable, but wall thickness tests with remaining life calculations should always be performed. A word of warning to mine management We are often requested by mines to perform legal compliance audits on their pressure systems. During these audits non-conformities are discovered. One of the major root causes being the inspection company appointed has not been accredited to perform pressure system inspections. • Inspection bodies must be accredited to an International Standard to perform the various types of inspections • Inspection bodies must also be accredited to perform inspections on pressure systems to local or adopted National Standards

Devices ~ Site Installations ~ Pre-commissioning tests Our credentials: • Fully Black Empowered with Black Woman Ownership • Hydraulic and Pneumatic Test Procedures • Multiple Fabrication Procedures • Personnel Trained and Authorized to use Procedures • Welding Procedures • Coded Welders • Quality Procedures • Calibrated Equipment • Safety Files and Appointed Responsible Persons NDT Services Africa (Pty) Ltd Our service offering: Dye-penetrant Inspection ~ Magnetic Particle Inspection ~ Gamma Ray Inspection ~ Ultrasonic Inspection ~ Wall Thickness and Grid Scans Our credentials: • Fully Black Empowered with Black Woman Ownership • Certified Personnel • Level III Approved Procedures • Calibrated Equipment

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Pressure Vessel Testing Significance Danida describes Pressure Vessel Testing as an important element of safety in every industry that involves pressure vessels. In a review of the Eskom project, Sebenzana confirms this fact:” During the life cycle of a plant, inspection, testing and maintenance programs are established to detect and evaluate deterioration and damage arising from operations. Regular inspection is generally implemented to provide an assurance of integrity, and thus safety and reliability. This is particularly important for plants that are subject to time-dependent degradation.” Nevertheless, Dadina acknowledges that in some areas of industry, the testing of these pressure vessels is not as regulated as in others. On prominent disparities in the level of regulation in different sectors, he expounds: “What many people don’t understand is that pressure vessels are not all alike, and depending on their use and surrounding environment, they are subjected to different types of tests. For instance, in the mining industry, where pressure vessels and boilers are often placed underground, the mine itself is already a concealed, closed off space, the outside pressure surrounding a vessel increases. The corrosive nature of the product inside of vessel also affects the integrity of the pressure vessel.” Enabling legislation Taking into consideration the situation, legislation in various countries obliges mines to mitigate safety risks that might arise from handling pressure vessels in accordance with regulations of their host countries. Malcom cites South Africa as one of the countries in Africa that has enacted definite regulations governing the use of pressure vessels in industries. The Mine Health and Safety Act In South Africa, the mining industry has its own set of regulations outlining health and safety under the Mine Health and Safety Act (MHSA), which was 32

set by the Department of Mineral Resources in 1996. Within this act, there are regulations that specify the requirements for testing and inspecting pressure equipment within the mining industry. The Mines Health and Safety Act 29 of 1996 states the following with regards to boilers and pressure vessels: • Reg. Boilers are inspected and hydraulic pressure tests witnessed by the Principle Inspector of Mines once in each year but not exceeding an interval of 15 months. • Reg. 13.1.2: Every pressure vessel shall be manufactured under the supervision of an inspection authority approved by the Chief Inspector. • Reg. 23.12.2: Every pressure vessel in which the product of the design working gauge pressure in kilopascals and the capacity in cubic meters exceeds 10 but does not exceed 30, shall be inspected and tested before it is used for the first time • Reg. 23.12.3: Every pressure vessel in which the product of the designed working gauge pressure in kilopascals and the capacity in cubic meters exceeds 30 shall be: i. Inspected and tested before commissioning after installation for the first time or any subsequent time, and after having been out of commissioning for more than two years or after major repairs; i. Inspected at regular intervals of not more than one year and;

iii. Tested at intervals of not more than two years. • Reg. 23.12.4: The inspection shall consist of an examination of the internal and external surfaces of the vessel and of all the fittings and appurtenances. • Reg. 23.12.5: The test shall consist of a pressure test by water or, where the use of water is impracticable, by any other suitable liquid, to a pressure of 1.3 times the maximum safe working gauge pressure of the vessel. • Reg. 23.13.3: No person shall effect any important repair to any pressure vessel without the prior approval of the Principle Inspector of Mines. It has to be noted that the Act is not very clear on who is required to inspect and test the pressure vessels. Nonetheless, the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations 85 of 1993 and related Pressure Equipment Regulations GNR.734 of July 2009 provide clearer requirements and how users may get permission to dispense with inspections and pressure tests. In 2009, the South African Department of Labour revised the Pressure Equipment Regulations. Under the ambit of the revised regulations, all pressurised equipment must be subject to hydraulic testing every 3 years, unless a certified RBI (Risk Based Inspection) process is developed and employed. Actually, a RBI can demonstrate that the level of risk associated with continued service of the equipment is at an acceptable level.

"During the life cycle of a plant, inspection, testing and maintenance programs are established to detect and evaluate deterioration and damage arising from operations. "

The Risk Based Inspection approach Dadina has noticed that, increasingly, mine operators, in accordance with legislation changes, are adopting RBI as a viable way of conducting pressure vessel testing. “After noticing that short intervals between inspections are costly, some mines have started to request special dispensation from the Chief Inspector of Mines to extend their inspection or test intervals by implementing a Risk Based Inspection approach,” he says. RBI offers massive benefits. Mainly, by adopting a RBI, mines are able to extend inspection intervals or to dispense with the short intervals of pressure testing. Besides, RBI allows expert reviews of pressure vessels to determine damage mechanisms and to structure the inspection and test plan more accurately to detect damage or deterioration rather than to rely on pressure testing to determine pressure vessel integrity. RBI management system can also enhance the integrity of pressure vessels through accurate assessment of actual damage mechanisms and structure inspection and test plans, inspection techniques, scopes of inspections and intervals more accurately. This enables one to determine the actual risk of every vessel and allow mitigation action other than inspection. A viable testing tool Sebenzana’s review articulately sums why RBI emerging as a viable pressure testing tool, specifically as a means of detecting incipient plant failure. It says, “The costs of inspection and maintenance related activities are increasing, and in particularly competitive markets companies need to find areas in which savings can be made,” the company said in the review.” Last but not least, Danida recommends, it is advisable that mine operators that are considering implementing a RBI system should consider informing the Chief Inspector of Mines first. March - April 2018

Camera and Radar technology for Mobile Equipment Operators

High operator alertness through camera and radar integration Trysome recommends two Proximity Detection System (PDS) options as solutions for high safety and improved productivity in quarrying and surface mining. dangerous / hazardous situations. “Certainly”, assures Momberg, “it is the product of choice in the open-cast mining environment due to SAFEmine’s detection and early warning capabilities in extreme mining conditions like blind spots, large bulky equipment, environmental conditions (dust / mist). SAFEmine also offers other capabilities like fatigue monitoring. Operators work long shifts, including night duty, and the effect which it has on a person’s alertness is alarming.”

Effective Proximity Detection Systems (PDS) enhance safety in the operations of mining vehicles.


rysome Auto Electrical (Pty) Ltd has noticed that the level of collision accident risk in the construction, surface mining and quarrying sectors remains worryingly high, if not getting worse. The company is intensifying the drive to promote its Proximity Detection System (PDS) solutions to organisations in these industries. The first is a cost-effective ‘entry level’ solution that combines cameras (Q2) and radars (PreView) as an ‘entry-level/cost-effective’ PDS, and the second one is the SAFEmine Collision Avoidance System (CAS) for open- cast mines.

Entry-level PDS solution Trysome’s cost-effective, ‘entry level’ PDS solution combines cameras (Q2) and radars (PreView) to keep a mobile machine operator alert. “Combining the two, Q2 and PreView, enhances the operator’s awareness, reducing collision accidents, ensuring a high level of safety,” the company’s product manager, Johan Momberg, explains. Typically, the system engages the driver with audible and visual alerts. The audible comes from the radar detection and the visual from the camera monitor. In some scenarios, when deemed necessary, the PreView

or Q2 can be provided as stand-alone, based on the risk assessment of a customer, says Momberg. “For instance, smaller fleet sizes mean less interaction and this means that the risk of incidents is much lower. However, a mine or quarry still needs to provide some assistance to an operator in these types of environments to detect and monitor other equipment.” Premium system for open-cast mines Trysome’s SAFEmine CAS is the premium system, which can address a range of risk assessments to provide controls to mitigate or eliminate

Preview Camera

March - April 2018

Q2-SAFEmine integration Fascinatingly, Momberg also says that Q2 cameras can be integrated with SAFEmine when using the SAFEmine Safety Centre or can be a standalone from the SAFEmine. This only means adding an additional monitor in the cabin when configured as stand-alone. Q2 Cameras add huge benefit in situational awareness at low speeds. According to what Trysome has observed, adopting SAFEmine or similar proximity detection systems has helped open-pit mines to comply with Department of Mineral Resources legislation. Trysome’s product range and Trysome Auto Electrical (Pty) Ltd imports auto-electrical and collision avoidance parts and systems, distributes, installs, repairs and maintains via a field service compliment of in excess of 150 qualified auto-electricians and fitment techs. The company is passionate about equipping businesses in the quarrying, mining and construction sectors with reliable solutions to create a safe and productive environment. 33

Fire suppression on conveyor belts

Centralised Lubrication Equipment (C.L.E.)

Fire hazards of belt conveyors By Carel Vermaak, FPASA Technical Specialist

Fully interchangeable with Lincoln Lubrication Systems Very cost effective Supported by Fully trained and experienced Personnel The RAASM Centralised Lubrication is specially designed to extend component life of any moving parts on machines by lubricating pins and bushes effectively, to reduce wear and tear on these parts. Reducing maintenance costs whilst increasing productivity on your equipment.

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Introduction Belted conveyors are used widely in the industry for the bulk transportation of various materials. The information provided here should be viewed as a general overview and does not address a specific conveyor system. It should be noted that conveyor belts can be referred to as a special risk, as the fire hazards associated with them are often underestimated or misunderstood. Knowledge of the components and the location of the conveyor belts will reveal that they pose a major fire risk and a challenge in firefighting operations. Associated equipment (components) includes motors, support structures, rollers, bearings, belting, transfer points etc. Belts may be several meters wide and vary in length from a few to several hundred meters, even a few kilometres. For example, one of the longest belt conveyor systems in the world is in Western Sahara; it is 98km in length and runs from the phosphate mines Bu Craa to the coast south of El-Aaiun. Fire hazards Conveyor enclosures and supporting structures are normally of non-combustible portal steel construction. Any large fire in the enclosure may damage, or in case of included conveyors, cause weakening and collapse of the structural elements. The principal fire load includes the material being conveyed and the belt itself. Both combustible and non-combustible materials are transported in bulk on conveyors. Combustibles include wood chips, flour, sugar, coal etc. Non-combustibles include sand, iron ore and metal parts. If the product is packaged, the fire load will increase. Burning product may also be passed from one belt to the next, thereby spreading the fire. Conveyor belts are made of plies of rubber

and fabric of natural or man-made fibres. Conventional belts are easily ignited, spread fire rapidly and liberate large quantities of smoke. Inclined conveyors may cause a flue effect, thereby increasing the fire’s spread. An unusual occurrence is if the belt should part under tension, which may cause the burning ends to fly apart and create two remote fires. The fire hazard increases with the age of the belt; older belts may become coated or impregnated with oils or combustible residue. Causes of fire • Friction due to a belt losing traction and slipping on the drive roller. A misaligned belt may slip off the rollers and cause jamming. • Hot work due to welding or cutting. These may generate hot molten metal particles that can ignite the belt or the waste below. • Bearing malfunction in plumbing boxes. • Poor maintenance of components such as bearings, or the accumulation of spillages and waste. • Electrical equipment arcing, malfunctioning or overloading. Firefighting challenges of conveyor belt systems The location of the conveyor system. Is it above or below ground? • The height of the conveyor system. • Is there an incline of 300 or more of the conveyor system gantry? • Will the aerial apparatus of the local fire brigade reach the highest point of the conveyor system? • Is there suitable access and firm standing for emergency vehicles? • Will water supply be sufficient? March - April 2018

• Is the fire team trained in handling the conveyor system? Fire protection The following are important fire protection factors Siting. Consideration should be given to accessibility for emergency vehicles, and there should be no exposure hazard to or from buildings or installations immediately adjacent or below conveyors. Gantries for inclined conveyors should be well clear of buildings, flammable liquid and gas tanks, or transformers. Design and installation. Belt loading systems should discharge onto the belt with minimal or no spillage. An emergency tripwire to switch off the conveyor motor should be provided along its length; its position should preclude activation by spillage from the conveyor. Where one conveyor is fed by others, precautions should be taken to prevent a build-up of material when one is stopped. Automatic trips should be incorporated in the design to stop the conveyor in the event of undue misalignment or slowing of the belt. Wiring and motors should be protected and be suitable for the environmental and service conditions.Belt tensions should be sufficient to avoid slippage, as well as abnormal wear and strain on drive components. The use of non-fire propagating belt or fire-resistant belting should also be considered. While these are combustible, they are more difficult to ignite. Only non-combustible materials should be used for the structure and cladding of conveyor gantries. Using the gantry as a support bridge for other services – such as cables and piped gases – should be avoided to reduce additional damage if the structure collapses. Static electricity. All parts of the conveyor system should be bonded and earthed if the conveyed material is readily ignitable. Fire detection and suppression. It is difficult to detect and suppress a small fire on a moving belt, but effective systems do exist. They do not always prevent belt damage, but will prevent structural collapse. Detection takes the form of heat sensing, which will detect: • fires on moving or stationary belts; • fires involving spillages and waste accumulations beneath the conveyor; • overheated bearings and drive machinery; • heat build-up due to friction between the belt and structure or supports. Suppression is achieved using sprinklers or water sprays. These systems may be

omitted where the conveyor is partially or totally open and where well-trained and well-equipped personnel are available for firefighting. In most cases, however, protection is vital over head and tail sections of conveyors, drive motors and important drive or transfer components. Hose-reels can be provided at suitable locations so that all parts of the conveyor can be reached. Alternatively, hydrants and equipment, fire teams and suitable access should be provided to facilitate manual suppression. Where the length of the conveyors precludes the provision of hydrants, pumps and water carriers are necessary. Protection of openings. Conveyor openings in fire walls can be protected by doors and shutters. A break in the conveyor as near to the wall as possible forms a gap sufficient for the passage of a fire door. A sensor device monitors the spacing of stock and prevents any obstruction to closure of the door. Interlock switches automatically stop the conveyor on operation of the door. Where doors or shutters cannot be used and suitable quantities of water are available, small openings have been protected by a water curtain. This is not the ideal situation, however. Fire safety management Fire safety management is a critical riskreduction factor and it should form part of regular fire risk assessments. • Is there an effective induction process maintained when entering the premises? • Is hot work monitored and controlled, and is a hot work permit issued when welding or cutting work is done? Is a fire watch provided? • Do housekeeping, including regular inspections of conveyor belts and removal of material accumulation. • Training of staff in firefighting. • Portable electrical equipment register implemented. • Maintain a portable fire equipment register. Is the equipment checked and serviced regularly, as stated in SANS 1475 and SANS 10400? • Certificate of Compliance of the electrical installations. • Repairs and maintenance on the conveyor system. Are regular inspections done and do the inspection teams walk the whole conveyor system when conducting the inspection?

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Conclusion The extent of necessary fire protection measures can only be decided on once the risks have been thoroughly evaluated. Never lose sight of the fact that fire protection is not only installed to protect property, but to prevent the loss of life – which is the number one priority.

March - April 2018


Gas detection

Managing the methane menace One of the biggest challenges in managing the risk of methane gas in underground mines is poor awareness, which can result in the use of wrong instruments.


he “Better safe than sorry attitude” is the only effective way through which the omnipresent hazard of gas poisoning and explosion in underground mines in Africa can be managed. With many variations of gases commonly present in mines one can imagine the magnitude of a challenge encountered. In coal mines, the danger that methane gas poses cannot be overstressed. Methane is a highly flammable gas that explodes at concentrations between 5% and 15%. If it does not explode, at 25% concentration it causes suffocation. City Technology, a global supplier of gas detectors to mines and other industries explains on the hazards of methane: “Methane ignition can trigger the much more dangerous

coal dust explosions because the shock wave raises coal dust from the floor of the mine galleries to make an explosive mixture that is highly susceptible to spontaneous combustion.” Monitoring levels As the presence of methane in coal mining processes is probably high, monitoring methane levels in operational mining sections has become obligatory, says Renier Rautenbach, General Manager of Monitech. “Available legislation calls for the installation of methane monitoring technology on mining machines to monitor and inhibit production whenever the existence of methane beyond predetermined levels is detected. As a result, methane monitoring technologies have become the gold standard in coal mining.”

Gas detectors Mine Health and Safety Act of 1996 legislates that mineworkers are equipped with gas detectors capable of detecting both flammable gases and CO. Gas detection instruments can be fixed into a specific position (placed in the haulages and working areas), and communicate directly with the control room on the surface, or they can be portable. Clarifying on the confusion between instruments used to detect toxic gas and flammable gases, Robbie Taitz of MSA Africa, safety equipment supplier, says, “The technology used to detect flammable gases is different from the technology used to detect toxic gases. Each type of gas will have a specific technology that is best for that type of detection.”

Portable gas detection instrument (Courtesy: Schauenberg)

Sophistication and effectiveness Gas detection systems have come a long way in terms of sophistication and effectiveness, notes Taitz. For instance, he points out that automated mining equipment increasingly being used especially in underground coal environments has a gas detector at the front to monitor the surrounding environment, and is capable of shutting down such equipment temporarily if any danger level is breached. With so many different gaseous hazards potentially present, effective gas detection is critical in protecting life and equipment underground.

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Fully integrated system that can download gas readings, track people, assets & vehicles, collect telemetry data, transmit paging messages and collect SCAS II - Collision Awareness logs. New generation Caplamps including wireless and digital communication, worn by the underground worker. SCAS II Collision Awareness System, providing early perimeter warning notification that gives vehicle operators and pedestrians a head start in deciding how to manoeuvre during or before a critical decision making period. The Roxy Self Rescuer is a belt worn breathing apparatus to exit from hazardous zones. Its intended use is only in the case of emergency escapes in the event of smoke, toxic gas and oxygen deficiencies.

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March - April 2018

Oxygen Generation based on Vacuum Pressure Swing Adsorption Technology

A seamless onsite supply of oxygen for optimal gold leaching Through Afrox’s proprietary GoldoxTM technology and reliable onsite oxygen generation based on Linde Engineering’s proprietary Vacuum Pressure Swing Adsorption (VPSA) Technology, gold mines in farflung areas in Africa can achieve an optimised metallurgical gold leach.


ith strong gold prices on the global market, there couldn’t have been a perfect time to be a gold miner. Sadly, some mine operators in Africa could be losing hundreds of millions in potential revenue due to inadequate oxygen for their leaching processes requirements. Studies have established that insufficient oxygen in leaching can result in poor ore recovery, which translates into low revenue. In an interview, three engineers from Afrox and Linde Engineering, with offices in Johannesburg, tell African Mining Brief that Afrox’s unique and fully integrated endto-end Product Service Offering (PSO) can address the need for a seamless oxygen supply onsite to meet and improve gold leaching requirements. The engineers are: Timothy Carmichael (project and market development engineer - Africa, Linde Engineering South Africa), Rob de Zoeten (application specialist bulk markets, African Oxygen Limited) and Andy Gouws (commercial and business development manager, Emerging Africa, African Oxygen Limited). Firstly, the engineers assure that Afrox, as part of The Linde Group, is adequately resourced to handle demands of any magnitude for clients anywhere in Africa. The Linde Group is a world leader in the generation of low purity (90-95%) oxygen, which has proven to be ideal for gold leaching, through the use of its proprietary Vacuum Pressure Swing Adsorption (VPSA) technology. Linde Engineering manufactures, supplies, delivers, installs and commissions plants throughout Africa, and Afrox (a member of The Linde Group) operates and maintains these plants to supply

oxygen to its customers. The Linde Group’s highly flexible and cost effective oxygen supply solution is supplied to customers in the mining, manufacturing, chemical and refining industries. Specifically, the company’s VPSA systems enable gold mines to achieve improved gold recoveries, higher plant productivity and throughput, greater energy efficiency and superior environmental performance. Product Service Offering (PSO) Afrox’s PSO offering includes the following: • An oxygen demand test program for specifying the oxygen demand requirements, the reactivity of the ore and the split between the

oxygen required for the preconditioning and the oxygen required to maintain the profile during the leach in mining applications; • The supply of oxygen using Linde Engineering’s proprietary state-of-the-art onsite VPSA technology. • Injection and dissolution of the oxygen in the gold leach process. • Provision of a highly flexible commercial structure for the supply of oxygen to the mine over an agreed period. Core components of Afrox’s PSO de Zoeten, Gouws and Carmichael elaborate on core components of Afrox’s PSO, which are oxygen demand, oxygen supply and oxygen

Afrox invests in a VPSA plant and supplies oxygen on a long-term contract

March - April 2018

injection and dissolution in the gold leaching tanks. • Oxygen Demand Pertaining to Oxygen demand, Rob de Zoeten, explains that Afrox can provide accurate guidance to the gold mines regarding their oxygen requirement for both new and existing leach plants. This is achieved by performing oxygen demand test work on plant feed samples and modelling the data to establish the total oxygen demand. “Having confidence in the oxygen requirement is essential when considering the installation of an onsite oxygen generation plant,” he stresses. de Zoeten elaborates further: “The importance of accurately establishing total oxygen requirement is often overlooked and unfortunately in many cases undersized onsite oxygen plants are installed which cannot produce sufficient oxygen to optimise the leach. Understanding oxygen demand is absolutely critical to ensure successful leach optimisation.” Moreover, Afrox can perform oxygen utilisation audits on existing gold leach plants and identify potential opportunities to improve the oxygen dissolution system thereby enhancing the leach efficiency. • Oxygen Supply Concerning oxygen supply, Carmichael draws attention to the fact that there are various modes of supplying oxygen to industrial processes, such as cylinder, bulk, Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA), VPSA and cryogenic. However, he notes, the most cost effective mode of supply is primarily dependent on the quantity and purity requirements of the application. “For low purity (<95%) applications with flow 37

Oxygen Generation based on Vacuum Pressure Swing Adsorption Technology

Through Afrox’s proprietary GoldoxTM , mines in farflung areas in Africa can achieve an optimised metallurgical gold leach.

rates from 10 - 300 tpd, which are the typical requirements for gold mining applications, VPSA has proven to be the most cost effective solution. VPSA technology is an ambient temperature technology which takes advantage of the different binding capabilities of various gas molecules to a solid, porous material such as zeolites. The VPSA process cycles between adsorption and desorption of impurities as the feed gas flows through adsorber vessels in order to produce a continuous high purity product gas. Since heating or cooling is not required, cycle time can be short, usually less than a minute, which results in a long lifetime for the adsorbent material.” Linde Engineering’s VPSA plants provide the end-user with numerous benefits. The plants have very low specific energy consumption and operate at low pressure, with a booster compressor to achieve the mine’s pressure demands. In the long run, they offer an extremely competitive capital and operating cost per ton of oxygen produced. Also, the VPSA plants provide oxygen on demand with easy turn down from 0 - 100%, have high availability, are fully automatic, and can be remote controlled and monitored. Standardised plants with a 38

modular construction enable reduced field construction and commissioning time. Noteworthy, recent advances in adsorption technology and system design by Linde Engineering have enabled oxygen VPSA plants to become less expensive, more power efficient and smaller in size. “With the aforementioned benefits, small wonder, Linde Engineering’s oxygen VPSA system offers a very cost competitive, flexible oxygen supply solution which has demonstrated excellent results in a variety of commercial applications in the mining, chemical and refining industries on a global basis,” Carmichael concludes. • Injection and oxygen dissolution in the Gold leach tanks Regarding injection and oxygen dissolution in gold leach tanks, Rob de Zoeten observes that the supply of oxygen to the gold leach needs to be complimented by an efficient injection system to ensure optimum oxygen utilisation in the slurry otherwise the benefit of the oxygen injection may be limited. With this in mind, says de Zoeten, Afrox has a number

of oxygen injection options depending on the reactivity of the slurry to ensure optimal oxygen utilisation to achieve the desired DO levels in the leach tanks. “Oxygen injection lances are recommended for low reactivity ores where the desired DO levels can easily be achieved. For more complex and reactive ores, a high pressure high shear device EDR which is designed to operate under aggressive situations is recommended. The Afrox developed EDR is a very simple, yet highly effective shear reactor designed for minimal maintenance which makes it ideal for remotely located mines.” Afrox can also provide a downstream oxygen management service, where it operates and maintains the oxygen injection equipment to achieve the desired dissolved oxygen (DO) levels in the leach as required. de Zoeten says this approach frees up the mine’s plant metallurgists to concentrate on managing the gold plant. Flexible Commercial Offer On the options available to the end-user, gold mines in particular, Gouws says, Afrox is able to offer a highly flexible commercial build, own and operate supply scheme. Under

the scheme, the company invests in the VPSA plant and supplies oxygen over the fence to its customers to provide an uninterrupted supply of oxygen over an agreed contract period. The plant is manned by experienced and trained operators and the plant can be remotely monitored from Afrox’s Control Centre in South Africa for trouble shooting and support to ensure high reliability of supply to its customers. Increasing footprint in Africa Gouws says Afrox is excited about the prospect of increasing the production of oxygen for gold mining applications throughout Africa in 2018 and beyond using Linde Engineering’s proprietary VPSA technology. With considerable expertise in the safe, reliable and cost effective operation of these plants over many years with many reference sites globally, he believes Afrox, backed by Linde Engineering’s extensive know-how, is adequately resourced to handle the complex onsite oxygen supply requirements for gold mines throughout Africa. “We are confident in our capability to provide a state-of-the-art total solution to achieve an optimised metallurgical gold leach using oxygen.” March - April 2018


Optimising gold leaching with oxygen Afrox, BOC and Linde Engineering have developed a unique and fully integrated endto-end solution for the global gold mining industry.

Goldox™ package • Oxygen demand test work • Supply, install and commission oxygen dissolution systems • Training • Maintenance • Oxygen profile management.


Flexible commercial structure • Sale of equipment with Afrox providing an operation and maintenance contract • Gas sale, Afrox invests in the VPSA plant and supplies oxygen on a long-term contract • Other commercial structures to optimise value.

Oxygen Vacuum Pressure Swing Absorption (VPSA) Plant • Flexible supply - oxygen on demand • Automatic capacity adjustment from 0-100% • Customised plant sizing 10-300 tpd • Customised purity requirements up to 95% • Low power requirements • Low operational costs • Fully automatic and remote controlled • Containerised modular construction • Short construction and commissioning time • Comprehensive aftersales technical support and spare parts supply.

Contact: Andy Gouws


Cell: +27 71 381 8167

Hand-held XRF analysers in mining

Compact Convenience The erratic state of the commodities market calls for the adoption of technologies that can enable mines increase productivity, enhance safety, while containing costs. And due to their effectiveness, hand-held XRF analysers have emerged as a tool of choice in exploration and mining applications.


he versatility of handheld XRF analysers is handy for mining companies in their quest to enhance productivity. Due to their compactness, hand-held XRF analysers can be utilised for application in situations where known “conventional” equipment won’t suffice. This is what African Mining Brief learns from Christelle Petiot, the Product Manager of UK-based Hitachi High-Tech Analytical Science Ltd. Petiot illustrates the appropriate fields of application and benefits of hand-held XRF analysers in exploration and mining. On the effectiveness of hand-held XRF analysers in exploration and mineral processing, Petiot says: “During the exploration stage, hand-held XRF analysers can be used at the early exploration stage to gather qualitative and quantitative information for soil and outcrop evaluation. They help users identify mineralisation trends and anomalies, and make drilling direction and stop/go decisions in real time. “During the processing stage, handheld XRF analysers provide rapid grade control and analysis of stockpiles, feeds, concentrates and tailings. For accuracy, a certain degree of sample preparation is needed there.” What’s more, hand-held XRF analysers can be used in other parts of the mining business, for example for environmental screening on site, and to carry out alloy material identification (also called PMI – positive material identification) of parts used for the maintenance of machinery. Benefits The main benefit of hand-held XRF analysers is that they complement laboratory analysis, which is both time-consuming (it 40

Hand-held analysers can be used in hard-to-reach tight spaces

can take several hours or even days for results to come back) and costly. So, Hand-held XRF analysers enable significant reduction of the number of samples sent to the laboratory. Specifically, with hand-held XRF analysers, many more samples can be measured, and only selected few are sent to the lab. Which features? With the market awash with many products, it is not easy to separate the analysers on offer. Therefore, it is important for mining companies to be aware about the properties of hand-held XRF analysers they specifically need, as equipment will be used in tough environments, and sometimes in extreme conditions, Petiot emphasises. She outlines key features of mining-specific hand-held XRF analysers. i. Ruggedness Firstly, the analyser needs to be rugged, weather-proof, reliable and stable over a wide range of temperatures. This will ensure maximum uptime and productivity. ii. Ease of use Secondly, the ease of use is also a key point. In particular,

intuitive user interface and excellent ergonomics ensure that the equipment can be picked up and used with minimal training and over long periods of time with minimum fatigue. iii. Data management Thirdly, in the era of the IoT and increasing automation, data management is very important. The ability to share data on-thego with colleagues, traders, or suppliers is an advantage. For example, mine mapping can be done in real-time (there is no need to bring the instrument back to base, or export the results at the end of the survey), trading decisions made remotely, with results being automatically sent after each analysis to a cloud service. Clearly, given their benefits in multiple applications, mining companies should consider adopting hand-held XRF analysers in their operations, as they seek sustainable ways of staying afloat in turbulent sector.

Product case study: X-MET8000 Expert Geo Hitachi High Tech’s X-MET8000 Expert Geo is the tool for choice for mining professional. Its revolutionary

BOOSTTM technology provides up to 10 times the sensitivity of other HHXRF models, providing the low limits of detection needed to measure pathfinders or penalty elements, and delivering fast and repeatable analysis day after day at all stages of the mining process. The X-MET8000 Expert Geo is compact and lightweight (1.5kg with battery), yet truly rugged: it is IP54 rated (splash water and dust proof) and has been tested to MIL-STD 810G for vibration, shock and drop (Method 514.6, Procedure I, Category 4; Method 516.6, Procedures I and IV). With its large heatsink, the X-MET provides optimum stability, even in hot environments: there is no need to wait for detector cooldown between analyses, maximising productivity. Its 4.3” touchscreen provides excellent results visibility, even in direct sunlight. The user interface is icon driven, and can be used with gloves on. Data management with the X-MET8000 is very versatile: you can store up to 100,000 results on the analyser, download them to a USB stick or PC in CSV format or tamper-proof PDF for ultimate data integrity. You can print results on-site on a portable Bluetooth printer and attach them to sample bags to avoid mix-ups. Alternatively, you can create fully customised reports using the X-MET report generator. Sharing results on-the-go with clients or colleagues is easy with the OiConnect app, and the OiConnect cloud service enables you to export results securely in real-time, and access them anytime anywhere. You can even manage results from a whole fleet of X-METs with a single OiConnect account. March - April 2018

• Analysis of Feeds, Concentrates and Tailings • Mine Mapping and Grade Control • Ore-body Assessment • Exploration

Handheld and Countertop XRF

mining analyzers provides fast and accurate results for all aspects of mining.

New! CounterTop XRF  Portable  Safety Interlocked  Battery or AC powered  IP-54 stainless steel housing  Wi-Fi & USB communications

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Elemental Analysis

Mobile LED lighting towers for mine sites

Mobile LED tower power Lighting towers should withstand tough conditions on site and provide adequate illumination for safe mining conditions.


ue to the changing atmosphere, which has compelled mines to review their priorities, traditional technologies, which have been around the block for a long time, are being dispensed with for novel options. It is hard to fail to notice that the standard usage of LED tower lighting on mine sites in African countries, which is becoming standard, optimises such a trend. Mines are replacing metal halide towers with LED lighting alternatives. Larson Electronics, a Texas based OEM of LED tower lights, provides a plausible explanation on the reason why mines are turning to LED from metal halide towers. Larson outlines some of the ways in which mines could benefit from utilising LED lighting. • Longer life span LEDs have a superior lifespan of 50,000+ hours, which is over five times more than metal halides, with instant toggling (no warm up or cool down required). The light produced by LED lamps is also clearer and produces less glare, compared to metal halide products. • Greater flexibility on site With LED, operators have the option of toggling the lights any time while working. This offers greater flexibility on the jobsite, allowing workers to make adjustments to the lighting conditions of the area without minor delays. Low maintenance Compared to metal halide lamps, maintenance for LED lights is affordable. Granted, the initial costs of LED equipment are generally higher than metal halides. However, when one factors in maintenance (new pieces, labour and time), LEDs offer more savings in the long term. Savings LEDs can save up to 40 percent of energy compared with traditional lighting options. Under optimal conditions, such lamps reach up to 80 percent. Corroborating 42

this observation, in late November 2017, Coal mine in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province said it had noticed more than 25% increase in illumination after switching from metal halide lamps lighting to LED supplied by a multinational OEM for its above-ground operations. Moreover, the mine reduced its fuel consumption savings by 60%.

Unavoidably, in the mining environment, LED tower lights are exposed to extreme conditions like vibration, dust, heat and heavy rains, increasing vulnerability to wear and tear. For this reason, mining-specific tower lights should be robust enough to withstand the conditions. Robust LED lighting products that can withstand the conditions are vital.

• Environmental friendly LED has several eco-friendly benefits for businesses, due to their ability to cut down energy costs. The fixtures do not use toxic chemicals, such as mercury and lead, to produce light and do not require sensitive handling during disposal. This also makes the lights safer to use on the jobsite, and greatly lowers health-related risks during accidents. Underscoring the eco-friendly properties of LED, the abovementioned coal mine in South Africa reduced CO2 emissions by up to 70%, as a result of adopting LEL light towers.

Sustainable energy sources Recently, there have been groundbreaking advances in LED light tower technology. One of the highlights is the incorporation of solar energy features. The use of solar panels to charge batteries reduces operating costs. Energy is said to constitute around or more than 30% of operating costs in a mine, according to what William Berenson of Swiss-based renewable energy firm, PWRStation, told African Mining Brief late in 2017. Another fascinating development in LED light towers is the hybrid technology that combines both diesel and solar. This ensures power availability for the continuation of projects into the night uninterrupted.

• Easily transportable LED light towers are easily transportable over rugged terrain. They can be setup seamlessly, in over half the time it takes to install permanent lighting fixtures. Power options for such equipment vary, from fuel to batteries. Vital issues The last incident that a mining company would loathe to experience is tower failure due to poor product quality and an accident resulting in fatalities. In LED tower lights, these have become standard. • Safety requisite According to Atlas Copco South Africa, with safety adherence obligatory in mines, all equipment must conform to strict mine specifications and light towers are no exception. Mine specifications require that light towers are mounted on braked, doubleaxle four-wheeled trailers to provide extra stability and safety. Robust features

Addressing the dilemma of choice The greatest challenge that mines face is not the scarcity of product options, but the sourcing the exact product that can meet their respective requirements. Currently, mines are spoilt for choice with a wide range of brands from OEMS from all over the world. Nevertheless, mines encounter a dilemma of finding a lighting solution that can only only withstand tough conditions on site and provide adequate illumination for safe mining conditions. David Stanford, Business Line Manager - Portable Energy Division, Atlas Copco Power Technique says mines should be mindful about the design of tower lights, specifically the specifications, style of beam and the illumination required. “The light towers should be carefully designed such that it is extremely easy to position in any desired location to obtain optimal work area lighting.” March - April 2018

Mine site LED lighting

Mines should take A the LED in safety Why should law-abiding management of a mine stubbornly cling to HID lighting fixtures, considering the high operational risks they pose, not least the safety of their most invaluable asset, employees?

ccidents that poor lighting causes in underground mines should be sufficient to compel mine operators to switch from using traditional High Intensity discharge (HID) fixtures to LED, which has proved to provide quality illumination in demanding conditions. Poor lighting is a hazard whose impact on the safety of employees cannot just be dismissed. Through the Mine Health and Safety Act of 1996, the Department of Mineral Resources in South Africa mandates mine operators to comply with measures or practices that enhance a safe and secure working environment. One of the measures, which should be standard on every site, is providing adequate lighting. Data gathered from research conducted globally illustrate the scale of the effects of poor lighting. The US National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety (NIOHS) makes a vivid observation in an analysis on effects of Illumination on Miners. The NIOHS notes: “Many of the higher frequency risks in mining are related to the challenge of inadequate lighting. These include slip, trip, and fall (STF) hazards which can be more difficult to detect in low light.” Similar findings have echoed this. The other challenge mines face is the aging workforce, whose average age is around

Miners using LED cap lamps underground

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Mine site LED lighting

Improved visibility is critical in maintaining a safe working environment underground, with poor lighting cited as a contributing factor in many underground accidents (Image credits: Mineglow)

45 and prone to health-related problems. The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) recognises age as a significant factor affecting one’s visual abilities. “The physiology of the human eye is such that visual performance degrades as a person ages. These physiological changes include reduced pupil size and cloudier lenses, which results in less light reaching the retina. As an example, there is 40% less


light reaching the retina of a 45-yr-old person compared to a 24-yr-old person,” it says. IESNA adds that there is a reduction in the number of rod photoreceptors that play a dominant role in vision as light levels decrease. As a result, it can become more difficult for older mine workers to see various hazards, and they can be more sensitive to glare which can cause eye discomfort or reduce their ability to see various hazards.”

Neglecting a safety risk can cost a mining company dearly, both in reputational damage and financially, in terms of paying for the litigation costs to victims of an accident. So, why should the law-abiding management of a mine cling to HID lighting fixtures, considering the high operational risks they pose, not least the safety of their most invaluable asset, employees?

March - April 2018

Occupational Hygiene

Health and Safety Two legs to stand on

The importance of the consistent implementation of all safety and health components of an Occupational Health and Safety Programme cannot be overemphasised, particularly in the current environment where weak commodity prices have reduced revenue.


Mines are obligated to implement all components of their Occupational Health and Safety Programme, to ensure safe and productive operations. Unfortunately, many mine operators tend to focus more on the “safety” aspect of these programmes, at the expense of the “health” aspect, notes Riaan Oberholzer, an Occupational Hygiene Professional from InDuna Risk Management. Possible causes of lapses This does not surprise Oberholzer, who, through his various consulting assignments at Mines throughout Southern Africa, has identified some factors that are the primary contributors to this situation:

• Flawed perspective of safety over health matters Firstly, the focus of both the mining as well as industrial sectors, has historically been on the safety element, as the impact of its failure is seen more immediately, because of injuries sustained or in1a 3/15/2018 worst-case scenario, Induna Tpfc.pdf 3:40:32 PM the death of an individual. However, this

approach overlooks the impact of the health element, which occurs over and extended period and, in most cases, only presents itself after the exposed individual has retired. Oberholzer infers that Management doesn’t necessarily realise the importance of the health element and for this reason, do not consult the Occupational Hygiene Professional from the design phase of an operation, which results in disastrous longterm consequences. • Absence of legal framework “The absence of a clearly defined legal framework in certain regions, that gives guidance on matters related to the health and safety of mining and industrial activities, contributes to lapses.” says Oberholzer. “In the absence of a clearly defined legal framework, multinational companies prescribe to internationally recognised management strategies to control the health and safety impact that their operations have on employees and the surrounding community. On the other hand, local/ independent operations tend to lack the resources or expertise to design, implement

and manage their control strategies.” • Skills scarcity Another area that Oberholzer mentions, is the scarcity of Occupational Hygiene Professionals in the local regions, which poses a big challenge to mines. Typically, he observes, to address the problem, mine operators seek assistance from regions that have a clearly defined legal framework and well established Occupational Hygiene networks. Laying emphasis on the implications of lapses in a complete Occupational Health and Safety Programme, Oberholzer urges mines to institute measures to address the problem, by giving as much attention to the health element, as has been afforded to the Safety element. He suggests that the primary step should be coming up with an Occupational Hygiene Monitoring Strategy. • Occupational Hygiene Monitoring Strategy Oberholzer recommends that the focus of any Occupational Hygiene Monitoring Strategy should be anticipation, recognition, evaluation and control of all the Physical, Chemical and Biological Stressors that are present in the working environment. “The Occupational Hygienist must continuously assess the impact of these stressors and hazards to ensure that the controls implemented to mitigate the risk, remains effective and appropriate. Subsequently, the findings of the Occupational Hygiene Monitoring Programme must be reported to Management on a regular basis to ensure that resources are applied cost effectively,” Oberholzer explains.

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March - April 2018


Bulk bags for materials handling

How do mines benefit? Mainly, bulk bags offer the following advantages to mine operators: • Bulk bags are a safe and convenient way of moving minerals between two points where you are certain of the weights transferred and cross contamination is eliminated; • Bulk bags are safe to handle and require minimum staff and machinery for transporting storing and moving multiple grades of various minerals in the same warehouse or truck; • Bulk bags can be branded (printed) for added value to mines; • Bulk bags can be reused, recycled, within an organisation; and • Bulk bags can be used as a temporary storage solution at mines.

A mining-specific FIBC (flexible intermediate bulk container)from LC Packaging

Bulky benefits of prudent procurement Considering that bulk bags are used in rugged material handling situations, mines have to be rational in their procurement decisions. High quality bulk bags increase efficiency, enhance safety, and safeguard the integrity of the material being transported or stored. On the contrary, buying a cheaper bag to “save money” in the short term can ultimately end up costing more should the bags fail, at best, or cause serious injury / death, at worst.


casual observer might underestimate significance of FIBC (flexible intermediate bulk containers) or commonly referred as bulk bags in mining operations, yet they are very critical in materials handling. Specifically, bulk bags are best used for moving crushed ore, and finished good internally within a mine and for retail to the mines end user/customer. 46

In an interview with African Mining Brief, Richard Green, LC Packaging’s Regional Director for Southern Africa, highlights a few contemporary trends in bulk bags, mainly focusing on benefits, procurement, product standards and new innovations. South Africa based, LC Packaging is a certified provider of FIBC to mines and other industries that operate in rugged environments.

• Procurement There is great concern that mines might not enjoy the full benefits of bulk bags bring to their operations. This is because, due to tough trading conditions, some mines are looking for low cost products and services in a desperate bid to cut down spiralling operating posts. Pitifully, as some are discovering belatedly, basing ultimate procurement decisions on direct upfront costs rather than the total cost of ownership is short-sighted, as the ‘bargain’ product turns out to be inferior. • The high cost of cheap products Noting this trend, Green advises against looking at price as the only determining factor in procurement of bulk bags. “Buying a cheaper bag to “save money” in the short term can ultimately end up costing more should the bags fail, at best, or cause serious injury / death, at worst.” • Prudence In view of this worrying tendency, Green, has candid advice for mining companies with reference to procuring bulk bags for their respective needs. He tells companies to be circumspect and ensure that they are wellinformed about what they are exactly looking for, underlining a few invaluable tips on how mine operators can manage the procurement of bulk bags in the present atmosphere. “Firstly, the supplier should be willing to build long term partnerships with them. It is worth bearing in mind that bulk bags are never a priority for any business until the bags fail or a supply issue arises. “Secondly, find a bag that is engineered to meet the required function, i.e. loading on containers for shipping over long distances +-1-2 months versus bags needed to move product from one end of a mine to a furnace. “Thirdly, bulk bags are tailor made to the specific needs of the mine, taking into account: logistics, handling requirements, March - April 2018

The industry leader in the supply of big bags Quality and safety never compromised

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LC Packaging is a patron member of RPMASA

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Bulk bags for materials handling

condition of the mined product, density of and granulometry of the product, and exposure to UV from sun,” Green states. Last but not least, there nothing like “one size fits all”, Green acknowledges. “Every situation should be handled according to its particular merits. Most importantly, purchasing the right bag consistently is key and allows saving a lot of money on breakages, not mentioning the value of lost product.” For mines, it is important to consider the implications of decisions that are made to staff that use the bags. The ultimate objective is to have products that are more efficient and save time. For the right information prior to purchasing, it is advisable to consult someone from the FIBC company to see a mine’s filling processes and find out how customers empty bags.

Standard safety & environmental provisions Another factor that Green brings up is that mines should insist on having standard provisions in bulk bags for better delivery without compromise. Firstly, given the rough and hazardous nature of the material FIBC handle, products have to be robust enough and safe for the employees handling them. Typically, liners in FIBC are included a standard feature that assists in water resistance, leakages, and containing hazardous materials. Secondly, where mines require UN bags, they should ask for the FIBC supplier to show copies of certificates of results of internal and external safety ratings, as FIBC manufacturers follow ISO standards.

Thirdly, mines should look for safety labels that display the manufacturer’s details and safe handling procedures. Specifically, they should ensure that the bags that are used to transport Hazardous goods are certified correctly and comply with UN specifications. Whenever in doubt, do not hesitate to contact an organisation such as RPMASA. Notable innovations It is hard to ignore the latest product developments that give end-users (mines) access to the best possible solutions in terms of security, safety and durability. Mainly, Green cherry picks the following: • Proud standing loops which negate the need for somebody to hook the loops over a forklifts forks (safety) • Q bags (net baffles) – packing efficiency • World bag project in EU – Durability 6:1 and 8:1


bags. • Tracking seals are available and can be used to seal bulk bags on the top and bottom spout to ensure no product can be stolen. • Coloured fabric available, loops can be coloured to easily identify products. Stock holding Last but not least, due to the supply chain intricacies involved in sourcing FIBC, Green suggests that stock holding in an area close to the mine should be considered. Rational decisions All told, given that bulk bags are used in rugged material handling decisions, mines have to be rational in their procurement decisions. High quality bulk bags increase efficiency, enhance safety, and safeguard the integrity of the material being transported or stored.

March - April 2018

Polypropylene bulk bags

Realising value for customers


upelostep has been around for almost 10 years. We are proud to be a service provider within the bag supply business, realising value for our customers, in a very competitive economic climate and market condition. The packaging segment is also an extremely over supplied one, with new factory shops popping up weekly in back-yards or in garages. Our differentiator is one of being a wholesale entity, combined with real time management solutions. This is based on the latest service offering available through our logistics partner BULKTRAX. The emphasis is on wholesale, with an integrated service offering, applying the latest technology, with the right type, size and quality of bag. In this bag environment alone, it is of the utmost importance to remain neutral and drive the cost of manufacturing down, without compromising the quality, but through the understanding of production cycles and material costings. Bags will always be a requirement, and in some cases more of an irritating necessity, and in other instances the proud advertisement of the company product it carries. The method on how we approach a new customer is also very different. We follow the following steps: • Obtain current bag specifications. • Understand the product specification. • Understand the loading/filling operation.

• Understand the logistics flow after the bag was filled. • Understand the discharge operation. • Obtain the production rates and number of grades. • Obtain a sample if possible. Armed with the above information we then apply what we belief would be a most up to date and relevant bag for such an application. The proposed solution is in theory and detail explained and costed. If these are within the customer guide lines we then perform a trail. Changes on the bag material/size and type of bag are in many instances the most common. Changes from paper to BOPP or woven Polypropylenes bag, self-sealing spout arrangements with block box bottom/ tops configuration is also replacing most of the traditional “pillow bags” Open top bags. On the big bulk bags, a huge shift in cutting cost and moving to Multi Trips or Multi uses, are becoming more and more attractive due to the reduced cost per ton. The added integrated use of the technology to assist with the tracing and identifying the movements involved with the bags are becoming a hot requirement. Customers require history, including: • Tracing the steps from bagging to sales point. • Assistance with the re-consolation aspect of various service providers issue invoices in the logistics supply

March - April 2018

chain. • Every bag/pallet has a unique number that is being managed from a centralized data basis. • Information collected from the filling of the bag, and carries the unique number until it is discharged. • Various ways on how this capturing is achieved, with bar-coding the most known way. • Technology has evolved and a more responsive tagging system, like NFC, (Near Field Communication), and RF Id (Radio Frequency Identification Tag) tags, are used. These are being traced through any Android mobile phone with an NFC function. Most phones have this, and a BULKTRAX app is downloaded. A individual login is provided and the truck driver /customer wherever the cargo moves, the tags can be captured electronically, and specific information send to the management system. This system automatically manages the supply chain as per design and reports any deviations immediately. Daily reports is also generated and forwarded in specific formats as per individual requirements.


Chromium carbide

CrC solution extends liner lifespan at chrome mine to five years The lifespan of liners used on a head chute at a major chrome mine in the Rustenburg area in North West Province has been boosted from 12 to 18 months for traditional materials to a minimum of five years, thanks to a Chromium Carbide (CrC) solution provided by wear-engineering expert Rio-Carb.

Rio-Carb director Sias Suurd


he OEM applied its extensive expertise in an array of mining applications and sectors in order to offer its client a cost-effective solution for its C22 head chute, located on the head gear. The conveyor belt conveys the ore onto the top of the head, from where it is offloaded onto the screens and crushers and processed into fines material, explains Rio-Carb Director Sias Suurd. The impact of the ore on the C22 head chute resulted in significant wear and abrasion, which meant it had to be refurbished. This specific chute was critical in the mine’s production process, as it conveys all of the run-of-mine (ROM) material, which means

Rio-Carb's Chromium Carbide (CrC) solution was used C22 head chute at a major chromium mine in South Africa

it endured heavy impact. The chrome mine had used standard 400 liner plates on this application-critical chute in the past. The traditional liners only lasted 12 to 18 months, whereas the total wear solution from RioCarb means that the new liners now have a minimum lifespan of five to six years. “We suggested a combination of our CrC liners and Impact plate as a total wear solution for this particular application,” Suurd highlights. The total wear solution consists of a mild steel casing on the outside of the chute, with the liner plates fitted on the inside. The C22 head chute is 1 m by 1 m, with a total height of about 8 m. The high

abrasion rate of the ROM material meant that dead boxes had to be built in to reduce the impact. Rio-Carb consulted with the chrome mine at all stages of the design, engineering, and manufacturing process. “When we engineer a solution for a specific requirement or application, we automatically look at how it can be implemented elsewhere, which is of significant benefit to the entire mining industry as it strives to cope with the long-term problem of chute and screen wear, which impacts on productivity and maintenance costs,” Suurd concludes.


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March - April 2018

Chromium carbide overlay plate

Keeping equipment wear at bay Welding Alloys South Africa’s wide range of chromium carbide overlay materials are a viable option in controlling the wear of equipment, which can cause a mine downtime and potential loss of revenue.


ASA’s range of Hardplate™ chromium carbide overlay materials have been in the market for more than two decades. Manufactured in South Africa, these materials are being used in all industries across the African continent to effectively

Chromium carbide hardplate

protect plant and equipment from wear as a result of corrosion, impact, abrasion and erosion. WASA’s range of chromium and complex chromium carbide plates and pipe materials are offered as part of a complete solution, starting with a wear audit to determine the customer’s

exact needs and ending with an optimized product or solution to effectively counter the damage caused by wear. Similar to a tar road, WASA’s range of Hardplate™ materials are made up of a tough metal matrix (the tar) into which chromium and complex carbides

March - April 2018

(the aggregate) are embedded. These carbides have hardness in excess of 1500 on the Vickers hardness scale. With uniformly distributed carbides embedded into the entire thickness of the welded overlay, Hardplate™ offers superior resistance to wear when compared to quenched 53

and tempered wear resistant materials and equivalent competitor products. Through years of experience and field and laboratory testing, WASA has shown that Hardplate™ can outlast standard quenched and tempered materials by 5 – 7 times. Benefits By using WASA’s range of Hardplate™ products and solutions to protect plant and equipment against wear, our customers benefit from the following: • Lower cost of ownership. • Longer lasting equipment. • Increased productivity. • Longer maintenance intervals. • Lower maintenance costs. • Lighter weight solutions. Recommended scope of applications WASA’s range of chromium and complex chromium carbide overlay materials are used wherever significant wear is experienced. Applications include plant and equipment such as Chute Liners, Hopper Liners,

Storage Bin Liners, Conveyor Side Liners, Dump Truck Trays, Excavator Buckets, Cyclones, Piping Systems, Stacker / Reclaimers, Apron Feeders, Cones, Fans, Fan Casings etc. WASA manufactures plate and pipe in a range of grades from standard chromium carbide to complex chromium carbide materials in various thicknesses enabling the company to effectively accommodate the needs of all our customers. Best practice in application Not all chromium carbide overlay materials are equal. Due to their inherent structure and make-up, standard chromium carbide material exhibits a brittle structure which is not always suitable for applications in high impact areas. For this reason WASA manufactures a range of chromium carbide overlay materials bridging the gap standard chromium carbide products are not capable of. To fully benefit from the advantages of chromium carbide overlay material, it is very important to

utilize the correct product for the correct application. Range of products The WASA range is made up of the following products: Hardplate™ 100S, 200S, 300S and 600S Standard chromium carbide and complex chromium carbide materials for use in general abrasive environments at room temperature to highly abrasive environments at high temperatures. Tuffplate™ S Impact resistant product for use in high impact environment with moderate abrasive wear. Hardlite™ Thin, ultra-abrasive resistant product for use in application where weight is restricted with very high abrasive wear and low levels of impact. Bespoke solutions Chromium carbide overlay materials have been around for a few decades with very few manufacturers coming up with

new and innovative products. As a producer of one of the most extensive ranges of Flux Cored Welding Consumables in the world, The Welding Alloys Group has developed numerous hardfacing materials which can be utilized in very specific applications and environments. These include custom solutions for the cement and crushing industries. Our RPMaxLife is specifically aimed at roller press refurbishment. A comprehensive range of Hardplate™ overlay materials for plate and pipe and an innovative way of thinking whereby the company conducts wear audits on plant and equipment. These audits are done by wear specialists with the aim of collecting data which is used in collaboration with the client to optimize wear packages for increased production at the lowest possible cost of ownership.

Our Technical Spark Solves Your Industrial Challenges

Welding Alloys South Africa’s chromium carbide overlay material


March - April 2018

Busbar Trunking

Busbar Trunking for deep-level and surface mining for MV and LV electrical reticulation, distribution and infrastructure.


usbar Trunking can offer an alternative means for the demand of reliable power reticulation in these extreme conditions. Raising awareness of top-grade Busbar Trunking for electricity distribution has been proved to be a popular alternative, to conventional cable systems, with respect to space saving, theft, fire and corrosion, reducing downtime, unplanned repairs and replacement expenses. Increasing productivity and revenue. Busbar Trunking ensures that end-users fully benefit from the finest technology offered and conform to the latest: i. IEC Specifications – (61439-1&6) and (IS8623-1&2) ii. Designed and manufactured to the stringent ISO9001-2000 quality standards. iii. ASTA certified. iv. SABSDBTS approved. Africa Qpfc.pdf 1 3/22/2018 3:51:35 PM

A wide range of copper and aluminum conductor options for both LV and MV applications is available. How do mines benefit? • The Busbar Trunking undergoes very stringent laboratory testing before being released to the market. • The prefabricated compact size allows for easier installation, maintenance, man power costs, as well as more space. • Excellent resistance to corrosion and atmospheric pollution as well as wide range of chemicals. • Has electromagnetic compatibility for sensitive environments. • High mechanical impact strength - IK10 - IEC62262 Insulation materials used: i. Mylar insulation tapes to withstand temperatures of 125°C. ii. Thermoset blu-E-Coat™ epoxy

insulation to withstand temperatures of 180oC. Busbar Trunking is certified: i. Water-proof up to - IP 68 ii. Fire-proof to IEC 60331-21standards. iii. Seismic Compliance – Zone 5. iv. Self-extinguishing Insulation – IEC – 60332 v. IEC Ex Certified – on request. LV Busbar Trunking is available in various designs up to 6500A/1000V. MV Busbar Trunking available in various designs up to 6500A/36kV. Low reactance, resistance and impedance qualities result in low voltage drop. Assurance The products have been tested in extreme environments globally and we are sure they can address current demands in industry. We are on hand to offer support to our clients when needed.”










March - April 2018

Wheeled jaw plants

of operation for approximately 5 hours\, the new Terex requires only a daily brush-off and checkup in order to run flawlessly for years to come. “Being mobile, it can also be hitched to a truck or loader and be taken to where the crushing is required depending on where mining is taking place. Once in place the wheels also serve to anchor and dampen the vibration of the plant giving it a stable and smooth platform to operate from,” says Johann.

The Terex WJ1175 is a game-changer for mines and quarries

Jaws breathe new energy into JHB quarry


ion Park Quarries in Lanseria has broken new ground with the commissioning of first-of-its-kind in Africa Terex WJ1175 electric wheeled jaw crushing plant. As a fully electric drive operated crushing plant, the new Terex is a significant departure from diesel guzzling predecessors with a smaller price tag and requiring significantly less support and maintenance on site. Its powerful electric-driven jaws and materials handling components have so far also slashed running costs by nearly half of its predecessor’s energy costs. Supplied locally by ELB Equipment, the Terex WJ1175 is a game-changer for mines

Johann Meintjes of Lion Park Quarries

and quarries with access to the national electricity grid or another similarly reliable source. With fewer moving parts and no hydraulics it is a simpler machine and as a result is less expensive to buy and maintain, while operationally the impressive electric drive operated crusher provides powerful and precise crushing operations, is considerably quieter and enhanced operator safety. Fuel-bill savings Johann Meintjes, who co-owns the quarry alongside his father, Johann snr, says the new machine is a revelation in terms of both outputs and efficiency. “Diesel bills for the predecessor Pegson XF Jaw Crusher were mounting up and added a considerable margin to the cost of our sand and stone products. “The new machine’s electricity bills are about 40% less by comparison and with its bigger, more efficient crushing chamber it adds considerably to our sand and stone production. By contrast to the mechanically operated plant, which required servicing every 200 hours at a cost of over R20 000 each time and required it to be out

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Way forward He adds that the operation has been in existence for more than 30 years and has developed a special relationship with ELB Equipment which has lasted right from the very beginning. Although they always look at all new technologies from different suppliers, the vast majority of its equipment is procured from the company and the technical representatives service, support and importantly technical advice has played a decisive role in the success and growth of the quarry. While the purchase of any plant of the quarry’s equipment is usually based on wellresearched facts and figures, this time the purchase of the Terex WJ1175 was more of a “chance encounter” as Johann Snr passed ELB Equipment’s stock yard and noticed the unusual machine. While he had effectively been scouring the world’s equipment suppliers to find a new crushing solution that fitted their requirements, little did he know that the right machine had already been brought into the country as a pre-launch demo. A few enquiries and the surprise price-tag later and the deal was signed. Competitive advantage “Here in the heart of the Northern Suburbs of Johannesburg we are in the midst of some of the most fiercely contested markets in the country. I believe that the acquisition of the new crushing plant effectively puts us in a better position than ever before with better product availability at sustainably lower prices. “This kind of innovation and access to world-leading equipment from ELB Equipment is what set them apart and gives us the opportunity to always be one step ahead of our competitors. Service and support go without saying and with lower running costs, it sets us on a new path of profitability,” Johann concludes. ELB Equipment, Wakefield Harding, el: (011) 306 0700, Email:, Web: 57

Tyre changing solutions

Eliminating the tyre changing burden

Flexibility and agility are key in the mining-specific tyre handlers (image: Bobcat Equipment South Africa)


t is unthinkable to change tyres weighing 15 tonnes or more, between 70 cm and 4 metres, on haulage trucks used in surface mining, using conventional means. But thanks to tyre handling attachments, handling or removing large tyres is no longer an gruelling task. Mainly hydraulically or electronically driven, Tyre handling attachments are now the industry standard for handling and changing tyres on mine haul trucks. Through examining a few products from some of the reputable OEMs that supply to mines in Africa, African Mining Brief has been able to single out the benefits that tyre handlers bring to mining operations and current trends that are shaping


the way the mines handle tyres. What do tyre handlers really bring To appreciate the massive benefits that tyre handling attachments bring to mining operations better, one has to take into context the present conditions, where commodity prices are weak and, uncompromisingly, regulators

are stressing mines on adherence to high safety standards in operations. Productivity An area where tyre handlers have the most visible impact is productivity, as Bobcat Equipment South Africa National Sales Manager, Andre

"With wheel loaders and haulage trucks central to the productivity of open cast mines, getting these vehicles moving again quickly has a direct impact on the bottom line."

Steenkamp, states. “Instead of production being interrupted in order for an integrated tool handler or front-end loader having to remove a wheel, customers can use a convenient and practical solution that delivers a quick return on investment.” Above and beyond, fully automated tyre-handling technology not only reduces the risks inherent to the operation but also improves the utilisation times of mining vehicles, says Gerhard van Niekerk, Big Truck sales manager at Barloworld Handling. “With wheel loaders and haulage trucks central to the productivity of open cast mines, getting these vehicles moving again quickly has a direct impact on the bottom line.” It must also March - April 2018

be recognised that rapid and precise extraction and control of the tyre and rim from the studs of the truck is a safety feature. Safety With regulation requiring mines to enhance safety, tyre handling attachments ensure that the tasks of tyre changing are carried out safely and conveniently. Several safety features that are incorporated enable this. With the fall-back protection on the attachment, a technician is able to safely loosen or fasten bolts in front of the tyre. Moreover, the remote control function provides maximum safety to the operating crew during wheel and rim replacement, as well as controlling precise movements when carrying out delicate and precision movements such as wheel replacement. Rapid and precise extraction and control of the tyre and rim from the studs of the truck also ensures safety of the crew responsible for tyre changing.

Handy Various models of tyre handlers that are able to interface with different host vehicles, such as articulating dump trucks, fork lift trucks and front end loaders from recognised manufacturers with minimal, if any, modifications. Research and development Developments in tyre handling technology are too conspicuous to be ignored In

the ever changing operating environment it is incumbent that OEMs keep abreast of current customer demands through designing, development and testing, production of the right products. For instance, Niekerk says, through extensive customer research, his company ensures that the tyre-handling trucks supplied, from concept to launch, follow a carefully structured development process. This, he says, is done to confirm that the machine will deliver all

the intended benefits to its future users. Relating to research and development, there have been a number of fascinating developments in tyre handling attachments. Fascinatingly, some forward-thinking OEMs have been able to develop wheel changers with less complex hydraulic, which translates into few wear-and-tear components, and low operational and maintenance requirements, just cite a few. Significantly, this change have made ownership costs manageable Overall, thanks to research and development, several features introduced to tyre handling attachments in recent years have substantially eliminated the burdens hitherto associated with tyre changing or removal. This puts mine operators in a good stead to navigate through trading conditions that are persisting in the sector.

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

African Mining Brief_November 2017.indd 1

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2017-11-02 2:28:50 PM


TYRE CHANGING SOLUTIONS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY NEW POWERLIFT JACKS Locally designed and manufactured. Effortless maneuverability due to our patented air lift system. Ergonomically designed and balanced. Eliminates operator exposure in the danger zone.



Locally designed and manufactured. Safest and fastest way to mount an de-mount OTR wheel assemblies. Designed to eliminate potential for accidents associated with old methods. Various models available.


Locally designed and manufactured. 50 tons to 200 tons. Available in Air, Electric or Petrol over Hydraulic.

Compatible with forklifts, front end loaders and crane mounts. Full range of solutions for any tyre size.


Locally designed and manufactured. Can be positioned without exposing the operator to the danger zone. Height adjustable for greater versatility. Available 25 tons to 200 tons.

Should you require any further information pertaining to any of these products or services, please call:

P.O.Box 50160, Randjiesfontein 1683, South Africa 27 Bushbuck Close, Corporate Park South, Midrand Tel: + 27 (0)11 203-9900 Fax: +27 (0)11 203-9909 e-mail: -


Resistant to most fuels, acids and lubricants. Consistent in weight. Conforms to international standards.

Tyre changing solutions

Best practice in tyre handling is indispensable

The do’s and don’ts of tyre handling While the use of advanced technology has simplified complex tyre handling tasks in unbelievable ways, minimising damage to tyres and ensuring safety, best practice in tyre handling is indispensable.


mproper handling can cause irreparable damage to tyres. For this reason, with a view to reducing (or eliminating) the risk of damaged beads and their consequences, adhere to the following advice. Recommendations • Do not lift a tyre directly with the hook of a crane (to avoid causing irreparable damage to the bead). • Use flat straps (and not metallic slings or chains) to avoid damaging the tread. • Lift the tyre under the tread and not at the bead when using a forklift truck (avoids causing irr parable damage to the bead). Alternatively, use speciallyadapted handling equipment (lift truck with clamps).

Caution! If a tyre-handler is used, holding the tyre too tightly will distort it and, subsequently, prevent its correct positioning on the rim. • For tubeless tyres supplied with bead protectors, leave the protectors in place until the tyre is to be mounted (to avoid damaging the bead). (Keep the protectors; they can be refitted to the beads of the tyre if it has to be removed temporarily for repair or retreading). • Never stand under or near a suspended tyre. Always assure the lifting equipment corresponds to the tyre weight. Courtesy of MICHELIN

March - April 2018


Radiology for mines

Bringing game-changing solutions to mines Continuum Systems’ cloud based radiology imaging (PACS) & Workflow Management Systems (RIS) powered by Infinitt Healthcare bring game-changing solutions to the mining industry. About mining health and safety With the mining industry in South Africa employing close to 500 000 people(1) and an estimated staggering 9% of all new reported cases of TB worldwide attributed to SA mining, it is a clear fact that healthcare services are paramount in this sector. This is not only for humanitarian reasons, but also to be aligned with World Health Organization (WHO) practices(2)(4) and The Mine Health and Safety Act, 1996 (Act No. 29 of 1996)(3). Through the ‘Masoyise iTB’ initiative announced by the Chamber of Mines in March 2016, companies involved promised to play their part in a campaign aimed at ensuring that every mine employee is screened and tested for TB each year from 2016 to 2018. (4). What does the mining industry need to better manage their employees’ screening and healthcare services?

Needing to share the workload effortlessly across multiple sites or reading facilities, via a centralised worklist for reporting is essential. Controlling the distribution of work to the reading doctors, is equally important. Continuum Systems’ SMARTRAD proven voice recognition software with user created templates built into the solution, allows for faster reporting times and a higher accuracy of report content resulting in timely feedback on the patient’s prognosis.

Minimising employee time away from the working environment is critical to a successful health and screening plan. Continuum Systems can drastically reduce the procedure time. This is achieved through its integrated cloud RIS service. The patient registration process is streamlined through the system’s ability to pull demographics from the employers’ records as well as smart scheduling technology.

Conforming to local legal and compliance standards for patient confidentiality and data protection is at the forefront of the Continuum Systems solution with the latest in firewall and redundancy technology protection.

Limitless redundant storage capacity for all records is fundamental to a successful solution. By migrating older records and transmitting current studies into the cloud environment for storage, easy lookup and comparison across all sites is enabled, giving peace of mind that all records are secure, available and easily referenced for future requirements. Flexible reading options are vital to the modern reporting environment. Having a single central system that is always available, is key to enabling efficient reading services for the best image interpretation – either performed in house or outsourced to a 3rd party reading service. Continuum Systems’ SMARTRAD cloud solution is housed in a locally based world class data centre that is monitored 24/7/365. This enables the highest availability to its clients and the capability of being accessed from anywhere and anytime over an encrypted connection. 64

Easily locate employee medical results for follow up treatment or legal representation. Continuum systems’ online portal gives direct access to authorised users with simple tools to distribute results to relevant parties over an encrypted secure connection.

Keeping the cost of ownership down is important to ensuring affordability, whilst maintaining high levels of service and client satisfaction. By utilising a “Pay as you grow” solution, initial high capital outlay costs are drastically minimised and running costs are predictable and scalable as you grow the service. A quick and easy signup and service activation process is vital to the seamless transition from legacy systems to cloud based technology. With expert knowledge and tele-radiology experience in the Radiology industry, Continuum Systems can connect to your equipment and existing archives, in order to receive employer demographics and transmit images directly into the safety of the cloud storage facility. Accompanying documentation can also be scanned in as part of the study with the latest camera scanning technology to give the reading doctor additional information and history if required. Staying updated in a dynamic world of emerging technologies is crucial to managing return on investment.

Continuum Systems’ SMARTRAD runs advanced platforms to enable regular upgrades as well as the highest level of security in firewall and antivirus protection. The mining industry in South Africa has unique requirements and along with this the demand for tailor-made solutions suitable to this niche market. Continuum Systems has entirely customised its product offering to the South African environment, making developments and improvements to enhance workflow and efficiencies, which are key to the needs of the mining industry. Supporting international integration technologies like HL7, IHE and DICOM are standard in the solution, while custom integrations like XML, Web services and ODBC are equally supported to integrate into local service suppliers. Knowing the service usage and employee visit statistics allows the enterprise to better manage the services rendered and related costs. Continuum Systems offers a leading business intelligence interface to enable the reporting of live usage statistics from the online portal. In addition, the customised report layouts allow easy visualisation of data or the ability to export data to excel for analysis. Key reports are automatically emailed to authorised users at scheduled intervals to keep management updated on achievement against key performance objectives. If billing for services rendered or managing 3rd party reporting services costs is required, Continuum Systems has a full radiology specific financial module that allows integration to medical schemes and IOD companies, providing real-time claims with collection management tools to improve cash collection rates. In line with the Mine Health and Safety Inspectorate, Continuum Systems’ SMARTRAD powered by INFINITT Healthcare strives towards a safe and healthy mining industry. This is aided through the provision of expert solutions in the medical IT division and the application of Cloud Based Radiology Imaging (PACS) & Workflow Management Systems (RIS). March - April 2018

Cloud based Radiology in Mining Continuum Systems' SMARTRAD Cloud Based Radiology Imaging (PACS) & Workflow Management Systems (RIS) powered by INFINITT Healthcare bring game changing solutions to the mining industry. With the mining industry in South Africa employing close to 500 000 people and an estimated staggering 9% of all new reported cases of TB worldwide attributed to SA mining, it is a clear fact that healthcare services are paramount in this sector. What Continuum Systems offers the mining industry to better manage their employees' screening and healthcare services.


Continuum Systems’ SMARTRAD strives towards a safe and healthy mining industry. This is aided through the provision of expert solutions in the medical IT division and the application of Cloud Based Radiology Imaging (PACS) & Workflow Management Systems (RIS).

Minimise employee time away from the working environment

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Limitless redundant storage capacity

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Easily locate employee medical results

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Keep the cost of ownership down

Unique requirements and the demand for tailor-made solutions

Know the service usage and employee visit statistics

Bill for services rendered or manage 3rd party reporting service costs

Flexible reading options Share the workload easily across multiple sites or reading facilities Conform to local legal and compliance standards Quick and easy signup and connection process Staying updated in a dynamic world of emerging technologies

Reusable thermal insulation covers and expansion joints

Reducing High energy and maintenance costs with shorter equipment downtime Having established a niche market for its reusable thermal insulation covers and expansion joints in South Africa, Flextra Engineered Products (Pty) LTD is dedicated to serving high quality product to the mining and refining industries in the African markets and beyond.


Convoluted Metal Expansion Joint

Any shape, Any length, and Temperature

Insulation suitable for the food and make-up industries


lextra Engineered Products (Pty) LTD is dedicated to help plant operators in Africa reduce high energy and operating costs by increasing equipment uptime and safety in 2018 and beyond, through its knowhow of thermal insulation, and fabric and metal expansion joints respectively. The Managing Director of Flextra, Chris Edmeston and Sales Director, Matthew Edmeston, tell African Mining Brief that the company’s reusable thermal insulation covers and expansion joint solutions are aimed at specifically addressing current demands in the African mining and refining industries by offering high quality well designed products at a competitive price and a time sensitive delivery period. Flextra Engineered Products (PTY) LTD has an absolute dedication to quality (Iso 9001/2015) Reusable insulation covers Matthew says Flextra’s reusable thermal insulation covers are designed to help reduce high energy and maintenance costs for industries that need equipment suitably insulated from large bag houses precips and cyclones to ducting, fans, valves, tanks and many more. What makes Flextra’s reusable covers stand out from comparable products in the market is the ability to remove and reinstall the insulation system with ease, providing quick access to valves and high maintenance equipment. This is all done without having to repurchase insulation each time. He elaborates, “As and when needed, you can undo a strap and buckle, perform your maintenance work, and reinstall. Most of our standard covers can be removed and reinstalled in 5 minutes or less.” In a nutshell, Flextra’s reusable insulation covers offer numerous advantages over ‘conventional’ insulation, mainly: shorter equipment downtime, weight and space reduction, ease of application, reduced maintenance costs, personal protection, reduced sound transmission, asbestos free and environmentally safe, excellent control and reduction of radiant heat loss, UV resistant, Non-Porous, chemically inert, custom fit to existing conditions and a reduction in under insulation corrosion. Matthew underlines Flextra’s commitment to ensure that the client experiences comprehensive benefits of the reusable thermal insulation system, through

tailoring the products according to the client’s particular needs. “Our experienced engineers and skilled workers have the ability to custom fabricate and install any of your reusable insulation cover needs. In fact, we can tailor our product to provide you with the most effective solutions,” he says, adding that, depending on the client’s preferences, Flextra uses different types of securement systems such as Velcro, DD-Ring with straps, stainless steel wire and lacing hooks and many others for its reusable thermal insulation jackets. Expansion joints Flextra is involved in the design, manufacture, supply and installation of stainless steel, PTFE and rubber expansion joints. The expansion joints are used, primarily, where there is a need to take up thermal expansion in ducting or equipment. They are also used to isolate vibrations and accommodate misalignment of flanges. According to Chris, expansion joints are used in wide range of industries. “Our products are commonly found in but not limited to, plants that manufacture cement, fertilizers, sugar, paper, steel, petro chemical, oil, power, food and are widely used in the mining, refining and smelting industries.” Chris stresses that Flextra recognizes that every client’s expansion joint requirements are unique. Consequently, he states, the company assists clients on selecting the right expansion joints materials (Drawing from 40 years of knowledge and experience) for their application to ensure a reliable high quality product with minimal breakdown or gas leakage. “A properly engineered and installed expansion joint will ensure uninterrupted plant performance between scheduled maintenance shutdowns and longer. When it comes to expansion joints there is no such thing as one size fits all. Flextra will only use the highest quality materials available worldwide, and will under no circumstance compromise quality.” Focused on growth into Africa Flextra is aiming at increasing the market for reusable thermal insulation covers and quality expansion joints in Southern Africa and the African markets. Chris is confident that the company is adequately resourced to handle various demands from clients. March - April 2018


Prioritising water efficiency As a significant user of water and a producer of water containing waste, mining companies, with their hydrometallurgical processing plants, have an important role to play. Mines have to ensure that water is conserved and sustainably used and managed. there is need to ensure that improved water management within hydrometallurgical processing plants avoids, or at least significantly reduces, the potential negative effects. Indeed, it is not just about good husbandry of available water resources, but also effects of contaminated wastewater on the environment. In mines waste streams can cause environmental damage to human quality of life, ecosystems, water and soil. On the other, there is need to comply with the strategic imperatives imposed by the external environment within which these plants operate.

A hydrometallurgical processing plant at a copper mine in Zambia


ngoing developments unfolding in the mining sector are reshaping how processes are managed from pit to port. Mainly, these developments include: falling ore grade and depletion in natural ore deposits; growing concerns from regulators about the environmental impact of mining and metals industries; escalating energy costs; and increasing water scarcity. Consequently, to cope with these conditions, improvements in current hydrometallurgical techniques used to extract metals from ores are needed urgently, as several commentators have concurred through various forums. Much recently a presentation on the issue was made at a SAIMM Conference. Markedly, pertaining to water management, legislative developments have had a major influence in dictating the economics of water supply, water treatment and discharge in mines. This has occasioned the need for new approaches 68

in water management within hydrometallurgical processing plants. A report from the Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation, Best Practice Guideline A3: Water Management in Hydrometallurgical Plants underpins why the necessity of water management in hydrometallurgical plants. The report says: “While the operations and water balance of the average hydrometallurgical processing plant are integrally linked with the preceding mining operation and the subsequent residue disposal facility and its associated return water systems, there are particular features that relate to water management within the hydrometallurgical processing plant itself.” The report provides a compelling analysis of the impact of hydrometallurgical processing on water resources in mining. It notes that the main challenge is that hydrometallurgical processing plants operate within an external

environment where water is becoming an increasingly scarce and valuable resource with competing demands, primarily from the need to satisfy human consumption and ecological functioning. Within this external environment, hydrometallurgical processing plants are required to prudently manage the degree of water reuse and reduce the amount of wastewater discharged, observes the report. It explains that, inevitably, this has significant implications on water quality within the hydrometallurgical processing plants’ water circuits. Water quality has potential effects on the efficiency of various unit processes within the plant, as well as on the equipment that makes up the plant in terms of scaling and corrosion. A two-fold challenge Essentially, the challenge that hydrometallurgical plants face is two-fold. On the one hand,

Assuming responsibility Bearing in mind the abovementioned situation, the report says, “As a significant user of water and a producer of water containing waste, mining companies, with their hydrometallurgical processing plants, have an important role to play. Mines have to ensure that water is conserved and sustainably used and managed.” Further, it is necessary that water management operations in mines are firmly based on sound and correct principles. In general, while hydrometallurgical plants different mines have unique challenges, an integrated water and waste management (IWWM) approach, which focuses firstly on waste and pollution prevention/avoidance, should be adopted. Where this is not possible, waste and pollution minimisation, which may include the economic reduction of waste stream volumes and use of chemicals via process design, should be adopted. Finally, reuse (recycling) and reclamation (recovery). March - April 2018


maximizing metallurgy

Our four-in-one solution:

We do your test work with a multi-disciplinary team, interpret it, model it and integrate the results into metallurgical designs. Our laboratory areas of expertise: • Mineral processing • Hydrometallurgy • Chemical analysis • Process development • Solid liquid separation • Pyrometallurgy


ISO 9001:2015

CERTIFIED COMPANY Certificate 91215729/1, audited by DEKRA GmbH, Stuttgart


011 608 0019 011 608 4067 082 441 2788

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Pinelands Office Park Unit T5, 1 Ardeer Road Modderfontein, 1609 South Africa

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African Mining Brief  

African Mining Brief 2018 Issue Vol 13 No.2 Africa's leading bi-monthly magazine for the mining industry in Africa, bringing you all the bes...

African Mining Brief  

African Mining Brief 2018 Issue Vol 13 No.2 Africa's leading bi-monthly magazine for the mining industry in Africa, bringing you all the bes...