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GROU N D AAND GROUND N D UNDERGROUND ND U N DE RGROU N D

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Duxbury Networking’s Andy Robb on telecoms infrastructure for mining P10

WOMEN IN MINING Anglo American’s Khanyisile Kweyama

COAL Latest African coal projects

WEIR Supply chain MINERALS excellence AFRICA

PIPES, PUMPS & VALVES Plastic piping systems

9 P3

PANEL DISCUSSION

OEMs Meeting cost & production targets ISSN 1999-8872 • R50.00 (incl. VAT) • Vol. 7 • No. 2 • February 2014


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CONTENTS

A F R I C A N U P D AT E S O N T H E

ining GROUND AND UNDERGROUND

INDUSTRY COMMENT

ENDORSED BY

3 www.miningne.ws MEDIA

AFRIC AN UPDATES ON THE

ining

GRO UN D AND GROUND AN D UNDERGROUND UN D ERGRO UN D

HOT

SEAT

Duxbury Networking’s Andy Robb on telecoms infrastructure for mining P10

WOMEN IN MINING Anglo American’s Khanyisile Kweyama

COAL Latest African coal projects

WEIR chain MINERALS Supply excellence AFRICA

ON THE COVER O

Chamber of Mines president Mike Teke

AFRICA ROUND UP

P4

7

W Minerals Africa has Weir d doubled the business in tthe five years to 2014 by m means of various supplycchain initiatives, says Wim vvan Vliet

Latest mining tidbits from the continent

IN THE SPOTLIGHT

8

KPMG debates a new vision for mining

HOT SEAT

10 PIPES, PUMPS & VALVES

IT solutions for mining

COAL

Plastic piping systems

9

P3

PANEL DISCUSSION

February 2014

OEMs Meeting cost & production targets ISSN 1999-8872 • R50.00 (incl. VAT) • Vol. 7 • No. 2 • February 2014

14

Tweefontein optimisation project

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Latest clean-coal tech innovation

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Micro focus X-ray computed tomography

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Coal-expansion projects on the rise

WOMEN IN MINING

30

Consulmet’s Alecia Sewlal on project managing in Africa

32

Anglo American executive director Khanyisile Kweyama

8 MINING SERVICES

35

WorleyParsons RSA hosts ISO/TC82

36

A look inside Sandvik Mining’s trans4mine

OEM PANEL

36

39

Pilot Crushtec’s Nicolan Govender

41

Osborn’s Brian Frost

43

Rentworks’ Jacques de Klerk

44

Filtaquip’s Kobus Boshoff

45

Becker’s Francois Hay

PUMPS, PIPES & VALVES

46

‘Smart’ pump motors from Grundfos

48

Plastic piping systems from Polypipe

MATERIALS HANDLING

50

Multotec on managing life cycle cost

COMMUNITION

53

Loesche supplies 13 vertical roller mills at Dangote’s cement plant in Ibese, Nigeria

WATER STORAGE

55 52

Abeco designs, manufactures and supplies water tanks for mining


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INDUSTRY COMMENT

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Clarion call The Chamber of Mines South Africa expressly welcomes President Jacob Zuma’s emphasis on mining as a key driver of economic growth and employment creation in his State of the Nation Address.

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I

N HIS ADDRESS, the president indicated that the economy needs to grow at least at 5% per annum to meaningfully create employment. From the Chamber’s perspective, and as encapsulated in the National Development Plan, we believe mining has a key role to play in realising this higher growth rate. The Chamber notes with enthusiasm the pronouncement on the streamlining of the mining licensing system to be completed in under 30 days. This is a clear demonstration by government that it is committed to providing regulatory certainty, therefore encouraging new investments in the sector. We hope that this will indeed yield benefits, new greenfield projects and further expansion of current operations within the sector. The sector is further encouraged about the tax incentives to encourage employers to absorb youth into job opportunities. We will engage with the relevant departments to further understand how the sector can contribute towards the implementation of this incentive as we seek to reaffirm our partnership with government on job creation and economic growth. We would like to see robust action within NEDLAC [National Economic Development and Labour Council] on areas that cross-cutting sectors need to cooperate on. More synergies on the various task teams that are working in these areas need to be streamlined to yield much needed results. The Chamber notes the pronouncements on the Mining Charter compliance targets

and is cooperating with and supporting the charter audit process. Transformation and competitiveness go hand in hand and are mutually reinforcing. The sector remains committed to the current review process that the Department of Mineral Resources is undertaking. As the Chamber, we have encouraged our members to constructively engage in this process. We are proud as a sector on the progress we have made in relation to transformation, skills development and safety, but at the same time we acknowledge the depth of our country’s social challenges and recognise that more still needs to be done. The Chamber accepts the pronouncements on the need to move expediently on the work on living and working conditions of mine workers. We further commit to the process led by the Presidency. This is an area where as a sector we urgently need close collaboration with all spheres of government as we deal with the issue of integrating mining communities in relation to our commitments in social and labour plans. In relation to the president’s clarion call on the responsibilities of mining companies and union leadership, we are encouraged that there is greater will and resoluteness in dealing with the labour relations challenges that the sector is dealing with. The Chamber of Mines remains committed to the Mining Peace Accord and the Framework Agreement facilitated by Minister Susan Shabangu and the deputy president, Kgalema Motlanthe, respectively. As the president said, as leaders we need to act responsibly and lead responsibly protecting both the interests of the businesses we run and the obligation to the workers. The Chamber reaffirms its tripartite approach in dealing with challenges that the sector faces, we remain committed to ‘Putting South Africa first’.

Mike Teke President Chamber of Mines South Africa

IN SID E M IN IN G 0 2 | 2014

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COVER STORY

WEIR M INE RA LS

Supplying business Weir Minerals Africa has achieved its target of doubling the business in the five years to 2014 with the support of various supply-chain initiatives, explains Wim van Vliet.

S

UPPLY CHAIN IS the beating heart of the business, says Van Vliet, who is supply chain director: Middle East and Africa at Weir Minerals. “If this heart stops beating, the entire business will feel it immediately.” He attributes Weir Minerals Africa’s impressive growth to regional MD Dave Athey, “who identified that if we were to go grow as planned, which meant doubling the business by 2014 – which we have done, and in less time than anticipated – we would need an effective supply chain.” It is at this point that Van Vliet was appointed in his current position at Weir Minerals Africa, where he immediately brought about a number of changes, restructuring the supply chain and introducing a more centralised business model. “Essentially it was Athey who identified the opportunity, necessity and strategic importance of the supply chain. That was in 2010, and since then the supply chain has grown in leaps and bounds. I think the value we have brought to the business speaks for itself.”

Simple maxim Van Vliet ascribes to a simple maxim: If the supply chain is not effective, then you are not going to be able to deliver in accordance with customer expectations. “We needed to become a lot more visible, making sure that our internal customer base understood the value that we can contribute.” In upgrading its supply chain, Weir Minerals Africa has built a brand new warehouse, as well as implemented a number of new technologies under the guidance of Van Vliet. Perhaps most significantly, a fragmented team was centralised. “We have brought them all together under one roof, so we can leverage those synergies. It has been a very exciting three years. This

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business is extremely  dynamic.” As a qualified mining engineer, Van Vliet fully understands the requirements of an effective supply chain from a customer’s perspective. “I built up this team over the past three years, and it is a highly competent team in its own right. If you do not have a good team backing you up, you will not get anywhere.”

Successful transformation Key to the successful transformation of the supply chain at Weir Minerals Africa has been the deliberate distinction between suppliers and partners. Van Vliet says the traditional way of dealing with suppliers centred on dictating the terms of supply. “It was a very adversarial relationship that lead to a breach of trust.” The first step in changing this was to acknowledge the importance of the supply base and its impact on the business as a whole. “We have about 800 suppliers in our supplier base. There are many suppliers with goods that are viewed as being non-strategic to the business, with wide market availability from other suppliers. Then we have strategic suppliers, which I regard as partners, as these are an extension of our own business. We deal with them on a daily basis, as I would deal with anyone within Weir Minerals itself. That is how critical they are. There has to be

“If this heart stops beating, the entire business will feel it immediately.” Wim Van Vliet (right, seen here with Dave Athey), supply chain director, Weir Minerals Africa


COVER STORY

excellence

IN SID E M IN IN G 0 2 | 2014

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COVER STORY

a close link with clear communication channels. This ensures that strategic intent is clear and that none of them lag in terms of what we are doing. “They are strategic because if they were unable to supply us, it would place our business at substantial risk, so we need to make sure these suppliers are performing as they have committed, delivering a quality product on time in line with our accreditations and market expectations,” he explains. ly chain Looking more closely at the supply ompany, methodology deployed within the company, he Weir Van Vliet says this is focused on the Production System. “What it entailss is lean thinking. It is about kaizen-typee interventions and value-added valuee engineering. The real crux and core is n-offs the elimination of waste, with spin-off nt and including a safer working environment reduced costs. Although the system was esn, it is sso o sentially designed around production, o flexible and versatile that it can be applied to the business as a whole.”

WEIR’S PRODUCT RANGE 1

2

3

ABOVE Inside the main warehouse at Weir Minerals Africa 4

Key business challenge “A key business challenge is to maintain a healthy working capital, and one of the main drivers for us is inventory. We had excess inventory across our entire value chain, and the taps on our inventory growth had to be closed.” However, Van Vliet decided to optimise, rather than reduce, the group’s inventory. “Of course, there was a lot of obsolete and slow-moving stock, so my aim was to negate any increases in this area. For the rest, I did not want to reduce it, due to the potential impact on the business.” In order to achieve this goal, the supply chain team introduced new technology into the business to ensure that suppliers only delivered product when it was required. This involved installing barcode printers at its supply base. “When those parts are required, we release the bar codes for printing – usually a week prior to delivery. Parts cannot be delivered without a barcode label.” This relatively simple initiative dramatically slashed inventory by R50  million over an eight-week period. Looking at the latest developments at Weir Minerals Africa, Van Vliet says one of his main goals in the first quarter of this year is “ensuring that the new technical upgrade to the Baan ERP (enterprise resource planning) system is implemented and bedded down successfully. Supply chain is one of those disciplines that is very dependent on a system for its daily function. Thus my team and I are really focused on ensuring that the upgrade goes smoothly and that all users receive

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devvelopm development programme. “A lot of the best pra practice we have incorporated in this programme has been adopted by the rest of the Weir Minerals Division through knowledge-sharing interventions. “I am in the throes of appointing a supplier development manager to take this to the next n level. This person will drive improvements within our supply base, with the key aim of getting them accredited in line with our business. Any issues will be communicated timeously so that we can put steps in place to address them. It is a key position, and I am really excited about launching the 2014 supplier development programme,” says Van Vliet.

Customer focus

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7 way, 6 x 250CVX10 Cavex cyclone cluster

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Enduron VD screen

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Warman ANZE submersible pump

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proper training to ensure minimal hiccups when we go live.”

Current goal Another key goal for the current year is to roll out a lot of the best practice initiatives initiated by supply chain throughout the company’s hub-and-spoke distribution model. “Our spokes are also very critical to us carrying out effective delivery to customers,” says Van Vliet. Related to this is the company’s supplier

Another important focus is ensuring that supply chain is ‘customer-centric’. “This is particularly important as we have an internal customer base and do not engage that much with our end users,” notes Van Vliet. “If a customer has a query or requirement, we address that and provide them with the necessary feedback. That has been one of our biggest challenges, but the team has embraced the value of improving customer-centricity. It has required a mindset and a culture change. It is about taking off the blinkers and seeing across silos and disciplines, understanding one’s actions and the implications backwards and forwards in the value chain.” In terms of future growth, Van Vliet remains bullish about prospects in 2014. “Our new technologies and service offering have ensured that we are there to support our customers throughout the cyclical nature of the mining business.”

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AFRICA ROUND UP

MINING NEWS

from around the conƟnent

in associaƟon with NAMIBIA AngloGold Ashanti is selling its Namibian division, sole owner of the Navachab mine, for US$110 million to private mining group QKR. The deal, subject to regulatory approvals in Namibia and South Africa, is part of a renewed drive for AngloGold to rationalise and focus on its bigger operations, according to the company. Navachab has been owned and operated by AngloGold Ashanti since in 1998.

GHANA Spy Ghana reports that AngloGold Ashanti is also mulling the closure of its Obuasi gold mine for two years in order to upgrade the site. Once the leading gold mine in Ghana and the main employer in the mining industry, Obuasi is struggling with old equipment, poor security, inadequate power supply and illegal mining.

MALAWI Australia’s Paladin Energy is suspending operations at its Kayelekera mine in Malawi. This involves placing the operation on care and maintenance until the price of uranium recovers, the company said in a statement. Following the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011, uranium prices plunged, dropping from a spot price of US$72 a pound to US$35 at present.

(R3.7 billion) Mayoko iron ore project, reports BizNews.com. Exxaro is expected to conduct geological tests of the iron ore body in preparation for its mine plan. It is also expected to invest heavily in rail and port infrastructure to service Mayoko specifically.

TANZANIA The Bulyanhulu carbon-inleach expansion project is close to completion, with commissioning set to continue through Q2 this year. This was revealed by African Barrick Gold CEO Brad Gordon in the company’s preliminary results for the 12 months ended 31 December 2013. Gordon said that mining methods at Bulyanhulu had been reviewed, with the aim to “move to a much higher proportion of mechanised mining”. This specifically involves changing the stoping method from cutand-fill to long-hole.

SOUTH AFRICA ACTOM Air Pollution Control of Johannesburg has completed a R16 million contract to improve dust-extraction efficiencies on the secondary and tertiary crushers in the mineral processing plant at Kolomela iron ore mine near Postmasburg in the Northern Cape. Kolomela, which went into production in mid-2012, is Kumba Iron Ore’s newest mine, formerly known as Sishen South during its development phase.

CONGO The Democratic Republic of the Congo has given the go-ahead for Exxarro’s US$340 million

SOUTH AFRICA A Letter of Intent has been signed with Ardbel, a JV

between ELB Engineering Services and the DRA Group, as preferred EPC contractor for the proposed Waterberg Coal Project. This was confirmed by the Waterberg Coal Joint Venture Partners (WCJVP) in a media statement. It announced the completion of a feasibility study into the development of an opencast mining operation to produce 10 million tonnes of coal a year for Eskom, for an initial term of 30 years.

ZAMBIA A new 590 km Cape gauge railway from Chingola in the Zambian Copperbelt to the Angolan border is to be built, operated and maintained by Grindrod Mauritius in association with Zambia’s Northwest Rail Company. The railway is to be built in two phases, with the first phase extending from Chingola to the Kansanshi, Lumwana and Kalumbila mines. The second will connect with the Benguela line on the Zambia-Angola border near Jimbe. The first phase is intended to service existing ore and finished copper traffic.

paste backfill plant which, when completed, will unlock substantial mineable reserves underground and cut capital costs by reducing the required development rate.

IVORY COAST A US$12 million expansion of the float circuit at Randgold Resources Tongon gold mine in the Ivory Coast will be completed by the end of the year, said Randgold Resources chief executive Mark Bristow. This will raise the recovery rate to its targeted upper 80%.

ZIMBABWE Zimbabwe’s three major platinum producers have met a government deadline to submit plans for a local refinery. The Sunday Mail reports that Zimplats, Mimosa and Unki all submitted “concrete plans” plans to the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development ahead of yesterday’s submission deadline. The producers aim to establish a major refinery within the next two years.

SIERRA LEONE MALI Randgold Resources’ LouloGounkoto gold mining complex in Mali was likely to beat its revised production target for 2013, according to chief executive Mark Bristow. The target for 2014 would remain at 640 000 oz. “We expect gold production to keep rising while costs should start coming down,” said Bristow. This trend should be accelerated by other new projects, including the

Australian resources and investment company Cape Lambert Resources has finalised an infrastructure agreement for its 100%-owned Marampa iron ore project in Sierra Leone. The agreement grants Marampa access rights to transport and export 2 Mwtpa (wet – equivalent to 1.8 Mtpa dry) of iron concentrate via African Minerals’ existing Pepel rail and port infrastructure.

IN SID E M IN IN G 0 2 | 2014

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT

ANALYS IS

A new vision for mining It is a no brainer that mining remains crucial to South Africa’s continued success. However, all stakeholders need to collaborate in order to take the industry forward in a sustainable manner, argues KPMG. By Gerhard Hope

A

CCORDING TO KPMG, collaborating towards a sustainable share vision of the future is the major theme for the mining industry in 2014. The company revealed this outlook in a special panel discussion at the Ming Indaba in Cape Town. “For me it is a no brainer. Mining remains crucial for South Africa’s success. My biggest hope is really for communities, government, investors, companies and all stakeholders to start to work together. We have to take this industry forward in a sustainable way, and no one can do it without the other. Our

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theme for this year is collaborating towards a sustainable shared vision of the future, for change in South Africa, and for change specifically in the mining industry,” says Carel Smit, director: head of markets, energy and natural resources – Africa. However, the current labour unrest poses a severe constraint. “It is the perception of our industry caused by these strikes,” notes Smit. “Otherwise we lose our global competitiveness. As we know, investors have choices as to where they want to invest. Labour is therefore a big issue that still needs to be resolved.”

The latest production figures from the mining industry paint a gloomy picture up to the end of 2012. The platinum sector has been the worst affected, down 13%, with the gold sector close on its heels at 12% down yearon-year. “It is not good for our economy,” Smit says simply.

Government involvement “What is very positive for me is that the government is getting involved in these talks There is a strong need to shape an African development plan for mining


IN THE SPOTLIGHT

to try and find a resolution. That is also a change from 18 months ago, when the government was very reluctant to get involved at all, so hopefully that will help.” Another important factor in the declining value of the mining industry is commodity prices, which are down 30% across the board from Q2 2011 to end 2013. “Some commodity prices started to improve towards the end of last year, but they are still down significantly. What is helping us in South Africa is the rand weakening.

TOP FOUR ISSUES AFFECTING SA MINING LABOUR • strike actions continue – government intervention is positive • strife between unions (NUM/AMCU) • decreasing productivity (increasing pay) has an impact on our global competitiveness • production contracted with 3.2% across all metals and minerals in 2012 • PGMs contracted by 13% • gold contracted by 12%.

COMMODIT Y PRICES • prices are 30% down across metals/ minerals sector since Q2 2011 • over the past year, the devaluation of the rand has aided in the mining industry • over the past 10 years, the rand averaged R7.37/US$. The rand fell to a five-year low in late trade on 10 January 2014 to be bid at R10.81 to the dollar (46% lower than the 10year average).

INFRASTRUCTURE • infrastructure development is critically important for South Africa’s economic growth. In late October 2013, Eskom announced that two coal-fired power stations, Medupi and Kusile, would begin to contribute electricity to the grid in the second half of 2014 • South Africa missed the last super cycle and failed to capitalise on high commodity prices – are we ready for the next upswing?

FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT

“This is obviously good for the mining industry, because whatever we take out of the ground we send overseas.” Over the last decade, the average rand/dollar exchange rate of R7.37 plummeted to a ten-year low on 10 January this year at R10.81, representing a 46% decline in the rand. The latest news from Davos is that “people are starting to be upbeat about the global economy, so hopefully that will help to spur commodity prices on a bit.” Smit points to infrastructure backlogs as another major constraint. “We missed out on the last big boom in commodities because of insufficient electricity supply and rail and port constraints. Medupi and Kusile are set to start to supply power into the grid by the second half of the year, so hopefully over a period of a time we will see improvement.

stakeholders together to actually participate in this vision, because it is a no-win game if all the parties do not participate. There are still some fundamental structural issues in the system to be addressed, such as the infrastructure backlog and the over-regulation that mining houses are continually pushing up against. “From labour’s perspective, there is still inequality in the system. So there is a whole bucket of issues that needs to be put on the table. There are a lot of initiatives going on at the moment, but what we recognise is that we are in a bit of an unenviable position here of being an honest broker, because we work for all of those parties and stakeholders, and we feel this is something we can contribute to the agenda of moving this process forward.”

Labour unrest How investors view mining “For me a big worry is how investors view mining. Is it a sector they want to invest in? What do investors want? They want returns on their capital. If you look at the last decade, the investor slice of the pie has been shrinking. The mining industry has not been paying good enough returns. It will need to attract investors again because without capital it cannot start new projects and expand,” warns Smit. Foreign direct investment is down 24% year-on-year, largely on the back of negative investor sentiment towards South Africa and the mining industry in particular. “Hopefully we can change these perceptions. Is the mining industry still important? We talk about a diversified economy, but what role does mining continue to play?” questions Smit. Wayne Jansen, Global Head of Mining at KPMG, says the theme of collaboration essentially signposts a new vision for the mining industry. “The reality is getting all the

Commenting on the latest labour unrest, Jansen says: “These strikes are a clear indicator that there is a need for improved dialogue in the industry. A successful mining industry in South Africa is in the interest of all stakeholders that are directly and indirectly linked to it. Yet the industry finds itself in a difficult time, with a future that has perhaps never before been so uncertain. Charting a new path for the sector will not simply happen on its own. It requires a collaborative effort among all stakeholders, bound together by a common purpose.” Economic recovery in developed countries spell the potential start of the next super cycle of growth. “Africa did not derive sufficient benefit from the last super cycle. As a continent, we are now better placed to take advantage of the renewed growth in the global economy, but we must overcome some major stumbling blocks, particularly in the mining industry. Now is the time to ensure that the building blocks are in place.

7 BIG REASONS WHY MINING STILL MATTERS IN SA • In South Africa, according to the Chamber of Mines, mining supports about 1.4 million direct, indirect and induced jobs and each of these jobs supports on average around nine dependents. • In 2012, the mining sector helped generate 16.7% of the country’s economic activity (i.e. 16.7% of GDP).

• another significant factor that impedes growth is the difficulty in attracting foreign direct investment for both greenfield and expansion projects

• The mining sector is a substantial contributor to the government and society in terms of its tax contribution (direct and indirect).

• foreign direct investment flows into South Africa decreased by 24% between 2011 and 2012, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

• In terms of the recently introduced mineral royalty system, the mining sector paid R5.6 billion in royalties to government for the extraction of the minerals.

• investors’ share of the pie has been shrinking over the past decade – government and employee shares have been growing

• In 2012, the mining sector paid R21.4 billion in direct corporate tax. This accounted for 14.1% of total corporate taxes paid in South Africa and is nearly double the sector’s share of direct GDP.

• In terms of indirect taxes, the sector helped contribute R1.1 billion in terms of the special levy on electricity and about R900 million in terms of the 1% national skills development levy. • In 2012, primary mining exports of R269 billion accounted for 38% of South Africa’s total merchandise exports. Source: Chamber of Mines (Fact Book August 2013)

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HOT SEAT

C O M M UNICATIONS

IT solutions for mining Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, communications and infrastructure distributor Duxbury Networking sees the mining industry as a major source of growth in 2014.

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T

HE NEXT BIG trend in information technology (IT), namely the ‘internet of things’, is hugely applicable to the mining industry, says Andy Robb, chief technology officer at Duxbury Networking. “There are a lot of hype cycles, driven by marketing from vendors, but in terms of the ‘internet of things’, we are talking about tangible assets to be tagged and tracked and rendered visible online. For us this represents a significant opportunity that is hugely applicable to the mining industry.” This is related closely to RFID (radio fre-

Outdated infrastructure

PRODUCT RANGE

Robb says many mines have existing infrastructure that may be 10 to even 20 years’ old, often characterised by poor-quality coaxial cabling. “We have a bunch of solutions to IP-enable legacy equipment.” In this light, Duxbury Networking has decided to broaden its scope to include the mining and industrial segment to help underpin its growth strategy in 2014. “What we want to do is to expand, with purpose and focus, into mining and other verticals,” says Robb. The company already has significant experience in the mining industry, with such benchmark projects as radio links for draglines in the Witbank area. Established in 1984, Duxbury Networking initially manufactured modems, but evolved and diversified in line with the burgeoning IT industry to become a specialist distributor of networking products. “However, our history as a modem manufacturer has given us a valuable asset which we refer to as our ‘technical DNA’. Migrating from a technical background has given us the ability to more readily identify opportunities at customer level. It’s an advantage our sales force has benefitted from over the years,” stresses Robb.

Duxbury Networking has decided to broaden its scope to include the mining and industrial segment to help underpin its growth strategy in 2014 quency identification) technology, which Robb says is really going to take off in the next year or two. “Specifically, from a mine perspective, there are some big business benefits. Obviously there are so many assets to record and keep track of on a mine site that it is almost unfathomable for a single person to be able to do this – which is where a technology like RFID comes into play.” Other areas within the mining space where such technology can be applied are traditional IT infrastructure and surveillance systems. With the current spate of labour unrest, coupled with weak commodity prices and the fluctuating exchange rate, mines are increasingly “trying to get a return on investment on their legacy equipment”.

Diversification is the answer

Netgear, Extreme Networks, Lantech, Cambium Networks, BrideWave Communication, Intracom Telecom, Mitel, AXIS, HP Networking, ZTE, LigoWave, Deliberant, Proxim Wireless, Snom, 2N Communications.

into voice-over-data, way before voice-overIP, so we obviously had that expertise, as well as a lot of radio installation experience. We have continued to invest heavily in our skills base.” Robb defines the company’s core competencies as communications and infrastructure equipment. “Most of the manufacturers we represent and the technologies we deliver to our customers through our dealers and resellers are focused on these areas. I think this emphasis illustrates one of our key advantages.” The company has products for small- and medium-size businesses, all the way to total solutions for the enterprise market. “We are evenly balanced, as we have what you would call the ‘run rate’ business, and then there’s the projects side of our operation – often interfacing with vertical markets – where the sales cycles are much longer,” says Robb.

Success in a range of verticals Duxbury Networking has been successful in a number of verticals, including the industrial and mining sector where it offers specific products, the majority being wireless. ►

“I have been fortunate to have been here 14 years now, and I have seen a lot of technoloFROM CONCEPTION TO CONFIGURATION gy being developed. In Duxbury Networking is able to conceptualise, terms of the business design, install and configure complete wireless itself, diversification networks on greenfield sites. This includes the was really the answer. laying of a concrete floor slab and the erection of a In the early days we got custom-made, secure computer room (pictured). It comes complete with ruggedised communications equipment capable of enduring harsh conditions and is connected to electricity, solar power and backup generators.

Completing the infrastructure is the high tower populated by appropriate radio equipment capable of channelling real-time information to all corners of a mine. Some of the key benefits of a flexible, resilient and scalable Duxbury Networking-designed wireless network are realised in asset tracking applications, which have both safety and surveillance connotations. Wireless networks address problems relating to the interaction and relative positioning of machines and people on mines with the ultimate goal of improving productivity.

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HOT SEAT

“We have installations we are really proud of,” he notes. “We became involved with the mines predominantly from an IT point of view. We picked up on many requirements that were data- or IP-related from the engineering side. Unlike traditional distributors, one of the reasons we have been successful in addressing engineering segments within the mining industry is our flexibility and our ability to customise solutions. This sets us apart from our competition. “We get involved, we have an engineer at a partner site, we will contact a firmware provider or software company we have to integrate with, and really what we do is facilitate the entire project. One of the things we perform quite extensively is project management on behalf of our customers, to ensure that not only is the right technology supplied, but that it is the correct fit for the customer. Rather than just throw technology at a problem, we actually create an overall solution.”

Local channel partners In terms of mining, the company has installations as far afield as Liberia and Cameroon. “It is not us selling directly to mines in those regions, but rather our local channel partners in mainly the SADC region who target African markets,” explains Robb. “However, as a value-added distributor that always involves its channel partners, we also have a ‘direct touch’ philosophy. This means we are involved in the sales process from presales to configuration, to the specification of the solution, the installation and post-sales maintenance – if this is a specific requirement of the customer.” One of the key product sets that Duxbury Networking targets at the mining sector is its Lantech range of ‘ruggedised’ industrial-grade networking offerings. “It includes switches, converters and accessories ideal for applications in harsh operating environments – such as mines – where dust, moisture, motion or hazardous materials may be encountered,” says Robb, who expects Lantech’s solutions will find ready acceptance in network installations in groundbreaking operations such as shale gas mines.

“One of the reasons we have been successful in the mining industry is our flexibility and our ability to customise solutions. This sets us apart from our competition.” Andy Robb, chief technology officer, Duxbury Networking

Business driver

Duxbury’s success has been due, in part, to its emphasis on point-to-point and point-to-multipoint wireless technology. “What we see as a business driver in the next year or two is a shift towards the commoditisation of the devices underpinning the technology. “Previously, the wireless link had to facilitate a number of devices in order to justify the cost. Now, thanks to falling prices, you can put a link anywhere. From the mines’ point of view, this increasingly justifies communications infrastructure developments involving voice-over-IP or even voice-over-Wi-Fi technologies.” Looking to the future, Robb adds: “In terms of the outlook, it is unpredictable. There are so many factors, from economic as well as a political point of view, that we have to take into account, but we believe we have the infrastructure, skills, product sets and the technological expertise and foresight necessary to enable us to do really well in 2014.”

WHY DUXBURY NETWORKING?

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The provision of world-class hardware communications solutions and professional support services to businesses through its channel partners is the company’s mission. Duxbury Networking offers a range of sought-after brands together with unique solutions to meet today’s business challenges. It has become a trusted advisor to its partners and customers, its specialist knowledge benefiting organisations in many different vertical market niches. Not only does it empower business communications, Duxbury Networking also offers its customers viable, longterm methods of saving costs and quantifiable returns on investment. For more information contact Mariette Oosthuizen. t +27 (0)11 351 9800 f +27 (0)11 646 3079 c +27 (0)72 480 6011 email: mara@duxnet.co.za

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www.duxbury.co.za

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P RO JECTS

US$100 million

investment spree Glencore Xstrata plans to boost coal production in South Africa with close to US$100 million in new developments expected to supply nearly 60 million tonnes a year. MAJOR SOUTH AFRICAN COAL PROJECTS Project

Entity

Estimated start-up

ROM production (Mtpa)

Markets

Life of mine (years)

Tweefontein

GCSA

In execution

13.6

Export/Eskom

20

Wonderfontein

Umcebo

In execution

3.6

Export/Eskom

14

Zonnebloem

GCSA

2015

10

Export/Eskom

16

Argent

Shanduka

2015

2.4

Export/Eskom

12

Nooitgedacht

GCSA

2016

3

Export/Eskom

12

Koornfontein

Optimum

2019

3.3

Export/Eskom

13

Springboklaagte

Shanduka/Umcebo

2019

2.4

Export/Eskom

22

Goedgevonen Expansion

GCSA

2020

8

Export/Eskom

13

Schoonoord

Optimum

2020

1.6

Export/Eskom

6

Paardekop

GCSA

2021

8

Export/Eskom

32

I

N A PRESENTATION to analysts at the end of last year, the company revealed that first production from its projects pipeline was already “being implemented”, while the balance of new production would start coming on-stream by 2015.

of a rapid loading rail terminal and the development of a large opencastmine with seven pits and an owner-operated fleet. The project had approached 58% completion towards the end of last year, with key dates including the plant becoming operational in Q4 2014 and the overall project being completed by Q2 2015.

Tweefontein The Tweefontein optimisation project, with a life-of-mine of 23 years, would be completed in 2015 at a total capital cost of US$823 million (R9.15 billion). The project will provide employment for 1  788 permanent staff and 1 127 contract workers. It has a production capacity of 13.6 Mtpa run-ofmine and 7 Mtpa saleable coal, with 60% of thermal coal produced for export purposes and 40% for domestic consumption. The project comprises a brownfields expansion of existing operations. It entails the replacement of three old processing plants with modern equipment, the construction

Wonderfontein Other new projects include the US$94 million Wonderfontein open-cut mine, in which Umcebo has an effective 50% stake. A double-stage CHPP plant will be constructed, in addition to a siding. First coal to plant is anticipated by Q2 2014, while the rampup to a steady-state operation is expected to be completed by Q4 2014.

Argent The US$73 million Argent project is at feasibility stage, with construction expected to commence in Q3 2014. First coal to plant is

anticipated by Q2 2015, while the ramp-up to a steady-state operation is expected by Q4 2015. The project will have a production capacity of 2.4  Mtpa run-of-mine and 1.5  Mtpa saleable (thermal 56% export, 44% domestic). Chief executive Ivan Glasenberg maintains that the mining industry remains a great platform for investment locally as well as on the rest of the continent, despite increasing pressures and constraints on the industry, from spiralling costs to falling commodity prices and labour issues. Glencore Xstrata’s projects include the Goedgevonden thermal-coal complex in the Mpumalanga province, the Helena underground chrome mine on the eastern limb of the Bushveld Complex, the Wonderkop ferrochrome plant in the North West province and the Eland platinum mine near Pretoria. Glencore merged last year with Xstrata to form one of the world’s largest commodities groups.

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T W EEF O NTE IN

Geocells shine at canal project An astonishing 100 000 m2 of heavy-duty HDPE geocells from Kaytech have been deployed at a new stormwater system at Tweefontein.

T

HE TWEEFONTEIN Complex, consisting of three differently structured coal mines, covers an area of 113  km2 near the town of Ogies in the Mpumalanga Highveld. It was here at the Tweefontein Optimisation Project where two newly designed canals required reinforcement, that Kaytech supplied its heavy-duty HDPE  geocells in 2013. Coal is sourced from either opencast or underground mines, with contractor mining used on opencast coal and continuous miner sections used in underground mines. The Tweefontein Waterpan mine produces 4.5  million saleable tonnes of coal annually, of which 2.4  Mt are exported through the Richards Bay Coal Terminal, 1.15  Mt are sold domestically and 0.93  Mt are sold to Eskom.

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DRA Mineral Projects was appointed by Glencore Xstrata to design a stormwater system that included two adjacent canals: one to channel dirty water and one to channel stormwater (clean) away from the workings. The main aim of this stormwater system was to ensure there is no unnecessary contamination of the stormwater flowing through the plant and mining area.

Reinforcement These canals were constructed 10  m apart, covering lengths of 2 800 m each. Since the canals had to run through some marshy areas, the main contractor, G4Civbuild JV, required a form of reinforcement that would prevent any movement over time and hold the concrete securely in place. DRA recommended a heavy-duty geocell for the project, and Kaytech’s 80  mm and 100  mm HDPE

geocell was specified. The geocell solution provided a 17% cost saving, as opposed to conventional mesh-reinforced concrete. In addition to this saving, the canal could be constructed significantly quicker due to not having to construct every second panel and return later for curing and jointing purposes. This economical and effective system is used as on-site shuttering to cast continuous interlocking concrete paving for road or canal construction. The geocell is a honeycombed structure, manufactured from strips of a robust HDPE plastic that are welded alternately together to form three-dimensional diamond-shaped cells, giving a strong structure that does not collapse when filled with concrete. The sidewalls are textured and perforated for maximum interlocking between adjacent cells. It provides a flexible, effective erosion


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The main aim of this stormwater system was to ensure there is no unnecessary contamination of the stormwater flowing through the plant and mining area

LEFT Two channels were created for stormwater and wastewater ABOVE A completed section of the channel RIGHT The geocells are filled with concrete

protection treatment for hydraulic structures such as channels or canals.

High velocities In this mining project, with the water in the canals reaching high velocities of up to 8 m/s, concrete was used as infill in the cells. The cell wall heights provide a uniform concrete-thickness profile throughout the geocell layer. For lower-velocity structures, cells may be soil-filled and vegetated. Failure of a single cell does not compromise the integrity of the rest of the honeycomb structure and local repairs are carried out easily. Since the canals had to pass through clay areas, the flexibility of the HDPE geocell

IN NUMBERS

17%

Cost-saving due to geocell solution

system made it the ideal product. Hydrostatic pressure is relieved through its joints, allowing the geocell to be installed in high-water-table areas and, because of its geometry, it distributes vertical load and behaves as a semi-rigid slab, thereby limiting embankment and/or road settlement. Since the geocell can be used over soft

PROFESSIONAL TEAM DRA Mineral Projects Glencore Xstrata Kaytech G4Civbuild JV

compressible soils, or to limit the thickness of the required sub-base layer, no specific foundation was needed in this project. Over the years, specialist geocells made of the proprietary Neoloy, including Neoweb, have been used extensively in the construction industry as a fast and effective solution for canal protection, load support and erosion control. These versatile products have additional uses; due to the dampening properties of their composite structure, filled honeycomb geocell mattresses may be stacked almost vertically to offer good acoustic, blast and ballistic protection.

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SA’s biggest culvert order to date A What is being billed as South Africa’s biggest single concrete-culvert order to date is being undertaken at Glencore’s Tweefontein Optimisation Project near Witbank, Mpumalanga.

“Although the precast concrete approach is as yet untested in this type of application, we believe it will become our default choice on future projects”

TOTAL OF 800 giant precast concrete culverts, 3.5  m high and just over 5 m wide, believed to be among the biggest in South Africa to date, are being deployed in the construction of two buffer (stockpile) tunnels. The culverts are comprised of solid steel-reinforced concrete and are designed to handle well in excess of the maximum 20 t loading they are likely to encounter at Tweefontein. Each culvert contains 600  kg of reinforced steel. The walls are tapered, with a maximum thickness of 350 mm at the top end, narrowing to 300 mm at the base of each foot. Manufactured by Concrete Manufacturers Association (CMA) member Aveng Manufacturing Infraset, and designed by the company’s technical marketing manager Coenraad Groenewald, the culverts weigh 12.8  t each. They are being produced at Aveng Manufacturing Infraset’s Brakpan manufacturing facility.

Construction work International consulting engineers DRA Mineral Projects is responsible for the engineering, project management and construction work on the entire venture. DRA also designed the coal-handling system in collaboration with civil and structural consulting engineers Holley & Associates. Wilson Bailey Holmes was the main civil and earthworks subcontractor. This is the first time that DRA has used precast concrete culverts for coal stockpiling tunnels. Steel and on-site concrete were also considered. However, DRA project engineer Arthur Oosthuizen says recent durability and maintenance concerns with steel tunnels and time constraints with on-site concrete construction has prompted the decision to opt for precast concrete. LEFT DRA pioneers the use of precast concrete culverts for coal stockpiling TOP RIGHT The non-standard dimensions meant custom steel moulds had to be used

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Realising possibilities...

PROFESSIONAL TEAM • Concrete Manufacturers’ Association (CMA) • Aveng Manufacturing Infraset • DRA Mineral Projects • Holley & Associates • Wilson Bailey Homes • Mario Meano Engineering

IN NUMBERS • 800 culverts in total • 3.5 m high • 5 m wide

“Although the precast concrete approach is as yet untested in this type of application, we believe it will become our default choice on future projects,” says Oosthuizen. Initially the requirement was for a height of 4.7  m, but this would have rendered the culverts too large for transportation by road. To make up the required elevation, the foundations have been built with raised uprights measuring 500 mm.

...from mine to market.

Non-standard dimensions Given their non-standard dimensions, six custom-made steel moulds are being used for casting the culverts, which is done horizontally. The moulds were designed and supplied by local steel fabricator Mario Meano Engineering. Seven 200 x 200  mm steel utility plates are cast into the inner walls of each culvert to be used as attachment points for electrical cabling and other types of conduit. Once cured, the culverts are loaded horizontally onto low-bed trucks, each bearing two culverts. The simple and safe handling of the culverts also required some additional engineering. Special steel lifting beams were designed by Groenewald. Rather than using custom-made machinery to turn the culverts upright, Groenewald adopted an innovative approach by using gravity. This is done by attaching a steel beam to the top end of the culvert, and then by simply lifting this end with a crane, the culvert gains a vertical elevation. The crane then swings the culvert into position so that it comes to rest on the foundation. “We are under a severe time constraint and are currently working a double shift, which means at maximum output we can produce 12 units a day. We are also working on Saturdays to ensure that the culverts are delivered on time,” says Groenewald.

Resource Evaluation

Mineral Processing

Mine Planning

Tailings & Waste Management

Smelting & Refining

Materials Handling

Environment & Approvals

Transport to Market

Non-Process Infrastructure

WorleyParsons adds value through our full scope of services from pit to port including studies, mine planning, impact assessments, permitting and approvals, project management, construction management and global procurement.

43

countries

165

www.worleyparsons.com

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Mining & Mine Development

offices

38,700

people


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U NDER G ROUND COA L GAS IFIC ATION

Latest clean-coal

tech innovation

The 50 MWe African Carbon Energy (Africary) plant in the Free State is the first major power plant in South Africa based on underground coal gasification (UCG). Gerhard Hope talks to CDE Process about the implications for the coal sector.

S

INCE ITS establishment in 2000, Secunda-based CDE Process has expanded rapidly from humble beginnings to a world-class engineering services provider to internationally recognised clients in the petrochemical, oil and gas, chemical and mining industries. The company was established as a process design house to serve Sasol Secunda specifically, the largest petrochemical plant in the world. “In that capacity, we have been involved in most of the major projects at Sasol Secunda

over the past decade or so. Sasol also started looking at UCG, which we believe has massive potential in terms of clean energy and also affordable power to stimulate industry and promote economic growth in South Africa,” says CDE Process GM Peet van Wyk. “The benefits are twofold: one is you can still use the land for agricultural use, and the other is you can now export your coal resources, which you would have historically used for power generation. We are very excited about this class-leading technology. We are already busy with our fourth-generation

design. Our success can be attributed to the skills base we have built up from our work with Sasol, being so deeply involved with their processes and projects.”

International projects The company has previously provided class-leading designs for international projects in the European Union and China, and its latest breakthrough involves its third-generation UCG design for the Theunissen power project. It is responsible for the design, implementation, execution and

“UCG has massive potential in terms of clean energy and also affordable power to stimulate industry and promote economic growth in South Africa.” Peet van Wyk, general manager, CDE Process

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management of the project, with the first phase aiming to provide 50 MWe to the national grid by 2016. CDE Process founder and MD Derrick du Preez comments that the official implementation of this project will set a new trend in international oil and gas, mining and power generation industries. “This groundbreaking project is set to bring the oil and gas industry to the forefront of coal mining, and we are proud to be at the cutting edge of this initiative, which has the potential for almost unlimited growth.”

Cost-effective Africary chairman Eliphus Monkoe highlights that UCG is a substantially more cost-effective and environmentally sustainable means of generating coal-powered electricity, when compared to traditional mining techniques. “Due to the fact that the coal remains onsite, costs associated with extraction and transport of the ore is entirely eliminated. What is more, the depth at which gasification takes place also eliminates the risk of coal fires, while minimising pollution by ensuring that ash remains safely underground throughout the entire process,” explains Monkoe. With the average annual selling price of electricity has risen from 41.76  c/kWh in 2010 to 65.76  c/kWh in 2013, Monkoe is confident that UCG is the long-term solution to South Africa’s ongoing energy crisis.

Coal reserves “South Africa has enormous coal reserves that serve as the lifeblood for energy generation. The country is in need of more electricity to fuel economic growth, and UCG offers a clean and cost-effective means of meeting these demands in the long term by utilising deep coal that is currently inaccessible to standard mining practices,” says Monkoe. The Theunissen project has resulted in the company being approached “by some of our neighbouring countries to explore opportunities for the technology,” reveals Van Wyk. “We are in discussions with quite a few parties in Africa.

WHAT IS UCG? UCG is an acronym for underground coal gasification, an advanced clean coal technology for directly converting coal in the ground (typically on-site) into gas energy. UCG is a chemical mining process. A matrix of boreholes is drilled into the coal seam, utilising sealed wells or boreholes. The coal is ignited using specialised techniques and air is pumped into the injection wells to keep the process going. Oxygen is essentially used to ‘mine’ the coal, producing syngas, which can be used directly as a fuel for power generation. This process avoids the need for traditional coal mining, transportation, preparation, boilers and the disposal of ash. Optimising the whole process from coal-in-the-ground to electricity-in-the-grid on a single site has various cost, labour and environmental benefits. UCG is not a well-known mining technology in South Africa, although it has been in existence worldwide for decades. Eskom has operated a UCG mine at Majuba since 2007. In terms of environmental impact, there is no possibility that an uncontrolled fire could arise with modern UCG technology. As a mining process, UCG is believed to be the most efficient underground mining technology available in terms of coal extraction. The Majuba coalfield pilot plant is reported to have achieved up to 83% extraction rates, whereas conventional mining would typically not achieve more than 25% extraction due to the geology.

This technology is ideally suited for remote industrial resources on the continent. In addition, there is a big drive to in developing and developed countries to implement UCG.” Van Wyk says the Theunissen project is a particular feather in the cap for South African technological development. “I think it is something to be really proud of, with South Africa once again leading the field in petrochemical innovation. It is pushing the envelope, and that is wonderful for us, as we are establishing a future innovation base.”

World-class expertise Van Wyk says the company nurtures worldclass expertise. “Projects are driven by highly qualified and experienced engineers from idea generation all the way through to implementation. This typically includes prefeasibility, feasibility, design, construction, commissioning and performance evaluation.” Du Preez says the company sets itself apart from the competition with elegantly engineered solutions tailored to meet the client’s needs. “CDE Process prides itself on its unrivalled turnaround times and efficiency, without compromising quality.” He adds that CDE Process is able to provide a world-class service twice as fast and at half the cost typically experienced in the industry. “This can be achieved thanks to the

“Given South Africa’s vast coal reserves, I predict that longterm future growth potential is enormous for CDE Process and the UCG technique locally.” Derrick du Preez, managing director, CDE Process

unique streamlined approach that CDE Process has to project development and the national experts leading our design teams. The company is entirely independent and more efficient than its major competitors.”

Growth platform Du Preez believes that this unique advantage will serve as a platform for substantial growth for CDE Process in the future. “The UCG project is history in the making, and I believe that success here could see our business expand exponentially. Given South Africa’s vast coal reserves, I predict that longterm future growth potential is enormous for CDE Process and the UCG technique locally.” The company has also developed a strong reputation for providing mine-water treatment solutions, particularly in Gauteng. “Acid water drainage remains a major concern, and authorities are investing more capital to address the issue. As a knowledge-leader in this field, I am confident that we can obtain measurable growth in the coming years,” says Van Wyk. The company’s water-treatment capabilities also extend to innovative pollution control, plant effluent loading optimisation, and water and effluent treatment optimisation for reuse. Despite continued international financial uncertainty, Du Preez remains overwhelmingly optimistic of the future outlook for CDE Process. “Although external factors remain a concern, CDE Process has experienced a significant increase in projects, including strategic partnering on two major international oil and gas projects. Africa is on the cusp of an oil and gas boom, and no company is better positioned with technical expertise than CDE Process. I am proud to say that CDE Process is playing a pioneering role.”

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U NDER G ROUND COA L G AS IFIC ATION

Latest clean-coal

tech innovation

The 50 MWe African Carbon Energy (Africary) plant in the Free State is the first major power plant in South Africa based on underground coal gasification (UCG). Gerhard Hope talks to CDE Process about the implications for the coal sector.

S

INCE ITS establishment in 2000, Secunda-based CDE Process has expanded rapidly from humble beginnings to a world-class engineering services provider to internationally recognised clients in the petrochemical, oil and gas, chemical and mining industries. The company was established as a process design house to serve Sasol Secunda specifically, the largest petrochemical plant in the world. FIGURE 1 A schematic of the underground coal gasification process

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“In that capacity, we have been involved in most of the major projects at Sasol Secunda over the past decade or so. Sasol also started looking at UCG, which we believe has massive potential in terms of clean energy and also affordable power to stimulate industry and promote economic growth in South Africa,” says CDE Process GM Peet van Wyk. “The benefits are twofold: one is you can still use the land for agricultural use, and the other is you can now export your coal resources, which you would have historically used for power generation. We are very excited about this class-leading technology.

We are already busy with our fourth-generation design. Our success can be attributed to the skills base we have built up from our work with Sasol, being so deeply involved with their processes and projects.”

International projects The company has previously provided class-leading designs for international projects in the European Union and China, and its latest breakthrough involves its third-generation UCG design for the Theunissen power project. It is responsible for the design, implementation, execution and


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management of the project, with the first phase aiming to provide 50 MWe to the national grid by 2016. CDE Process founder and MD Derrick du Preez comments that the official implementation of this project will set a new trend in international oil and gas, mining and power generation industries. “This groundbreaking project is set to bring the oil and gas industry to the forefront of coal mining, and we are proud to be at the cutting edge of this initiative, which has the potential for almost unlimited growth.”

Cost-effective Africary chairman Eliphus Monkoe highlights that UCG is a substantially more cost-effective and environmentally sustainable means of generating coal-powered electricity, when compared to traditional mining techniques. “Due to the fact that the coal remains onsite, costs associated with extraction and transport of the ore is entirely eliminated. What is more, the depth at which gasification takes place also eliminates the risk of coal fires, while minimising pollution by ensuring that ash remains safely underground throughout the entire process,” explains Monkoe. With the average annual selling price of electricity has risen from 41.76  c/kWh in 2010 to 65.76  c/kWh in 2013, Monkoe is confident that UCG is the long-term solution to South Africa’s ongoing energy crisis.

Coal reserves “South Africa has enormous coal reserves that serve as the lifeblood for energy generation. The country is in need of more electricity to fuel economic growth, and UCG offers a clean and cost-effective means of meeting these demands in the long term by utilising deep coal that is currently inaccessible to standard mining practices,” says Monkoe. The Theunissen project has resulted in the company being approached “by some of our neighbouring countries to explore opportunities for the technology,” reveals Van Wyk. “We are in discussions with quite a few parties in Africa.

WHAT IS UCG? UCG is an acronym for underground coal gasification, an advanced clean coal technology for directly converting coal in the ground (typically on-site) into gas energy. UCG is a chemical mining process. A matrix of boreholes is drilled into the coal seam, utilising sealed wells or boreholes. The coal is ignited using specialised techniques and air is pumped into the injection wells to keep the process going. Oxygen is essentially used to ‘mine’ the coal, producing syngas, which can be used directly as a fuel for power generation. This process avoids the need for traditional coal mining, transportation, preparation, boilers and the disposal of ash. Optimising the whole process from coal-in-the-ground to electricity-in-the-grid on a single site has various cost, labour and environmental benefits. UCG is not a well-known mining technology in South Africa, and although it has been in existence worldwide for decades and Eskom has operated a UCG mine at Majuba since 2007, concerns remain about its environmental impact. However, there is no possibility that an uncontrolled fire could arise with modern UCG technology. As a mining process, UCG is believed to be the most efficient underground mining technology available in terms of coal extraction. The Majuba coalfield pilot plant is reported to have achieved up to 83% extraction rates, whereas conventional mining would typically not achieve more than 25% extraction due to the geology.

This technology is ideally suited for remote industrial resources on the continent. In addition, there is a big drive to in developing and developed countries to implement UCG.” Van Wyk says the Theunissen project is a particular feather in the cap for South African technological development. “I think it is something to be really proud of, with South Africa once again leading the field in petrochemical innovation. It is pushing the envelope, and that is wonderful for us, as we are establishing a future innovation base.”

World-class expertise Van Wyk says the company nurtures worldclass expertise. “Projects are driven by highly qualified and experienced engineers from idea generation all the way through to implementation. This typically includes prefeasibility, feasibility, design, construction, commissioning and performance evaluation.” Du Preez says the company sets itself apart from the competition with elegantly engineered solutions tailored to meet the client’s needs. “CDE Process prides itself on its unrivalled turnaround times and efficiency, without compromising quality.” He adds that CDE Process is able to provide a world-class service twice as fast and at half the cost typically experienced in the industry. “This can be achieved thanks to the

“Given South Africa’s vast coal reserves, I predict that longterm future growth potential is enormous for CDE Process and the UCG technique locally.” Derrick du Preez, managing director, CDE Process

unique streamlined approach that CDE Process has to project development and the national experts leading our design teams. The company is entirely independent and more efficient than its major competitors.”

Growth platform Du Preez believes that this unique advantage will serve as a platform for substantial growth for CDE Process in the future. “The UCG project is history in the making, and I believe that success here could see our business expand exponentially. Given South Africa’s vast coal reserves, I predict that longterm future growth potential is enormous for CDE Process and the UCG technique locally.” The company has also developed a strong reputation for providing mine-water treatment solutions, particularly in Gauteng. “Acid water drainage remains a major concern, and authorities are investing more capital to address the issue. As a knowledge-leader in this field, I am confident that we can obtain measurable growth in the coming years,” says Van Wyk. The company’s water-treatment capabilities also extend to innovative pollution control, plant effluent loading optimisation, and water and effluent treatment optimisation for reuse. Despite continued international financial uncertainty, Du Preez remains overwhelmingly optimistic of the future outlook for CDE Process. “Although external factors remain a concern, CDE Process has experienced a significant increase in projects, including strategic partnering on two major international oil and gas projects. Africa is on the cusp of an oil and gas boom, and no company is better positioned with technical expertise than CDE Process. I am proud to say that CDE Process is playing a pioneering role.”

IN SID E M IN IN G 0 2 | 2014 21


COAL

C OAL P R OCE SSE S

Micro-focus X-ray computed tomography X-ray computed tomography was used to investigate coal structure and transformations/behaviour for a variety of processes. This paper describes a variety of investigations performed recently by the Coal Research Group of the North West University. *By Campbell, Viljoen, Le Roux and Matthews.

C

OMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY is a non-destructive technique developed in the medical sciences where the most commonly known application is in diagnostic radiology (Natterer, 1986). An X-ray beam is projected through the object to be investigated. The intensity loss of the beam due to absorption and scattering of the X-rays out of the direct radiation beam is recorded. A tomogram is a reconstructed collection of radiographs made from many step

angles around the sample and is a three dimensional representation of the internal structure of the scanned objects (Stock, 2009). The main advantage in using of micro-focus X-ray tomography is that resolutions as high as 10  ×  10  ×  10  μm can be obtained when investigating small samples (Van Greet et al, 2001). Another advantage is that the small size of the focal spot reduces geometrical blur. A Nikon XTH 225 ST system at the Micro-focus X-ray Radiography and

Tomography (MIXRAD) facility at the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (Necsa) was used for the scanning of the samples used in all the projects described below (Hoffman & De Beer, 2012). The system has an X-ray point source with a spot size between 1 and 3  μm, is operational between 30 and 225  kV and between 0 to 1 mA. The detector is a 40 x 40 cm flat panel with a pixel size of 200 x 200  μm. The reconstruction of the three dimensional tomograms was done using filtered back projection on CT-Pro reconstruction software. The reconstructed volume was imported for 3D visualisation, segmentation and analysis into VGStudioMAX visualisation software. The following sections list examples of coal-related projects where micro-focus FIGURE 1 Tomographic views of a coal particle before (left) and after (right) devolatilisation at 700°C FIGURE 2 Tomographic views of the same coal particle at 10% (left), 30% (middle) and 60% (right) mass conversion in CO2 at 900°C.

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FIGURE 3 X-ray CT image of a slice through a particle before (left) and after (right) rapid heating in a RF induction furnace

X-ray tomography was used to support the understanding of various processes, like breakage and conversion, by studying internal structures and features before, during and after treatment.

The study of devolatilisation and gasification processes Bituminous coal particles from the South African Highveld coal field were evaluated before, during and after devolatilisation and subsequent CO2 gasification. Areas of preferential reaction were identified, as well as transformations during conversion. Inferences could be made about the conversion mechanisms, and it was shown that both localised shrinking core, as well as random pore-type conversion took place. The samples were manually prepared as 20  mm spheres. These particles were first scanned using micro-focus X-ray tomography and then subjected to devolatilisation (in N2) followed by CO2 gasification in a vertical tube furnace. Devolatilisation was performed at 700°C until a stable mass was obtained, followed by scanning. The gasification experiments were performed at 900°C in a CO2 atmosphere and were interrupted after estimated conversion stages of 10%, 30% and 60%. The particles were scanned at each of these stages. Figure 1 shows a view of a virtual slice through the same particle before and after devolatilisation (Kemp, 2012). The initial porosity (as determined by automatic algorithms of the visualisation software and thus arbitrarily defined to some minimum discernible crack size) of the initial coal was determined as 0.1%, mainly due to small cracks. After pyrolysis an increase in cracks were evident with the porosity increasing to 8.3 %. Existing cracks increased in size and length during devolatilisation. New cracks also developed, which acted as pathways for the transfer of volatile matter from the centre of the particle. Crack formation occurred especially in the lower density areas of the particle, which is assumed to be vitrinite rich material. Figure 2 shows views of the same particle after 10%, 30% and 60% isothermal CO2 conversion at 900°C. After 10% conversion, very little change in the structure could be noted visually even though the calculated porosity increased to 11.9%. At 30% gasification (middle image), some cracks developed in the inertinite-rich regions, but crack formation took place more readily in the vitrinite-rich regions where a brittle matrix formed. The reaction seemed to follow a localised random

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ABSTRACT X-ray computed tomography was used to investigate coal structure and transformations/behaviour for a variety of processes. This paper describes a variety of investigations performed recently in the Coal Research Group of the North West University. It includes studies of conversion processes: large (30 mm) bituminous coal particles were evaluated before, during and after devolatilisation and also CO2 gasification. Areas of preferential reaction were identified, as well as transformations during conversion. Inferences could be made about the conversion mechanisms, and it was shown that both localised shrinking core, as well as random pore-type conversion took place. Thermal cracking was also explored during rapid heating to explore crack propagation, thermal shock and its relation to thermal gradients and internal structure of 20 mm coal particles. The effect of pre-existing structure and particle orientation relative to the direction of compressive stress was evident. Because of the exciting possibilities demonstrated by these pre-studies, all of them are currently being taken further as postgraduate research projects.

FIGURE 4 Centre slice of a highly layered particle with the load applied perpendicular to the bedding planes before (i) and after (ii) the application of the compressive load

fracture pattern, especially within the vitrinite-rich areas. At 60% gasification, much of the vitrinite material had by now reacted. Because fewer cracks formed in the inertinite regions, it could be deduced that the mass transfer of product and reactant gasses in these regions was slower. This could possibly indicate an overall shrinking core reaction model (Kemp, 2012). These visually indicated mechanisms would be confirmed in further conversion kinetic studies using well established techniques.

Thermal cracking of large coal particles This type of breakage occurs when a large solid particle is suddenly subjected to a hot environment, like gasifiers, fluidised beds or furnaces. Primary fragmentation is caused by rapid devolatilisation resulting in a build-up of internal pressures. The volatiles will experience resistance due to the limited transport capacity through the coal pore structure, thus causing breakage of the particle. Secondary fragmentation occurs when the solid bridges connecting the lithotype-lithotype, coal-mineral

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matter interfaces of the devolatilised particle weakens (Senecca et al, 2011; Dakic et al, 2013). Mathews et al (2011) investigated thermal drying of lump-sized sub-bituminous coal using X-ray CT techniques. When heated at different temperatures over a two-week period, various physical changes occurred within the coal particles. It was seen that the major fractures followed a similar path to the existing cleat network, but some fractures appeared at right angles to the fracture network. The objective of this project was to observe crack initiation and propagation during thermal fracturing of coal and link this phenomenon with the constituents and structure of the parent coal particle. The coal used in this study was prepared as 20  mm diameter cylindrically shaped samples, all from South Africa’s Waterberg coal field. The coal field is known to have a layered texture with numerous thin coal beds separated by carbonaceous shale and mudstone (Faure et al, 1996). The samples were inserted in a tight fitting graphite crucible to prevent disintegration and loss of the progeny particles. These were then subjected to rapid heating in a RF (radio frequency) induction furnace. Because of the exploratory nature of this project, the surface temperature of the particle (and also the internal temperature) could not be accurately

measured, but was estimated to be between 700°C and 900°C from a knowledge of the RF induction furnace characteristics. The heating rate was rapid – in the order of about five seconds. The crucible containing the cracked sample was scanned and the reconstructed views before and after heating were compared (Figure 3). The untreated coal sample displayed both open and mineral filled cleats along the bedding plane. After heating, the open cleats increased in size. Major cracks, perpendicular to the bedding plane, also developed. It is unknown at this point if the crack initiated at the surface, and propagated inwards, or vice versa, but the latter seems more probable because of the presence of a mineral inclusion at the intersection of the main perpendicular and parallel cracks, and local stresses around this feature could have caused the crack initiation. It is interesting to note that most parallel cracking occurred within, and particularly on the boundary of the darker bands, believed to be vitrinite-rich layers. There is also evidence of small secondary perpendicular cracking within these layers – a phenomenon frequently observed while studying heat treated particles (Tshabalala, 2012).

The effect of coal structure on compressive and impact breakage patterns The production of coal fines and ultra-fines is a serious problem in processes that depend on large particles. To minimise the production of fines, a fundamental understanding of coal breakage is required (Powel & Morrison, 2007). A series of experiments were conducted to determine the influence of the internal physical structures, like the cleats, lithography and mineral inclusions, on compression breakage characteristics. A similar study of impact breakage is currently under way. Uniform 40  mm cubes were prepared from a large block of South African Waterberg coal obtained from the pit. These samples were analysed using micro-focus X-ray tomography, then wrapped in clingfilm to preserve the orientation and relative positions of the progeny particles after breakage. The blocks were compressed in a Monsanto tensometer while the directional pressure applied was measured, until visible failure occurred. Both parallel and perpendicular stresses were separately applied to two different cubes. The wrapped progeny parcels were scanned and the virtual volume tomograms qualitatively analysed. Figure 4


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FIGURE 5 Centre slice of a highly layered particle with the load applied parallel to the bedding planes before (i) and after (ii) the application of the compressive load

shows an example of a particle where the load was applied perpendicular to the bedding plane, and Figure 5 shows an example of compression parallel to the bedding plane (Viljoen et al, 2013). Using these images, the crack initialisation and propagation were explored. When comparing the pre-scan (i) with the postscan (ii) in Figure 4, it can be seen that crack formation followed the path of least resistance by propagating along existing faults. However, the largest crack occurred between points D1 and D2. There are also signs of the particle surface crumbling at these points, which indicate the area where load application was concentrated due to non-perfect contact between the particle and the tensometer. When the load was applied along the bedding plane (Figure 5), initial cracks originated close to the particle-tensometer interface, migrating to the opposite surface in the direction of the applied force. Two distinct low-density areas are visible at B and A4. These low density bands were assumed to be vitrinite-rich. As a result, major cracking occurred in these regions. Bituminous vitrinite is known to be a brittle maceral (Falcon & Snyman, 1986) and consequently shows a high concentration of shrinkage cracks or cleats. As these initial cracks migrated, they intercepted pre-existing inherent cracks parallel to the bedding planes. The latter subsequently opened up, directing the formation of cracks in that. The result is an even distribution between parallel and perpendicular cracks in the particle. In summary, it was found that the biggest influence was that of the inherent initial crack distribution before compression. In some cases, discrete mineral inclusions seemed to initiate crack formation – a similar finding as with thermal cracking. Details of this study can be found in a paper to be presented shortly (Viljoen et al, 2013). This study is continuing at postgraduate level.

While this type of visual information is seldom quantitative, it can supplement data gained from more traditional methods, like TGA and size analyses. While a few studies were done previously, there are many more possibilities of this application, especially as the techniques and equipment are becoming more accurate and sophisticated.

Acknowledgements We would like to thank Frikkie de Beer and Kobus Hoffman at the MIXRAD facility, Necsa, for their enthusiasm, patience and advice, and all our students in recent years involved in these projects. Finally we acknowledge funding by the North West University, Sasol, Coaltech and the South African Coal Processing Society.

Authors *Quentin P. Campbell, Japie Viljoen and Marco le Roux are from the School of Chemical and Minerals Engineering, North West University. Jonathan P. Matthews is from the John and Willie Leone Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering and the EMS Energy Institute, Pennsylvania State University, US. References 1. Natterer, F. The Mathematics of Computerized Tomography. Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics: Philedelphia. 1986. 2. Stock, S. R. 2009. MicroComputed Tomopgraphy: Methodology and Applications. CRC Press 3. Van Greet, M., Swennen, R. and Wevers, M. 2001. Towards 3D petrography: application of microfocus computer tomography in geological science. Computers & Geoscience: 1091-1099. 4. Hoffman, J. W. and De Beer, F. C. 2012.Characteristics of the Micro-Focus X-ray Tomography Facility (MIXRAD) at Necsa in South Africa. 18th World Conference on Nondestructive Testing. Durban: South Africa. 5. Kemp, J. H. 2011. Investigation of coal gasification by means of micro focus X Ray tomography. Final year project report,; North West University: Potchefstroom, South Africa. 6. Senecca, O., Urciuolo, M., Chirone, R. and Cumbo, D. 2011. An experimental study of fragmentation of coals during fast pyrolysis at high temperature and pressure. Fuel. 90:2931-2938. 7. Dakic, D., Van Der Honing, G. and Valk, M. 1986. Fragmentation and swelling of various coals during devolatilization in a fluidized bed. Fuel. 68:911-916. 8. Mathews, J. P., Denis, J., Pone, N., Mitchell, D. G. and Halleck, P. 2011. High-resolution X-ray computed tomography observations of the thermal drying of lump-sized subbituminous coal. Fuel Processing Technology. 92(1):58-64. 9. Faure, K.; Willis, J. P.; Dreyer, J. C. The Grootegeluk Formation in the Waterberg Coalfield, South Africa: facies, palaeoenvironment and thermal history - evidence from organic and clastic matter. International Journal of Coal Geology 1996, 147-186. 10. Tshabalala, N. 2012. Thermal breakage of coal. Final year project report; North West University:Potchefstroom,. 11. Powell, M. S. and Morrison, R. D. 2007. The future of comminution modelling. International Journal of Mineral Processing 2007: 228-239.

Conclusions In these few examples, it was illustrated that micro focus X-ray computerised tomography is a technique that can be successfully applied, as analytical probe, to investigate structural effects in coal prior to, and after, conversion or breakage processes.

12. Esterle, J. S., Koltschek, Y. and O’Brien, G. 2002. Relationship between in situ coal stratigraphy and particle size and composition after breakage in bituminous coals. International Journal of Coal Geology: 195-214. 13. Viljoen, J., Campbell, Q. P., Le Roux, M. and De Beer, F. C. 2013. An analysis of the slow compression breakage of a Waterberg coal using micro-focus X-ray computed tomography. Submitted to: XVII International Coal Processing Congress, Istanbul. 14. Falcon, R. M. and Snyman, C. P. 1986. An introduction to coal petrography: atlas of petrographic constituents in the bituminous coals of Southern Africa. The Geological Society of South Africa: Johannesburg.

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COAL

M AR KET RE SE A RCH

Looking to the future of coal

Gerhard Hope looks at the latest research from Frost & Sullivan on coalexpansion projects in Southern Africa.

I

N 2012, there were a total of 53 coal-expansion projects, collectively worth US$45.58  billion (R509.17  billion), in the region. This is according to a new research report from Frost & Sullivan, entitled ‘Production and Investment Forecast in Southern Africa’s Coal Mining Industry’. There were 20 prefeasibility-stage projects, collectively valued at US$32.64  billion, in

2012. Furthermore, there were 27 construction-stage projects in Southern Africa’s coal-mining industry, collectively worth US$12.36 billion, in the same year. The Southern African region is the largest coal-producing region in sub-Saharan Africa, which had an attributable production of 266.1 million tonnes in 2012. It is estimated that this will peak at 308 million tonnes by 2018.

COAL-SECTOR PROJECTS, SOUTH AFRICA, 2012

Largest producer South Africa is the largest producer of coal in Southern Africa, while Zimbabwe and Botswana stand second and third respectively. In 2012, Zimbabwe produced 258  million tonnes, accounting for 97% of the region’s total production. Together with Mozambique, these are the key coal producers in the Southern African region, using the natural resource to generate electricity and provide heat in general engineering, cement and steel manufacturing. A significant portion of Southern Africa’s coal production is also sold to international markets in Europe, India and China. Zimbabwe and Mozambique produced 3.5 million tonnes and 2.8 million tonnes of coal respectively in 2012. Production from the Southern African region increased from 248 million tonnes in 2006 to 266.1 million tonnes in 2012.

Name

Company Stage

Cost

Grootegeluk (Medupi)

Exxaro

Construction; expansion; US$1.2 bn

Thubelisha

Sasol Mining

Construction; new shaft & infra dev; US$600 m

Mafube

Anglo Coal

Construction; expansion; US$230 m

Zibulu (Zondagfontein)

Anglo Coal

Construction; new mine; US$512 m

MacWest

Anglo Coal

Construction; expansion; US$49 m

Atcom East

Xstrata

Construction; expansion; US$407 m

Upward path

Douglas/Middelburg

BHP Billiton Xstrata

Construction; expansion & coal processing; US$975 m

Klipspruit

BHP Billiton Energy Coal SA

Construction; expansion & coal processing; US$450 m

Mafutha

Sasol Mining

Prefeasibility; new mine; US$16 bn

Thabametsi

Exxaro

Prefeasibility; new mine; US$1.4 bn

Grootegeluk 3

Exxaro

Prefeasibility; new mine; US$1.4 bn

Southern Africa’s coal production is expected to continue on an upward path between 2013 and 2018, largely in response to the increasing domestic and international demand for coal, coupled with rising coal prices and large-scale coal-expansion projects. These include Project Mafutha and Grootegeluk Phase 4, among others.

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However, ongoing challenges facing the Southern African coal-mining industry include high operating costs, declining coal reserves and long-term supply contracts. In addition, coal mining, transportation and consumption present an array of environmental issues, from noise to dust, air and water pollution. Inexorably tightening legislation, especially in the European Union (EU), has meant that South Africa’s coal exports to the EU plunged from 76% in 2006 to 33% of the country’s total exports in 2012. A further constraint on growth is the dearth of sufficient railway capacity and port facilities to transport coal from producing regions to domestic and export markets.

Environmental concerns Despite environmental concerns, coal continues to play an important part in the energy mix of many countries, which use it for electricity generation and as feedstock for synthetic fuels and steel manufacturing. In fact, coal is expected to account for nearly 69% of the total global energy consumption in 2030.

SOUTHERN AFRICA COALMINING INDUSTRY (2012) • 53 coal-expansion projects, worth US$45.58 billion • 20 prefeasibility-stage projects, worth US$32.64 billion • 27 construction-stage projects, worth US$12.36 billion

“As the market grows, South Africa is poised to consolidate its lead as the largest coal producer in Southern Africa, despite the depletion of the country’s Witbank, Ermelo and Highveld coal mines,” says former Frost & Sullivan mining analyst Wonder Nyanjowa. Mozambique is likely to overtake Zimbabwe as the region’s second-largest coal producer. Large-scale coal development projects, coupled with the upgrading of ports and railway infrastructure, will sharply increase the country’s coal production. However, mining companies in these countries are currently operating at sub-optimal production levels due to the unavailability of power. Electricity supply in Southern Africa is expected to remain constrained

due to the lack of investments in electricity-generation infrastructure, project delays and long lead periods between the construction and commissioning of new power plants. Partnering with the government to set up electricity infrastructure will ensure that coal mines remain competitive within the region’s mining industry.

Skills shortage The migration of engineering professionals to other resource rich economies, such as Australia and Canada, due to higher compensation and safer operating environments, has created a shortage of skilled engineers, geologists, technicians and boiler makers, further crippling the industry. Mining companies could raise the compensation packages for engineering professionals to retain them, though this will increase operational costs and reduce profits. Legislative support from the government to tackle issues such as mine-related health and safety, as well as environmental concerns, will help the industry in the long term.

IN SID E M IN IN G 0 2 | 2014 27


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INVESTMENT

S U P ER CYCLE

TRIMMED DOWN

= RETURNS ROBUST

Simon Hudson-Peacock, equity research analyst at Sim Momentum Asset Management, looks at how an improved trajectory in global growth in 2014 is likely to impact on commodity prices and, subsequently, ongoing investment in the mining industry.

T

HE LACKLUSTRE performance of the resources sector in 2013 has largely been driven by uncertainty in global economic growth and associated demand for commodities, China’s leadership changes and much-debated future sustainable growth rate, the US’s damaging political impasse that resulted in a government shut-down and potential debt default, as well its on-again/ off-again quantitative easing (QE) programme and Europe’s depressingly stable economic malaise. Despite this, fund flows to emerging markets continued throughout the year as investors sought real returns, using the excess liquidity available to them through a combination of low interest rates and aggressive QE programmes from the US, UK and Japan. These flows were not, however, directed at the resource sector as global economic activity (demand) remained below trend, while capacity excesses (supply) persisted.

trimmed-down businesses, which should deliver robust shareholder returns into the next cycle. For the South African investor, lacklustre commodity prices in US dollar terms were

rand. Add to this security of tenure issues, moving BEE targets and government interference in corporate decision making, and one can begin to understand why local mining companies were less attractive than their financial and industrial counterparts on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) last year. Should global growth continue its recovery trajectory into 2014, albeit tentatively, we would expect there to be greater support for mining/cyclicals this year given the current relative valuations that have resulted from such divergent returns in 2013 and the preceding years. The current investment sentiment towards the sector is universally bearish for the reasons outlined above, which often signals a great buying opportunity for a sector that is so reliably mean reverting (i.e. valuations are dependably cyclical).

The current investment sentiment towards the sector is universally bearish

more than offset by a significantly weaker rand (down 19% in the year). This came about against a backdrop of persistent political and labour instability throughout 2013. With South Africa’s current account and balance of payment deficits and weak economic outlook, international ratings  agencies  downgraded the country’s sovereign debt. Within this pernicious environment, the South African rand finished the year as the second-worst ABOUT MOMENTUM performing currency, behind the Momentum Investments is a full-service investment house offering clients more Argentine Peso.

Robust returns The large diversified global mining companies fell over each other in the rush to cut costs and rationalise unprofitable operations. Short term, this is not confidence-inspiring behaviour but, longer term, investors will appreciate the leaner, meaner,

Eroded profit margins For domestic mining companies, the labour unrest, poor productivity and price inflation in utilities and stores all but eroded the profit margin benefit from the weaker

choice. Exceeding R364 billion assets under management, it holds some of the country’s most respected investments players, namely Momentum Asset Management, Momentum Alternative Investments, Momentum Manager of Managers, Momentum Collective Investments, Momentum Investment Consulting, Momentum Global Investment Management and Momentum Wealth.

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WOMEN IN MINING

P RO JECT MA NAGE ME N T

Dedication to

excellence Gerhard Hope talks to senior process engineer Alecia Sewlal from Consulmet about her first successful stint at project management in Africa.

W

HEN SHE WAS a student, Sewlal (maiden name Moodley) says there was a fairly even split between male and female students. “I do not think it is that women are reluctant to go into engineering,” she says. Sewlal believes it is rather a case of women in the industry quickly gravitating towards ancillary roles such as finance or risk assessment. “It is challenging,” she acknowledges, “but it is all about your mindset. I find personally that my gender has nothing to do with anything on-site; I am a process engineer. In this industry you have to be flexible, you have to adjust to the situation as it unfolds. It keeps you on your toes but I like that about my job.” Sewlal says that, with 19 first cousins on her father’s side, “I was raised to do this job. In my age group, I am

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the only girl and my whole life I have been the only girl, so it is actually a circumstance I have always been comfortable with.” Commenting on what drives her to succeed, Sewlal says: “It is really exciting when you have sat in the office and pored over calculations, followed by the to-and-from site, culminating ultimately in the push of a button, and it starts and runs the way it is supposed to. There is nothing better than that feeling. It is such a rush seeing your ideas manifest into reality.”

Away from home, family However, being on-site is stressful, especially being away from home and family, as testified when Sewlal’s latest project, Kamfundwa in the DRC, underwent a contractual delay, meaning she had to attend her own wedding in South Africa and be

ABOVE Kamfundwa in the DRC for client Gecamines comprised a 300 tph copper treatment plant

on-site again within two days. The project, for client Gecamines, ran the gamut from civils to commissioning, with the timeframe extending from December 2012 to August 2013. The contract was valued at R162 million. The 300 tph copper treatment plant comprised a ROM receiving, primary crushing module, scrubber, and screening and secondary crushing, together with a spirals module and dense media separation (DMS) module, both with a 150 tph capacity. Sewlal explains that “the front end was built to withstand the punishment that 300 tph can deliver and design capacities allowed for sufficient process flexibility”.


WOMEN IN MINING

The primary and secondary crushing modules behaved well, with good reduction ratios, and as a result there was a low circulating load on the secondary crushing circuit. A simple, open layout was achieved by omitting the secondary screen and allowing for a larger banana screen with sufficient capacity to handle both the ROM feed and the secondary crusher discharge.

two instances where the Zambian/DRC border was closed due to riots. This made dealing with the snakes, scorpions and malaria pale in comparison.

Upfront test work

“You are tense for almost the entire time you are there, because the whole project is riding on what you do and how you handle things. It can be difficult and dangerous working in these African countries, but we take every precaution and we have to remain vigilant.” In spite of this, every effort was made to sign-off the plant on schedule. “I am very pleased with the outcome. We have built a robust plant that works well. We delivered this plant on an LSTK (lump sum turnkey) basis in a difficult environment, on-time and within budget,” comments Sewlal. She explains that she has been commuting between the DRC and South Africa every couple of months since about November 2012. “We are very lucky in that we have a local representative who deals with all the logistical problems, making it easier for us to

“We did test work upfront to assure ourselves and the client that the process decisions we were making were sound and that the plant that was designed was the most effective system we could put in place,” says Sewlal. The client required that the feed containing 2% copper be upgraded to at least 12% in the spirals and 18% on the DMS. The commissioned modules far exceeded the required product specifications and operating parameters had to be adjusted to reduce the product grade. Transport to the DRC proved to be difficult, with extensive delays at borders and

Riding on your shoulders

“It is challenging but it is all about your mindset. I find personally that my gender has nothing to do with anything on-site; I am a process engineer.” Alecia Sewlal, senior process engineer, Consulmet

FROM LEFT Miranda Isaakidis, Anni Bodington

work in the DRC. As a foreigner, it can be complex and daunting,” says Sewlal.

Mining boom in Africa Looking at the mining boom in Africa, Sewlal says this is obviously due to the continent being so resource-rich. The company looks to provide cost-effective solutions to support their clients. This means that sourcing products locally is critical. “Basically most of our suppliers produce and manufacture their equipment in South Africa. There will be certain components that will come from overseas, but we try to keep that to a minimum to keep our costs as low as possible so that we remain competitive. “You can buy great equipment in Europe, but it is costly and doubles your lead time. Thus it is in our best interests to keep it as local as possible. As a South African company, we also want to advance our indigenous market as much as possible.”

LACK OF WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP POSITIONS The lack of women in senior leadership positions in JSE-listed companies, and the findings of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor that firms owned by women tend to be smaller in both turnover and employees, points to issues of women leadership and succession in South African business, says Anni Bodington, who has headed the two Cape Town chapters of the Women Presidents Organisation (WPO) in South Africa for the past five years. “A recent survey of WPO members indicated that they experienced significant growth in revenues, staffing, control of operating systems and learning new methodologies for entrepreneurs,” says Bodington. The WPO chapters internationally bring together groups of 10 to 20 CEOs in a confidential, safe environment to create real dialogue between members and enable setting the course for future growth. The opportunity to discuss challenges in a noncompetitive supportive environment is empowering, and there are countless success stories and testimonials to demonstrate the value of investing in this type of executive development programme. Member companies are required to have a turnover of R20 million if they are manufacturing and supplying products, or R10 million if they are providing services such as public relations or human resources. Miranda Isaakidis, who heads up the second Gauteng WPO chapter, comments: “The value of WPO membership is that is expands members’ horizons and opens the door to a wealth of experience that they may not have previously have had access to. Our members range from attorneys to zoologists, all highly successful women who are looking to take their enterprise to the next level.” The organisation, which has been successfully operating in Cape Town for five years, launched its first chapter in Johannesburg in October 2013. The WPO now intends to aggressively roll-out additional chapters in Gauteng, to support women-led secondtier companies with the support of its numerous blue chip international sponsors, including PwC and Walmart, locally. Through global, confidential and collaborative peer-learning groups, the WPO accelerates business growth, enhances competitiveness and promotes economic security. The WPO has over 100 chapters with more than 1 700 members from around the world. In 2013, it expanded its presence in South Africa and developed new markets, including Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, Mexico, North Africa and the Middle East. Isaakidis continues: “Although peer advisory groups have been around for decades, there is an increased interest in this type of leadership development model as globally more second-tier companies are required to do more with less, and return on investment in training is imperative.”

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WOMEN IN MINING

A NG LO AME RICA N

Transformation muse Anglo’s Khanyisile Kweyama could be considered the mining industry’s transformation muse, writes Laura Cornish.

T

HANKS TO A resounding work track record across various industries, promoting upliftment and government interaction, Anglo American South Africa executive director Khanyisile Kweyama will  most undoubtedly deliver equally good results in her new position. Although Kweyama is a child of the apartheid era, she has embraced this element of her upbringing and is using it to her – and South Africa’s – benefit, to create a country of equal opportunity for local citizens through her career, regardless of colour, race and culture. Kweyama has led an illustrious profession, and despite confronting numerous challenges, particularly in her starting years, she has overcome them all and prospered. Kweyama also has a positive outlook on South Africa and its future for the mining industry, despite the general consensus that the sector is riding on negative sentiment, particularly in light of legislation amendments. “The Department of Mineral Resources is an open entity and responded

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positively to the outcry regarding the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act amendments, removing some of the ambiguous clauses. President Jacob Zuma admits that South Africa is at a tipping point, but the country has been through, and come through, worse,” she says.

Relations with unions Although she didn’t know at the time, Kweyama’s human resources (HR) career was preparing her for Anglo American, where she first started as the executive head of human resources at Anglo American Platinum. She excelled in the position, improving relations with unions and successfully concluding wage negotiations, all while building a strong and supportive team structure. “Any HR professional aspires to work for Anglo’s platinum business – they were one of the biggest employers in South Africa not so long ago.” Kweyama started in 2011 and took her first underground trip at Bathopele alongside Cynthia Carroll, who was intently driving safety at the time. “At the end of my


WOMEN IN MINING

first month, wage negotiations started and the intensity of the job never stopped.” Although born in South Africa, Kweyama’s career starting point was in Swaziland, and subsequently Washington, where she worked for the then banned African National Congress. In 1991, she returned to South Africa and joined the Consultative Business Movement as secretariat, focused on building relationships between business leaders and politicians in South Africa. “This was, in actual fact, my first job in South Africa, and it provided me with the opportunity to meet with some of the country’s most prolific business leaders, including Harry Oppenheimer and Tony Traher.”

Leading businesses Prior to Kweyama’s appointment as the executive head of human resources at Anglo American Platinum, her skills and abilities saw her work within some of South Africa’s leading businesses, including BMW, Nampak, Altech and Barloworld. This is in addition to the establishment of her own communications, marketing and human resources consultancies, which also celebrated substantial successes. Every one of Kweyama’s career moves was a result of head hunting – a sure indicator that she succeeded in creating a business name for herself. “I was given the opportunity to experiment with employment equity, marketing and communications, liaising with government- and state-owned entities. As a young black business woman, my ability to connect with an emerging black government was undoubtedly my greatest strength.” Her own businesses, KTK HR Solutions and Nokusa Communications and Promotions , continued reaping the successes of Kweyama’s ongoing close connections with government, where she assisted in establishing a lot of institutions and departments. “This was my calling, or so I thought for nine years, until I agreed to join Altech to manage its HR and industrial relations, which I did for five years.” Her departure, to join Barloworld, was not only a result of being headhunted again, but also because she felt suppressed by the lack of gender transformation within the IT industry. “It remains male-dominated, even today. For the entire period I was there, I was the only female on the executive committee.”

as her first experience in the mining sector. “This company truly embraces transformation, with two black CEOs heading up two business units and a black head of sustainability manager. “I still see the mining industry as male-dominated, and as such I feel a great responsibility to push women’s causes. Women can operate machinery and can work underground, companies just need to make the environment conducive in order to do so comfortably and viably. “Male colleagues should treat women with respect underground and need to be brought to order when their behaviour is not appropriate. I want nothing more than to take this transformation process to the next level,” says Kweyama. Achieving this requires

further transformation – assisting more women to take on roles in the mining sector. Another area Kweyama would like to tackle is the migrant labour system, which has become embedded in South Africa’s mining system. This requires better education at school level and industry promotion, she argues. Coupled with technology advances, the mining sector could prosper from this. “We need to partner and do it together, work with what we have and plan for the future – bringing in a new breed of skills that can work with the machines and understand echnical challenges of the job.” the job. the technical

“I still see the mining industry as maledominated, and as such I feel a great responsibility to push women’s causes.” Khanyisile Kweyama, South Africa executive director, Anglo American KHANYISILE KWEYAMA Khanyisile Kweyama epitomises the success that women can achieve in the mining sector. Earlier this year she was appointed vice president of the Chamber of Mines. She is also a member of the Commission for Employment Equity, a Section 9 body established to advise the Minister of Labour on Employment Equity. Kweyama holds a master’s degree and a postgraduate diploma in management, both from Wits Business School. She has also completed various executive development programmes with GIBS and other institutions. She is married to a doctor and has two children.

Embracing change Kweyama looks back fondly at her time at Barloworld as group executive of HR and transformation, which could be attributed

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WOMEN IN MINING

PER S O NA L VA LUE S

Sustainability hard at work Directors must focus on their personal values in order to make sustainability work, argues Julie Stacey.

T

HE REASON WHY businesses struggle to implement sustainability practices is that they are generally using the wrong criteria to judge their own success. After many years of operational and managerial roles in the mining sector, this is the conclusion drawn by environmental scientist Julie Stacey, now an independent consultant, coach, lecturer and associate of Wits University’s Centre for Sustainability in Mining and Industry (CSMI). With initial qualifications involving geology, geography and ecology, Stacey now shares her insights with business leaders in a range of sectors, highlighting the importance of their personal values in the way they run corporations. In a study she conducted with the Institute of Directors, personal issues were shown to present the biggest barriers to courageous leadership – taking a business viewpoint sonal convictions. “Th The based on your personal hat directors reported three top issues that hem from acting courato be preventing them eed to maintain the geously were the need ector, fear of being image of being a director, the lone voice, and fear of appearing weak,” says Stacey. “These are all ist. Directors are sues of self-concept. human beings, first and foremost.”

Barrier to leadership ship At the same time, directors orate culreported that corporate ture is a significant barrier ership. to courageous leadership. “But who sets the corpohe dirate culture if not the rectors themselves?”” she asks. “Many don’t seem

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to realise that they are both responsible for and capable of changing that culture.” This is not to deny that many business leaders have good intentions. Directors largely understand what is required to deliver courageous leadership for sustainable development and have admirable intentions in this regard. However, despite this common understanding, it was evident from the research that corporate actions are not as courageous as their leaders’ intent. This focus has led Stacey to develop courses that encourage participants to explore their personal choices, their values and their own development. “By approaching the field of sustainable development from a personal values point of view, it can fundamentally change people’s perspective on business and the way they connect their personal lives with their work decisions,” she says.

level, financial well-being only delivers ‘happiness’ up to a point. “If you adopt the Five Capitals model – which differentiates human, social, natural, manufactured and economic capital – you can identify more clearly the variety of risks and opportunities that could either prevent your business from continuing as a going concern, or enhance its capacity” she says. “For individuals, understanding that money is merely a means of exchange, rather than being the sole purpose of one’s life, creates opportunities to pursue genuine meaning.” She emphasises that the criteria for business success are changing, as is the concept of business value and acceptable practice; where profit is the driving motive, sustainable development is effectively impossible to achieve. “We need to understand for ourselves what is truly important, in the longer  term. The CSMI is at the heart of working out how to negotiate the space between all these apparently conflicting Business viability priorities, be it safety, environment, proAccording to Stacey, the sustainability apduction or profits. “Sustainable well-being proach really comes down to underaffects everything in life, and everything in standing that financial perforour business and our personal lives can benmance is only one of a range of efit from the insights that flow from this,” issues that underpin the viabilshe says. ity of a business. At a personal The aim is to facilitate the deliberate creation of a fundamentally different future, which she also does by business coaching for sustainable well-being, facilitating strategy and scenarios, and helping corporations with complex decision-making. She coaches individuals as well, and writes on the link between Julie Stacey, self-awareness and sustainaenvironmental scientist ble development.

“Sustainable wellbeing affects everything in life, and everything in our business.”


MINING SERVICES

S TANDARDS

South Africa hosts ISO/TC82 meeting In December 2013, project delivery and consulting services provider WorleyParsons RSA hosted the fourth ISO technical committee meeting focusing on the mining sector (ISO/TC82).

T

HIS WAS THE first time that the ISO/TC82 meeting has been held in South Africa, with representatives from over 15 countries, including government bodies, mining and engineering companies, and suppliers to the mining industry, in attendance. The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) is the world’s largest developer of voluntary international standards, providing state-of-the-art specifications for products, services and good practice, helping industry to be more efficient, effective and safe. ISO standards are developed by a panel of international experts who meet to discuss, negotiate and draft a standard at technical committee meetings held across the world, in countries where there are key role players in the specific industries.

World leader “This is a groundbreaking event for South Africa and affirms the country’s significance in the global mining sector,” says Mushir Khan, manager of engineering, WorleyParsons RSA. “Despite our relatively short participation in the global market since the emergence of democracy in South Africa, we have become internationally recognised as a world leader in mining, influencing global industry, technology and standards. “Our mining history spans more than a century, and local standards are continuously improving with regard to production, safety and our people. The world recognises the level of expertise here, the maturity of the market and the great strides that have been made in technological innovations in the last 20 to 30 years – a relatively short period if one considers that most

innovations in this arena can take at least two generations to develop. “While the majority of international standards originated in Europe and the US, South Africa now has the opportunity to influence the rest of the world through benchmarks that are being set by the South African industry, particularly in underground mining,” says Khan.

Recognition from ISO With the South African business operating as WorleyParsons’ global centre of mining excellence, WorleyParsons RSA welcomes the recognition the local industry is receiving from the ISO. “WorleyParsons is actively engaged in raising the bar of standards worldwide, and facilitating such meetings reflects our ethos of continuously improving practices and standards to internationally recognised levels. As a company with global operations,

Delegates pay a visit to Bell Equipment in Jet Park, Johannesburg

it is in our as well as our stakeholders’ best interests to adopt international standards to encourage consistency and best practice,” says Khan. Locally, the development of standards for the mining industry is conducted through the SABS (South African Bureau of Standards), which is modelled on ISO. The SABS and its South African National Standards (SANS) are recognised as leading global standards, and most major players in the South African mining industry, including WorleyParsons RSA, work in compliance with these standards and have applied them in designing shafts in numerous countries worldwide. WorleyParsons RSA is ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified and much of the company’s methodology is based on ISO guidelines.

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MINING SERVICES

T RANS 4MINE

Excellence in mining operations Sandvik Mining’s trans4mine offers a range of services for mines, from operational auditing to benchmarking and simulation, Mike Andrews tells Gerhard Hope.

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MINING SERVICES

F

ROM AUSTRALIA TO Bulgaria, trans4mine is a global department within Sandvik Mining. “What would happen is a customer would have an issue internally and then look to us to help them. We have quite a skills base in the department, comprising mining specialists who have been in mining their entire careers,” explains Andrews, who heads up the department. Customers run the gamut of the top global players, including African Barrick Gold, Rio Tinto, Anglo Platinum, Impala Platinum, Harmony, Zimplats, Lonmin and AngloGold Ashanti. The specific skill sets contained within trans4mine commence with drill masters, which are operational specialists providing

supervisory and operational coaching, optimisation and benchmarking. Maintenance coaches focus on infrastructure, maintenance planning and systems, while systems engineers look specifically at development and implementation, production modelling, dynamic simulations and machine replacement strategies. In addition, trans4mine has an overarching project-management capability, while it can also tap into the expertise and resources of Sandvik globally as and when needed. “Our team is highly skilled and qualitydriven,” says Andrews. “We have also developed our own business systems to implement on-site. The benefit of being part of a global team is you can draw from a huge pool of resources. Where trans4mine comes into its

SERVICE OFFERING • operational auditing, severity auditing, energy and water auditing • production/cost modelling • fleet composition modelling • optimal machine replacement strategy • continuous productivity improvement framework • benchmarking and associated consulting services • operational mine management systems • best practise coaching (operators, supervisors and trainers) • supervisory training programme • maintenance simulator development • dynamic simulation • drill, blast and support optimisation (risk-share projects) • load-and-haul optimisation (risk-share projects).

own is that it really understands what the customer needs in terms of its operations.

Total solutions “If a customer has a specific problem or issue that it has identified, we can help them. The ability to provide such total solutions is really the crux of our service offering. Lots of other companies can offer data analysis, but we can actually implement practical and tangible solutions,” explains Andrews. “We can help them fix their problems, and that is really where our competitive advantage lies. Not only can we tell you what the problem is, but we can fix it.” For example, trans4mine also allows mines to keep abreast of the latest technology and developments. “Remote monitoring of equipment underground is a new trend,” says Andrews. “The issue for many mines is that

incremental improvements in machines have not resulted in significant improvements in productivity. We attempt to determine why by optimising equipment cycle times.” He explains that trans4mine had its humble beginnings from an auditing perspective. “We realised our customers had certain issues that needed to be resolved, part of which was their perception of the problem versus the larger operational context. We needed to come up with an auditing process to clear up any confusion, with the next logical step being an actual audit on-site. Such operational auditing, for example, links the underground conditions to the actual layout.

Underground audit “From an operational audit perspective, the biggest component is obviously the audit itself. We go underground to look at the machines. Our questions are based on determining whether or not the correct people are in place with the right equipment, that it is to specification, and that the correct systems are in place and functioning,” says Andrews. Such face-to-face interviews are carried out in conjunction with detailed underground studies. Another aspect of the audit process is compiling a production model. “Here we check to see if we are getting the right numbers from the right departments, in combination with understanding the mining method and layout, and how long various tasks take at different points in the mine.” All this information is then combined to produce a holistic overview of the mine in question. “Thereafter you deal with the quantifiable outcomes, and the benefits that are derived from having compiled the production model. At the end of the day, management is not going to spend money on something when they do not know what they are getting. Ultimately, management uses this process and its outcomes it as a tool to prioritise projects,” concludes Andrews. While Sandvik Mining conducts general maintenance for its customers, trans4mine can slash their costs even further. “We enter into a partnership with our customers in order to improve their entire operation.” Looking at some of the latest trends, Andrews comments that what is becoming even more pressing are energy and water efficiency. “These are some of the largest cost factors in mining that are quite well hidden.”

“We enter into a partnership with our customers in order to improve their entire operation”

Decline development at the North decline at the WBJV Project 1

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PAN EL DISCUSSION |

OEMS MEETING COST & PRODUCTION TARGETS

PILOT CRUSHTEC INTERNATIONAL PANEL EXPERT Nicolan Govender – national sales manager

W

hat is your outlook for 2014? NG We

are upbeat about prospects for the 2014, despite the trials and tribulations that beset local and international economies during 2013. In our experience, one of the most reliable indicators of potential demand is the level of enquiries we receive from established customers, the people who are in business for the long haul and are constantly alert to developments within their own local markets. The interest received from this core group over the last few months would suggest an imminent resurgence in recycling and construction work – the former in Gauteng, while there has been a noticeable upswing in demand for infrastructural growth in Kwazulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape provinces.

How has 2014 begun for you? The New Year has begun relatively well. A continuous flow of new products are being dispatched to customers and

certain sectors within the mining industry are displaying a higher degree of confidence than was apparent six months ago. This is particularly encouraging, especially as a number of larger operators are taking a close look at the range of Sandvik heavy-duty mobile crushers, screens and scalpers which were added to our product offering last year. One product in particular, the UJ540i, attracted a great deal of interest at Bauma Africa which, due to renewed activity within the contract market, is now reflected in our order book.

an additional product line not only attractive to existing customers, but which is also expected to gain the company important access to a wide variety of industries. One of the attendant problems following a trading downturn is the hangover effect of reduced inventories, restricting the supply of finished products and spare parts as the business cycle accelerates.

What are some of the major brands you distribute? Our key brands

orders received have been for mobile equipment. However, enquiries continue to be received for modular plant in anticipation of future large volume contracts.

are Sandvik, Rubble Master, TRIO and our own highly successful TwisterTrac and Pilot Modular semi-mobile products. Not only do we offer a comprehensive range of machinery ex-stock, but we have increased the volume and breadth of our spares offering in recognition of the growing importance of our PartsLink division.

What are some of your latest products? Bauma

Any expansion plans on the cards? We believe in

Africa was also the setting for the announcement of Pilot Crushtec International’s sole Africa distributorship of EDGE Innovate mobile materials-handling equipment,

the resilience of our industry, so much so that we will be increasing our regional sales footprint into areas like the Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and Kwazulu-Natal. Another

What are your most popular products at the moment? The majority of

Pilot Crushtec Internationals DoppiaTrac DR400 Double Roll Crusher

development will be the introduction of more localised service centres, following the success of last year’s pilot project in the Eastern Cape.

Tell us about your design and development philosophy as an OEM. We engage with our customers before designing a machine and continue this engagement through the prototype stages and well after the product has been launched. This dialogue continues throughout the product’s life and often results in the introduction of specification upgrades or even completely new products. Our commitment to developing an ever-improving range of products can be underscored by the fact that our engineering team boasts a staff of 10 and has a significant budget at its disposal.

Tell us about a recent product you produced. The DoppiaTrac DR400 is a locally produced crusher designed and built by us in response to a call from a major mining customer supplying <40 mm coal to national power utility Eskom. Our customer was looking for an alternative to the traditional static impact crushers widely used in the industry. Increased output was very much on the agenda, together with eliminating unacceptable levels of fines material produced by conventional equipment. Another area of concern was excessive downtime as a result of crushers jamming, which could lose as much as two hours of production time in a single shift, usually the result of poor loading practices. The need for mobility was also highlighted. A tracked crusher that can be easily trammed to different locations on a mine or in a stockyard is a far more attractive proposition in comparison to an immobile semi-permanent static plant.

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PAN EL DISCUSSION |

OEMS MEETING COST & PRODUCTION TARGETS

OSBORN

apron feeders have been operating successfully for many years, including Koffiefontein, Finsch and Kimberley. The machines to be supplied are heavy-duty D6C 1 500 X 6 000 Osborn apron feeders featuring electromechanical drives. We will supply and commission the units.

PANEL EXPERT Brian Frost – parts manager

sales staff which services customers and checks and educates machine operators.

T

he equipment renewal cycle in Africa is substantially longer than in other markets. How do you as an OEM deal with this? BF From a parts point of view, longer renewal times ultimately result in a larger stockholding for both the supplier and customer. Accurate stockholding is achieved by Osborn working closely with its customers so as to determine their parts forecasts and parts usage (scheduled maintenance, etc.)

Another factor is the influx of alternative products from other OEMs, such as from China, who often slashes prices to get a toehold. Is this a major problem for you as a local OEM? How do you counter artificial pricecutting in the market? This does impact Osborn as an OEM, as the customer will compare prices, but not necessarily the performance, ability, quality or support of the machines offered.

Another issue is counterfeit components, which have a huge impact on warranties and lifecycle costing. How do you educate customers in this regard? Osborn officially informs all customers in the official agreement when purchasing new Osborn machines. Again this is reinforced when conducting on-site training. Osborn has a highly technically proficient

Would you say that service and long-term maintenance agreements are becoming increasingly important, and potentially lucrative, as a result? How important is this particular segment to your business as an OEM? This is a problem. Mines do not always have enough technically trained staff to operate the machines efficiently.

What do you see as some of the biggest challenges facing OEMs on the continent today? Political stability in some African countries is a concern as it affects growth.

What do you see as the biggest opportunities and growth areas? Increasing the number of exports to other countries, not only in Africa, but worldwide.

What is your current African footprint? What is your strategy to expand further on the continent? Osborn has machines in most African countries where mining occurs, and we have increased our staff complement to service these countries.

enhancements offered by you as an OEM, with particular reference to the mining industry? We have increased automation in our products. We also design and manufacture our modular plants to allow for fast installation.

Can you tell us a bit more about your overall product range? Osborn apron feeders

Can you mention some of the latest projects in Africa you are involved with/have supplied equipment and/or services to? Osborn products can be found at: • Kibali mine, Randgold, DRC • Kinsenda mine, Metorex, DRC • Lefa mine, Société Minièr De Dinguiraye, Guinea.

Can you give us an example of a recent major equipment order? We received an R18 million order for eight apron feeders from Petra Diamonds. The new apron feeders will be utilised in an underground expansion project at the mine, for the operation’s underground silos and crushing stations. We secured this order on the basis of the quality of our equipment and our longstanding relationship with the customer. The Petra group has a number of mines where Osborn

are designed and built in a wide range of sizes , from 900 mm to 3 500 mm wide. They capably handle heavy, lumpy and abrasive materials, and provide a reliable means of controlling the feed rate to prevent surge loads to primary crushers, belt conveyors and other plant and equipment. Osborn offers a complete range of standard and extra heavy duty apron feeders suited to the most arduous operating conditions in the mining and quarrying industries. Feeders can be supplied in lengths to suit customers’ requirements. With one of the largest and most modern facilities in South Africa, Osborn also offers installation, commissioning, spares, reconditioning and after-sales service.

What is your outlook for business on the continent for the year ahead? We are very positive and enthusiastic about the prospects of the year ahead.

Is Africa keeping up to date with the latest trends and technology available from internationally affiliated OEMs? Yes, but unfortunately poorly trained operators and logistical issues in certain remote African regions make this less effective.

What are some of the latest products/

An example of an Osborn apron feeder

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Dig a little deeper and you’ll find Rent Works.

Mining, as we all know, is a capital-intensive industry that comes with high operating and capital costs. Coupled with volatile prices, currency fluctuations and growing environmental concerns. For a mining organisation to succeed, it has become a business imperative to use the most appropriate equipment for the optimum period, at the most cost effective rates. Putting it simply, the acquisition and sizeable capital outlay for expensive moveable assets can place a significant burden on a mine and its cash reserves. Which is why more and more mines are realising that spreading pre-determined, fixed payments over the useful working life of their equipment, with flexible end-of-term options and hassle free disposal of their assets in the open market, makes sense. RentWorks, the asset rental specialists do all this and more, so you can conserve and redirect your capital to more income-generating pursuits. Whether you need a shuttle car, an underground loader, analytical tech solutions, a fleet of all-terrain dump trucks or the latest longwall continuous miner, RentWorks has a rock solid solution for you. For finance solutions structured to suit your specific budget and cash flow needs call +27 11 549 9000 or visit www.rentworks.co.za


PAN EL DISCUSSION |

OEMS MEETING COST & PRODUCTION TARGETS

RENTWORKS

their cash flow and business flexibility and hence as a new solution in the countries we focus on, it is a value-adding solution for OEMs and clients.

PANEL EXPERT Jacques de Klerk – director

W

hat is your involvement with the mining industry? JDK Acquiring

expensive moveable mining assets can place a significant financial burden on your company and its cash resources. Mining companies can conserve and optimise their cash flow with our flexible asset rental solutions – purchasing the equipment you need today, but spreading the payment across its useful working life, with flexible end-ofterm options to match your business requirements. Our residual investment not only offers reduced rental premiums, but we also take full responsibility to dispose of the asset at our risk. On larger projects, we also offer financing solutions that provide new funding lines without affecting existing client funder lines. We cover the full spectrum of open pit and underground mining assets, and we tailormake rental solutions to either match your asset, project, Competitive financing options for major mining capital equipment is a challenge that a company like RentWorks has transformed into a viable niche market

finance, business, cash flow, residual or disposal and risk requirements. Whether you require the flexibility at the end of the initial period to return the equipment or the option to extend the term, adopted the philosophy of replacing assets at regular hour/ton intervals, want to reduce your rate-perton to ensure you win tenders or simply require additional funding lines, we can tailor the right solution for you.

There is a lot of debate about the commodities super cycle peaking in Africa. How do such broader cyclical patterns impact on equipment demand? Our solution is tailored on a capital equipment needs basis and caters for clients that won specific projects or require flexibility depending on the commodity cycle. If the commodity cycle continues to grow, our clients extend our rental contracts, and when the commodity cycle declines, they have the option to return the assets at the end of the rental term with no further obligations.

Another factor is the influx of alternative products from China. How do you counter artificial pricecutting in the market? We are not an OEM, but we base our solutions on reliable and

proven OEM brands that can withstand the harsh mining applications in Africa and with a remaining market value at the end of the initial rental period.

Counterfeit components have a huge impact on warranties and life cycle costing. How do you educate customers in this regard? Our clients are required to use OEM parts as this ensures reliability and longer asset life.

Would you say that service and long-term maintenance agreements are becoming increasingly important, and potentially lucrative, as a result? How important is this particular segment to your business as an OEM? We prefer that clients do take out OEM contracts, yes, as this ensures the machines remain productive, well-maintained and that the assets are returned in a proper condition.

What do you see as some of the biggest challenges facing OEMs on the continent today? For us it is obtaining competitive financing solutions in the country of operation.

What do you see as the biggest opportunities and growth areas? The rental model will assist clients with

What is your current African footprint? What is your strategy to expand further on the continent? We have just established in Namibia and will now focus to consolidate this business. Future growth will be based on the success of WesBank’s OEM joint ventures.

Tell us a bit more about your new Namibia office. We launched our Namibian office on 3 January. This sees us extending its reach beyond the borders of South Africa to tap into new growth markets. We will be able to offer clients access to enhanced funder relationships and synergies, as well as residual value financing solutions across all asset classes, from IT equipment to yellow equipment. We are now able to add more value to our supplier partners. We believe that there is definite growth potential for us in the ICT space, building on RentWorks’ expertise in IT financing, while we continue to service our traditional office automation channels. Namibia is a natural expansion location for us in terms of our supplier alliances and the market dynamics, especially in mining, construction and ICT. It presents an exciting growth opportunity, and we are thrilled to be taking the RentWorks brand into new territories.

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PA NE L D I S CUS S I ON |

OEMS MEETING COST & PRODUCTION TARGETS FILTAQUIP PANEL EXPERT Kobus Boshoff – managing director

Tell us a bit about your product range and expert services. We

C

an you give us a brief overview of Filtaquip’s history and involvement with the mining industry? KB

Filtaquip was established more than 30 years ago, focusing on liquid-solid separation technology and equipment in the mining, chemical, industrial and food industries. We offer specialised knowledge and support to ensure that customers’ dewatering problems are solved in the most productive, reliable and cost-efficient manner. We also pride ourselves on excellent after-sales service, ensuring long-term relationships. A filter press from Filtaquip. It designs and manufactures equipment locally

have specialised liquid-solid separation knowledge and the products to complement this, whether it be for a process separation application or the dewatering of plant effluent to conform to the strict, newly imposed requirements. We perform the entire process, from initial material testing, through planning and flow sheet design, fabrication, supply and erection, all the way to maintain and operate contracts. Filtaquip also has the ability to offer plants on capital lease for a period up to five years.

Elaborate on your affiliation with Matec. While Filtaquip designs and manufactures filtration equipment locally, it also partners with Matec of Italy, which ensures continuous evolution of the company’s

technology and equipment. This filter press technology allows dewatering system performance that is unparalleled in the South African market. Our plate and frame filter press design and technology permits the press to work at pressures of up to 18 bar, enabling the unit to process even the most difficult-to-dewater particles in slurries. These presses function without the use of flocculants and are fully automated. Added benefits are the very short cycle times and increased water recovery (low cake moisture) as the dewatered fines are drier than those produced by other types of filter presses.

What role do pumps play? Filtaquip recognises that pumps are the heart of any filtration application. Therefore it has teamed up with a leading supplier of pumps designed specifically

for the mining industry. Pemo Perissinotto has more than 50 years’ experience in abrasive liquid pumping in the filtration industry. These pumps were designed from the start for high-pressure applications and for liquids with high abrasive properties. The Filtaquip pump range includes submersible pumps, vertical spindle pumps, rubberised submersible pumps and special filter press booster pumps. Our doublecavity centrifugal pumps are equipped with a single drive and have the ability to produce up to 18 bar in delivery pressure.

Tell us about your flocculant plants. Filtaquip’s flocculant plants are fully automated, very simple to operate, reliable and cheap to maintain. The high-rate thickeners are made of 304 stainless steel and 316 stainless steel, depending on the environment. Filtaquip also has extensive experience in dewatering corrosive materials (acid environments) and precipitates generated in neutralising acid effluents. Recent results achieved at such an application yielded a cake with moisture of less than 15% and a press cycle time of less than 14 minutes using only a high-pressure feed pump and no membrane squeeze or core blow. The pump has now been in operation for six months and, fortunately, no spare parts have had to be replaced to date.

Any new developments? When the mining industry is financially struggling, the need to develop a ‘mean and lean’ business model becomes essential. We have established a financial lease division that can supply a plant for up to 60 months, to approved customers, on a capital lease contract.

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PAN EL DISCUSSION |

OEMS MEETING COST & PRODUCTION TARGETS

BME EXPLOSIVES PANEL EXPERT Francois Hay – managing director

What are some of the challenges of doing business in Africa? Supply

T

ell us a bit about what you do. FH BME offers

technological innovations for mining as a spearhead for overall growth through its state-of-the-art blast-planning software, electronic delay detonator (EDD) technology and narrow-reef equipment. This all makes a major contribution to downstream cost reduction for our customers, as part of BME’s drive to promote the health and profitability of the mining industry.

security continues to be a huge consideration for Africa, and we will continue to build containerised plants where it makes logistical sense. Adding value through technical support, advice and expertise continues to be important throughout Africa, and we are also encouraging local skills development as an integral part of our business going forward.

Does Africa remain an important focus? We are committed to mining in Africa. We have been gearing up our capacity and increasing our

footprint on the continent to ready ourselves for this growth, and we are finally seeing the fruits of that investment. Africa is poised to benefit in this investment trend, especially with the vast mineral resources on the continent. However, as more international companies become involved in Africa, we plan to increase awareness of our brand and showcase our innovative blasting products and services. As a South African company that has been operating in Africa for 30 years, we have a wealth of experience, with many operations throughout the continent. Creating a successful future in Africa requires

true partnerships between all stakeholders. BME will continue to focus on customer service and building knowledge throughout Africa. BME has some key customers who have been with us since our inception, and we will continue to listen to what they want and adapt to their needs.

How important is the local mining industry? Despite commodity prices being under pressure, with increased uncertainties in South Africa’s gold and platinum sectors, BME continues to do well in the local mining industry, with a strong presence in surface and quarrying. While underground mining in South Africa has had its challenges, we remain optimistic, and we have some exciting research and development projects for underground in the pipeline.

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PIPES, PUMPS & VALVES

ENER GY SAVING

Ultra-efficient pumps unveiled

Grundfos has released what it claims to be one of the most intelligent and energy-efficient pump motors in the world.

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HE COMPANY HAS unveiled its new line of MGE and MLE motors, with integrated frequency converters up to and including 2.2 kW. The MGE/MLE motors (models H & I) operate above the minimum requirements for the new IE4 motor efficiency level as defined by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in the upcoming standard for rotating electrical machinery, IEC 60034-30-1 Ed.1 (CD). “Customers will get a standard product that consumes less energy than ever seen before within these kinds of motors,” says Preben Poulsen, Grundfos programme manager: motors and drives. The MGE/ MLE upgrades are the first generation of IE4 motors in Grundfos Blueflux pumps driven electronically via a built-in “smart” frequency converter.

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Frequency converters Frequency converters can automatically control motor speeds after actual demand. The new motors are currently available for solutions up to 2.2  kW. “We believe this is one of the most energy-efficient products in this market,” comments Poulsen. “We are one of the only suppliers with a motor that runs with efficiency above IE4 level, including the losses in the frequency converter.” Meanwhile, Grundfos will also offer IE4 motors up to 45  kW for projects based on standard motor technology. The motors (3 to 45  kW for 2-pole and 2.2 to 37  kW for 4-pole) will be supplied by Siemens via a special agreement.

Siemens motors Grundfos is the first company to be able to offer these motors with its products, says

Poulsen. Siemens is one of the world’s most respected producers of standard motors. These motors can be connected directly to the power supply or coupled to standard frequency converters. Poulsen says the upgrades are just the beginning of an ongoing programme of improved motor technology that stays well ahead of global motor regulations. The current legislative demand for motor efficiency in Europe is IE2. In 2015 and 2017, Europe will increase its legislative demand to IE3. “As part of our Grundfos Blueflux programme, we already supply IE3 as a standard for most of our products,” notes Poulsen. “We are ready to be one step above the next level. We want to be on the front edge of technology, along with the cutting-edge of efficiency and life cycle costs.”


PIPES, PUMPS & VALVES

G O ING GRE E N

Pumping cyanide with 0% leakage In contrast to sealed centrifugal pumps, the seal-less construction of the Verdermag mag drive pump allows total containment of aggressive products.

T

HIS MEANS that the pumps are extremely reliable even under heavy-duty circumstances. Verdermag mag drive pumps have no glands, no seals and no valves. “The only economically viable method of recovering gold from gold bearing ores is by using cyanide leaching,” says Rob Shaw, Verder Pumps South Africa sales engineer. With cyanide leaching, microscopic gold particles can be extracted from ore rocks, increasing the yield. “This is, however, a dangerous method that has the potential, if not managed correctly, of being very damaging to the environment. A teaspoon full of 2% solution cyanide can kill a human adult,” says Shaw.

Alternative media There have been a number of experimentations with various other media, but none of

these has been as cost-effective or productive as cyanide leaching. “We are seeing a slight upturn in the global economy, but the gold-mining industry is still under a large amount of pressure. “Other factors that contribute to the continued pressure on this industry is health and safety legislation and the development of action plans such as the Green Economy Plan, which urges major role players to look at the development and commercialisation of solutions that will progress the adaption of a greener economy. Gold miners have to utilise technologies that will minimise cost and maximise production, while complying with health, safety and environmental regulations,” says Shaw. The Verdermag series of pumps can be used for a wide range of applications, in particular the pumping of toxic waste, acid, cyanide, flocculants and slurries. The leakage-proof

coupling between the motor and the pump ensures a clean and safe operating environment.

Success in mining “Our major success for the Mag drive pumps has been the mining industry,” says Shaw. The mining industry, driven by a need for profitability, efficiency and yield maximisation, is one of the world’s toughest industrialised working environments. However, in such a highly competitive arena, companies all too often use the wrong pumping solution for their specific mining applications. “Verder has extensive experience providing pumping solutions to global companies. Verder understands that, for many organisations, navigating through the technical obstacles of the mining industry can be a huge challenge. Getting it right, however, could mean a significant reduction in costs and improvement in performance.”

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PIPES, PUMPS & VALVES

I NF R AS TRUCTURE

Plastic piping systems Polypipe is a leading UK manufacturer of plastic piping systems for residential, commercial, civils and infrastructure products. It has a wealth of experience in providing solutions for water supply, drainage, heating and ventilating.

P

OLYPIPE IS A market leader in the manufacture of plastic piping systems ideal for housing projects and is focusing on welfare issues in the mining industry in Africa, having already supplied plastic pipework systems to major mining projects for infrastructure and process applications in Kenya and Sierra Leone. Philip Wood, Polypipe export sales manager, comments: “We offer innovative solutions and unrivalled technical and logistical support to our customers and are already assisting major mines in Africa to meet their water-management goals.

“Particularly in hot climates and territories where water is in short supply, the welfare of employees must be guaranteed with safe drinking water, effective removal of wastewater, and ventilating and heating as required. However, mining companies and their contractors also need to consider the environmental impact of their operations,” says Wood.

Carbon, water challenges “Our British-made products are designed to meet today’s carbon and water challenges. We provide solutions for the total water-management process, covering capture, treatment, reuse, attenuation and soakaway, and drainage.” Polypipe has substantial experience working in mining industry processes and road and rail infrastructure, collaborating closely with well-known mining operators and recommending the most suitable solution for a number of prestigious projects. At the Marampa Mine in Sierra Leone, Polypipe Ridgidrain high-density polyethylene product was supplied for management of water decanting from the tailings into a drainage pipeline leading to a local water treatment area. LEFT A Ridgidrain installation at Marampa mine in Sierra Leone BELOW Polypipe’s Permavoid product

At the Tonkolili mine operated by African Minerals, Ridgidrain was again used as a sustainable solution for the drainage of the marshalling yard for the railway that links the mine with the coast and port facility. This deep understanding of the challenges faced by the mining industry, coupled with Polypipe’s extensive experience in providing plastic piping systems for residential developments, means its team is ideally placed to advise on the right solutions for on-site communities and housing, including pods – and including the upgrade of existing facilities.

Green credentials As well as its environment-friendly credentials, plastic piping systems also have additional benefits over more traditional materials. Traditional materials for pipework include cast iron, concrete and clay. Not only are these far heavier than plastics, therefore costing more to transport, but they are also more difficult to install and often require specialist equipment. Plastic piping systems, in contrast, can be lifted into position easily and are easy to install, with many systems benefiting from a ‘push-fit’ mechanism that requires no special tools or expertise. Plastic water supply and drainage systems can also be more flexible, with many options for pipe length, diameter and fittings – and there is always the option of creating bespoke solutions.

“Our British-made products are designed to meet today’s carbon and water challenges.” Philip Wood, export sales manager, Polypipe

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www.polypipe.com/mining


MATERIALS HANDLING

REPAI R A ND MA INTE NA NC E

Managing the life cycle cost With the mining industry’s intensifying focus on managing the life cycle cost of its equipment, the nature of the repair and maintenance model has evolved well beyond process equipment companies going onto site to change out a component and then pulling back.

T

ODAY THESE suppliers have become an integral part of the decision-making process driving an operation’s maintenance discipline. “Our whole maintenance philosophy has changed, together with the scope of our product offering,” says Garth Jones, general manager: services

at Multotec. “The nature of the business has moved on from being purely a repair and maintenance service to working closely with the customer to achieve management aims for the operation. “A lot of innovation is driven through this close relationship, in which the customer’s long-term objectives are the common goal. Opportunities for process improvement on a customer site frequently become apparent and new product trials can be conducted in a very controlled, authentic mining environment. Where these trials lead to innovation, we are often able to pass on best practice to other customers to help improve their own processes.” Jones adds that, in order to sustain this close association with its customers, Multotec has established an extensive network of service centres in close proximity to customer operations. This assures

rapid reaction times and a 24-hour presence for the products that require this level of support. In several cases, service centres have actually been established on customer sites, where personnel are dedicated solely to supporting the Multotec equipment in service at a specific operation. Sales activities, training, repair work and maintenance contracts are executed out of these centres and each carries a certain amount of stock to support the particular requirements of its local customers, making these services as cost-effective as possible. The most recent Multotec service centre to be established is located in Mokapane, Limpopo, effectively expanding the company’s services in the Eastern Limb/ Steelpoort area. The new centre has a fully fledged administration and sales office, workshop and storage area. Four service teams have been deployed to operate from this facility. “Our approach is to conduct first and second line repairs at the service centres and, when required, to call in the OEMs in the Multotec Group to do major third-line TOP LEFT All field-service personnel are technically trained and certified through Multotec’s comprehensive training centre in Spartan LEFT Multotec’s technical staff are exposed to thorough safety training, which is supported by regular independent audits OPPOSITE The Multotec Sishen service team is able to support the entire portfolio of Multotec products

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MATERIALS HANDLING

repairs,” says Jones. “Our headquarters in Spartan, Gauteng, is within a six-hour reach of 90% of our South African customers, ensuring a fast turnaround.” Process engineers are also linked to the service centres, with some of these specialists permanently based at certain centres. However, most personnel are recruited locally, creating employment and supporting the local economy. Each service centre team is able to support the entire portfolio of Multotec products, but there is specialisation that takes into account products installed in a particular customer base. Multotec’s innovative Hawkeye Internet-based predictive software tool is increasingly coming into play in the company’s maintenance contracts, in line with customers’ need to achieve maximum uptime. Hawkeye promotes optimum condition monitoring, providing accurate reporting on product life cycles and replacement rates, allowing service centre personnel to predict service intervals, which also optimises inventories of consumables. Being web-based, the programme allows customers to log into their company data and draw accurate, real-time information on these products. All field-service personnel are technically trained and certified through Multotec’s comprehensive training centre in Spartan, and training is also made available to customers. Technical staff are exposed to a high level of safety training and this is supported by regular independent audits. Multotec extends its safety practices to cover the drivers and vehicles that transport its maintenance teams to and from client sites. Rhodes Nelson, MD of Multotec Manufacturing, comments that having service centres close to their operations gives customers peace of mind. “Our

customers know they have access to experienced people and consumables within a very short time,” he says. “This service is integrated into their own teams blending in with their own maintenance philosophies, and this is the value-add we bring to the marketplace. A dynamic business model like this is not always about having the biggest facility – it’s about understanding customers’ operational needs and being able to support these appropriately, cost effectively and safely.”


COMMINUTION

F E ED M ATE RIA LS

Mobile screen is introduced Metso’s latest-generation Lokotrack ST2.4 mobile screen combines high-capacity performance with fuel-efficient operation to provide the lowest cost per tonne in its class, thanks in part to the optimised hydraulic design and state-of-the-art process steering automatics.

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HE LOKOTRACK ST2.4 processes a diverse range of feed materials, from the pre-screening of the coarsest gravel to fine classifying and processing of natural sands, or any demanding recycle materials. Three clean end product sizes can be produced in one process due to the ST2.4’s two-stage screen set-up. A variety of screen media can be fitted, from steel meshes to rubber and polyurethane materials. All the conveyors are folded hydraulically and secured mechanically.

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“You just set up the screen angle, lift the feeder up and start screening,” says Kimmo Anttila, product manager for Metso mobile screens. Barloworld Equipment is Metso Mobile’s Southern African distributor.

Screen-box size The Lokotrack ST2.4’s screen box size measures 3.6 m in length with a width of 1.5 m. Machine and track systems are powered by a 74.9 kW Cat C4.4 diesel engine. Optional features on the ST2.4 include a vibrating apron feeder with grizzlies or finger

bars, a lamer feeder, a magnetic separator for recycling and remote radio controls. Designed for on-road transportation, the 25 t Lokotrack ST2.4 is 14.2 m long, with a height and width of 3.4 m and 2.9 m, respectively, enabling rapid deployment between sites, which is the primary objective of mobile crushing and screening operations. From the pre-screening of the coarsest gravel to fine classifying of natural sands, or any demanding recycle materials, the new Lokotrack ST2.4 mobile screen meets a wide variety of applications


COMMINUTION

C E M ENT

13 vertical rollers supplied Loesche has supplied 13 vertical roller mills at Dangote’s cement plant in Ibese, Nigeria.

A

FTER HAVING ORDERED seven Loesche vertical roller mills for the grinding of cement raw material, coal and clinker for the Ibese Line 1+2 project, which have been operating successfully since 2010, Dangote ordered five more Loesche Mills in 2012, to be used for the grinding of cement raw material and clinker for the Ibese 3+4 project. And now Dangote has selected a Loesche mill for its new Ibese 7 project, an LM 63.3+3 cement mill, for the grinding of clinker. Dangote Ibese ordered a Loesche vertical roller mill (type LM 63.3+3) for its cement plant. Materials to be ground will be clinker, with components such as gypsum and limestone. The product rate of clinker type CEM I will be 310 tph at 3 200 Blaine, while the product rate of clinker type CEM II will be 295  tph at 4  500 Blaine. The gearbox

capacity for the LM 63.3+3 will be 6 700 kW. In addition to the mill, Loesche will deliver a hot-gas generator of type LF 20 (burner dual-fuel HFO/NG) and all complete mechanical equipment between the mill’s prebins and the product bucket elevator. Also in Loesche’s scope of supply are the complete electrical equipment and automation and the building steel structure, as well as the detail engineering of the civil works. The latest-generation classifier (type LDC) will also be delivered by Loesche. Commissioning is scheduled for end April. Loesche is an owner-managed, export-oriented company that was founded in Berlin in 1906. Today, the company operates from its head office in Düsseldorf and has subsidiaries, representatives and agencies around the world. Loesche supplies turnkey plants, which are individually planned and built for

A Loesche mill, type LM 69.6

the required process steps. This includes plants for processing, material storage, transportation and delivery, vertical mills, hot-gas generators, filter and separator systems, complete automation technology, plants for all aspects of construction above and below ground, steel construction and piping systems.

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MILLING & CLASSIFICATION IS OUR BUSINESS E V E N 1 0 0 Y E A R S O F B E I N G A N I N N O V AT O R A N D

FROM INVENTING BETTER SOLUTIONS

EVERY DAY

Are you looking for cost-effective size-reduction and classification of ores, industrial minerals and concentrates? Contact Loesche SA to find out the advantages of the Loesche Grinding System for your beneficiation process.

Tel: +27 (0)11 482 2933 | Fax: +27 (0)11 482 2940 | Email: umeyer@loeschesa.co.za | Web: www.loesche.com

Loesche six roller Mill

MARKET LEADER DOES NOT KEEP US


COMMINUTION

M AT ER IA L FE E DE R

New tracked material feeder BLT SA has launched an automated handling system for mining and quarrying.

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EW TO BLT SA’s range of Samson bulk material-handling equipment is the recently launched MF0814T material feeder, featuring tracks for enhanced manoeuvrability. This new tracked machine, modelled on the original Samson material feeder, has been developed to meet the demands of the mining and quarrying sector. “These automated handling systems are designed to join together fixed and mobile equipment, offering flexibility and an economical alternative to expensive fixed bulk-handling installations,” says Keith Dowie, project development engineer for BLT SA’s Samson bulk materials-handling equipment.

Holding capacity The new robust MF0814T tracked material feeder, with a holding capacity of up to 100  t, is designed for high accuracy in discharge control and can operate efficiently in arduous environments. This system can efficiently handle materials with a bulk density up to 3.2 t/m³ and lumps up to 400  mm. Typical materials include limestone, coal and coke, raw slag,

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alternative fuels, clays and shale, as well as heavy mineral ores. The system, which is a flexible and costefficient alternative to conventional underground hoppers, is installed above ground by simply being bolted to a flat concrete slab foundation, eliminating costly civil engineering works. Even in fixed installations, this portable system can be relocated easily for future plant development.

The MF0814T tracked material feeder has a holding capacity of up to 100 tonnes

discharge and the efficient conveying of any material, without the risk of blockage. Steel apron bar technology provides the strength of an apron feeder, with clean operation. Conveyor chains are always outside the material flow, which means chain wear is reduced and inspection is easy.

Samson material feeders are suitable for heavy-duty applications

Self-propelled Heavy-duty applications Samson material feeders are suitable for heavy-duty applications with continuous use, including impact loading from articulated dump trucks and large loading shovels, providing a buffer storage capacity, without the need for large ramps or underground pits. Since material is drawn from the tipping truck in a controlled stream, dust generation is reduced significantly, minimising environmental pollution. A wide belt design, with vertical hopper sides, enables fast truck

The MF0814T is self-propelled and is powered by an integrated Tier 3 diesel engine. Self-steering through a remote control unit can be deployed quickly and independently for flexibility, total control and optimum efficiency. A key safety feature is an emergency stop facility. Optional emergency pull cords can also be installed on each side of the machine. BLT SA, which is the exclusive distributor of the Samson range in sub-Saharan Africa, offers a technical advisory, parts and maintenance service.


WATER STORAGE

S EC T I O NA L STE E L TA N K S

Wellspring of growth The need for water tanks to be designed, manufactured and supplied from South Africa led to the establishment of Abeco in 1983.

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OW THE company has accumulated over 100 years of combined water storage tank experience, operates from a 25  000  m2 manufacturing plant in Selby, Johannesburg, and has erected more water tanks in Southern Africa than any other company. The company’s highlights include: achieving over 25  000 installations; the installation of the first 5 Mℓ rectangular tank back in 2008, which is still the biggest bolted steel tank in Southern Africa to date; the installation of the first 3  Mℓ circular bolted tank back in 2009; and the installation of five 500 m3 tanks on 25 m stands on the north-eastern coast of Central America, where the structures had to be designed to withstand the hurricanes which had historically devastated the area. Abeco has also supplied tanks to over 30 countries to date, including many countries in Africa. It was the first steel tank manufacturer to achieve ISO 9001 accreditation in

2010, recently celebrated 30 years of manufacturing tanks and has obtained the right to apply the SABS certification mark, which further distinguishes the company as Abeco is the only sectional tank manufacturer with this certification. Its locally manufactured products comprise: ground-level tanks, elevated tanks, special tanks, fire tanks, internally bolted tanks, half panels and special cut-outs to accommodate obstructions and circular sectional steel tanks. “In the mining industry, we have tanks at Sishen, Steelpoort DRA, DRA Xstrata, Rustenburg, Rustenburg Shaft 16, Middleburg and various other Xstrata sites, Anglo Platinum, BHP Billiton and Chevron mines,” says owner Mannie Ramos Snr. For the mining industry in particular, it supplies fire water tanks, process water tanks, potable water storage tanks and ASIB [Automatic Sprinkler Inspection Bureau] tanks. “Abeco offers a unique perspective on potable water, wastewater, fire protection and

industrial liquid applications,” says Ramos. “Abeco knows the merits of each type of construction, which allows us to objectively propose the right type of storage for each application. The biggest challenge is to maintain both quality products and topnotch support to continue driving customer loyalty and, in so doing, maintain our dominance as the biggest supplied of water tanks in Southern Africa. “Currently, Abeco is going from strength to strength. To maintain market share, we have enhanced our product range and introduced a powder-coated tank to our range that can hold up to 30 284 m3, which is very competitive against concrete tanks.” “We have also introduced wastewater treatment, digesters and industrial liquid tanks to our liquid containment solutions, as well as entering the dry bulk storage market,” explain Ramos. Tanks for this particular application can hold bottom ash, cement, charcoal, coal, crushed rock, dewatered sludge, limestone, ore, fly ash and kiln dust.

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Th e N a me t h a t Re a lly H o ld s Wa ter Est. 1983 Manufactured in South Africa Specialists In: Pressed Sectional Steel Tanks • Structural Steel • Supporting Towers • Water Storage

Abeco House, 6A Bradford Rd Bedfordview, South Africa

Tel: +27 11 616 7999 | Fax: +27 11 616 8355 E-mail: Abeco@icon.co.za

www.abecotanks.co.za


PRODUCTS

G LOBAL OPTIONS

Submersible pumps from Japan A highly efficient vortex pump is available to the local mining industry through Mather + Platt.

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UBMERSIBLE PUMP sales to mines worldwide are increasing at the expense of alternative designs because of the advantages of space saving, ease of installation due to no pump house required, the elimination of the need to prime the pumps and savings. Among the submersible pump options available locally is the horizontally mounted model SV submersible pump from the EIM Electric Company of Japan. Sold and supported in South Africa by Mather + Platt, the SV pump has the advantages of high efficiency, heavy construction for long service life, low maintenance and an impeller that resists clogging. An operational duty equivalent to a standard centrifugal machine makes the EIM SV suitable for transferring fines, coal chip slurries and similar media, while the pump’s

non-clogging vortex impeller ensures that solids travel through the vortex passage rather than through the impeller, increasing the impeller’s wear life. Double mechanical seals protect the motor from the slurry being pumped. The pumps are explosion proofed for mining applications and are suitable for environments up to 40°C. Technical specifications include a power rating of 5.5 kW to 22 kW, a total head from 10  m to 20  m, a discharge of between 0.9 and 2.0  m3/min, and a voltage from 200  V to 1 100 V.

SV submersible pump from the EIM Electric Company

FLSmidth

28

Rentworks Africa

42

Loesche

53

Verder Pumps SA

47

MineRP

IBC

Vital Engineering

23 27

The EIM Electric Company is a Japanese company that has specialised in the manufacture of pumps, motors and related equipment for 60 years.

INDEX TO ADVERTISERS

3M Abeco Tanks

OBC 55

4th Annual Enviro Mining Conference 2014

2

Multotech

51

Wearcheck

Becker Mining

45

Osborn Engineered Products SA

40

Weir Minerals

Duxbury Transmission Equipment

10

Pilot Crushtec

38

WorleyParsons

17

Filtaquip

IFC

Polypipe

49

Process Vaccum

12

56 INS I DE MI NI NG 0 2 | 2 0 1 4

OFC


Start planning the professional way with MineRP’s Planning Collaborator 3D Spatial Analysis with SpatialAnalyzer

In-Depth Spatial Query 2D Spatial Reporting Design with SpatialVisualizer With SpatialDash

SpatialAnalyzer is the world’s leading mining 3D technical visualization and analysis platform accessible over the Web.

MineRP’s SpatialVisualizer acts as a plug-in to Microsoft SQL Server 2008, and allows you to create and test spatial queries for use in SpatialAnalyzer and SpatialDash.

SpatialDash is what you need for webbased, user- or role-specific spatial dashboard reporting on your mine’s operational and planning data.

Create your own spatial queries, and animate, rotate, inspect and analyse any Mining Technical data set available through MineRP’s SpatialDB

Use SpatialVisualizer to clean up imported data sets, test connectors and convertors, and much more.

Create and report on spatial areas of interest, set up KPI boundaries for reporting or workflow actions, and much more.

Planning with Mine2-4D

Scheduling with EPS

Design with MineCAD-SDB

Get the latest version of Mine2-4D, and convert currently owned licences of S5DP or Mine2-4D v12 to maximise previous investments.

EPS sets the industry standard for mine production scheduling and forecasting and further expands MineRP’s portfolio of robust, integrated solutions.

MineCAD-SDB is much more than just a CAD system. With specialized mining features and tools, you will be more productive than ever.

Full Multiple User, Multiple Project support ensures you always have complete control over work breakdown as well as versions. Fully integrated with SpatialDB, MineRP’s Mine2-4D is simply the best underground planning tool on the market.

Fully interactive planning with Mine24D, for planning, resource levelling and schedule visualizations.

Import wireframes, survey data, block models and much more for integration and visualization

Integrated with HardDollar and Candy for product costing and BOM

Manage data locations, design standards, features and other meta data directly on MineRP SpatialDB - no files necessary!

Review your plans anywhere, any time, over the web. The Planning Collaborator was built for professionals on the run. www.minerp.com



Inside Mining February 2014