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In this issue... DRC lift ban on Glencore’s exports


Kenya Mining Forum held in Nairobi


Mining Indaba - way forward for Africa’s mining sector




Scan Your Hanging Wall With Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) GPR is a valuable safety tool for mapping potential loss-of-ground structures and unmapped workings within the mining environment.

Left: A GSSI SIR-3000 GPR console (foreground) and 400MHz antenna (background). The SIR-3000 is slightly larger than an A4 page and weighs only 4.1kg, whilst the antenna is only 30x30x20cm and weighs 4.6kg. Right: Radargram of the hanging wall at a Bushveld mine, showing structures to approx 4m depth The image has been flipped so that surface of the hanging wall is at the bottom of the radargram. Data was collected using a GSSI SIR-3000 console and a 400MHz antenna.

Current GPR systems are easy to operate; with a few hours of training and a couple of shifts of hands-on experience, GPR data can now be collected by relatively unskilled operators. In addition, since modern GPR systems are compact, they can be used without disruption of mining production. The radargrams produced by GPR look much like the seismic sections so familiar to most mining geologists and geophysicists and, since GPR data is displayed in real time on the console, critical decisions can (in many cases) be made immediately. More detailed, quantitative analysis can be made in the office using the radar processing & interpretation software supplied. Penetration can vary from a few centimeters, to tens of meters, however in the underground mining environment, where there are constraints on the physical size of the antenna that can be used, depths of 5-8m are typically obtained. In an opencast mine, where it is feasible to use the larger, lower frequency antennas, depths down to approximately 30m can be obtained. The SIR-3000 GPR is being used in a number of prominent Bushveld mines , including Lebowa Platinum & BRPM, for the purpose of scanning the hanging wall for potential instability. This application has been very successful and, at the time of writing, there have been no reports of fatalities related to rock-falls in mine areas which have been scanned using the GSSI SIR-3000 GPR. Radar is no longer just a tool for researchers. Now that it’s readily available in South Africa it is a practical tool for underground and opencast mining, and for any other applications where an accurate depth image of the subsurface is required.

Established in 1995, Red Dog Scientific Services is the Southern African supplier of a wide range of earth science software and exploration equipment, including the GSSI range of GPR systems and accessories. Contact: Terry Odgers • • T: 011-467-3371 • C: 082 89 29 771



DRC lift ban on Glencore’s exports




Liquid Telecom


Overhead cranes and hoists in mining



Mining Indaba






Editor Bertha M.

2018 has been a rather interesting year for mining across

Contributing Writer Oscar Nkala Mfuneko Jack Lindani Mkhize Caroline Thomas Nita Karume Sales and Marketing Rossou Biliard +27 11 044 8986

Africa. What from the introduction of new taxes in the DRC, to huge acquisitions of mining sites by corporate giants like Barrick Gold and the like and finally mining revenues taking the front seat in national economies such as Zimbabwe. It thus goes without saying that 2019 will be an even bigger year with better things to come. This is even as we look forward to what the copper industry has in store following the recent slump and projected recovery. The issue will be focusing on overhead cranes and

Isabel Banda +260 97 740 43388

hoists specifically used in mining.

Victor Ndlovu

Indaba 2019. We have since chosen to highlight some of the

Cleopas M.

held next year in Cape Town South Africa. Enjoy the read!

Mandla M. mandlam@fmdrc-zambia

Nita Karume

Kholwani Dube Polite Mkhize

Also in our focus, being the end of the year, is the Mining notable issues that will be discussed in the forum that will be


Leslie N Graphic Design and Layout Irene Faith Omudho

and a prosperous 2019

Art/Creative Director Augustine Ombwa Arobia Creative Consultancy 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


Copper demand outlook looks up despite trade friction price plateau


he outlook for copper demand is looking up despite the plateau brought by trade friction between China and the United States. Earlier on this week, industry experts says that the looming renewable energy revolution will require vast amounts of the metal. Delegates present at the Asia Copper Conference in Shanghai noted that recent Chinese indicators showed the real impact on demand for copper-intensive goods. This is as the country’s economic growth cools. For instance in the case of air conditioning and automobiles, BGRIMM Lilan Consulting Corp’s senior copper analyst Pan Hong says that the current situation is becoming weaker. She was however quick to note that infrastructure investment was improving and set to be the biggest contributor to Chinese copper demand growth next year.

this to what he terms as a short-term disconnect between the physical market and the macro sentiment. This, he says, was probably driven by the uncertainty of some of the trade tensions present today. He was however optimistic in his statement, asserting that the fundamental driving forces of copper will prevail. This, according to him, is with reference to some of the dynamics on the demand side such as the boom in infrastructure, consumer goods amid higher income levels, clean energy and clean transport.

According to scientific research, Copper has been proven to be a key player in the move towards renewable energy because it is the most conductive metal. Jerry Jiao, vice president of China Minmetals Corp, said he sees clean energy lifting copper demand by 2.4m tonnes by 2030. Of that, solar power will account for an additional 1.48m tonnes, wind for 570 000 tonnes and nuclear power 330 000 tonnes.

On the other hand, Deputy CEO of Jiangxi Copper International Trading Co. Mao Yiwei acknowledged that China’s fixed asset investment is showing tell-tale signs of stimulus. Yiwei further added that they expect more stimulus to improve domestic consumption. The CEO also said that she is hoping for a change in the market status quo. Meanwhile, Copper prices have fallen by around 17% year-to-date on fears the trade row will hurt demand for industrial metals. Ivan Arriagada, CEO of Chilean miner Antofagasta Minerals attributes



DRC authorities lift ban on Glencore’s cobalt and copper exports


he Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) lifted the ban on the exports for Glencore’s minerals this past weekend. The director general of Congo’s custom’s agency Jean Baptiste Nkongolo Kabila said that the decision to lift was made after Glencore’s official submitted a request to temporary lift the suspension measures. Katanga Mining, controlled by Glencore, said in a statement earlier Thursday it had been blocked on November 9 from exporting copper and cobalt from Congo. This, they said, was over a dispute around payments on copper that was never actually mined years ago. As such, the Congo government asked for US $129.8m to settle the dispute. However, Katanga has since rejected the number. Katanga Mining stands as one of

Glencore’s most important growth projects. It restarted production in December 2017 after a two-year hiatus during which it invested in new processing facilities. According to its projections as at 2018, Katanga had expected to produce as much as 300 000 metric

of uranium in supplies above those allowed for export. It then released a statement saying that it will hold all exports until the second half of 2019. Until then, however, it will continue to mine and stockpile cobalt. Earlier this year, Glencore agreed to a US $5.6Bn debt-to-equity swap

Katanga Mining stands as one of Glencore’s most important growth projects. It restarted production in December 2017 after it invested in new processing facilities. tons of copper and 34 000 tons of cobalt in 2019. The achievement of this fete would make it Congo’s largest copper project and the world’s biggest source of cobalt. Last week, however, Katanga halted sales of cobalt after detecting levels

at Katanga. The move would serve to reduce the debt load of the subsidiary which Glencore co-owns with Gecamines. That deal also included a one-time payment of US $150m to Gecamines.



DRC’s Gecamines president

seeks meeting after Katanga’s halt in cobalt exports


emocratic Republic of Congo’s state-owned miner Gecamines sought a meeting to discuss the decision by Glencore unit Katanga Mining to halt cobalt exports. Katanga, controlled by Glencore, announced November 6 it suspended sales from its Kamoto mine in southeast Congo. This was following the detection of levels of uranium in supplies above those allowed for export. Gecamines, the governmentcontrolled mining company that owns 25% of Kamoto Copper, said it wasn’t informed about the decision. The company’s president Albert Yuma said that the meeting must involve all the technicians in order to make a joint decision about the

temporary halt to shipments. This, he insisted, is because Katanga’s decision was not verified or certified. Congo is currently the world’s largest producer of cobalt. The mineral is a vital ingredient in batteries that power electric vehicles. Katanga will reportedly build an ion exchange system at Kamoto to remove uranium. The process is expected to cost about US $25m and reach completion by the end of the second quarter 2019. In the meantime, it’ll stockpile the metal while continuing to mine both cobalt and copper. Uranium Levels Gecamines said in a statement it was alerted by its representatives within


KCC of a high level of uranium in the cobalt hydroxide produced by KCC. Mr. Yuma further clarified that both parties must confirm it and in the presence of the state because in environmental matters the state must be the final decider. This is in reference to KCC taking the decision to halt the exports before consulting on the matter. Presently, Katanga accounts for about a quarter of Glencore’s African cobalt production, with 6 500 metric tons of the metal being mined in the first nine months of the year. Glencore produced 25 700 t in Congo in that period. Before the suspension, KCC was set to become the largest cobalt mine in the world next year.


Hipo Resources signs agreement to get stake in DRC’s Kamola project


ipo Resources has signed a joint venture agreement to get 60% stake in Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) Kamola lithium project. Under the terms of the agreement with Crown Mining, Hipo will sole-fund US $5m. This will go towards exploration and project development expenditure within a three-year period to maintain its JV interest. According to media reports, exploration activities to the tune of

US $1m will be undertaken within the first 12 months of the JV. Moreover, Hipo will reportedly advance funding on a loan account basis, with Crown finance carried through to a definitive feasibility study stage. Hipo’s executive chairperson Maurice Feilich said that the transition is a significant development for the company. He further noted that there were exploration results from surrounding projects, which had similar geological characteristics to

Kamola. These, he said, gave the company every confidence in the asset. Meanwhile, follow-up work at Kamola, including detailed mapping, surface geology analysis, sampling and pitting, will reportedly commence early next week. The stakeholders hope to gain a greater understanding of the project’s potential and identify immediate drill targets for early 2019.



Ivanhoe’s exploration mining in DRC’s Kamoa marks out new copper corridors


vanhoe’s exploration mining in DRC’s Kamoa has reportedly marked out new copper corridors. The Kamoa North prospect area forms part of the 397 square kilometer Kamoa-Kakula mining license. According to a press release, the copper corridors contain zones of thick, high-grade copper.

of the unmineralised Kamoa Dome at Kamoa North. Furthermore, the most significant corridor trends north and south for more than 9 km. It then swings to the northwest and is projected to continue onto the adjacent Western Foreland exploration licenses that are 100%-owned by Ivanhoe.

The newly marked out copper corridors occur on the western flank

On the other hand, the second corridor trends west-southwest, away

from the Kamoa Dome and toward the West Scarp Fault, over a distance of 3 km to 4 km. The tier-one KamoaKakua project is a joint venture between Ivanhoe Mines, Zijin Mining and the DRC government. Meanwhile, an independent mineral resources estimate from February 2017 has since established it as the world’s fourth-largest copper discovery.



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Zambian Mining companies to brace for introduction of sales tax


ining companies in Zambia have been advised to brace for the introduction of the sales tax. The Ministry of Mines Permanent Secretary Paul Chanda says mining companies should thus re-orient their working plans to fall in line with the policy once it takes effect early next year. According to media reports, the introduction of the sales tax implies that there will no longer be VAT refunds. PS Chanda further chided the sole reliance of VAT for capital on the part of miners. He pointed out that instead of using VAT for capital, mining companies should use the VAT refund to help in operations.

This, he says, will also go a long way towards ensuring that workers are paid. The removal of VAT, he says, will help provide a level playing field for the companies and the government alike.

the supply chain at each point where value is added to a good or service. It was introduced back in 1995 to replace Sales Tax at that time, which was not helping government generate as much revenue.

He also insisted that VAT refunds cannot be used by mining companies to pay staff salaries, among other liabilities. The Zambian Government has proposed to introduce the Sales Tax in a bid to avoid paying VAT refunds. This more so applies to mining companies, who are still owed around US $600m.

According to research done, since VAT’s introduction, government revenues have grown exponentially. Unfortunately, the government now has to refund exporters, such as mining companies whose exports are zero-rated, a situation the PF administration is attempting to erase. As such, the sales Tax will be re-introduced from April 1, 2019, despite stiff resistance from a broad range of stakeholders.

VAT can broadly be defined as a consumption-based tax. It is levied in



partners with Kymeta to deliver enhanced mobile satellite communications to Africa’s most remote locations


eading pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom is extending its award-winning VSAT service through a new partnership with Kymeta, enabling it to deliver enhanced satellite mobile connectivity across Africa. As part of a master distribution agreement announced at AfricaCom 2018, Kymeta’s lightweight, high throughput satellite communication systems will be integrated with Liquid Telecom’s satellite connectivity. This will provide high-speed bandwidth mobile internet access to private and public-sector organisations that would normally have difficulty accessing reliable, affordable internet, particularly in remote locations. Features Quick and easy to deploy, this


modern satellite connectivity has the potential to enable new service innovations and transform society in the most under-serviced and remote parts of Africa. Mobile medicine or healthcare vehicles, for example, will be able to deliver screening and remote diagnostics to isolated communities across the continent. It can be used by aerospace, maritime and ground transport customers to create new services and connections across isolated areas. It can even support the growth of IoT capability across a range of vehicles to support a fully connected automotive future including self-driving cars. “This new strategic partnership between Liquid Telecom and Kymeta marks a disruptive moment in the evolution of VSAT services for the African continent,” said Scott Mumford, Group Managing Executive, Satellite & VSAT, Liquid Telecom. “By pairing the latest Liquid VSAT

internet platform with Kymeta’s groundbreaking satellite terminals, the two companies are bringing unrivalled connection quality, speed and availability to people on the move and in places that have never been connected before.” Terms of agreement The Liquid Telecom and Kymeta master distribution agreement spans two key technologies: Liquid Telecom VSAT satellite broadband connectivity delivers costeffective, business speed broadband connectivity over VSAT anywhere in Africa. Next-generation satellite modems, provided in partnership with Newtec, offer unrivalled communications throughput, flexibility and low total cost of ownership. Built for performance, Liquid Telecom is also the only operator that has built its satellite platforms directly connecting to its core terrestrial network.

Kymeta electronically steered, flat panel satellite terminals address the need for lightweight, low-profile, and high-throughput communication systems that outperform any mechanical system fixed and on-themove. This makes it easier and more reliable than ever to connect almost any vehicle, vessel, or fixed platform. “This new satellite mobility partnership offers limitless opportunities for communication and collaboration in Africa,” said Neville Meijers, Chief Commercial Officer, Kymeta. “This mass market broadband platform can be deployed quickly and easily without skilled personnel – delivering Gigabit connectivity instantly and anywhere. Applications of all types can benefit from this future-facing technology: from new digital IoT services in connected transport systems, to healthcare applications and education systems.”

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Investment prospects; gold/battery metals or marijuana - Panel Debate at the 2019 Mining Indaba


re investors sticking with the traditional safe bet gold, up-and-coming battery metals or the risky newcomer on the scene Marijuana? Ahead of the panel debate at the 2019 Mining Indaba, below are some of the main arguments around each: Gold: Generally seen as a stable, safehaven asset to invest in, gold has traditionally been used as an insurance against the ramifications of political upheavals on the global economy. By that logic, many would expect gold prices to be sky high right now due to the ongoing trade war between the U.S and China. However, in actuality, gold prices have been on a steady decline since

its peak in 2011. It also dipped following the U.S Federal Reserve announcement of a hike in the benchmark interest rate. Furthermore, since gold is marked in US dollars, there is an inverse relationship between the yellow metal and the US currency. That is to mean that as the dollar gets stronger, the price of gold goes down. A thriving U.S economy also decreases demand for gold and pushes down its price. This is because the higher interest rates make the prospect of holding gold as an investment less attractive than, say, a high-yield bond. Despite this, many analysts believe that the dip in gold prices in the


past few months is a normal part of an ongoing gold super cycle that started back in 2001, and that the precious metal is expected to make a comeback. Battery Metals For the past few years the hype around battery metals such as Nickel, Lithium and Cobalt has surged, driven primarily by the green revolution and move towards electric vehicles. The International Energy Agency predicted the number of electric vehicles in the world could reach 125 million by 2030. At five times the energy density of lead batteries, lithium-ion batteries are already a popular choice to power mobile phones and laptops. However, to build a lithium-ion



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battery big enough for an electric car far more of the key elements Nickel and Cobalt are needed – roughly 15kg of Cobalt chemicals and 63kg of Nickel per car. Though exploration companies are investing more capital in finding new battery metals projects, the demand from the green energy sector is still outstripping supply, leading to soaring prices. Cobalt prices have increased by roughly 120% since the beginning of the year due to tight supply and high demand. And with up to 50% of the world’s cobalt supply coming from the DRC, many exploration companies are now looking to diversify elsewhere in Africa. Nickel, too, has seen a revival after reaching a 13-year low in 2016 and is continuing a trend of mediumterm growth into 2018. With large car manufacturers fully committed to putting fleets of electric vehicles on the road in the near future, the demand for these metals won’t be slowing down anytime soon.

Ted J. Miller, Senior Manager of Energy Storage Strategy and Research at Ford, will be discussing how the electric vehicle revolution may impact the mining industry at the 2019 Mining Indaba. Marijuana Is Marijuana the new bitcoin? Canada took the world by surprise at the beginning of October by announcing the legalisation of Cannabis for recreational use, a controversial yet historic move aiming to wipe out the black market of Marijuana and reduce criminal activity. While this has been received with scepticism by medical professionals, it is great news for entrepreneurs and investors. Since the announcement, many stores have run out of stock and demand has rocketed. Canadians consumed roughly 773 tonnes of Cannabis in 2017, a number that’s sure to increase following the legalisation due to ease of access. As the first major Western society to legalise Cannabis for recreational use, the question now remains whether other countries will follow.

If so, investing in marijuana stocks could be a very lucrative move. However what would this mean for the exploration industry, with traditional risk capital speculating on the nascent marijuana industry rather than the next discovery? Will Marijuana stocks replicate the unstable price swings of Bitcoin before it, another bubble threatening to burst? Main points • Gold: down for now, but ready for a comeback in 2019? • Battery metals: booming demand from the EV sector, exploration companies are investing in new projects. • Marijuana: Could Canada start a trend of legalising Cannabis? If so, Marijuana stocks might be the ones to watch in 2019. Disclaimer: this article is intended to be used for informational purposes only and all data is publicly available online. We are not an investment advisor; if you wish to invest we suggest you conduct your own research and speak to an independent financial advisor.

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KENYA MINING FORUM to open on Monday 12th November


enya’s Principal Secretary for Mining in the State Department of Mining in the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining, John Omenge, addressed the third Kenya Mining Forum during the opening day on Monday, 12 November at the Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi. The conference and exhibition gathered Kenya’s leading mining houses and industry bodies, including Base Titanium, Acacia Mining, Karebe Gold Mining, Bamburi Cement and the event host, the Kenya Chamber of Mines, to focus on mining and quarrying investment opportunities in Kenya’s counties, case studies from successful mining projects, updates on the gemstone, artisanal and small-scale sector as well as financing and regulatory challenges.

within the State Department for Mining and through this directory the government has helped to develop the Voi Gemstone Value Addition Centre, which is polishing, cutting and shaving gemstones with the view to adding value and commanding a better price for us as a country.” He also announced that Kenya plans to reform its laws in order to phase out the use of mercury in artisanal gold mining: “we hope to have the law reformed in the next year and a half so that we can eliminate the use of mercury in gold mining.”

During the media briefing the ViceChairman of the Kenya Chamber of Mines, Patrick Kanyoro, explained that the industry body was looking forward to Kenya Mining Forum: “we are happy that we are getting the necessary support from government through the State Department of Mining, because we need to address issues such as licencing, consent, royalties, export permits and general support from the regulator to the industry and I am sure this conversation will continue during Kenya Mining Forum on Monday and Tuesday next week.”

The mining community discussed how it will contribute to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda of universal health care, affordable housing, manufacturing and food security. “We are getting the necessary support from government” During a media briefing in the Kenyan capital on Monday, Mr Omenge stressed the role of mining in value addition and beneficiation: “we have a value addition directory



Trimble announces new Trimble RTX™ technology


rimble has announced the addition of Trimble RTX™ technology delivered via satellite to its Kestrel™ seismogeodetic system. Pairing uninterrupted, high-quality Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) positioning corrections with seismic data—for Earthquake Early Warning (EEW), volcano and infrastructure monitoring of bridges, dams, towers and other civil structures—makes Kestrel an innovative solution for scientists and structural engineers. The announcement was made at Trimble Dimensions. In addition to Internet delivered CenterPoint® RTX corrections, the Kestrel system now supports L-band satellite delivered RTX corrections. This ensures corrections are not affected during communication delays or outages that occur during natural disasters. CenterPoint RTX enables centimeter-level absolute

positioning, which is critical when analyzing and responding to the movement of a structure. Unique to the industry, Kestrel integrates a high-sample rate, strong motion accelerograph with Trimble’s latest GNSS reference receiver technology in a single instrument, reducing site installation time. The sensor data is combined and processed by Trimble’s 4D Control™ monitoring software to generate 200 Hz displacement data in near realtime, giving structural engineers and scientists the detailed information required for dynamic analysis. With an IP67 rating, the compact and rugged Kestrel is ideal for deployment in extreme environments. The Kestrel system features a lowpower, 336-channel GNSS receiver powered by the latest Trimble Maxwell™ 7 Technology that supports tracking of GPS, GLONASS,


Galileo, BeiDou and QZSS signals, ensuring the GNSS data is robust and reliable. It also has an Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS) Class A forcebalance triaxial accelerometer, which delivers low noise data at 200 Hz and transmits with ultra-low latency for EEW applications. “Kestrel’s new capabilities provide unparalleled data quality and robust reliability when they’re most needed,” said Shawn Hilliard, business area director of Trimble Monitoring Solutions. “Monitoring earthquakes, volcanoes or natural and manmade structures leaves no room for a delay or data loss. Emergency managers, earth scientists and structural engineers rely on Kestrel’s data to support realtime decisions to help protect life and the environment.”



Powermite’s ProAlloy

Zinc couplers provide peace of mind against theft


lugs, sockets and couplers required for the electrical cable connection to bulk mobile equipment are infamous for their high theft risk. Subsequent replacement costs are compounded by downtime and production losses. To counter this problem, Powermite has designed a patented ProAlloy coupler to provide optimal performance whilst deterring theft. Mines and plants require components which are rugged, cost-effective and reliable. Couplers are traditionally manufactured from brass, leaded gun metal or stainless steel, materials which are renowned for high theft risk due to their elevated weight-tovalue ratio. “Following three years of intensive research and development initiatives, we found a seamless solution; a coupler manufactured by Powermite’s sister company, Proof Engineering, also in the Hudaco Group, from a zinc, copper and aluminum blend,” states Donovan Marks, Director at Powermite.

A key advantage of utilising this patented material is that movement can be controlled between manufacturer, supplier and customer, further reducing theft. The ProAlloy coupler demonstrates material integrity, keeps its machinability and remains completely malleable. Having successfully completed strict corrosion tests, conducted by Mintek against brass in mining water, these couplers are quality assured. Successful field tests conducted by numerous blue-chip mining houses have inspired the development of ProAlloy plugs and sockets that provide end-users with the same benefits as the ProAlloy coupler. The versatile ProAlloy material can also potentially be used in various other components including switches, housings and flameproof glands. Powermite’s product suite is manufactured by Proof Engineering and Ampco in a cutting-edge facility on Johannesburg’s West Rand, which

proudly holds the title as one of the largest plug and socket manufacturers in Africa under one roof. These efficient and robust products are used by many industries, especially mining, on mobile generators, pumps and welding machines, marine, industrial and general engineering applications as well as machinery operating in underground and opencast mining operations, for example continuous miners, shuttle cars, pumps, tunnel borers and transformers. Proof Engineering is a specialist supplier of world-class components equipment and systems to the mining industry. “Powermite is proud and excited to bring this cutting-edge ProAlloy to the market. As a company it is our goal to continuously enhance the standards of our products and services. We look forward to further advancing our product portfolio to exceed customer expectations,” concludes Marks.

“The material mix of this innovative product which we have named a ProAlloy coupler, is contaminated with aluminum which decreases the value from approximately R35,00/kg to R6,00/kg. The product therefore has no resale value and cannot be resold for scrap.” Marks adds that the ProAlloy coupler is also more affordable and 33% lighter than its counterparts. Marks confirms that they also assist customers by buying back the metal at R15,00/ kg, effectively closing the loop. Ever mindful of the environment, Powermite recycles the metal through a re-melting process. 18


Epiroc agrees to acquire Fordia Group Inc., a Canadian manufacturer of exploration drilling tools


ordia Group is based in Montreal, Canada, and has sales in more than 70 countries. It provides exploration drilling tools such as diamond bits, down-the-hole tools, drill rods and drill casings, as well as water treatment systems and pumps, used by mining houses and drilling contractors.

“This acquisition is strategically important as we increase our focus on the exploration segment,” said Helena Hedblom, Epiroc’s Senior Executive Vice President Mining and Infrastructure. “The solid team at Fordia will play a key role as we continuously strengthen our value offering to customers.”

Its high-quality solutions are known in the industry to benefit customers by for example improving penetration rates and extending bit life. Fordia has about 250 employees and had revenues for the 12 months ending September 2018 of about CAD 85 million (SEK 580 million).

The acquisition is expected to be completed in the first quarter 2019. The purchase price is not material relative to Epiroc’s market capitalization and is not disclosed. The business will become part of Epiroc’s Rock Drilling Tools division, and will continue to be based in Montreal.



Epiroc supports Kimberley Ekapa Mining in South Africa on their digitalization journey


obilaris Mining Intelligence (MMI) from Epiroc enables superior situational awareness to oversee a mining operation in all its complexity. Kimberley Ekapa Mining will use MMI to embrace mine digitalization and create a superior decision support system to proactively enhance safety and increase productivity. With the use of MMI, Kimberley Ekapa Mining will be able to track assets in real-time; to integrate and visualize machine data, machine location and the shift plan together to close the loop between the plan and the reality.

Mining. “It will allow us to tag and keep better track of our mining personnel and equipment and give us access to real-time data, which will shed some light into the normally dark world of the underground mine. We expect this is to be productivity game changer”. Thanks to its open architecture, MMI can be integrated easily with other systems in the mine. Kimberly Ekapa Mining will rely on MMI to compile information from other systems and make all information searchable and easily accessible to decision-makers in real time.

“MMI will help us start to modernize our old diamond mine and be the tipping point in terms of production optimization.” said Howard Marsden, General Manager of Kimberley Ekapa

“The MMI is the world’s leading multi-role 3D location based decision support system which enhances safety, productivity and efficiency in the mining operations”


said Ulla Korsman-Kopra, Global Business Manager, Automation and Information Management Systems at Epiroc Underground Rock Excavation division. Users can access the webbased MMI interface from different devices to visualize the locations and movements of workers, vehicles and other equipment in real-time. “When a problematic situation arises, and for example lives are at stake, MMI can be critical. You need to act quickly and make informed decisions to save time and ultimately save lives”, said Korsman-Kopra. Epiroc will supply Kimberley Ekapa Mining with an MMI hardware and software package that includes personnel training and support. The system installation will be operational by year’s end.



Overhead cranes and hoists in mining M

oving minerals and other heavy equipment on the mine floors or through aisles not only takes time, but can also result in serious injuries. This is where an overhead crane comes into play. The crane enables the miners to easily lower, lift or move loads horizontally through the overhead space of the mining site. Mining environments are remote and demanding. When fitted with suitable specifications and reliability, overhead cranes and hoists are able to meet the high vibration, high corrosive and excessive heat conditions in the mining site. Furthermore, all mining operations regardless of whether they are underground or open-cut need hoists and crane equipment that will stand

up to the harsh conditions that come with mining operations. As such, heavy-duty process cranes for the mining industry need to be able to carry extra-heavy and dangerous loads. Overhead cranes cover a rectangular area, moving a load side to side and backward and forward. The lifting device is called a hoist. This is mounted on a trolley for horizontal movement across a bridge beam connected to one or more horizontal girders which are supported at either end by end trucks. The end trucks are then attached at right angles to the girders and move on fixed runways. The horizontal travel of push type cranes is powered manually by the operator.


Rough Terrain Cranes Rough terrain cranes are an excellent choice for mining operations. Their compact and rugged design enables them to work for long hours at a stretch. Furthermore, modern RT cranes are equipped to lessen operator fatigue and have controls that are intuitive and easy-to-use. As such, they feature three steering modes, telescoping booms and a power shift that can easily maneuver into remote mining locations.

There is also an electric overhead crane which is powered by electricity. Benefits of Overhead Cranes Overhead cranes enable one to maximize productivity, while enjoying a range of other benefits. These include but are not limited to increased safety and improved load lead control. They also help avoid floor obstructions.

Types of cranes The specific needs of mining operations often call for crane customizations and modifications such as low headroom and sparkand corrosion-resistant construction. Overhead cranes must often be able to fit into and maneuver in tight spaces. There are two cranes that are often used in mining and extraction.

All Terrain Cranes All-terrain cranes bring mobility and versatility to today’s mining operations. Combining the features of truck and rough terrain cranes, all terrain cranes are able to travel at high speeds on public roads and highways. On rough terrain job sites, they use all-wheel and crab steering to maneuver through tight spaces. They typically feature between 2-9 axles and can lift loads up to 1,200 metric tons. LC Crane can help you keep your cranes up and running at optimal productivity, even in the harshest conditions. We offer mobile crane repair programs, including proactive maintenance and unexpected last-minute parts and service. Our technicians can help you with equipment recommendations, upgrades and parts replacements.



With a proven product range from 250 kg to 300 Tonne capacity Morris continue to service and maintain all makes of crane through our 15 Morris and Crane Aid Branches which are strategically situated throughout the African continent.


orris has been supplying lifting equipment to the South African Market since 1952 and have secured an enviable record within the Sub Saharan region for quality and reliability. Bryn Jones Projects Director explains that the key to this success lies in being able to understand the individual requirements of each Client process and engineering specific solutions to suit the individual needs of each manufacturing process to supply the right solution for each application.

South African market. Bryn goes on to say that in his 48 years with Morris, South Africa is a market full of challenges in the crane Industry, particularly in the mining and smelter Industries, challenges which only really exist in the Australian and South American markets. These challenges are certainly different to the European markets. By understanding our Clients’ needs as well as the market requirements, Morris is best suited to fulfil all expectations.

The product range at Morris is predominantly based around the ABUS range of lifting equipment, a range supplied from ABUS in Germany. These units are manufactured to the highest of European Standards and Morris have had the Sub Saharan Agency for this product range for over a decade and the units have proven themselves in thousands of different environments and applications and the challenging

Keeping abreast of changing Regulations as well as keeping abreast of the latest technological advancements within the Lifting Industry keeps Morris at the forefront of the market in Africa and enables us to offer our Clients high quality and extremely safe lifting equipment. Quality and Safety are virtually the only two areas within our Company that are definitely not negotiable explains Bryn.


These Branches are staffed by fully trained Technicians and Lifting Machine Inspectors. As a fully South African owned Company, Morris has the largest number of On Site service Contracts, further emphasising the quality of service available and continued Customer satisfaction. Servicing and Load Testing agreements are specifically tailored to suit specific needs and therefore allowing End Users to fulfil their legal obligations under the new Regulation 18 – Driven Machinery Act. With a dedicated and experienced Engineering staff, Morris are capable of tailoring the right mix of both standard and Engineered solutions to cater for applications from simple machine shop applications right through to specialised ladle or container handling solutions. With an In House training school, Morris have also embarked on a continuous training regime. The training not only provides for continuous skills development of existing employees but also serves the requirements to support the ongoing apprenticeship scheme where young South Africans are given the training to fulfil and qualify within their chosen career. This apprenticeship scheme aims to provide Morris with the skills that are required well into the future.



Dafo Vehicle Fire Protection AB emerges into the world Dafo Brand AB in Sweden has decided to separate its vehicle fire detection and suppression operations from its core fire safety equipment business. Dafo Vehicle Fire Protection AB has been in operation since July 2018.

“The purpose of this change is to more closely focus on the long term continuous development of the vehicle operation in the light of global growth and customer requirements” says Business Unit Manager Johan Balstad. Balstad continues “A separate legal entity will make it easier to acquire required skills, resources and capital to facilitate the development of Dafo Vehicle Fire Protection AB.

In addition, as part of this growth, the US operations are run through our subsidiary Dafo US which will strengthen our position in North America.” Dafo Vehicle Fire Protection AB supplies fire detection and suppression systems for buses and coaches, mining and construction equipment, forestry and waste handling equipment as well as material and cargo handling.

Dafo Brand AB is the leading supplier to the fire services in Sweden and also Sweden’s biggest supplier of on-board extinguishing systems with more than 100 dealers offering fitting and servicing capacity all over Sweden, and a large international network. With 160 employees, Dafo has a turnover of SEK 370 million per annum. Head office in Stockholm County (Tyresö). For further information, please visit For further information, kindly contact: Johan Balstad, Business Unit Manager, Dafo Vehicle Fire Protection AB Phone: +46 (8) 506 405 50, For high-resolution images: Jeanette Chevalier, Marketing Manager, Dafo Brand AB Phone: +46 (8) 506 405 01,




sold worldwide. Knowhow and experience ensure our customers have the latest technology combined with proven reliability. Our Forrex system, which combines the features of liquid and dry chemical, includes unique and patented solutions where quality is ensured throughout the production chain. The close cooperation with major vehicle manufacturers offers unsurpassed integration, performance and logistics. Unlike other agents, Forrex is tailor-made for vehicle knockdown and unique protection against re-ignition.

Dafo Vehicle Fire Protection AB l Vindkraftsv 8 l P.O. Box 683 l SE-135 26 Tyresรถ l Sweden l Tel +46 10 1768 100 l l


Nitrogen Inflation: Benefits for Fleets and Heavy Equipment Nitrogen inflation to boost profits and create a safer work environment. By Chris Lein, Marketing Manager, Branick Industries


itrogen provides many benefits over traditional inflation mediums, especially in extreme environments that create excessive heat and large stresses on the tire. Nitrogen inflation can help to mitigate these factors to extend tire life, limit

downtime and provide a safer work environment. Nitrogen was first promoted for tyre inflation in 1967. The only option at that time was to use bottled nitrogen which was both costly and often


unavailable. Although the promoters believed in the benefits of nitrogen, the test was stopped because of the difficulties with supply. For many years nitrogen inflation remained merely an idea until the advent of modern membrane

systems negated the supply issue. In 2003, Branick Industries (www. introduced the first modern nitrogen inflation equipment for the automotive market. Branick is still the largest manufacturer of nitrogen generators, having both mobile and stationary models, with a range of nitrogen outputs to meet specific needs.

tyre casing(s) had been recapped 5 to 6 times. We find this fact almost unbelievable as our very best before nitrogen was 3 recaps per casing.” More recaps translate to large reductions in tyre costs and Mr. Wybrow said that “…tyre cost has dropped by approx. 40%” due to nitrogen.”

Nitrogen can now be produced on demand at a relatively low cost and many nitrogen systems include autoinflators that can perform the service on multiple tires simultaneously. Some of the earliest adopters of nitrogen inflation were operators of OTR, agricultural and heavy equipment fleets. Many of these industries transitioned to nitrogen inflation to improve tyre life and reduce fuel costs, both of which are benefits of nitrogen’s ability to retain correct pressure better than compressed air.

Nitrogen is also an inert gas, meaning it is not reactive and does not support combustion. While tyre explosions may not be common, they do occur, often resulting in injury to personnel, costly repairs and expensive downtime.

Pete Larsen, president of Larsen Trucking, purchased Branick nitrogen generators to convert his fleet to nitrogen. He stated that “In the first four months of 2006, our on-road tyre repair expenses calculated by tyre failure were $5,126.72 per month. In the same period for the first 6 months of 2007 [using nitrogen], the on-road tyre repair expenses were $929.95 per month, an 82% reduction.”1 Mr. Larsen also stated that fuel economy increased from 5.57 mpg to 7.05 mpg, a 26.6% improvement. Along the way, many discovered that the retreadability of nitrogen inflated tyres improved due to decreased oxygen and water vapor in the tire. Oxygen and water degrade the inner liner and casing as they permeate through the tire. After Aberdare Cables in South Africa began using nitrogen for their fleet, Mark Wybrow, Group Transport Manager, noted that “…the

the needs both now and in the future. Chris Lein is the Marketing Manager for Branick Industries ( Since 1917 Branick has been a leader in automotive and tire service equipment.

Mining says in “Maintenance Guide for Earthmover Tyres: Tyre Inflation” that “The inflation of a tyre with nitrogen averts the risk of explosion by eliminating the oxygen or reducing the proportion of oxygen inside the tyre.” In addition, in its guide booklet “Tyre Safety for Earth-Moving Machinery on Western Australian Mining Operations”, the Mining Industry Advisory Committee of Australia states “The correct use of nitrogen prevents pyrolysis. Inflating tyres with nitrogen reduces the potential for auto-ignition.” There are obvious benefits to nitrogen inflation and most companies find the ROI of the equipment to be very favorable. Recouping the cost in less than a year is quite common. Those costs will vary depending on the size of tires being converted, number of tires per day that are serviced, speed at which the service can be completed, compressor output, and nitrogen storage capacity among other things. When purchasing a nitrogen generator, it is important to be clear regarding the performance expectations. This ensures the nitrogen system will meet



Mining Indaba IGF host meeting to discuss way forward for Africa’s mining sector


ining Indaba and the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF) recently hosted a meeting to discuss the way forward for Africa’s mining sector. According to a press statement, the meeting was held to deliberate on the increasing role of communities in shaping the development of Africa’s mining sector. The meeting took place in Geneva, Switzerland at the IGF’s Annual General Meeting. Directors of Mining Indaba and IGF reportedly facilitated the meeting and brought together representatives from the Alternative Mining Indaba, International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), UNECA’s African Minerals Development Centre and the South African Department of Mineral Resources. The representatives would then proceed to discuss the Communique that was released by the Alternative Mining Indaba and signed by all parties listed above at the 2018 Mining Indaba event. Agenda Each organization elaborated on the key measures and initiatives

introduced over the past year to help mining companies and the public sector harmonize their practices with international sustainability standards. This is in addition to making a greater contribution towards the sustainable economic development of the African continent. Moreover, it has since been made evident that some of the key community concerns highlighted in the 2018 Communique have been incorporated into the long-term initiatives adopted by each organization Developed initiatives Presently, the ICMM is working on a number of wide-ranging community support programs. According to a statement from the council, the programs will help strengthen the relationship between companies and communities. This is including updating guidance on effective grievance mechanisms as well as integrating social transition considerations into mine closure planning. The organization also published research showing that most Mining-Dependent Countries have improved their performance significantly across various socioeconomic indicators since 1995.


UNECA’s Climate Change, Environment and Natural Resources Management Division (CEND) has been engaging in developing Country Mining Vision for African countries that help national and local governments as well as communities to optimize benefits in the mining sector and to ensure sustainable environmental, social and economic development. The South African Department of Mineral Resources have been working towards ensuring that an adequate share of mineral revenues is used to invest in improving the welfare of local communities. This is in addition to addressing some of the adverse impacts of mining. An official representative of Alternative Mining Indaba, working for the Zimbabwean Law Association, has also stressed the importance of inclusion and gender diversity to be enhanced in the mining sector. This is very much aligned with the overall theme of the 2019 Mining Indaba that is dedicated to promoting gender diversity and “Championing Africa’s Sustainable economic growth”. The next meeting for all the organizations has been reportedly scheduled for the 4th to 7th of February 2019. This will take place in Cape Town, South Africa.

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driver risk through behavioral change A

ccording to data provided by ArriveAlive, more than 80% of accidents are a result of human error. Moreover, only around 10% are due to road conditions. The rest has been attributed to vehicle faults. It means that 90% of the collisions on the roads are in fact avoidable. Collision statistics on mine haul roads would not be less similar. Often collisions or accidents on mine haul roads have more severe injuries due to the sheer size of mining equipment operating and using these roads. The fact that small LDVs share these roads with large machines adds to the risk of using these roads. This risk is reflected by the strict rules that are implemented for operating a vehicle on a mine site and circumjacent roads. These rules are communicated during induction, with reminders all around the mine imploring operators not to use cell phones, to ensure they are buckled up, and adhere to speed limits and stop signs. Despite all these measures, vehicle operators break the rules, and they do this because there is little or no accountability when the driver


is moving around the mine. This shortcoming results in a dramatic increase in risk that SHEQ managers struggle to combat. The truth is, that if mines knew half of what’s happening on the haul roads, most of the contractors would be banned due to non-compliance with the safety rules. Mitigatory measures With the continuous improvement in technologies, there are solutions which address the issues surrounding the lack of accountability of drivers. In times gone by the only data a fleet owner could access was tachograph info that often needed to be translated! DriveRisk however finds itself on the cutting edge of technology and offers a myriad of risk mitigation products that specifically address driver behaviour. The Lytx DriveCam, an innovative solution from US is the principle solution that DriveRisk offers. DriveCam offers the ability to monitor driver behaviour by

exception, making managing risk simpler and more effective. Bad driving behaviour is captured through an intelligent Event Recorder when the specific programmed thresholds of a vehicle are exceeded. This event is reviewed and scored based on severity of the event and made available with comments for coaching. The coaching process is designed to empowering the driver, increasing his awareness to the risk of his actions, and assists in ultimately improving the driver, this drives skill. This entire process is documented. In the event of collisions, the program has also reduced downtime in providing clear information through a video clip as to what caused the collision. Further to the operational value, DriveRisk also allocates dedicated CSM (Customer Service Managers) who work closely with the mines respective personnel to ensure that risk is driven down, and collisions avoided. DriveRisk

ultimately partners with the mine. This partnership is ongoing and is included in the price. DriveRisk offers additional solutions that address other areas of risk, and compliment the DriveCam offering, such as fatigue monitoring, distracted driving monitoring, fuel theft monitoring, peripheral cameras as well as fleet tracking. Together, from one supplier, this basket of solutions will reduce risk, improve skill, increase uptime, and add to the bottom line and profitability of any mining operation. Clients have experienced noteworthy savings in Maintenance, and fuel, as well as damages that need to be repaired, and it is highly recommended that mines look to additional measures and systems to continuously improve safety on and around the mines. One accident is one accident too many.





FUEL MANAGEMENT IN REAL-TIME You’ll always know where your fuel is burning to deliver optimum ef�ciency. African Mining Services is a leading supplier of cutting edge fuel management hardware and software for some of the largest mining operations on the continent. Our latest generation solution is Jigsaw - a world-class cloudbased Fuel Management System that delivers real-time, reliable and accurate data which is further optimised by our onsite support team. A true real-time and robust web-based solution that is simple and intuitive to use. Adding value to impact pro�tability. • • Of�ce +260 96 9877303 (Zambia) PO Box 21378 • Anchris House • 2nd Floor • Room 77/78 • Kitwe • Zambia




Assmang Limited

INDUSTRY Mining, Minerals & Metals


consisted of legacy systems and infrastructure, with multiple data sources resulting in a complex integration process.

• To use technology as an enabler in order to respond to and sustain business-related demands and pressures. • To apply modern digital solutions, enabling enhanced decision-making and real-time performance management to drive performance excellence. • To standardise business rules and practices. • To integrate various sources of information – from automation, PMIS, electrical and fire detection to asset management systems – in order to provide operational staff with a holistic view of the mine operation’s entire value chain, a centralised view of all KPIs, and one version of the ‘truth’. • To break down the silo mentality. • To bring about a mind-shift to being proactive rather than being reactive. • To empower control room operators to make in-time decisions by providing the right information to the right people at the right time.

Challenges The overriding challenge was that it was a brown fields project. The production environment was fragmented, and set up to monitor and control the plant with little regard for holistic business objectives. The process control environment

Tel Tel Fax Email Web

0861 966 337 +27 (0)11 607 8100 +27 (0)11 607 8478

Control Room 1 The physical locations of the existing control rooms were not supportive of a central environment, as each plant and mining area had its own separate control room, with limited space for expansion. 2 It consisted of a combination of propriety systems such as fire monitoring, power management, standalone SCADA and Wonderware System Platform systems. 3 The migration process from a fragmented to a centralised controlled environment had to happen in a 24/7 live environment with a minimal impact on production. Administration (IT) Servers 1 A converged system solution with older virtualisation software versions used to create a virtual environment. Most of the administration applications were running in this environment. 2 A complex disaster recovery (DR) solution for critical systems and databases only, with a slow, cumbersome recovery process. 3 No failover solutions were in place. 4 Expansion limitation as maximum resource capacity had been reached. 5 Limited functionality and flexibility from a technological point of view, with a looming end of product lifecycle.

1st floor, Block E, EOH Business Park 1 Osborne Lane, Bedfordview, 2008 South Africa



Networks 1 The Infrastructure did not support any form of expansion nor any feature enhancement systems that would require higher bandwidth 2 Limited redundancy and DR due to the way the networks were deployed. 3 Security concerns around unmanaged switches, mixed networks and physical access. 4 Network management standards were not applied uniformly, and no proactive restoration measures were in place. 5 The environment was non-collaborative, and cost of ownership was high Process control systems (PCS) 1 The supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) solution used was a mix of several systems, including proprietary solutions. 2 Programmable logic controllers (PLC) also operated on localised/remote networks as well as proprietary solutions. 3 Tag naming was not consistently applied within the SCADAs and PLCs across the various sites or even in a single plant. 4 Mixed PLC and SCADA object standards led to difficulties in integration and misrepresentation of operational data. 5 All of these reasons it made integration to the plant management information system (PMIS) difficult and also minimised the usefulness of such high level systems. Visualisation 1 No clear visualisation strategy that included an appropriate alarm philosophy. 2 Real time process information was only made available to engineers and management by means of replicated SCADA view nodes. 3 Information to management was multi sourced, as collaboration and alignment between the various disciplines was complex. 4 No single, easy way to comprehend the process value chain from mining to dispatch. This made it difficult for management, let alone the operators, to make the necessary in-time decisions.

Software Solutions The following software solutions were implemented: 1 Wonderware System Platform 2017 2 Wonderware Historian 3 Wonderware InTouch Operations Management Interface (OMI) 4 Wonderware Situational Awareness 5 VMWare vSphere 6 Enterprise Plus for Virtual Servers 6 VEEAM Availability Suite

Results • A Centralized Control Environment complete with a 10m video wall reflecting the entire value chain and relevant KPI's. • A seamless migration process was implemented from the old to new environment. • High availability: improved datacentre recoverability, timely restoration of single and multiple systems, ease-of-use, minimised administration overhead, and enhanced application availability. • System integration: closer alignment of business and production environments, one version of the 'truth', and the promotion of collaboration. • Ease of maintenance: self-diagnostics for alerting and monitoring, a standards-based system platform, minimal operational downtime, and live test environment for upgrades prior to implementation. • Future-proofed infrastructure: using the latest technology, low expansion costs, and the flexibility to make changes and additions. • Return on investment (ROI): The safeguarding against productivity loss due to systems unavailability can be immeasurable, not only applicable to worst-case scenarios but also relating to day to day operation of the plant. Reduced cost of ownership as a result of collaboration between the OT and IT resources.

High Availability demonstrated between the two Data Centres



Black Rock Mine Operations (BRMO) is operated by Assmang Limited, which is jointly owned by African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) Limited and Assore Limited. Manganese ore is mined at the BRMO Complex, situated 80 kilometres northwest of the town of Kuruman in the Kalahari. Today, the Kalahari Basin is considered to be the largest and richest manganese deposit in the world. Assmang also mines iron ore at the Khumani and Beeshoek Mines in the Northern Cape province. The Black Rock Project, established in 2010, in particular focuses on developing new mining opportunities at Black Rock Mine Operations (BRMO), in order to optimise the output of high-grade manganese ore products. The project further aims to ensure BRMO's sustainable life that would have valuable implications for the company and its employees, the surrounding communities, the region and South Africa. The multi-billion-rand project is to be executed over a period of six years, and aims to modernise the mine, including underground and surface plant infrastructure, in order for it to mine the manganese resources more costeffectively. Other planned outcomes include creating flexibility to ensure BRMO can react more effectively to changes in market product requirements.

controlled environment, operated via an integrated and situationally-aware dashboard, explains BRMO senior general manager, Pierre Becker. “This set-up enables enhanced decision-making, delivering the ability to recognise opportunities and address challenges proactively.” BRMO's road to modernisation is supported by core services such as power, network and datacentre infrastructure to ensure business availability, continuity and effective data recoverability. It thus comprises a number of enablers, including enhanced networking, the creation of a single, logical metro-cluster datacentre, a high performance processing platform, upgraded virtualisation technology, a complete power management solution and a video wall. The evolution of the new Central Control Room (CCR) “The scope for BRMO's new CCR included provision for the video wall, the physical size and technology of which had to lend itself to expansion, as well as being reflective of BRMO's value chain, from mining to dispatch,” says Jaco van Heerden, ARM C&I project Engineer. “It also needed to facilitate centralised communication and a collaborative environment between functional disciplines across the business ensuring alignment between key stakeholders, be easily accessible, and provide one version of the truth.” Using ARM's strategy for process control systems (PCS) developed in 2015 with Wonderware SA as the guiding principle, the BRMO PLC and SCADA specification was drawn up. It also took into consideration the consolidation of the extensive existing Wonderware installed base, as well as the standalone and proprietary SCADA systems, that were being migrated from a highly fragmented environment into one centralised location. “Prior to the implementation, through various audits across the Assmang sites, we realised that there was a gap within our system hierarchy when it came to integration and alignment between our business and process control systems.

Starting BRMO's digitalisation journey BRMO's realisation that today's technology must align to today's business requirements, through modern-day strategies and the empowerment of staff, was the catalyst for the evolution of its Central Control Room (CCR). Designed and equipped with a strong emphasis on corporate branding and ownership, the high availability of the CCR's services was an essential component of the overall design. Driven by a 10-metre video wall with Wonderware's OMI – a first for South Africa – this innovative project provides both mine management and the operational team with a centrally

The solution to this challenge is a Level 3 Integration Layer; a complete and separate Wonderware Galaxy specifically designed to integrate business and process control systems, while concurrently ensuring alignment with business objective requirements,” van Heerden adds. This encompasses the implementation of Wonderware System Platform 2017 as the basis, the world's only responsive, scalable solution for supervisory, SCADA, HMI, and industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications that integrates the process with the enterprise, with Wonderware Historian, a high-performance process historian capable of storing the huge volumes of data generated by today's industrial facilities. During the first phase of the project, existing Wonderware System Platform objects and data were used to create an




objects-based model that was then utilised to define a KPI tree to accurately represent user requirements. This system was then built in Wonderware System Platform 2017, and connections made to all data sources. Parts of this objectbased design included the visual representations that made use of Wonderware Situational Awareness principles, a design approach devoted to providing operators with the most relevant and necessary information at the right time, which included the definition of alert criteria and visualisation, trends, dials and displays of equipment states. “The end result was the definition of screen layouts for the video wall made up of five virtual 4K displays. These provide BRMO with a single view of the entire process, with the objective of indicating key equipment and KPIs of the entire value chain, instead of overwhelming users with a copy of the SCADA screens.” Making extensive use of analogue display objects increased the viewer's ability to perceive process or KPI values. The next step was to enable proper comprehension with clear indication of expected or undesirable conditions. Given the ability to extrapolate or predict values through projection, the viewer is able to understand the effect of current conditions on future performance. Business Benefits realised The new centralized environment and its associated services is regarded as the start of many new opportunities in the future of digital transformation at BRMO, van Heerden continues, as it provides an indispensable tool when it comes to enabling better in-shift control and decision-making. “The centralised control environment is being used as a vehicle to standardise business rules and practices. Controlling, coordinating and reporting from a central environment, results in information that is less biased to a sub-discipline as decisions are based on what's best for the value chain. Only a view on the total value chain can achieve this.”

“Furthermore, the video wall combines information, not only from the control environment but also from the PMIS environment, enabled with BRMO business rules which allows us to generate a rich display for the control room operators – progressing from the purely Perception nature of work to Comprehension, and in the process, empowered our Operators to make better in-time decisions and enabled them to become proactive rather than reactive. Enabling them to react faster to problems and therefore minimising downtime and in so doing have a positive impact on plant utilization and availability.” The CCR environment has improved BRMO's data quality significantly, with some sources improving more than fivefold. The intelligent display of different production units within a single view highlights the interdependencies of these units, enabling CCR employees to make decisions that take into account multiple production unit constraints while optimising the use of available resources and infrastructure. The impact of these better decisions has been evident in an improvement in the utilisation of the plant. Not only do operators now have a full view of the process in one place, allowing them to exercise control, the monitoring of critical areas dedicated to the video wall also provides management with enhanced control. The establishment of the CCR and supporting services was instrumental in the change process by improving in-shift reporting, from less than 50 percent to a sustained 90 percent. In addition, the new environment has provided BRMO with access to a richer source of cleansed and validated data, which has allowed for the exponential growth of its business intelligence (BI) capability. In terms of future growth, of underground mining and plant infrastructure, and more sophisticated technology like production monitoring systems (such as fleet management), the solution provides the requisite flexibility and scalability which can be easily added onto the CCR and baseline video wall.

About IS³ IS³ is the sole distributor of AVEVA Group’s software for sub-Saharan Africa. At IS³ we believe in the limitless potential of technology to empower people and transform businesses. We focus on creating the most innovative and reliable industrial software that empowers individuals, teams and businesses of all sizes, to become extraordinary. Our industrial software solutions addresses production operations, production performance, manufacturing intelligence, business process management and collaboration.

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IS³ believes the information in this publication is correct as of its publication date. As part of continued product development, such information is subject to change without prior notice and is related to the current software release(s). IS³ is not responsible for any inadvertent errors. All product names mentioned are the trademarks of their respective holders. © 2018 IS³ - Industry, Software, Solutions and Support. All rights reserved.





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First Mining Drc-Zambia Nov/Dec 2018  

Central and Southern Africa's Mining journal, Zambia,Democratic Republic of Congo

First Mining Drc-Zambia Nov/Dec 2018  

Central and Southern Africa's Mining journal, Zambia,Democratic Republic of Congo