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Editor Bertha M.

Mining industry turning to digital technologies

Contributing Writer Oscar Nkala Mfuneko Jack Lindani Mkhize Caroline Thomas Nita Karume

Mining companies are continuously pressured by the

Sales and Marketing Rossou Biliard +27 11 044 8986

is increasingly turning to digital technologies to streamline

Deward Sitali +260 96 187 4888 Victor Ndlovu Cleopas M. Mandla M. mandlam@fmdrc-zambia Professor M.

uncertainty that looms over the global economy. As such, the industry is on a quest to introduce innovation. This is with a purpose to help improve important business practices. Despite the challenges that remain, the mining industry business models, capture reliable data and improve production and safety. Africa’s mining industry has also been facing challenges that are also evident in other markets. These include but are not limited to issues such as access to faster and more reliable power connectivity. This highly influences the type of business that the mining companies engage in in term s of executing efficient IT strategies. Furthermore, this is made worse by the fact that mining sites, open-cast, offshore, and underground, are usually very remote in many mining sites across Africa. As such, technological integrations should be viewed as

Polite Mkhize

an opportunity to transform the mining business models

Leslie N

deliver value. Some of these issue as brought afore by this

Graphic Design and Layout Irene Faith Omudho

emergence of fire protection systems in the mining industry.

Art Director Augustine Ombwa Arobia Creative Consultancy

as well as reshape the way mining companies create and issue include emergency response and mine rescue and the

Nita Karume

Published By Mailing Times Media Circulation/Sales +27 11 044 8986 +27 11 044 8986

Mailing Times Media (Pty) Ltd makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the contents of its publications, but no warranty is made as to such accuracy and no responsibility will be borne by the publisher for the consequences of actions based on information so published. Further, opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Mailing Times Media (Pty) Ltd



Zambian police recover 20kg of emeralds seized in mine armed robbery By Oscar Nkala


olice in the Zambian city of Ndola have arrested five men in connection with the armed robbery of an unknown quantity of emeralds and an undisclosed amount of money from a mining company. So far, at least 20kg of emeralds have been recovered and police are searching for three more suspects who are still on the run.

Copperbelt Police Commissioners Charity Katanga said the five are alleged to have broken into the premises of Continental Mining Africa where they subdued and tied up a security guard. They then used iron bars to break the door of the strong-room where the emeralds are kept. They looted the store and got

away with emeralds and cash. Hoever, two of the suspects who were arrested in the city of Ndola within hours of committing the crime led the police to the mastermind of the gang. Police recovered and impounded two vehicles - a Toyota Corolla and a Toyota

Rangold faces opposition over Barrick Corp’s acquisition of gold mine in DRC


andgold Resources Ltd is currently facing opposition from the Democratic Republic of Congo’s government. DRC is insisting that it authorizes the acquisition by Canada’s Barrick Gold Corp of Randgold’s stake in a Congolese gold mine.

Randgold’s 45% stake in the Kibali mine in Congo. However, Congolese Mines Minister Martin Kabwelulu said the shareholder change would need to be approved by the government in accordance with Congo’s new mining code.

stake in the project. According to Sokimo, the transaction is but an effort by the foreign companies to impose themselves, without any prior discussion, in the countries from which the resources that make up their wealth are extracted.

According to media reports, Barrick agreed to buy Randgold this week in a deal to create the world’s largest gold company with an aggregate market valuation of US $18.3Bn. This will result in Barrick becoming the owner of

The ministry’s statement backs the position taken by state miner Sokimo, which owns a 10 % stake in the mine and vowed to “assert its rights” regarding the takeover. AngloGold Ashanti owns the remaining percentage

On the other hand, Randgold assured parties concerned that the takeover would not introduce a new partner in the Kibali project, as suggested by Sokimo. Rangold released a statement clarifying that


Landcruiser – that were used in the mine robbery. Preliminary investigations have established that the gang used the Corolla as a get-away car. The Landcruiser was found with the load of stolen emeralds

there is a lack of provisions in the joint venture agreement together with the related documentation which give Sokimo any rights resulting from the proposed merger. Randgold has allegedly fallen out with the Congolese authorities this year over the new mining code that hikes taxes and cancels exemptions. The firm said it had consulted with Sokimo, the minister of mines and other parties, in the days following the merger announcement. Congo has earned hundreds of millions of dollars in payouts from international miners in similar instances in the past few years.


Epiroc aftermarket division amplifies the automation factor at Electra Mining 2018


longside equipment and technology, Epiroc is also showcasing the strength and capabilities of its aftermarket division at Electra Mining 2018. Headed by Floris Timmers, Regional Business Line Manager, Mining & Rock Excavation Services, Epiroc’s aftermarket division is committed to assisting customers and endusers extend the service life of equipment for lowest total cost of ownership through accurate stock holding, competent technicians and specialized tooling as well as unrivalled remanufacturing capabilities. In an effort to improve productivity, the mining industry has shifted its focus to digitalization and automation, innovations that help to reduce input costs, increase output, and enhance personnel safety. “The inclusion of digitalization and automation technology augments the effectiveness of our aftermarket

service capabilities,” notes Timmers, citing CERTIQ, as a prime example. “Epiroc have introduced this webbased remote monitoring solution to further our endeavor to assist customers in extending the service life of their capital equipment and keeping operational costs as low as possible by gaining increased control over machine operation.” CERTIQ provides information on operator actions and productivity as well as machine activity and condition. Using a mobile device (cell phone, laptop, tablet or iPad), customers can log into their fleet from a different location in order to see information such as which machines are running or drilling, how many meters they have drilled as well as their fuel consumption. Most importantly, the monitoring system alerts customers immediately to critical problems such overheating.

CERTIQ is presently available on all new Epiroc product lines (limited to specific models) and can also be retrofitted, requiring only the simple fitment of hardware onto the machine. The aftermarket division caters to all Epiroc capital equipment encompassing eleven product lines including drilling and underground mining machines. The broad aftermarket solution which contains specialist tooling and tool kits, aftersales service, rebuild, technology, telematics, and training, caters to customers and end-users in South Africa as well as in Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. “With the inclusion of automation, we remove the headache in the aftersales service space so that customers are free to focus on the efficient operation of their core business,” concludes Timmers.

Vector Resources to acquire gold project in DRC


old explorer and developer Vector Resources is well on its way towards the acquisition of Adidi-Kanga gold project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The developer is working in collaboration with its joint venture partner Mongbwalu Goldfields Investment. The two are looking to acquire 60% interest in the gold project. Adidi-Kanga is part of gold major AngloGold Ashanti’s former Mongbwalu gold project and has the potential to be one of Africa’s largest gold mining operations. Earlier on this month, it was announced that the two companies had satisfied the majority of the key conditions needed to complete

the acquisition. Moreover, they were further working to satisfy the remaining conditions by mid this month.

of upfront acquisition costs as well definitive feasibility study costs and initial project development costs respectively.

The execution of a committed debt facility is an important and crucial step in finalizing the acquisition process of its interest in the AdidiKanga gold project. As such, having secured the same, Vector Resources is now awaiting confirmation from MGI and the local Congolese bank that the condition has been met. Vector Resources has also received several competing proposals for project funding of up to US $35m. The current proposals, which are being finalized, allow the company to meet the US $5m and US $10m

MGI MD Guy-Robert Lukama said that the company is committed to work towards settlement of the transaction as well as the finalization of the outstanding documentation and satisfy the few remaining conditions precedent. He further added that they are looking forward to mining this project into development. Mr. Lukama also said that the joint venture is working towards the same goal of completing the definitive feasibility study and move towards a decision to mine in the next 12 months.



AVZ Minerals reveals Manono Lithium Project valuation to be US $1.6Bn By Oscar Nkala


ustralian miner AVZ Minerals has revealed a pre-tax and preroyalties net value of US $1.6 billion for its Manono Lithium Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In a statement issued on October 9, AVZ Minerals Managing Director Nigel Ferguson said the Manono Lithium Project is now the largest undeveloped hard rock lithium project in the world when rated in terms of mineral grade, mine life and prospects for expansion. The asset scoping value is ongoing and will be completed in the Second Quarter of 2019. The full feasibility study is expected to be completed by Q2. So far,

the study has projected annual production of up to 440 000 tonnes per annum, at a minimum of 5.8% lithium oxide concentrate from Case 1 throughput of 2m tonnes per annum (mtpa) of pegmatite ore. Ferguson said the company is very pleased with the high potential demonstrated in the results, and will immediately commence a full feasibility study.

“We are confident that the project economics can be improved further, especially in the areas of transport, processing, power costs by utilising a refurbished hydro plant at Piana Mwanga and the recovery of tin as a by-product which can add considerable value to the bottom line and has not been included in any financial modelling,� Ferguson said.

“The studies undertaken not only demonstrate the potential for excellent economic outcomes, but also highlight the long-life, low-cost qualities typical of world-class Tier 1 assets. Manono is now the largest undeveloped hard rock lithium project globally in terms of grade, mine life and expandability.



BME highlights blasting and explosives solutions growth in Zambia


s Zambia’s copper mining focus shifts west from Kitwe, Ndola and Chingola to the growing operations at Solwezi and Kalumbila, blasting major BME supplies some of the largest minerals operations in the country – with further potential for growth across the border in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). According to BME Regional Manager SADC, Deon Pieterse, the company supplies emulsion explosives to a range of Zambian mining operations, from the largest copper producers to the numerous smaller mini-pit operations in the coal-mining and quarrying sectors. “This is one of the world’s most exciting regions for copper mining, including First Quantum Minerals’ established Kansanshi mine and its large new Sentinel mine – as well as Barrick’s Lumwana operation,” said Pieterse. “While we have on-site manufacturing plants on the mines

of our larger customers, our smaller customers are serviced from our plants in Ndola and Lusaka,” he said. BME says its electronic detonation systems have been well accepted in the Zambian market, with some of the largest ever electronically initiated blasts being conducted at Kansanshi mine in 2017 – when 6,690 electronic delay detonators (EDDs) were successfully initiated using BME’s AXXIS digital initiation system. “We have established a strong technical base in Zambia, with our own in-country technical department – staffed and managed by Zambian experts,” he said. “This capacity includes highly trained and experienced blasting engineers, as well as our specialised technical vehicle for on-site testing.” These facilities provide efficient testing capability to address challenges like reactive ground – which occurs not just on coal mines but also on copper properties.

Faster testing on site leads to safer and quality blasting by allowing emulsion formulations to be finetuned in response to specific ground conditions; this is possible when customers have on-site manufacturing facilities where last minute changes to the emulsion mix can be quickly implemented. Pieterse emphasises the technological readiness of Zambia’s large copper mines, and their insistence on being at the cutting edge of blasting practice. “This means that BME’s technical expertise and products are well utilised in Zambia’s mining sector, including the application of down-hole calipers for testing borehole diameters in pursuit of accurate and efficient blasting,” he says. “We are also pioneering signature trace hole analysis with customers, adapting blast timing to enhance fragmentation and rock movement for more efficient loading.” BME is currently making its drone technology and high-speed photography available to calculate rock response time, and expects takeup to be enthusiastic.



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Zambia open to talks on mining tax changes


he Zambia government has said it is open to talks on mining tax changes. This is following an emergency meeting of mining companies in the 1st week of October this year. During the meeting, the chamber president Nathan Chishimba said the proposed tax changes would make Zambia “un-investable”. According to Mr. Chishimba, the industry’s 10-point plan taken to the government in July had been ignored. He explained that the chamber was concerned about “particularly harmful” changes, including a 25%67% increase in mineral royalty rates, a non-refundable sales tax, a 15% export duty on gold and gemstones and an import levy on copper and cobalt concentrates- respectively. “We are on the precipice of a deadly spiral damaging our country, our reputation, our communities and our

people that could take many, many long years to repair,” he said. As such, he urged the government to permit the chamber to re-engage with them on the aforementioned measures. Meanwhile, the Finance minister Margaret Mwanakatwe acknowledged the chamber’s statement on the weekend and announced a tax policy review committee. According to media reports, the minister said that the government is open to dialogue with mining companies that are willing to amicably discuss the transition to the new mining tax regime. In Mwanakatwe’s budget speech last month, she had said as mineral resources were a depleting resource, it was “vital to structure an effective fiscal regime for the mining sector to ensure that Zambians benefit from the mineral wealth our country is blessed with”.


She proposed to abolish the Value Added Tax and replace it with the sales tax, saying the Zambia Revenue Authority would finalize audits of all outstanding VAT refund claims and enforce all outstanding VAT assessments to collect any unpaid taxes. Zambia had handed a US$8 billion tax bill to First Quantum Minerals (TSX: FM) in March, with the company recently saying it had provided documentation to rebut the assessment. Earlier this year, IMF mission chief for Zambia Boileau Loko said they were looking forward to the implementation of measures announced by the government to address Zambia’s fiscal imbalances and debt sustainability issues.


New copper deposits discovered in the DRC


ew copper deposits discovered in Democratic Republic of the Congo bode well for the country and for Ivanhoe Mines, against a backdrop of uncertainty ahead of this year’s presidential election.

$1Bn pledged by Vedanta Resources to invest in Zambia’s Konkola mine operation, or the US $700m it has committed this year. Similarly, Nigeria is also seeking to diversify away from oil, into other mining and industrial areas.

Canadian mining corporation Ivanhoe Mines has made a new copper discovery in theDemocratic Republic of Congo. The discovery, on the Makoko site, is the third such discovery made by Ivanhoe in the DRC since it began drilling on its 700 square kilometres of licences in the Western Foreland area in July 2017 and is to the west of its previous Kamoa-Kakula discovery.

The DRC itself has recognised the need to invest in its infrastructure, in order to aid its industrial and economic development and earlier this year awarded a contract to Dubai’s DP World to develop the country’s first deep water port, which will improve its access to international trade markets.

The announcement of the discovery came just four months after Chinese corporation Citicbought a 20% stake in Vancouver-headquartered Ivanhoe for a reported US $560m, with extra funding provided for the KamoaKakula project. Although the copper price had recovered somewhat from the 2014 commodities price drop, it has declined against over the past year and has some way to go before reaching its pre-2014 heights. Ongoing investments There is, however, plenty of existing investment in copper, such as the US

Ivanhoe’s co-chairman, billionaire mining magnate Robert Friedland, said in a statement that “this latest discovery at Makoko validates our exploration model for the geologic features controlling the high-grade copper mineralization in the region” Friedland was confident that there would be more discoveries to come in the region: “Given the early drilling success at Makoko, we are highly confident that we have the secret blueprint for additional exploration successes in the Western Foreland area in 2019 and beyond.” He said the company was not concerned about political issues and was confident in its long-term vision for mining in the country. “While

some investors are focused on shortterm issues such as the DRC Mining Code revisions and the upcoming presidential election, Ivanhoe’s philosophy is to think big and think long term.” Friedland continued: “The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has encouraged investors to continue their exploration efforts in the DRC.” In their overview of mining developments in ALB’s Special Report on Investment in Africa,Hogan Lovells’ partners, Kevin Pietersen, Warren Beech and Nathan Searle, outlined “uncertainty around new regulatory requirements and policies” in a number of jurisdictions, including the DRC. Many in the mining sector were expressing concerns last year over the lack of economic and political progress under President Joseph Kabila, and many will be watching closely to see what impact this December’s presidential election has on the country, as Kabila is ineligible to run again. Anglo-Swiss mining giant Glencore is facing investigations in the United States and United Kingdom over allegations over bribery and corruption in the DRC.



HPE Africa launches new Hyundai R850LC-9 excavators HPE Africa’s Newly-launched Hyundai R850LC-9 excavators are designed for high power and superior performance – are excelling in tough conditions in Southern Africa. “HPE Africa’s commitment to the local market is to keep abreast with global trends in construction equipment. This initiative encompasses the regular launch of new machines, with specific advancements and modifications, to meet exact South African operating conditions and customer requirements,” says Alex Ackron, managing director HPE Africa. “Hyundai R850LC-9 machines, which replace the R800LC-9 model, have recently been introduced locally by HPE Africa. These Hyundai excavators, which are partially assembled on arrival, are constructed to exact customer requirements. Components like the dipper, boom, counterweight, bucket, hammer piping and side rails, are imported loose and are proudly assembled by the HPE Africa team.” R850LC-9 machines are hard at work in Southern Africa, operating

efficiently for example, around the clock for Basil Read, in difficult conditions at a diamond mine in Lesotho and also achieving high productivity for Rhino Earthmovers, with fitted 10T Xcentric Ripper hydraulic attachments, at a gold mine in Gauteng. Robust R850LC-9 85T excavators have advanced Tier 3 engine technology for fuel efficiency and hydraulic system improvements ensure enhanced performance, smoother operation and precision-

control. A newly-designed pump compartment controls functions like two speed travel, power boost, auto boom-swing priority and a safety lock. The strengthened undercarriage improves performance of these machines in arduous operating conditions, particularly in the mining and quarrying sectors. Durable covers have been specially designed for these machines, to protect travel motors and hoses against damage from rocks. Long-life components selected for Hyundai’s 9 series machines ensure extended service intervals, minimise operating costs and reduce machine down time. HPE Africa is the sole distributor in Southern Africa for Hyundai Construction Equipment, as well as McCloskey crushing and screening units and Soosan hydraulic hammers and quick couplers. The company offers a technical advisory, support and maintenance service throughout Southern Africa.



Tlou Energy re-submits bid for Botswana CBM power plant By Oscar Nkala


ritish company Tlou Energy Limited has re-submitted its response to the Request for Proposal (“RFP”) from the Botswana government for the development of up to 100MW of coal-bed-methane (CBM) gas powered pilot power plants. The RFP was issued by the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security on behalf of the Government of Botswana. In a notice to shareholders, company Managing Director Tony Gilby said the proposal involves the phased development of a project that will start with an initial generation capacity of up to 10MW.

“We are delighted that the resubmission of the tender has been completed and look forward to a response from the Ministry. We have detailed what we believe is a very compelling and robust proposal. If successful this project can help start a new CBM industry in Botswana, create further employment, provide a much-needed local clean power source, and bring a return for Tlou investors. “Tlou is well placed, as the leading CBM Company in the region, to be able to deliver the project outlined in the submission and we look forward to working closely with the

Government to make it a success. Our drilling program is due to commence very soon and I will provide an update on this in the very near term,” Gilby said. The company is planning to establish a gas-to-power project that will use gas from the Lesedi CBM project to generate power. The power station will be connected to the Botswana national grid to enable it to supply local markets and export through the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) network.



Building Africa’s laboratory workforce must be prioritised By ASLM Spokesperson


he African Society of Laboratory Medicine (ASLM) is committed to raising the profile and importance of laboratory professionals on the African continent. During the ASLM2018 conference in December 2018 in Abuja, Nigeria, ASLM aims to put a spotlight on new initiatives and partnerships aimed at training, mentoring and certifying laboratory professionals across the continent. Laboratory professionals play a vital role in the identification of diseases, ensuring the reliability of laboratory investigations and reporting laboratory findings to the clinical teams for timely and adequate patient management. Admittedly, the only interaction that patients have with the laboratory is when their blood is drawn, or other specimens collected for testing. While the role of the laboratory professional cannot be over emphasized, unfortunately due to the public’s limited exposure to them, their value is often overlooked. We cannot deny that medical laboratories are an essential part of disease detection, control, prevention and surveillance, as well as response to outbreaks. Unfortunately, most laboratories in Africa are not only poorly resourced but also stretched, liming their capacity to operate effectively. The lack of sufficient and qualified laboratory professionals in Africa is a great concern with long-term consequences. For example, inadequate resources and limited diagnostic services compromise the quality of patient

care due to misdiagnosis and consequent under/over treatment of the disease. This can have an economic and social impact on any country and the continent. Investing in a robust, well-trained and dynamic laboratory workforce in Africa will facilitate the delivery of diagnostics services to over a billion African citizens, advancing universal health coverage and global health security. The Coordinating Council for the Clinical Laboratory Workforce in the United States identified some of the challenges in the laboratory sector that hamper recruitment and retention efforts, which included a lack of visibility of the profession, low salary increases, poor wages compared with other healthcare professions and a lack of career advancement opportunities. Unfortunately, Africa faces similar issues, on much larger scale and in the context of the disproportionate infectious disease burden on the continent. To have a meaningful impact on this sector, the conversation about changing Africa’s laboratory workforce should involve educational institutions as much as laboratory leadership and governance. The magnitude of the current shortage of laboratory professionals and reasons for staff attrition are often not properly documented at the country level. There are several questions that need to be addressed including is the demand of laboratory professionals equivalent to the number of biomedical graduates and are they


Dr. Pascale Ondoa, Director of Science and New Initiatives, African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM)

being trained for new technologies and emerging service needs. Perhaps there should be a discussion around roles and responsibilities of the various categories of the laboratory workforce, requirements for each role, scope of clinical laboratory workers and the key factors affecting the development of this workforce. To address some of these issues, ASLM contributes to in-service and pre-service training initiatives, as well as raising awareness about the need to develop a harmonized framework for the certification of laboratory professionals. Fact of the matter is, increasing the number and improving the skills of the laboratory workforce on the continent is critical, especially as the need for technology driven health services continues to increase on the continent.


Renewable energy in mining E

nergy costs within mining can constitute to anywhere between 15% and 40% of the operating budget. Implementing renewable energy as an alternative energy source not only ensures continuous energy supply, but can also reduce energy costs. Many mines are located in remote sites that are not grid-connected. As such. electricity is often produced

by diesel gensets. Driven by high fuel-transportation costs, the price for electricity generation is normally high. Renewable energy is an optimal add-on to diesel-gensets and can generated considerable fuel- and total electricity cost-savings. Electricity constitutes the second biggest operating cost for most mines in southern Africa. Mines cannot afford continuous above inflation increases in electricity costs. In some mines the cost of energy runs to 30% of operating costs. Benefits of renewable energy Load shedding and the shortage of electricity has negatively affected


growth in the mining industry and has also limited new investment. If there is no electricity available to use in new mines and what is available is unreliable there will be no new investment. Uncertainty in the cost path for electricity also limits the potential for investment. An added advantage of powering mines with solar and wind projects is that these plants can often be built close to mine sites, thus cutting the cost of connecting them to the power grid. The mining industry is showing increasing interest in using renewable energy (RE) technologies as one of the principles of sustainable mining. This is witnessed in several pilot projects in major mining countries around the world. Positive factors, which favor this interest, are gaining importance and negative barrier factors seem to be less relevant. For a mine

operator, the switch from fossil fuel to Renewable Energy technologies is the outcome of decision-making processes. Site-appropriate renewable energy solutions provide cost-competitive energy while delivering greater energy supply reliability and consistency. Reliable access to costefficient energy sources is a strategic imperative for mining companies.

over the medium-to-long term. There is also the shift to a resourceefficient and low-carbon economy that will ensure community acceptance

It is essential to their bottom lines and increasingly, their licenses to operate. In parallel, the sector is challenged with meeting growing demand for mineral resources often located in countries and sites where the supply of energy is not always available, reliable or cost-effective.

At the heart of recent innovations in corporate mining energy strategies lie the construction and acquisition of renewable energy-generating assets, on- and off-site, and the direct contracting for renewable energy through power purchase agreements.

Factors supporting renewable energy The transformation of the mining sector is driven by a number of strong converging trends, including energy security concerns. There is also a recent history in most countries of rising and volatile energy prices, coupled with a consensus that such trends will continue

In response, the international mining sector is deploying innovative energysaving strategies and making substantial industry-wide direct investments into renewable energy infrastructure.

Southern Africa has the opportunity to leapfrog developments in remote power systems and adopt the latest technology, without going through the development stages. There are numerous hybrid power systems available on the market, which could be applied at both existing and new mines to ensure a reliable and economical supply of electricity.

Developments in hybrid systems and the unreliability of the grid make hybrid systems attractive for gridconnected mines in developed areas as well as remote off-grid sites. PV and other renewable technologies have a lifetime in excess of 20 years whereas a mine may have a useful lifetime of ten years or less. Is it worth making a 20-year investment, which will only be needed for ten years? Mines are also not in the business of power generation, and this opens the door to utility or mobile power operators, and the provision of electricity on site by means of a power purchase agreement with an IPP. Containerized or mobile power systems can be quickly disassembled and re-installed on other sites when the mine is closed. Renewable energy plants can be developed, funded, built and operated by third-party developers as captive plants, with the mine committing to purchase the generated electricity at a fixed price over a certain time period.

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Leading occupational health & safety trade expo to launch in Botswana


rand new A-OSH Expo Botswana will take place alongside Electra Mining Botswana at the Gaborone Fairgrounds in September 2019. Bringing together all aspects of occupational safety and health concerns in the workplace, A-OSH Expo Botswana will showcase the latest products, technologies and services across this important sector, as well as the newest health and safety training. The show will be taking place at the Gaborone Fairgrounds from 10-12 September 2019.

The topic of occupational health and safety (OSH) is taking on increasing importance, both for office workers as well as those in more physical sectors such as mining and construction. There is a growing need for occupational health and safety training, with safety being of paramount importance in the workplace. Worker’s rights will come under the spotlight at Botswana’s new OHS trade show. “We are excited about the launch of this new co-locate in Botswana,” says Charlene Hefer, Portfolio Director:


Mining and Industrial, at Specialized Exhibitions Montgomery, organizers of Electra Mining Botswana. “Through our many conversations with the mines and related industries in Botswana as well as with government and local associations, we recognized the need to further promote health and safety in the country and a focused separate show co-located with Electra Mining Botswana was an ideal vehicle. Backed by the experience we have gained in organizing nine

occupational health and safety trade shows in South Africa, it will be further supported through our partnership with the TRM Group.”

“Visitors are also there to gain insight into the latest industry trends and garner knowledge around new technologies.”

The TRM Group is a wholly Botswana citizen owned Company whose core focus is on promoting a safer, healthier and environmentally friendly workplace, whilst also promoting health and safety awareness to the country as a whole.

Earlier this year, Electra Mining Botswana won the coveted ‘Best Africa-Bound Trade Exhibition” Award, presented to Specialized Exhibitions Montgomery by the Association of African Exhibition Organizers (AAXO) at the prestigious ROAR Awards, an annual event which gives recognition to outstanding professionalism in the organizing and exhibition industry.

The company is also a business development consultancy, bringing together industry and government, and assisting with business growth across various sectors. “It is an exciting opportunity for us to partner with Specialized Exhibitions Montgomery in Botswana and to share our local knowledge and expertise in support of Electra Mining Botswana and co-located A-OSH Expo Botswana. We believe this will be of benefit to all stakeholders involved and we look forward to working together over the coming months and years,” says Gorata Manyaapelo, Managing Director of the TRM Group.

“We were thrilled to win this award,” says Hefer. “It is confirmation to us of the success of the show and its ability to support business in Botswana.” New products will be unveiled at Electra Mining Botswana next year and the popular live demonstrations will also take center stage. A full

programme of free-to-attend seminars presented by industry experts on a range of pertinent topics will also add significant value to the visitor experience. There will also be an exciting line-up of new show features. “With A-OSH Expo Botswana co-located with Electra Mining Botswana, we are expecting even more visitors through our doors next year. Visitors will be able to access both shows at no cost,” concludes Hefer. Since inception, Electra Mining Botswana has been endorsed by the Botswana Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security (formerly the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources). It is also supported by the Botswana Chamber of Mines and the South African Capital Equipment Export Council.

A-OSH Expo Botswana will bring further value for visitors attending Electra Mining Botswana as occupational health and safety is an important component of all the sectors covered by the show. Now in its fourth edition, having launched in 2013, Electra Mining Botswana is recognized as the leading mining, industrial and power generation exhibition in the country. It has developed a proven reputation for successfully building business partnerships in the region. “Electra Mining Botswana benefits exhibitors who want to meet new customers and build their brand awareness in Botswana, and also benefits visitors who are looking for products and services to increase their business output,” says Hefer.



Electra Mining 2018 Electra Mining was once again a successful event for Becker Mining South Africa. products, as well as transportation and roof support systems. This extensive product portfolio includes high-performance, fit-forpurpose communication and safety solutions for underground and surface mining installations - Leaky Feeder, Wi-Fi, tagging and tracking, as well as environmental monitoring PDS systems.


ccording to Becker Mining SA, highlights of this year’s event included meeting many potential new customers and receiving positive feedback from existing customers about the high quality and dependable performance of the Becker product range.

company, Becker Mining Systems AG in Germany, to guarantee leading edge product design, impeccable manufacturing standards, cost efficiency, safety and reliability of equipment. Becker Mining Systems is represented in every major mining region globally.

It was noted that the flexibility of Becker Mining’s customized solutions - designed to accommodate upgrades when necessary - are an important advantage in the mining sector. More positive feedback was that mine safety is significantly enhanced by the implementation of one or a combination of Becker’s specialized multi-technological solutions. The local market is also impressed that the entire Becker range complies with the most stringent government mining regulations and mining house quality and safety specifications. The local operation works closely with the international holding

On display this year was Becker Mining’s range of communication and automation solutions, energy distribution systems, mechanical, electrical and electronic mining


In addition to communications solutions, Becker also offers intrinsically safe (IS) and flameproof underground electrical reticulation products, as well as fluid transfer, rigging, rope attachment, steel arch tunnel support and underground transportation systems. Becker Mining’s complete solutions service, encompasses an advanced technical and design facility, a comprehensive product range and a 24 hour support service. Suggested caption Electra Mining was once again a successful event for Becker Mining South Africa. According to the company, highlights of this year’s event included meeting many potential new customers and receiving positive feedback from existing customers about the high quality and dependable performance of the Becker product range.


Epiroc showcases its Smart and Flexible automated drilling technology at Electra Mining 2018


quipped with leading-edge smart technology and featuring full drill cycle automation, Epiroc’s SmartROC Down-The-Hole and Top Hammer drill rigs optimize the drilling and blasting experience from end-to-end, completely transforming the drilling procedure. Better planning, predictability, semiautonomous drilling with improved drilling cycle accuracy, increased efficiencies, consistent operation and quality, extended machine availability and lifecycle, improved operational and maintenance costs, and reduced carbon footprint lead to sustainable productivity and profitability in mines, quarries and plants.

into account,” says Birnie, whose division brings the legendary SmartROC and FlexiROC rigs to the drilling industry. “In listening to and understanding our customers’ requirements, we have applied our many decades of experience to implement advanced digitalization and automation technology in our products, adding tremendous value for the customers and differentiating Epiroc as a reliable productivity partner.”

“Most importantly, automation technology enables us to remove personnel from the work face, taking them out of harm’s way, enhancing worker safety and performance,” notes Hedley Birnie, Regional Business Line Manager of Epiroc’s Surface and Exploration Drilling.

“We believe that the success of automation technology lies in a holistic approach and we therefore apply it across equipment, systems, operations and services,” explains Birnie. “Everything starts with the planning and drilling of the holes. If done correctly, it will lower the total cost of the entire operation and Epiroc has the complete solution in the form of digitalization and automation which perfectly complement each other.”

“Epiroc has always prided itself on taking the needs of the customers

Digitalization in the form of ROC Manager and Surface Manager

enables the creation of drill plans, drill patterns, hole angles and depths which are sent directly to the drill rigs from the planning office with GPS coordinates via a Wi-Fi network (or data stick for mines and plants that do not have a Wi-Fi mesh or network over the pit). Here, automation in the form of the Hole Navigation System (HNS) takes over and drilling can be performed according to the exact coordinates included in the drill plan providing accuracy on the X, Y and Z axes. HNS delivers a faster set-up, improves precision and reduces non-drilling time, fragmentation and explosive quantities. In addition, fewer people are required in the working area because there is no need for the manual marking of holes nor for the manual measuring of the drilled holes since this data can be retrieved from the Drill Quality Log File. HNS also minimizes the risk of drilling in undetonated explosive material since the drill pattern coordinates are saved.



Yokogawa Releases the FLXA402 4-wire Liquid Analyzer and SA11 SENCOM™ Smart Adapter New solutions in the OpreXTM Analyzers family that improve maintenance efficiency and enable the flexible design and operation of liquid analysis data monitoring systems.


okogawa Electric Corporation (TOKYO: 6841) announces that it has added two new solutions to the OpreXTM Analyzers family with the development of the FLXA402 4-wire liquid analyzer and the SA11 SENCOMTM smart adapter. The global release of the FLXA402 is set for October 17, and the SA11 will be released globally toward the end of this month. The FLXA402 can flexibly perform a variety of measurements and the SA11 comes with data conversion, transmission, calibration, and diagnosis functions. These two new liquid analysis products will be offered as part of the SENCOM 4.0 series. It is expected that they will help to improve the efficiency of calibration and other maintenance tasks, and facilitate the flexible design and operation of liquid analysis data monitoring systems. Liquid analyzers consist of a sensor and a transmitter with a data conversion function, and are used to monitor items such as the quality of raw materials and finished products, and water quality in the wastewater treatment process. They are utilized in a wide range of industries including power, water supply, municipal and industrial wastewater treatment, semiconductors, foods, pharmaceuticals, iron & steel, pulp & paper, oil, petrochemicals, and chemicals. The two basic types of transmitters are 4-wire devices with separate cables for power supply and output and 2-wire devices that use the same cable for power supply and output, and Yokogawa supplies both.

Yokogawa’s 4-wire transmitters are typically used for specific applications such as pH measurement, and its FLXA21 and FLXA202 2-wire transmitters can flexibly accommodate multiple sensors of the four basic types: pH/ORP, conductivity, inductive conductivity, and dissolved oxygen. Although the FLXA402 is a 4-wire system, it can connect to multiple sensors, perform diagnostics, and communicate digitally with host systems. In liquid analyzer applications, there is a need for data monitoring systems consisting of integrated sensors and transmitters that are capable of transmitting data directly to a control system, recorder, indicator, or a handheld device such as a tablet.


Although such integrated devices are able to store data that is needed for calibration and other maintenance tasks, the entire unit needs to be replaced when sensor damage or fouling occurs due to exposure to liquids. To reduce maintenance costs, Yokogawa has developed the SA11 smart adapter, which also functions as a transmitter. As only the sensor needs to be replaced, this significantly reduces maintenance costs and eliminates waste. Product Features The new products are the FLXA402 4-wire liquid analyzer, SA11 SENCOM smart adapter, and pH and ORP sensors that are dedicated for use with the SA11. There is also a new peripheral device: the BA11 junction box.

FLXA402 4-wire liquid analyzer Reduced cost and footprint The FLXA402 can work with existing analog sensors (pH/ORP, conductivity, inductive conductivity, and dissolved oxygen), optical dissolved oxygen sensors, and the SA11 SENCOM smart adapter and its dedicated sensors. By using the FLXA402 in combination with the SA11 adapter and the BA11 junction box, it is possible to connect up to five sensors, reducing both system cost and footprint. For the transfer of diagnostic data and other device information to a host system, the FLXA402 supports the HART7 and Modbus protocols. This solution also facilitates connection to the cloud and the construction of an Industrial IoT (IIoT) environment, for improved field maintenance. SA11 SENCOM smart adapter Simple but flexible system configuration The SA11 adapter has functions for data conversion, transmission, calibration, and diagnosis, and is intended for use with dedicated sensors. The SA11 supports the Modbus communications protocol. In

addition to the FLXA402, the SA11 can connect directly to the UM33A-S digital indicator *1; the FieldMate versatile device management software*2; and control systems, recorders, and indicators that support the Modbus communication protocol. Using the SA11 adapter, it is easy to set up a system that can perform data monitoring, calibration, setting, and adjustment. Improved maintenance efficiency As the SA11 is able to store sensor calibration data and other types of digital information, it can be transferred to a laboratory or some other location that is safer and has better working conditions. This reduces the amount of maintenance work that needs to be performed in the field and helps to ensure that the device stays properly calibrated, thus reducing downtime. Dedicated for use with the FLXA402, this is planned to be released toward the end of this month. A new SA11 compatible version of this software will be released toward the end of this month.

A liquid analysis system About OpreX OpreX is the comprehensive brand for Yokogawa’s industrial automation (IA) and control business. The OpreX name stands for excellence in the technologies and solutions that Yokogawa cultivates through the cocreation of value with its customers, and encompasses the entire range of Yokogawa’s IA products, services, and solutions. This brand comprises the following five categories: OpreX Transformation, OpreX Control, OpreX Measurement, OpreX Execution, and OpreX Lifecycle. The FLXA402 and SA11 are OpreX Analyzers family solutions in the OpreX Measurement category of field instruments and systems that enable highly precise measurement, data acquisition, and analysis. With this brand, Yokogawa will deliver integrated solutions that address specific needs and support its customers in their efforts to transform and grow their businesses.



Volvo and Skanska begin tests at prototype all-electric mining site


wedish companies Volvo and Skanska have started tests at their Electric Site project, where electric and hybrid vehicles are used to complete mining work to determine whether a carbon neutral mining operation is feasible.

operations, compared to traditional mining operations.

The site is located at Skanska’s Vikan Kross quarry, near Gothenburg in Sweden, where the vehicles will be tested for the next ten weeks.

Skanska Sweden CEO Gunnar Hagman said, “This is the first time that anything like this has been attempted in the quarrying industry and, if successful, Electric Site could serve as a blueprint for transforming the efficiency, safety and environmental impact of quarries around the world.”

The project is estimated to see a 95% reduction in carbon emissions and a 25% reduction in the total cost of

Electromobility initiative Volvo has developed three vehicle prototypes for testing at the site:


the LX1 hybrid wheel loader, EX1 excavator, which can operate as a hybrid or in all-electric mode, and the HX2 battery-powered load carrier. The Electric Site project is part of the company’s ‘electromobility’ initiative, under which it aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and noise levels, without compromising energy efficiency, in its operations. Volvo already supplies 60 hybrid and two all-electric buses to Gothenberg as the city aims to reduce carbon emissions by 20% by 2020.

The Electric Site vehicles also use automation to reduce operational inefficiencies and minimise the project’s carbon footprint. The HX2 carrier is an upgraded version of the HX1 model, which was first revealed in September 2016, and has been fitted with a new vision system to enable the carrier to detect and avoid humans and obstacles at the site. The carrier is an autonomous vehicle that transports material between crushers, and the Electric Site project will use eight HX2 prototypes, instead of the larger, more rigid haulers typically used at sites. The HX series is the company’s second autonomous mining vehicle series, and follows the unveiling of the FMX, a self-driving truck that was tested in the Kristineberg mine in Sweden in 2016. Following the tests at the Kristineberg mine and the

Electric Site project, it is hoped that similar technology can be used at mining sites on a larger scale. “We have had to completely rethink the way we work and how we look upon machine efficiency – pushing the boundaries of our competence,” said Volvo president Melker Jernberg.

“Te total site solution we developed together with our customer Skanska is not a commercial solution for sale today and we will evaluate the outcome of the tests but we have learnt so much already, elements of which will be fed into our future product development.”



Fibertex SA celebrates years in business


ibertex SA distributes a wide range of Naue Geosynthetics products, including the Bentofix® and Bentofix® X range of Geosynthetic Clay Liners (GCLs) designed for use as efficient sealing barriers in diverse applications, including landfill projects. Bentofix GCLs are needle-punched, reinforced composites that combine two durable geotextile outer layers and a uniform core of high swelling powder sodium bentonite clay. This forms a uniform, multi-directional, shear resistant hydraulic barrier, with self-sealing and re-healing characteristics. Bentofix GCLs are used as a replacement for conventional compacted clay layers and when hydrated with water, the bentonite swells and forms a low permeability gel layer, with improved hydraulic performance over traditional, thick compacted clay liners.

technology increases the internal and external shear strength of GCLs, creating a single, engineered barrier that utilises the best of both synthetic and natural materials and expands the range of applications in which GCLs can be used.

The needle-punched process and ‘Thermal Lock’ manufacturing

“The Bentofix GCL product is particularly well suited for use in the composite liner and capping


systems of landfills, as well as in cutoff trenches and other installations where a reliable barrier system is required,” says Paul Baxter, Fibertex South Africa. “Bentofix X GCLs represent the latest advancements in GCL products, where the woven geotextile is coated with an additional, low permeability polyethylene (PE) layer to achieve an immediate barrier prior to hydration.

With the additional bonding of a PE coating, the fibre reinforcement is also more permanently locked and further increases the pull-out resistance, as well as the internal shear strength of the GCL. “Bentofix X also enhances the available factor of safety and confidence in products and their applications for design engineers. The addition of the PE layer exemplifies how modifications to geosynthetic product design can be made to anticipate exactly what the design engineer requires in effectively dealing with the specific challenges of every site.� Bentofix X GCLs can be installed where a prompt barrier against gas and radon is necessary; where desiccation needs to be permanently avoided and where

protection against root penetration is specifically required. Other applications are where erosion of the bentonite, due to high water heads, must be avoided and where a supplementary barrier against critical liquid migration is required. The outer surface structure of the additional PE coating varies according to the thickness of the coating and provides for higher interface friction angles and stability in steep slope applications. This is ideal for maximising the capacity of landfills. Other Naue Geosynthetics products available from Fibertex locally include the SecugridÂŽ range of 4th generation geogrids, comprising durable biaxial and uniaxial, polyester (PET) and polypropylene (PP) high-strength geogrids. Secugrid geogrids are suitable for all civil

engineering applications, including environmental, infrastructure, mining and marine engineering projects. Fibertex SA supplies an extensive range of environmentally-friendly geosynthetic products from its KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and Western Cape facilities that encompasses nonwoven and woven geotextiles, gabions and mattresses, subsoil drainage pipes and fittings, erosion control mechanisms, cuspated sheets, subsoil drainage systems and cellular confinement solutions. The company also supplies soil and asphalt reinforcing products, including geogrids and geocells, as well as geosynthetic clay liners and geomembranes as part of composite lining systems used in modern landfills and for other environmental protection applications.



AFRISON LED; Local Industrial LED Lights that last


auteng-based luminaire designer and manufacturer Afrison LED has registered significant growth in the past years, having recently secured various contracts in the government, municipal, industrial, mining and commercial LED lighting sectors for its newly launched LED products.

Launched in 2017, these new products include the Series 6 Range that consists of a Floodlight, High mast, Streetlight, High bay and Low profile range, which is specifically built with durability and longevity in mind, says Afrison LED Sales Director Nico van Hulst.


To keep abreast of increasing growth, Mr. Van Hulst says that Afrison LED has spent the past three years expanding and upgrading its production facility in Boksburg, Johannesburg. Van Hulst attributes the company’s growth over the past 9 years to Afrison LED’s commitment to designing and supplying quality

lighting products, adding that the company has embraced new LED technology to the fullest. Target-market specificity According to him, there is need for a robust product designed by Africans for the local African market that can withstand the adverse conditions it is subjected to. Keeping this in mind Afrison LED has positioned itself as front runner in our industry through utilizing the newest technology available in the market. Van Hulst further highlights that Afrison LED is constantly researching and upgrading its products in order to afford its clients the best quality at the best price possible. “Hence it is the norm these days to find Afrison LED products specked at mines all-over Sub Saharan Africa and our client base grows daily. Doing business the Afrison way and providing the Industry with Industrial luminaires that last has built a name that end users can rely on.” Unique features Afrison LED has once again positioned itself as market leader by

offering technology on its luminaires that offers internal protection to the complete light through a plug and play protection unit. This makes Afrison LED luminaires the only luminaires in the industry that can be serviced by the client itself, on site if there was an overload on the electricity supply. This protection enables the client to minimize downtime and save expensive costs of removal or shipping in order to adhere to other companies warranty conditions. By simply having extra stock of the Afrison Protection model, the service technician can fix a possible overload malfunction without removing the luminaire from its hard to reach place and simply replace the protection module on site. The 5 year warranty that you receive when purchasing the Afrison product range gives you the client piece of mind to get on with the task at hand of making money and letting us show you the way with “Afrison LED Industrial lights that work.”



The benefits of UAVs in mining D

rones, otherwise known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems, (UAVs) are beginning to have a profound effect on mining. By 2022, according to ADS Reports, the international drone market is expected to be worth *US$21.23 billion, growing at a rate of about 20 percent annually. In the not-too-distant future, mine planning software will automatically task a fleet of UAVs – completely

autonomously – to collect highresolution coordinate scans, imagery, and other remote sensing of the entire mine every day. Data from high walls, stockpiles, waste dumps, tailings dams, blasting, and plants will be collected by the same software and converted into information for quick decisions. Hexagon’s Tucson-based Mining division is among the companies


shaping change by applying UAVs to solve challenges in the industry: better blast optimization, improved safety, faster surveying, and construction of the most comprehensive and continuous project datasets. “Foot traffic is not allowed or is ill-advised in many parts of a mine,” explains UAS sales manager, Bryan Baker of Leica Geosystems, part of Hexagon. “Obtaining measurements

exagon subsidiary, Leica Geosystems, is pushing photogrammetry’s boundaries with its newly-renovated UAV line featuring the Leica Aibot. Equipped with a high level of artificial intelligence, these UAVs create high-resolution images and videos. It also offers the possibility to adapt varying kinds of sensors, such as hyper- and multispectral sensors, infrared and thermal sensors and sensors for other industry-specific missions. Data captured by the Aibot and the software solutions of Leica Geosystems and Hexagon allow mines to generate orthophotos, 3D models, and high-density point clouds with great accuracy. “It’s crazy how much time we save by using the multicopter,” said Magnus Myhre, Daily Manager at Norwegian firm Asker Oppmaling AS. “We can control the Aibot hexacopter from a central location, which saves us the laborious task of having to walk through the pit.” The company tested the UAV at a 33-hectare stone quarry near Oslo. Asker compared the ground control points that were measured conventionally with those measured using the UAV.

The result: values measured using the UAV are extremely precise. It would usually take up to four weeks just to survey the quarry using conventional methods. Hexagon’s mine planning software is well-equipped to handle point clouds. “Its point-cloud data type features a high level of detail rendering capability, akin to a gaming rendering,” said Hexagon technical sales specialist, Johnny Lyons-Baral. “The software can display billions of points at a time, averaging out points in the pixels with level detail rendering, saving computer memory while displaying high-resolution images. “Our Point Cloud Mesher turns large data sets into topographic surfaces, tunnels, drifts and stopes, and any other solids and surfaces available from point clouds. It allows mines to quickly go from field capture to usable data for optimization.” The digital mine of the future will need remote surveying sensors along with automated control and processing software to create complete digital project models. And that future is closer than you might think!

with a surveying rod, total station or GNSS can be problematic. UAV aerial photography and remote sensing allow us to capture all that information without putting someone in harm’s way.” Whether it’s for blast fragmentation, stockpile volumes, or any other minerelated activity, data can be captured quickly and safely in near real time from areas that would otherwise be inaccessible or unsafe for staff.



Emergency response and mine rescue


he mining industry worldwide is currently facing a significant restructuring process. In most underground mines, widespread mechanization of the mining processes increases production while reducing staff numbers.

applies not only to the excavation of the minerals, but also to all other aspects of the mining operation, including health and safety, disaster management, and mine rescue organization.

At the same time, mining depths as well as the lateral spread of the mine workings are increasing. This ever-changing mining environment requires sophisticated solutions for the design and operation of underground mines. In fact, a reduced number of mining engineers is taking responsibility for everincreasing mine operations. This

An important aspect of effective recovery efforts is taking advantage of a ‘window of opportunity’ for the implementation of mitigative measures that might otherwise be unpopular


Emergencies happen unexpectedly. As such, prompt action is required to control mine fires, explosions, entrapments, or inundations. The unexpected nature of an accident does not mean a mine company is unable to prepare for this kind of hazard. An underground mine rescue team must be adequately staffed and equipped with all necessary equipment to comply with legislation and regulations. The minimum necessary equipment list includes self-contained breathing apparatuses, together with Soda Sorb for canisters, spare oxygen cylinders, an oxygen pump or

cascade system, and a testing kit. Other required equipment includes cap lamps and chargers, multi-gas detectors, lightweight stretchers, first aid bag and supplies, personal protective equipment, a mine rescue trailer for equipment transport, and most importantly an effective portable communication system. Some of these disasters involve mine rescue teams, which are specially trained to perform search and rescue operations in extremely hostile environments. Robots have a great potential to assist in these underground operations, searching ahead of rescue teams and reporting conditions that may be hazardous to the teams. When explosive conditions exist or when heavy smoke or unstable ground conditions prevent team members from entering a mine, robots can become an invaluable tool.

the necessary capabilities needed to implement such plans.

and the repair of other essential infrastructure.

Response The response phase includes the mobilization of the necessary emergency services and first responders in the disaster area. This is likely to include a first wave of core emergency services, such as firefighters, police and ambulance crews. A well-rehearsed emergency plan developed as part of the preparedness phase enables efficient coordination of rescue.

An important aspect of effective recovery efforts is taking advantage of a ‘window of opportunity’ for the implementation of mitigative measures that might otherwise be unpopular. Citizens of the affected area are more likely to accept more mitigative changes when a recent disaster is in fresh memory.

Recovery The aim of the recovery phase is to restore the affected area to its previous state. Recovery efforts are primarily concerned with actions that involve rebuilding destroyed property, re-employment,

New mining technologies and processes combined with the trend to deeper, expanded and more remote mines create challenges for emergency response and mine rescue systems. A key question is whether the current emergency preparedness and response system is adequate in light of increasing risks

Mine Emergency Response Plan (MERP) Mitigation Mitigation efforts are attempts to prevent hazards from developing into disasters altogether or to reduce the effects of disasters. The mitigation phase differs from the other phases in that it focuses on long-term measures for reducing or eliminating risk. The higher the risk, the more urgent that the vulnerabilities to the hazard are targeted by mitigation and preparedness. Preparedness Preparedness is a continuous cycle of planning, managing, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, creating, monitoring, evaluating and improving activities for the purpose of safety management. In the preparedness phase, emergency managers develop plans of action in order to manage and counter their risks and take action to build





perator fatigue is one of the most common causes of accidents in the mining industry today. The sector is all too aware of these dangers and has long been looking for systems and solutions to manage the situation. Fatigue is implicated in approximately 69% of mining accidents involving haul trucks. As a result, fatigue management is being recognized by mining companies as a critical part of ensuring safe operations. The need to monitor and manage fatigue affects all mines, large and small, in every location. Fatigue due

to a lack of sleep can affect anyone in the mining community, including operators and executives, independent of the size of the company or where they operate in the world. Causes Fatigue monitoring is extremely important in mining due to the potential for accident and serious injury. All mines will suffer from varying degrees of fatigue irrespective of demographics – it is inherent within the industry. For example, if you look at haul-truck driving, there are very large trucks driving around in circles, repeatedly, very slowly, for long periods of


time devoid of scenery variation or distraction – driver fatigue is inevitable. Operator fatigue is largely caused by a lack of sleep; workers who sleep less than 7–9 hours in a 24-hour period are at a high risk of a fatiguerelated accident. This risk affects the worker, co-workers, the company and the community. In addition, sleeping less than 7–9 hours in a day is highly associated with increases in obesity, diabetes, heart attacks, depression and sleep disorders. Monotonous activities, such as longdistance hauls, and the repetitive nature of tasks that provide little or

no variance in mental stimulation leave operators especially susceptible to fatigue. One of the consequences of running 24h shift rotations, as happens on many mine sites, is that it can disrupt normal sleeping patterns and lead to a build-up of sleep debt that will inevitably cause tiredness-induced errors of judgment and thus accidents Operators may be at risk of fatigue or drowsiness at any time during their shift. However, there is a tendency for the majority of fatigue events to occur during the times of circadian rhythm (biological clock) lows, in the early hours of the morning and in the middle of the afternoon. As a consequence of shift work, the early hours of the morning are the most vulnerable time of the day, closely followed by the mid-afternoon. It is no coincidence that these are the times of low alertness in our own body clock. FRMS as a plausible solution It is generally accepted that a fatigue risk-management system (FRMS) should be supported by established peer reviewed science and datadriven, with decisions based on the collection and objective analysis

of the facts. There are a few key attributes that mining companies should consider when choosing a fatigue-monitoring solution.

poor lifestyle choices normally require sleep hygiene and fatigue training to demonstrate to them the health-andsafety risks of low sleep hours.

For example, the technology should provide the operator and management with fatigue alerts in a way that is compatible with site operations systems and the site fatigue management plan – every site will have a unique set of requirements based on its management culture, labour situation and operational considerations, so it is important to match the technology to these factors

Mitigation methods A good fatigue monitoring or management solution will benefit both the company and the individual workers.

Workers who do not sleep well generally fall into three categories: those that have a medical sleep disorder; those that work schedules or rosters or who have a poor sleep environment that do not allow for proper sleep opportunities; and those that are generally good sleepers but make certain lifestyle choices and do not get the sleep that they need. All of these risks are controllable through a proper fatigue riskmanagement system (FRMS), and can be managed in the same manner as all other mining health-and-safety risks. For example, individuals making

Systems that utilize reactive technology detect fatigue very late – often when the operator is actually falling asleep. Systems using predictive technology detect fatigue when the operator is just starting to exhibit signs, which allows mines to proactively manage operator risk. These more advanced systems work in conjunction with a complete fatigue-management programme, which promotes a shift in the overall culture regarding fatigue. Low-level, reactive systems that are put in place with no supporting training or change management may satisfy a legislative mandate, but they cannot and should not be expected to perform well. ‘Alerting fatigue’ technologies are considered secondary or tertiary control mechanisms. It is really the difference between having a

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preventative maintenance programme for an important piece of equipment or waiting until the oil light flashes or the equipment breaks down before doing maintenance. The acceptance of the solution by the mine’s labour force should also be considered – for example, will the system be unobtrusive, is it compatible with the work environment, and is it an active or a passive monitoring system? When considering technology, companies should look for an unobtrusive, early warning system that tracks the early stages of tiredness so that you can dynamically manage and reassign operators for maximum effect. To achieve this, the system needs to deliver information in real-time with the ability to customize and configure the solution for individual site requirements. Some systems require the operator to wear a monitoring sensor, so it is important that this does not interfere with any required personal protective equipment (PPE). Other things for companies to consider include the on-going maintenance and administrative requirements of the solution, and whether the system is reliable from a hardware and software availability perspective; whether the supplier can provide the level of support required to

maintain the system availability; if the methodology of detecting fatigue is accurate, or if it produces a high level of false positives; whether the cause of fatigue can be confirmed independently; and if the technology can be integrated into other site-based systems such as fleet management, production monitoring or health monitoring. Additional solutions Technology alone will not reduce the human and financial impact of fatigue in the workplace. Companies should have a comprehensive fatigue management programme, which gives all site personnel an understanding and awareness of the problem. Companies should consider a wide range of issues when developing a fatigue-management plan, which may include shift rosters, shift start times and the timing of operator breaks. It may also include other issues such as the scheduling of operational activities during high-risk periods. External issues should also be considered such as the length of the commute time from operators’ accommodation to the work area, sleeping and eating conditions between shifts as well as the staff’s diets. Many mine operators have conducted extensive studies into these areas and made changes to mine camp facilities that include segregating


day-shift workers from night-shift workers to minimize sleep-period noise and other disruptions. Shift rosters have been re-scheduled to provide for better-quality rest periods. In some situations, mine operators have provided bus transportation from towns to allow operators the chance to nap on the commute to and from site rather than driving individually. Some sites have instituted mandatory rest periods after night shifts prior to commuting home from drivein camps. A successful solution to mitigate worker fatigue risk requires a comprehensive approach and may take months of assessment and strategy development prior to the installation of any monitoring technology. Understanding a company’s leadership and objectives, as well as its risk exposure and risk threshold, is the starting point to develop an effective strategy. Once a strategy that aligns to the company is formed, a broad education and training strategy is key to success. Technology will not stop fatigue, but it will point you in the direction of those operators that may be more vulnerable. The approach also requires multi-level buy-in and commitment from operators, supervisors and management alike




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FEATURE the most effective suppression agent to cover all the potential fire hazards and flash points. Moreover, due to the variety of equipment utilised by a mining operator to ensure maximum output from the mine, it is critical that each piece of mining equipment be assessed to verify the appropriate suppression medium. Once the Fire Risk Assessment has been issued and the suppression product established, the fitment of the system as per the FRA needs to be done by a trained, skilled and authorised installation crew.

Fire Protection Systems for the Mining Industry F

ire Protection is the study and practice of mitigating the unwanted effects of potential destructive fires. This is a critical part of the mining industry, as the potential production loss caused by a fire could mean the closure of a section or entire mining operation due to the devastation caused. In the mining environment we address the two sides of the operation individually; mobile mining equipment and fixed plant. The fire detection and suppression system’s primary objective is to save lives by suppressing the fire. This serves to allow the machine or plant operator to escape from the fire event, be it the underground LHD operator loading in a confined space underground or the large shovel operator whom has a 5 meter egress from the machine in an open pit,

to the processing plant operators or maintenance personnel working in a plant area where flammable chemicals are used in the refining process. The fire detection and suppression system’s secondary objective are to limit the damages caused by an unwanted fire to the mining equipment or plant. This is through the mitigation of the damage as well as reduction of the repair cost and subsequent downtime/loss of production. Mobile and Fixed Plant equipment’s fire suppression systems applications should suit the machine or plant type and operational environment. It is critical that a detailed Fire Risk Assessment be conducted by an approved and experienced assessor. The assessor will then recommend


Similarly, as part of the ongoing maintenance, the fire suppression system needs to be maintained as per the OEM requirement’s with specific service intervals and prescribed component replacements as advised by the manufacturer. Ansultech Fire Systems (Z) Ltd has been providing fire risk assessments and suppression agents to the mining industry in Zambia for the past 18 years. Furthermore, as the appointed and authorised ANSUL distributor, Ansultech Fire Systems has access to the latest products produced by the ANSUL Research and Development division. The ANSUL product line meets all global standards applicable to mining equipment. ANSUL’s experience in global fire system application industry for well over a 100 years’ worth of experience guarantee only the best and most effective systems in the market provided to our clients. Ansultech Fire Systems has invested in skills training of our system installation and maintenance personnel. Internationally accredited training is also conducted on a regular basis to ensure our technical group has the required product knowledge to apply and service the fitted fire system. This is achieved through the effective maintenance of the fire systems it optimises its performance when required to operate in the event of a fire incident.


Non-nuclear measurement of mining slurries; measuring slurry density the smarter way


brasive slurries are watery mixtures of insoluble matter consisting of hard, abrasive particles. They are commonly present in applications such as dredging, offshore, well-servicing industry, metal & mineral mining, maritime, cement, power and tunnel construction. For example, in dredging, underwater deposits are excavated and the slurry transported to another place. On the other hand, in building construction cement can be transported as a slurry through a pipeline. Such application areas need productivity monitoring. This can be defined as the amount of material pumped per unit time (in kg/s or ton/s). It is this essential to know the slurry density (in kg/m3 or ton/m3) together with the flow rate (in m3/s) or flow velocity (in m/s) of the slurry through the slurry pipeline. Furthermore, density measurement is necessary for quality control purposes. This will also aid in the monitoring of the process consistency over time. In order to be able to adjust the process, from an economical point of view it is desirable to have the slurry density available in real time or within a few seconds after the measurement.

Abrasive slurries deviate in at least two ways from ‘average’ slurries. Their most striking characteristic is the presence of abrasive particles. This thus necessitates the use of wear resistant materials for the part of the measurement device that gets in contact with the slurry. Furthermore, the density of these slurries is usually high, up to 2.5 ton/m3. These ‘dense materials’ will put constraints to measurement types that rely on easily penetration of slurries. Methods of conducting abrasive slurry density measurements Density measurement of flowing (abrasive) slurries is based on physical processes such as absorption of radioactive radiation, reflection of (ultra)sound waves or direct (gravitational) mass/volume measurement with respect to the slurry; Nuclear measurement This method works through the gamma radiation absorption principle. This principle is the most common. This is because as measurement is conducted at the outside of the pipe, installing of the setup does not interfere with production loss to a large extent. However, some of the limitations are such that large pipe diameters and high slurry densities may lead to radiation sensing that is in the order of magnitude of background radiation level. Moreover,


there are legislation constrains on working with radioactive technology. Ultrasonic measurement The method works using the principle of reflection and transmittance of (ultra)sound waves. In ultrasonic density measurements, a transducer made of a piezo-sensitive material sends ultrasonic pulses into the tobe-measured slurry, and a computer analyses the returned echoes. Measurement using acoustic waves For this method, a transducer is mounted at the outside of the slurry pipe. The actuator part (‘striker’) of this transducer impacts the outside wall of the pipe for a certain period of time and with a certain force. This creates vibrations at the pipe wall and in the slurry inside the pipe. The sensor part of the transducer receives these vibrations and processes/ analyses them to reveal the slurry density. Non-nuclear slurry density measurement Experts such as Arjan Vriend from Alia Instruments, advocates the use of non-nuclear slurry density measurement as opposed to the other techniques. He points out the main issue in the usage of nuclear material. According to Mr. Vriend, the radioactive source is the cause of a lot of practical drawbacks with regards to licenses, training, shipment and operators who have their reservations about using such technology. He also points out that

the method has an impact on the business management of companies who have to answer to society’s pressure to reduce nuclear waste, and to operate in a sustainable manner. Industry application The non-nuclear slurry density measurement is applicable in basically all applications which are covered today by radiometric devices non-nuclear alternatives. However, there are new technologies on the market, most of which have some downsides. Some of them have troubles with gasses in the process, while others fail to work well with vibrations. Mr. Vriend clarifies that Alia Instruments always considers the amount of wear of the material. This, he says, is because they supply an inline meter. Some very abrasive processes have proven to be rather incompatible with their technology, as the material would wear the rubber liner in months or even weeks. Advantages Some of the compelling reasons that support this cause include the fact that non-nuclear slurry density measurement ensures a more sustainable business management and company reputation. He further adds that it is a demonstration of social responsibility, as well as responding to society’s pressure to reduce nuclear waste. Mr. Vriend points that employees using this method will not be afraid of performing checks and repairs as opposed to other techniques, citing the risks involved in the same. The non-complexity of this method removes the need for special RSO trainings or specifically trained personnel. Moreover, there are little

to no concerns about more stringent regulations in the future. Factors to consider when switching to non-nuclear methods Should a company wish to switch to non-nuclear methods, they ought to consider what demands they have based on their process, and what technology fits best. In the case of Alia Instruments, for instance, Mr. Vriend points out that they have a meter which has the benefit that it really measures all materials, and has no problems with larger parts, sediments or gasses. On the other hand, most of the potential customers claim they have not switched because of lack of a viable alternative. This is in terms of technology and finances in comparison to the same in nuclear methods. The technological bit poses a challenge especially when you consider misconceptions such like how nuclear density meters are very accurate, and therefore can be used as a reference to other meters. It is important, however to note that these meters also have their measuring error, especially when people fail to have it recalibrated often. The half-life of the source also makes it a requirement that the task is undertaken by the supplier. Moreover, end users often fail to realise that the signal of a nuclear meter is significantly delayed. This acts to their disadvantage such that by the time they notice a change in the signal, the material has already passed. Finally, when it comes to finances, it is advisable to make a good comparison between the total cost of ownership of the nuclear meter compared with the alternative. This should not be limited to just the purchase costs. Instead, end users should consider the costs of RSO certification, the high disposal costs, but most of all, the lost hours of all the hassle people have of importing and transporting the meter, permits and the maintenance by the supplier as well.



African Mining Indaba 2019....................................................1 African Mining Services..........................................................37 Afripanel..............................................................................IFC Afrison..................................................................................29 Alia Instruments....................................................................41 Ansultech Fire Systems..........................................................39 Axis House.............................................................................35 Dunlop...............................................................................OBC Endess +Hauser....................................................................IBC Geotek Solutions....................................................................13 Oxylance...............................................................................15 Truflo pumping systems...........................................................7 Vendel Equipment.................................................................23

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First Mining Drc-Zambia September-October 2018  

FMDZ is an essential source of up to minute news for those involved in the African mining industry. Our ability and innovation to focus on t...

First Mining Drc-Zambia September-October 2018  

FMDZ is an essential source of up to minute news for those involved in the African mining industry. Our ability and innovation to focus on t...