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Highly commended 2012 PICA Cover of the Year - B2B Publishing





NuWater CEO John Holmes on effective wastewater reclamation solutions P8

SNOWDEN Meeting mining’s evolutionary changes GOLD

The rise and fall of the robust metal


Leaders emerge in the boardroom and at the coal face

WATER PRESERVATION A growing trend, a growing necessity

ISSN 1999-8872 • R40.00 (incl. VAT) • Vol. 6 • No. 2 • February 2013

The is diverse. diverse. The future future is The is yours. yours. The future future is At BHP BHP Billiton, Billiton, we At we operate operate in in over over 25 25 countries countriesand andour ourglobal globaloperations operationscomprises comprises approximately 100,000 employees and contractors. Diversity of gender, ethnicity, approximately 100,000 employees and contractors. Diversity of gender, ethnicity, skill, thought and experience are all important elements of our people strategy and skill, thought experiencesuccess. are all important elements of our people strategy and key drivers forand our continued key drivers for our continued success.




February 2013


Highly commended 2012 PICA Cover of the Year - B2B Publishing






Snowden: Meeting mining’s evolutionary changes




NuWater CEO John Holmes lmes er on effective wastewater reclamation solutions P8

SNO SN Omining’s OW W DE D EN Meeting minin ng’s ry evolutionary changes GOLD The rise and fall of the robust metal

WOMEN IN MINING Leaders emerge in the boardroom and at the coal face

WATER PRESERVATION A growing trend, a growing necessity

ISSN 1999-8872 • R40.00 (incl. VAT) • Vol. 6 • No. 2 • February 2013

Photo taken by Deba Prasad Roy (Snowden’s 2011 photo competition) Title: Lifting Description: Stones bought here from a nearby quarry have been cut and are being transported to the crusher machine Category: People/Culture Location: Malpahary, Jharkhand, India




Mining Indaba 2013 – take from it what you will



NuWater delivers effective water reclamation solutions


10 South Africa’s deep level gold mines – ripe with opportunity in the twilight years

14 Kibali takes African gold mines to new heights 18 Auroch unveils gold riches in Mozambique 20 The life of the Wits Basin gold dumps draws to an end


24 Otjikoto – a new Namibian gold mine in the making


26 Anglo’s eMalahleni water reclamation plant takes centre stage on a global platform

30 BHP Billiton Energy Coal South Africa preserves the environment for future generations

32 Prioritising mining H O 2



34 Voorspoed – a gentleman’s mine 38 Eversheds’ unparalleled female authority 40 Women climb the ladder PUMPS AND MIXERS

44 Qdos 30 – the start of a no-valve metering revolution

45 Dosing pump systems optimise platinum recovery

46 Vale Mozambique’s major pump pick-up Inside Mining 02/2013


A a 1st Annual


-Ensuring Environmental Compliance And Reporting In Mining Dates:

12 & 13 March 2013


Gallagher Estate, Midrand

&RQ¿UPHG([SHUW6SHDNHUV Regulatory Perspective Environmental Management And Mine Closure Compliance Aubrey Tshivhandekano Regional Manager: Mpumalanga DEPARTMENT OF MINERAL RESOURCES Understanding The DEA’S Expectations To Ensure Compliance In Mining Sibonelo Mbanjwa Deputy Director: Impact Management DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURE CONSERVATION (NORTHERN CAPE) Discussing Water Licensing And Water Usage In Mining Petrus Venter Deputy Regional Director: IWRM & Catchment Strategies NW DEPARTMENT OF WATER AFFAIRS

Yolandi Schoeman Executive Environmental Manager EVRAZ HIGHVELD

Shelley Willock Senior Environmental Advisor HATCH

Hermanus Prinsloo Senior Environmental Manager ANGLO AMERICAN


Nic Bessenger Risk Manager BLACK WATTLE COLLIERY

Warren Beech Partner And Head Of Mining EVERSHEDS

Henno Engelbrecht Mariette Lieffenrink Programme Manager BSc Hon Env. Man CEO ENVIRONMENTAL ASSURANCE FEDERATION FOR SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENT Jacques Harris Project Manager WORLEY PARSONS


3UHVHQWDWLRQV7R%H'LVFXVVHG,QFOXGH ‡ Discussing The Comparison Between the MPRDA, NEMA And The Mines Health And Safety Act ‡ Promoting Environmental Compliance, Transparency And Accountability In Mining ‡ Looking At Sustainable Closure Initiatives During The Life Of A Mine ‡ Moving Towards Environmental Sustainability Through Community-Based Mine Rehabilitation And Socio-Economic Empowerment ‡ Implementing Strategic Operational Techniques ‡ Environmental Risk Management And Economic Modelling ‡ Development Of An Integrated Rehabilitation Plan For Implementation ‡ Unmanned Aerial Photography To Ensure Monitoring And Control Media Partners:

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Editor’s comment Publisher Elizabeth Shorten Editor Laura Cornish Head of design Frédérick Danton Senior designer Hayley Mendelow Chief sub-editor Claire Nozaïc


Take from it what you will...

Sub-editor Patience Gumbo Marketing & online manager Martin Hiller

It is my first day back in the office after this year’s

Production manager Antois-Leigh Botma

African Mining Indaba, and I am trying to reflect on the outcome of the event. Was it busy? Yes, though I’m certain not to the same extent as previous years – even last year. Were the talks and presentations good? Yes! Controversial? Yes! A reflection of the truth? Mostly, but not always. Those who were there will know what I mean. Was there a constant exciting buzz in the air? To be honest, I didn’t feel it this year. The atmosphere seemed slightly dull and that usual note of anticipation in the air was lacking. Perhaps Marikana and the Amplats restructuring announcement have left a sour taste in everyone’s mouths. Were the exhibitors at the top of their game? This is the question that requires the longest answer. The exhibition area was big, and there were stands in aisles where there haven’t been in recent years. But unlike previous years, there were a high volume of equipment and product suppliers. I thought the Electra Mining Africa show was the correct medium for that specific market sector. Indaba generally comprises mining analysts, fund managers, investment specialists and governments, all looking to obtain the most current economic and mining developments from the world’s leading experts on African mining. Is the purpose of the Mining Indaba changing or has the nature of deals being made changed? From my point of view, it is great to have all mining business sectors under one roof. I have never networked with so many people or caught up with so many mining friends in such a short time frame. I have come away from Cape Town feeling uncertain about the future of South Africa’s mining sector, but excited about the growing prospects in Africa and more ‘in love’ with the industry in its entirety than ever before. Ultimately, everyone has a unique Indaba experience, and I hope that deals were made, new contacts established and there are plenty of follow-ups to come for each and every one of you. Dr Mamphela Ramphele, former chairperson of Gold Fields, gave an incredibly memorable speech, one that will stay with me for a long time to come. “The legacy of the past has come home to haunt us,” she said. “Mining investments end up funding large rural estates for presidents,” she added. I have so much admiration for this lady, who stood up in front of a global audience and spoke the truth about the status of the South African mining sector! I applaud her. Cynthia Carroll gave a touching final Indaba speech as Anglo American CEO, reiterating her passion for the industry and her hopes for the future. Two prolific female mining heads and further representation of the changing level of importance that women are fulfilling in the industry. How apt that this issue looks at this topic in depth. This issue also takes a look at the gold sector, one of the more robust metals at present, discussing our mature gold sector’s twilight years and the resulting emergence of additional tailings recovery projects. We also cover To our avid readers, be sure to sign up the topic of water preservation and reclamation – another conand get the latest updates and inside scoop from the mining industry. Check out what we tributing factor influencing new mining development timelines. are talking about on our website, Facebook A wealth of interesting, relevant information at your fingerpage or follow me on Twitter and have tips. Enjoy! your say.

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Inside Mining 02/2013


Cover story


The mining industry has moved away from the frenetic growth drive seen over the past decade and established mining jurisdictions are focusing on achieving more, with less, from current assets. As such, Snowden has adjusted its solution sets to focus on the monitoring and optimisation aspects of the mining value chain.

All photos contributed from Snowden’s annual photographic competition



he slowdown in major markets, volatility in commodity prices, lack of capital and ever-increasing costs have all combined to form a perfect storm for the industry. As a result, the sector has entered into a massive consolidation period that is and will see new projects undergoing greater and more rigorous scrutiny to ensure real value can be delivered. To ensure it remains a leader in its field, Snowden has realigned its technology and software solutions business to cater to the sector’s changing needs. Snowden’s Reconcilor solution, for example, has moved from being a pure data reconciliation offering to a methodology that combines consulting and training, and manages and measures effective recovery against design and plan. Its optimisation solution, Evaluator, has been redeveloped to deliver scenario analysis during the feasibility stage of the project, which provides a much wider view on an operation’s ability to monitor and assess any combination of economic and production factors.

Inside Mining 02/2013

Now, more than ever, positive outcomes will be driven from a combination of deep technical know-how and real life operational experience. A combination that Snowden is adept at providing to its clients.

Snowden’s 2013 African plans 2013 will see Africa remain under the spotlight as a key target for mining companies. Established mining regions are experiencing declining grade quality and deeper ore bodies, and regulatory and cost structures continue to escalate. This is driving emerging players as well as established miners to cast their eyes to Africa. Blessed with a wealth of mineral riches, it attracts suitors from every continent. African governments recognise the potential value of these investments and the need to have experienced and knowledgeable companies assist them in realising this potential. Activity is increasing as stakeholders are starting to work together in a more effective and mutually beneficial way. Africa is a complex environment, and although some countries pose significant challenges

Mediterranean mining, Mochlos, Greece highly commended Pic credit: Asier Ramirez

to mining companies, the tide is turning with success feeding more success. Global capital markets are being accessed for project funding for African mining projects through the principal mining-focused stock markets (London, Sydney, Johannesburg, Toronto and Hong Kong), commercial banks (predominantly European and South African) and development funding institutions. Economic development rates are currently higher in Africa than many other continents and this is expected to continue to fuel demand for many mineral products, notwithstanding economic downturns being experienced in other world regions. Snowden has already been supporting clients on this development journey in Africa for the past 25 years. With one of its major offices based in Johannesburg, the company remains committed to the continent and recognises the value that mining investments bring, not only to mining companies but also to local stakeholders.

Cover story

Snowden Johannesburg

“We are excited by the opportunities afforded to Snowden by the continued expansion of exploration and mining investment into this fascinating continent,” says Snowden’s Johannesburg MD, Bill McKechnie. “Africa offers excellent opportunity for our consulting business as major, mid-tier and junior mining and exploration companies are well represented in both mature and developing regions.” From its Johannesburg office, Snowden provides technical and risk assurance consulting throughout Africa to a growing list of global mining companies, banking institutions and investors. A track record featuring projects in commodities such as gold, platinum, diamonds, coal, copper, chromite, bauxite, manganese and phosphates, and, more recently, rare earth elements and graphite, demonstrates the company’s range and versatility. Snowden Johannesburg’s growing reputation for uncompromising corporate due diligence, independent technical review and competent persons reporting work will continue to form a focus for future growth.

New opportunities are being followed through in close collaboration with Snowden’s Oxford office in the UK by extending existing relationships with bankers into London and the European markets. The Johannesburg office is also a resource for Australian, Russian and Chinese companies looking at entry into Africa, with a number of successful due diligence and technical audit projects having been completed and others still under way.

Snowden Johannesburg houses extensive experience and expertise in various styles of gold, Bushveld platinum, diamonds, copper and other base metal mineralisation. The Southern African region is energy deficient and Snowden’s coal capability in Johannesburg provides a foundation for servicing opportunities in South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana and Zimbabwe. Snowden’s Reconcilor product is in place at one of South Africa’s largest iron ore mining operations and an expansive open cast coal mine. Also of note, Reconcilor is being implemented at one of the richest diamond mines in the world, located in Botswana. The company is also well known for its capabilities in the provision of professional training and its developed skills base will continue to provide opportunities for tailored technical training for client companies in all aspects of mineral exploration and the mining pipeline.

Snowden’s unique technologies and products Snowden has been working with the mining industry to deliver technology solutions since the early 2000s. The team comprises software and mining professionals working together to create industry specific solutions for industry specific challenges. The division is an integral part of Snowden; the product suite developed for Universal Reconciliation as well as those developed for

resource governance, geostatistical analysis and other niche mining market sectors lead the field in functionality and increasingly so in market share. With a range of well-recognised domain-specific products, Snowden is the recognised industry thought leader in reconciliation across the entire mining value chain. Developed by Snowden, Universal Reconciliation is an all-encompassing exercise. It enables an organisation to identify

Inside Mining 02/2013


Cover story LEFT Report for Duty, Stilfontein, North West Province, South Africa – highly commended Pic credit: Neville Petersen

RIGHT The industrialization of Lithium in Bolivia, Uyuni, Bolivia – overall winner Pic credit: Javier Arcenillas

variation between ‘planned’ and ‘actual’ outcomes across the entire mining value chain and then consistently tests the robustness of every component. It is currently used by a number of leading global miners to assist them in managing their operations, with great success. Snowden is now focused on taking its reconciliation solution, Reconcilor, to the wider mining industry in 2013. The current challenges within the global markets make the timing of this critical as it can help identify significant opportunities for increased recoveries.

Another leading solution, Supervisor V8, Snowden’s award-winning geostatistical analysis tool, was developed to fully support the resource modelling process. Its ease of use, efficiency and consequent substantial time savings in geostatistical analysis have been welcomed by the market when mining companies are demanding more. The unique composition of the technologies team, which includes leaders in the fields of geology, mine engineering and metallurgy, provides an expert perspective to the specific issues that face most mining companies. To get maximum value from technology, mining companies need to adopt appropriate solutions for their specific requirements and utilise the skills of specialist personnel to get the most out of software and operations. It is not enough to just implement clever software and wait for the returns.

Developments in the Johannesburg office South Africa is a mature mining environment. The changing political situation in the country is creating opportunities for new entrants, particularly as the majors refocus their portfolios and restrict development and investment activities to only their most important assets. This has created a number of independent

advisory opportunities for Snowden with mid-tier and junior companies seeking funding for projects via banks and other financial institutions. Snowden Johannesburg’s goal is to grow in line with market requirements. The vision is to double the staff complement over the next 24 to 36  months by attracting leading professionals in all key disciplines and commodities. Although the majority of its work is derived from South Africa, work is being increasingly sourced from other parts of Africa and the world through collaboration with other Snowden offices. Led by Bill McKechnie, who previously led De Beers’ global exploration, Snowden’s team of resource, mining and corporate professionals provide independent technical, commercial and strategic consultancy services to major, mid-tier and junior miners, as well as explorers, banks and investors. The Snowden Johannesburg team comprises of 16 professionals in the areas of geology, resource estimation, mining engineering, process engineering, financial valuation, commercial and strategic advisory. The geology team, led by Mark Burnett, is highly competent in all major mineral and metal commodities mined throughout Africa, particularly in gold, platinum, coal, ‘Women at Mining” – Sangatta, Indonesia Pic credit: Ricky Santana


Inside Mining 02/2013

Cover story

Snowden’s history (a humble beginning)

diamonds, manganese, chromium and base metals. Similarly the mining team is comprised of specialists with more than 100 years of combined mining experience across most commodities. Dennis Cowen, a metallurgical engineer with almost 30  years of broad-based technical, consulting, valuation and commercial experience, spearheads the independent technical review services for private funders and investors and competent persons reporting for public IPOs and capital raisings. Over the past 24 months, technical advisory services provided have resulted in over R4 billion being raised for projects in Africa. In the past three years, Snowden’s Johannesburg office has developed strong

The importance of women

Phil and Viv Snowden started the company with a small office in West Perth in 1987. Since then, it has grown into one of the premier mining consulting houses servicing the mining industry globally. Built on a reputation for providing quality services and solutions to its clients, Snowden now has a global presence with offices in Australia, Canada, South Africa, Brazil and the UK. Snowden has, over the past 26 years, consulted on projects for hundreds of clients worldwide, covering the range of mineral commodities. From an initial focus on resource estimation, the company’s capability has broadened significantly to offer geology and exploration, mine design and planning, corporate services, geotechnical studies, mineral processing, extractive metallurgy, specialised mining software, and professional development and training. Riding the inevitable cycles of the mining industry, it has quietly gone about its business, delivering a truly independent view on which the industry has come to rely. Snowden has built its reputation on its unique combination of extensive technical expertise, operational experience and innovative mining solutions.

Snowden is a business built on its people. As such, the company places importance on the health and wellbeing of its male and female staff and has always promoted a healthy work-life balance as part of the Snowden experience! Snowden’s female staff account for 33% of its workforce (as at December 2012), which is significantly higher than the estimated 12.8% in the industry (statistics as reported by Swan Global (2012)). Snowden prides itself in being one of the leaders in the market in terms of providing flexible work arrangements and development opportunities for its workforce. As stated by Lynn Olssen, principal consultant from Perth’s geosciences team: “I have been with Snowden for over 10 years now. Throughout my time, Snowden has provided the type of environment where I could develop and maintain my professional career, while starting a family. Snowden promotes a work-life balance ethos.”

Technical advisory services provided have resulted in over R4 billion being raised for projects in Africa relationships with most of the local and European banks participating in resource industry funding. The office plans to continue building this growing reputation in corporate independent technical report and competent person report style work.

In each issue, Inside Mining offers advertisers the opportunity to promote their company’s products and services to the appropriate audience by booking the prime position of the front cover which includes a two-page feature article. The magazine offers advertisers an ideal platform to ensure the maximum exposure of their brand. Please call +27(0)11 465 5452 to secure your booking.

“The flexibility I have working for Snowden enables me to focus on my career while seeing my children grow and sharing in their achievements. The opportunities for working mothers in the mining industry are numerous with Snowden,” says Yolandi Nagel, HR manager. Snowden continues to work towards attracting the best talent available for its team and much of this talent lies in female engineers and geologists who, for various reasons, have left the industry. Snowden is focused on providing the work environment to attract such talent back into the industry and to provide the necessary support for the best result.

Inside Mining 02/2013


Hot seat: Water preservation


Eradicating wastewater woes

The mining industry’s demand for effective wastewater reclamation is growing rapidly across the globe. NuWater has the technology, skills, experience and financial resources to meet this demand and address the associated challenges, says CEO John Holmes.


uWater is a technology-driven water treatment and desalination solutions and services company that specialises in “unconventional” wastewater reclamation applications, particularly in the mining, and oil and gas sectors. The company was formed in 2010 following the acquisition of the GrahamTek large-diameter reverse osmosis (RO) technology and the integration of the existing South African and Singapore operations under the new brand. It has built its technology platform and water cleaning services business model “from the ground up”, specifically aimed at addressing the requirements of extractive industries. This has resulted in its high-capacity, self-contained, rapidly deployable and redeployable


Inside Mining 02/2013

wastewater reclamation plants, allowing it to offer the responsiveness, flexibility and project financing models that mining customers demand. “Today, we have rapidly established ourselves as a leader in wastewater reclamation, building on our success in large-scale secondary sewerage water reclamation in Singapore and our modular, rapidly deployable and redeployable plants in Africa,” says Holmes. While NuWater delivers wastewater technologies and services to a variety of industries, the mining sector in particular is and will continue to play a significant role in its overall business in 2013 and beyond. “We have a clear focus on providing turnkey solutions to the mining sector, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and the

Asia Pacific region, including Australia. In 2012, we consolidated our position as a trusted service provider to the mining sector and we start 2013 with significant projects in progress and a strong pipeline of new projects.”

The biggest challenges “As a young and dynamic company, we will continue to invest in product development in the coming year to address the two biggest challenges for mine wastewater reclamation: brine management and energy efficiency. We believe the combination of successful projects, supported by customer endorsements, and ongoing innovation will continue to see NuWater the preferred wastewater partner to the mining sector,” Holmes continues.

Hot seat: Water preservation

and maintenance services. In return, the mine committed to an off-take agreement for the clean water at a fixed price per cubic metre produced. To date, the company has produced more than 7.5 billion litres of high-quality water from the plant.

project has a treatment requirement of around 7 500 m³/d.” NuWater has been able to leverage its sister operations in Singapore, South Africa and the UK to ensure that the critical timeline and milestones for these projects are

“NuWater is able to adapt to the unconventional and changing needs of the mining industry.” John Holmes, CEO of NuWater

The NuWater competitive advantage NuWater is an expert in RO technology, which is the default choice for large-scale desalination applications, including brackish water, seawater or wastewater. The company has a suite of patented and proprietary technologies covering RO, specifically large-diameter (16 inches) high-flux RO capabilities, as well as pretreatment and brine management. NuWater has demonstrated its technology and execution capabilities with some of the world’s most demanding customers, from the pristine environment of Singapore to the challenging conditions of African mining operations. Its customers recognise the value of its experience and how this is reflected in the quality of the technology and engineering incorporated into the plants, as well as the skills and capability of the technical team, and the innovative commercial models offered. In late 2010, NuWater was awarded the contract to provide a complete turnkey water treatment and desalination solution for Anglo American Thermal Coal’s New Vaal colliery’s drainage water, which was unsuitable for discharge back into the environment. The requirement was to provide and finance a plant capable of producing up to 20  000  m³/d (20  Mℓ/d) of high-quality water, along with all related operations

OPPOSITE Anglo New Vaal 15 Mℓ/d wastewater reclamation plant ABOVE NuWater modular plant

“With our modular and mobile plant design, we were able to start producing high-quality water within 12 weeks of contract signature. Capacity was then increased over a period of time to the current maximum of 20  Mℓ/d. We consider this plant a significant project, which demonstrates both the technical and commercial viability of our large-scale ‘modular & redeployable’ plants and our build, own and operate (BOO) model,” Holmes points out. Given the high quality of the water produced by the NuWater plant, it is pumped to Eskom’s neighbouring Lethabo power station where it is used as cooling water, further enhancing the economic and environmental benefits of the project. NuWater continues to work very closely with Anglo American to further improve the treatment capabilities of the plant to accommodate expected changes to the mine drainage water over the coming years. “Our ability to rapidly deploy proven mine wastewater solutions was instrumental in NuWater recently securing two wastewater reclamation project contracts with Gold Fields for its operations in Ghana. Each

met. The first plant will be commissioned shortly and the second plant is due to be commissioned towards the middle of 2013. “Again, these projects demonstrate NuWater’s commercial flexibility, incorporating a combination of equipment sales, equipment rental, and operations and maintenance services,” Holmes outlines.

Additional technologies Despite the high-level technological advantages NuWater offers, it continues to add innovative technology, solutions and services to its portfolio. “We are excited about the potential of our in-house developed brine reduction and salt-separation technologies, which complement and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our existing product suite. This will inevitably also lead us into offering a broader range of waste management solutions to deal with salts removed from mine drainage water. We are also involved in a number of mining and broader industrial research initiatives that we expect to help shape our product and service offering”. “NuWater is able to adapt to the unconventional and changing needs of the mining industry and believes that traditional companies operating in the water sector will struggle to meet the demands of the mining sector.”

Inside Mining 02/2013




Ripe with opportunity in the Many believe that South Africa’s deep level gold mining sector is in its twilight years as a result of rising operational costs, extreme depths, steep wage increases and old age. The need for replacement ounces and lifespan extensions will ensure the sun doesn’t set on this industry yet, writes Laura Cornish.


hile engineering and project management company TWP Projects has traditionally delivered numerous quality mining and process projects in the platinum and base metals sectors, its portfolio has recently expanded substantially across other commodities, including gold. South Africa’s deep level gold sector is no longer in its ‘prime’, and questions regarding its future are vast, but the levels of investment and time being spent to ensure its long-term sustainability are ample.

Rob McGill, TWP head of mining and gold portfolio manager, joined the company two years ago to drive its gold portfolio, and brought with him substantial deep level mining experience and skills, primarily from his years with AngloGold Ashanti.

Why is gold is still opportunist?

Having inherited a small department, McGill has overseen the establishment of a TWP Krugersdorp branch (opened just over a year ago), and already overseen significant growth within the company’s mining department and gold portfolio. “Our Krugersdorp branch allows us to be close to the gold-focused project and engineering resource base, and deliver hands-on experience

The top three gold majors alone (Harmony Gold, AngloGold Ashanti and Gold Fields (Sibanye Gold)) are spending around R3 billion a year of project capital expenditure on their deep level mines – focusing on depth and lifespan extensions and optimisation plans to keep volumes and ounces up and costs down.


Inside Mining 02/2013

and solutions to the surrounding industry whose internal engineering and EPCM expertise have been diminishing for some time. Our branch is doing extremely well and already employs about 30 staff members,” says McGill. “Contradictory to the growing

Mines need to increase their working efficiency – the travel time required to get operators to the face at depths makes them very unproductive outlook for the local gold sector, I believe there is still a lot of opportunity for new project work, particularly for brownfields expansions aimed at securing and delivering replacement ounces.” The TWP Krugersdorp branch has already completed eight deep level project studies and seen one move into execution. McGill expects another two will follow shortly.


twilight years “Considering our mines remain dedicated to investing in their assets, our intention is to take on larger roles in these projects, in terms of execution, much like what our company traditionally offers the industry in an EPCM capacity.” McGill expects the branch’s project work to continue into the future. “Because we offer a unique, tailor-made service, our strategy going forwards will include broadening our technical services and offering strategic consulting as well, which looks at ways to keep revenue up should mines ramp down towards closure.”

deliver value cohesively makes sense for the entire mining industry.” Gold Fields has already created a new company, Sibanye Gold, into which it has spun-off its KDC complex. A dedicated CEO will oversee this asset, which comprises the Kloof, Driefontein and Beatrix mines, to ensure its viability into the future.

BELOW LEFT A view of AngloGold Ashanti’s headgear at Mponeng, the deepest gold mine in the world BELOW RIGHT The top three gold majors alone are spending around R3 billion a year of project capital expenditure on their deep level mines

Gold Fields’ last remaining asset, South Deep, is said to be one of the few deep level gold mines with a long-term sustainable future.

The need for new work methods Mining at extreme depths (AngloGold Ashanti’s Mponeng mine is over 4 km deep)

Future outlook The local sector was plagued with illegal strike action in 2012, which resulted in a significant reduction in revenue, which directly impacts on the amount of cash available to fund new projects internally. Unfortunately, while there is never a suitable time for strike action, its impact is most severe in the months leading up to the Christmas period when mines traditionally deliver their best production volumes. The ramifications are long lasting. “Looking to the future, I expect to see asset consolidation in the industry to help sustain and create shareholder value. Collectively grouping assets together that can best Driefontein is one of the oldest deep level gold mines, part of the KDC Complex, which now belongs to Sibanye Gold

Inside Mining 02/2013


Gold LEFT Different mining and development techniques for deep level mining are being investigated BELOW FROM TOP Underground at Mponeng A dumper truck at about 2 000 m underground at Gold Fields’ South Deep mine A miner at Gold Fields’ South Deep mine uses remote controls to operate machinery

is possible as gold reefs continue at these depths and well below. However, different technologies, working procedures and new methodologies are essential to maintain profitability by keeping operating costs down. “Ultimately, through these initiatives, mines can maintain their margins at levels that allow them to fund their own expansion projects, the local gold mining industry can continue for many years to come. “Mines need to increase their working efficiency – the travel time required to get operators to the face at depths makes them very unproductive. The reintroduction of continuous operations could be one of the solutions to this particular problem and is consequently being re-evaluated.”


Inside Mining 02/2013

Different mining techniques are also being examined – rock cutting instead of drilling and blasting for tunnelling and accessing reef, for example. Rising energy costs is another major problem for deep level mines – refrigeration costs are escalating rapidly as rock temperatures exceed 60 degrees below 4  km. “Rock stresses and seismicity also steadily increase at depth, meaning less ore can be extracted. Costs will have to be reduced in other areas to offset this particular issue.”

Moving into Africa The long-term sustainability of the deep level gold mining sector is under threat – a lot of challenges and problems need to be resolved to ensure these mines can continue

to operate profitability. If not, the industry’s future looks bleak beyond the next 10 years. Most mining houses are looking to the rest of the African continent for new gold opportunities. As a result, TWP’s gold portfolio in Africa is also growing, with two projects under way in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Should its merger with WorleyParsons conclude successfully, its footprint across the globe, and other gold-rich continents such as South America, will continue to flourish as well. “Our gold processing expertise will enhance our business to deliver across the globe as well. Ore bodies in different regions require different processing methods and this is an area in which we can offer value and expertise.”


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Taking African gold mining to new heights African gold miner and explorer Randgold Resources is a pro at developing large-scale gold mines in the remotest African regions. Its latest project, Kibali, fits this profile perfectly, writes Laura Cornish.


ot only is Randgold Resources capable of finding large-scale gold deposits in Africa, but it has developed and perfected its skill of converting the properties into profitable operating gold entities in the face of ‘typical’ African continent challenges. “No other mining company has achieved the delivery of so many new mines in Africa,” says Randgold Resources’ CEO, Mark Bristow. The Kibali project is the company’s latest venture (together with AngloGold Ashanti) and remains on track to start producing at the end of 2013 and reach full production the year after. With a 10  Moz mineral reserve (and 18  Moz resource), the project represents one of the largest undeveloped gold deposits in Africa. It is set to deliver an average of 600  000  ozpa for the first 11  years with an average grade of 4.2  g/t. The project has a 17-year lifespan, although ongoing exploration is expected to see this extend substantially. Situated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Kibali will include an integrated underground and opencast mine,


Inside Mining 02/2013

a twin-circuit sulphide and oxide plant with a run-of-mine (ROM) throughput of 6 Mtpa. The project covers an area of 1  836  km² in the Moto gold fields in the north east of the DRC and is located some 560 km north-east of the city of Kisangani and 150  km west of the Ugandan border town of Arua. Once in production, the Kibali project is expected to contribute about 20% towards Randgold Resources’ entire portfolio. This is significant considering it owns just 45% of the project, with AngloGold owning another 45% and the Congolese parastatal, Sokimo owning the remaining 10%. “We have a long-term working relationship with AngloGold and like sharing the commercial risk. Both companies have very different structures and, as such, bring different strengths to the venture. Our strength of course lies specifically in successfully managing technical and political risks,” says Bristow. The project’s development is broken down into two phases. The Phase 1 capital programme is estimated at US$920  million (R8.34  billion) (before escalation

The key to working in Africa “We have been operating since 1995 in sub-Saharan Africa, and while every country is different, there are always similarities. But governments have grown to recognise us and see the benefits our mines bring to their countries. It is important to be completely transparent,” says Mark Bristow. provisions and contingencies) and will cover the metallurgical facility, a hydropower station and back-up thermal power facility, construction of the tailings storage facility, relocation of villages, opencast mining and all shared infrastructure. This will run over a two-year period. The Phase 2 capital programme is estimated at US$650 million (before escalation provisions and contingencies), which will run concurrently with Phase 1 but will extend over four years. This phase is focused primarily on the underground development and includes a twin decline and vertical shaft system as well as three hydropower stations. This is expected to bring the underground into first production by the end


ABOVE Construction of the Kibali plant is progressing well BELOW Mark Bristow (far left) and other Randgold Resources directors inspect progress of the decline development for the undergound mine

of 2014, with steady state production targeted for the end of 2015.

The mine Randgold Resources is considered an expert in interpreting and understanding the nature and geology of gold deposits in Africa, “which are generally high-grade ore bodies, with narrow seams,” says Bristow,

adding that Kibali is no exception. The project is on track to deliver its first gold from the plant at the end of 2013 and will ramp up to deliver about 550 000  oz of gold in 2014. The underground mine will be accessed via a twin decline system (men and material, and rock hoisting) as well as a 2.8 Mtpa, 770 m deep, 8 m diameter production vertical shaft. Mining methods will be a combination of long-hole open stoping, longitudinal (along strike) and transverse (multiple stope accesses), depending on the height of the stope, which varies between 25 and 40 m. The mine will employ about 3  500 people once the underground mine is operational and at nameplate capacity, of which 90% will be Congolese nationals. “The plan is to mine our opencast reserves while simultaneously developing underground. This will ensure we start generating cash early. Because our opencast reserves are substantial, there will be an overlap of production from surface and underground.” On surface, Kibali will comprise six individual pits, which will be mined over a 10year period, with the potential for another two. Even though underground material is higher in grade, the intention is to convert more opencast reserves. Kibali will, however, be a long life underground mine. “We have already started with additional

resource conversion and believe there is huge upside potential. As such, our exploration strategy is threefold. We want to extend our current underground ore bodies (by about 1 Moz by March/April 2013), which appear to continue their down-dip nature; convert some of our 8  Moz inventory (including near-mine targets) to resource category and continue with our greenfields exploration,” Bristow outlines.

The metallurgical plant Even though Kibali will be a 6 Mtpa operation initially, the process plant’s design capacity is 7.2  Mtpa, accommodating future possible expansions. All ancillary project infrastructure has been designed and built to accommodate expansions down the line as well. The plant incorporates a carbon-in-leach (CIL) circuit stream to process the oxides and a flotation circuit stream for the sulphides. Upfront commissioning and early stage production using softer, ‘easier-toprocess’ oxide material will ensure a smooth start-up process, says Bristow. Both streams are capable of processing hard ore (sulphide material), because the surface oxide material will deplete first. The overall plant recovery rate is expected to be about 87.8%. “This is the first Randgold operation to incorporate a full flotation circuit, which is something we are particularly proud of. It

Inside Mining 02/2013


Gold Contractors Metallurgical plant/tailings storage facility/hydropower plants/infrastructure: • GPS (Group 5 Civils, Protech, Safricas) • Group 5 Projects (South Africa) • Weldcon (Kenya) • M&T (DRC and South Africa) • DRA Mineral Projects (South Africa) • Polysius (Germany) • Traminco (DRC) • Civicon (Uganda) • Bell (South Africa) • PMES Mining: • KMS (France) • Shaft Sinkers (South Africa) • Byrnecut (Australia) Relocation assistance programme: • Kingdom Building Company (DRC) • Optimum Consult (DRC) • Inter Orientale Builders (DRC) • ADCR (DRC) • Kibali Construction (DRC) • Chez Bibas (DRC) • SCBC (DRC) • MBOSAC (DRC) • El Shaddai Construction (DRC) • Ethagec SPRL (DRC) • Algro Consult (DRC) • Plumbcore (South African expats) • EFB (DRC) • Kokwo Construction (DRC) Logistics: • FFK/Tradecorp – Kenya • ETS (DRC) Drilling/exploration: • GeoSearch (DRC) shows our ability to implement appropriate and advanced mining technologies and improve on previous mine designs.” The company also does not believe in the traditional EPCM model. “We have Newly built houses at Kokiza


Inside Mining 02/2013

an extensive owners’ team on-site, which works closely with our appointed engineers and contractors.” There are currently about 5 000 people on-site as construction momentum continues to advance.

Once completed, the upgraded Nzoro 1 power station (an old Belgium power station) will supply 1  MW of power to the local community. The combined target output for Nzoro 2, Azambi, Ambarau and Sessenge equates to 47 MW in total.

Power As a strategy to combat the insufficient, erratic and unreliable power supply in the DRC, Randgold Resources is investing in the construction of four hydropower stations and the upgrade of a fifth, all based in close proximity to the mine. During the rainy seasons, the hydropower stations will provide 47 MW of power to the project, which will drop to 40  MW in the dry season when diesel-driven thermal power generators will make up the supply difference.

The community A critical component of the Kibali project is the 18 000 strong community, which until recently was located above the mine’s resource. “We have had to relocate the entire town, which comprised 14 separate villages. This involved building new homes and relocating 3  000 graves, 14  schools, 17 churches, five clinics, an entire catholic church complex, markets, farms, a nunnery and a monastery. Village relocation may be

Gold Station


Minimum output (low flowMW)

Target output (peak MW)

Nzoro 2

To be designed and constructed by Kibali



Kibali 1 (Azambi)

To be designed and constructed by Kibali



Kibali 2 (Ambarau)

To be designed and constructed by Kibali



Kibali 3 (Sessenge)

To be designed and constructed by Kibali







typical practice in the mining sector, but rarely on this scale.” To date, a total of 1 407 families (from eight villages) have been resettled and a total of 1  780 houses completed. 50  000 bricks a day are being used to build nearly 60 houses a week.

The current status The 180 km road linking the mine to the Ugandan border was upgraded, along with 14 bridges to accommodate the significant levels of traffic required to transport all equipment items to site. “The mills alone

required 57 t truck payloads. We are clearing up to 200 trucks on the border post every week. “Looking forwards, our target for this quarter is to start the pre-sink of the vertical shaft (construction of the declines has already commenced),” Bristow continues. Kibali has advanced its status from ‘manufacture and procure’ to ‘erect’. All major items, including the mill shells and gearboxes, CIL tanks, 70% of structural steel, 13 gensets (of 36) on-site, primary crushers, secondary crushers, the kiln, interstage screens, overhead cranes, discharge

screens and fuel farm tanks are already on-site. “We are pouring about 200 m3 of concrete a day.” The girth gears, elution columns, agitators, remaining gensets, 30% of piping, apron feeders, hydro equipment turbines, heat exchangers, electro-winning cells, conveyor idlers, cabling, electrical and instrumentation equipment and cyclones are all en route.

The two ball mills were placed on the foundations in January 2013, ahead of schedule



Unveiling gold riches in Mozambique The Manica gold project, situated in central Mozambique on the Beira Corridor near the town of Manica, holds the potential to emerge as a significant gold producing mine in the region. All it needed was a dedicated and committed company to develop it from exploration through to production, writes Laura Cornish.


he Manica project, originally owned and explored by JSE-listed gold and platinum mining company Pan African Resources, has been relatively under-explored for more than a decade. Due to the nature, scope and size of the project, it needed a company capable of devoting every moment to maximising its potential. Pan African Resources recently completed the divestment of the project, which led to the creation of a newly branded gold company whose purpose is to move Manica swiftly down the development pathway. This responsibility now belongs to newly established and ASX-listed Auroch Minerals, previously Terranova Minerals. BELOW The Manica project lies within the relatively unexploited Odzi-MutareManica (OMM) 160 km-long gold belt in Mozambique. The Northern Shear is the primary exploration focus for 2013 INSET The Manica project has a JORCcompliant resource base of 2.97 Moz at 1.83 g/t gold


Inside Mining 02/2013

“It is an opportunity and a challenge to put a company together and develop an asset, but we are unwaveringly committed to our cause and will learn and grow as we evolve,” says Auroch’s MD, Dean Cunningham. Auroch raised US$3 million (R27.3 million) in late 2012 before being readmitted to official quotation on the ASX in January 2013. Pan African Resources, which will retain a maximum stake of 46% in the project and will not divest for two years, remains fully committed to the project. “The appointed team is extremely capable and competent, and I have no doubt this project will develop further now,” says Pan African’s CEO, Jan Nelson, who has taken a seat on the Auroch board as a non-executive director. “Auroch has retained some of the skills of the Pan African Resources experienced exploration team, who have been working on the project since 2002. We have appointed Gordon Koll to run the geological strategy, and Jim Porter and Graeme Farr have been appointed as secured contractors for mining and processing, respectively. EPC specialist Basil Read Matomo, which has been assisting

us to date, will conduct the feasibility study in due course,” Cunningham outlines. “Considering our junior status, we are particularly proud of our expertise level, which, combined, amounts to 140 years of experience.” The project lies within the relatively unexploited 160  km long Odzi-Mutare-Manica (OMM) classical greenstone gold belt, which extends from Zimbabwe to Mozambique. To date, it has a JORC-compliant resource base of 2.97 Moz at 1.83 g/t gold, located on the eastern limb of the OMM. 87% of the current JORC-compliant resource has been derived from the Southern Shear at Fair Bride, which is predominantly a sulphide resource. Capital raised at the end of 2012 will be used to explore the relatively under-investigated Northern Shear, with a view to growing the resource base with low-cost oxide material, which can be recovered by direct cyanidation. Two diamond drill rigs have been on-site on the Northern Shear since November 2012, and TDEM surveys and geochemical mapping commenced in January 2013.


Auroch’s immediate priority is to generate, prove and add another 1 Moz to its resource base

“This is a typical greenstone-belt deposit, which tongues into Mozambique from Zimbabwe. It is the key project in the Manica area, and we hold a 25-year mining concession on the property,” Cunningham outlines. “Historical gold production from the OMM is about 2.5 Moz,” he adds. Looking forward, the immediate, overriding priority is to generate, prove and add

“Regardless of the length of time it takes to develop this project, we want a ‘sexy’ asset, meaning no compromise on doing things properly.” While it may still be very early days for the project, Cunningham can see the potential for four or five smaller-scale mines (initially opencast) all contributing towards a single, central located plant. “We will process the easier oxide material first, in order to start generating cash, but will ultimately blend the oxides and sulphides together through the plant.”

While it may still be very early days for the project, Cunningham can see the potential for four or five smaller-scale mines another 1 Moz to the current resource base. This requires another full year of drilling, after which Manica will move through the various feasibility stages and then commence construction and eventually commissioning. Cunningham adds that they are still looking for and evaluating additional property opportunities in the surrounding areas. Nelson believes the project will likely be more viable as a 5 Moz project, which means that a lot of additional exploration drilling is still required.

Auroch Mineral’s property has access to water and power, and will look to employ locally wherever possible. “We will also ensure our contractors employ locals, which will have positive impacts on the area’s sustainability. In terms of logistics, we are 40 minutes from the nearest airport and only 270 km from Beira, with comfortable access to both rail and paved road.” The company has also established an office in the town of Manica.

As far as the future is concerned, the Manica gold project is the beginning of the road for Auroch. “We want to be a significant African gold player. We have the skills to analyse and review potential projects when the time comes to expand our portfolio. Manica will, however, remain our primary, medium-term focus.” Cunningham is the right man for the job Dean Cunningham is an experienced mining engineer and corporate financier with over 25 years of experience. Cunningham graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1985 with a BSc (Honours) in mining engineering. He was a stock broker member of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. He was most recently executive director: corporate finance for Basil Read, where he was largely responsible for the acquisition activity within the group, in conjunction with capital raisings and investor relations. In addition, he held the position of CEO at TWP Investments, the investment arm of TWP Holdings, a mining, processing and energy consultancy company based in South Africa, Peru and Australia. As the head of TWP Investments, Cunningham was charged with the responsibility of acquiring, developing and ultimately listing separately as a mid-tier mining company from TWP Holdings. In this role he was required to review projects both on fundamentals and commerciality, propose transactions and negotiate on behalf of TWP Investments. This role allowed him to have direct access to major South African and international investment banks and gain extensive exposure to a large number of African mining companies, either listed locally or through international bourses.

Inside Mining 02/2013




The end is near While Neal Froneman has resigned as Gold One International CEO, his vision for a large-scale gold and uranium surface retreatment business is well on its way to being realised, writes Laura Cornish.


SE- and ASX-listed Gold One International’s business has always been an evolving one. The company has grown through a series of value accretive acquisitions; it has evolved from a small gold junior with a single gold producing asset (Modder East) in 2009 to a mid-tier entity with multiple gold assets in various life cycle stages. Following the successful closing of the Rand Uranium transaction in January 2012, the company has fully implemented the separation of the Randfontein-based operations into two distinct business units, namely Randfontein surface operations and the Cooke underground operations. As part of the Rand Uranium transaction, Gold One also acquired a proven high quality, low risk, ready-to-build uranium development project with substantial growth potential. The primary focus of the Cooke uranium project is the construction of a uranium metallurgical plant to treat the high-grade Cooke tailings deposit containing uranium grades three to four times the average grade of the district. “Froneman’s vision for Gold One was always to create a major dedicated and

Plaistowe, senior vice president: surface operations at Gold One. Plaistowe was appointed to his position in August 2011 and is wholly focused on ensuring Gold One’s vision for its surface business is achieved. A year down the line since the Rand Uranium acquisition, the objective to deliver a world-class, large-scale surface retreatment company is well under way. The surface business aims to exploit the low risk, high margin characteristics of the vast surface resources, with a focus on: • optimising the value from the current Randfontein surface retreatment facility • prove and develop a joint venture value proposition through consolidation of the West Rand tailings deposits.

Optimisation of current surface operations (Phase 1) “The first project phase will see the optimisation of the existing surface retreatment operation with an increase in processing capacity and a transition from mechanical to hydraulic reclamation. The upgrade and subsequent expansion of the existing Randfontein-based Cooke processing plant

A year down the line since the Rand Uranium acquisition, the objective to deliver a world-class, large-scale surface retreatment company is well under way distinguishable surface strategy business, not only aimed at recovering the residual gold, but also the residual sulphur and uranium to address the redeposition of the tailings in accordance with modern sustainable deposition practices, ultimately supporting mine closure in an environmentally sustainable manner,” says Dick


Inside Mining 02/2013

from its current 300 000 tpm capacity to 400 000 is scheduled for completion towards the end of 2013,” Plaistowe notes. Gold One is in the process of finalising finance for this, estimated to cost about R230 million. The plant is currently treating material from the Dump 20 deposits (situated

some 11 km from the Cooke plant between Randfontein and Krugersdorp), which to date still contains 14 Mt of material. With the addition of another 6 Mt from the nearby Lindum dumps, a constant feed throughout will run for another four and a half years (at the increased production volumes) to 2018. Plaistowe explains that the major components of the plant can already handle the expanded capacity, with modifications required at the plant for the material reception area, linear screens, changing the carbon-in-leach configuration to a carbon-in-pulp leach configuration, cyanide destruction and residue pumping. Modifications are also required at the Millsite reclamation station for the upgrading of the existing booster pump station feeding the slurry pipeline to the Cooke plant, for the provision of a high-pressure water


ABOVE An aerial view of the Cooke plant with the Cooke tailings dam in the background RIGHT Mechanical reclamation of Dump 20

pumping station for the hydraulic reclamation of the Dump 20 sand and slimes, plus the associated residue disposal pipeline from the Cooke plant to the tailings storage facilities and return water pipelines from these to the plant or to the high-pressure pumping station. A major component of the finance is for the construction and installation of the pipelines. “We have appointed the piping contract to Mocke Pipeline Construction to handle this project portion. HDP lining and continuous weld long length pipes to ensure no spills or leaks and lower operating costs will ensure the piping is sustainable over a long period at such high volumes.�

Inside Mining 02/2013



ABOVE An aerial view of the Cooke tailings dam

The Cooke plant was constructed in 1978 and initially treated the high-grade ores from the adjacent Cooke shafts.

Consolidation of the West Rand (Phase 2) Gold One’s Randfontein surface operation currently operates in a region with a long history of gold and uranium mining. The area contains numerous old tailings facilities, many of which contain recoverable grades of gold and uranium. The West Rand has an estimate of over 1 billion tonnes of tails (within a 70 km radius of the Cooke gold plant) on surface. The contained gold in many of these tailings dams is economic, even without the impact of uranium synergies with other tailings owners. Following the conclusion of the Rand Uranium acquisition, Gold One announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with gold major Gold Fields to investigate the viability of concurrently reprocessing

their combined surface tailings deposits, which are all located on the West Rand region of Plaistowe is the right man for the job the Witwatersrand Basin. Plaistowe has more than 40 years of experience in the Grant Stuart, vice pres- mining industry including 20 years of experience in the ident: investor relations surface retreatment business and was the CEO responsible at Gold One is leading for the listing of Crown Consolidated Gold Recoveries (now the project. Gold Fields incorporated within DRDGold) on the JSE in 1997. He was has subsequently un- also the founding CEO of Mine Waste Solutions in 2000, a company conceived by Plaistowe to remediate on degraded bundled all but one of its mine environments through the reclamation, reprocessing and South African assets into redeposition of mine tailings and waste material. a new entity, Sibanye Gold, with Froneman appointed CEO. historical tailings deposits and represent Together, the companies are jointly inover 60% of the total tailings material in vestigating the feasibility of establishing the region.

This volume of material is sufficient to develop what could be the world’s largest tailings reclamation plant a joint venture (JV) company into which both parties will contribute surface assets for retreatment. These assets are expected to comprise in excess of 700 Mt from 16

This volume of material is sufficient to develop what could be the world’s largest tailings reclamation plant – at this stage possibly 4 Mtpm producing at steady state,


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ABOVE The Cooke plant has been in operation since 1978 BELOW Operational thickeners at the Cooke plant

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approximately 180 000 oz and 3.5 Mlb per annum, ultimately for about 20 years. The intention, however, is to reach this capacity through a phased, modular approach over a three- to five-year period. The Cooke uranium project forms part of the JV study. Major mining engineering houses Tenova Bateman and MDM Engineering have completed various studies for the project. The scoping study, concluded in 2012, has shown sufficient value and risk reduction synergies and a positive decision to proceed to a pre-feasibility study has been taken in this regard. The merits of utilising existing and planned metallurgical plant infrastructure as well as strategic phasing of capital and scheduling of available feed sources will be optimised during the pre-feasibility study, expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2013.

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A new Namibian gold mine in the making International gold company, B2Gold has started with the construction of its Otjikoto gold project in Namibia, which is due to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2014 when mill production will commence.


he company has further accepted a committed letter of offer from Macquarie Bank for a fully underwritten US$150 million (R1.36 billion) secured facility, which will provide sufficient financial resources to bring the mine into production and fund all additional expenditures projected for 2013. The mine plan is based on probable mineral reserves of 29.4  Mt at

a grade of 1.42 g/t containing 1.34  Moz of gold at a stripping ratio of 5.59:1. It will be mined over a 12-year period. All necessary government permits and licences have been received. The total pre-production capital costs are estimated to be US$244.2 million. The Otjikoto project will be developed as an opencast mine, where run-of-mine (ROM) ore will be trucked in 100  t trucks

Geology solution independent Iterative design process Fantastic graphics performance

LEFT Clive Johnson, B2Gold’s CEO OPPOSITE Evaluating core samples on site

to the plant, crushed and then treated in a grinding circuit utilising conventional SAG and ball mills, and a carbon-in-leach (CIL) recovery process. Engineering and procurement will be managed from the B2Gold corporate offices in Vancouver, Canada, with construction management occurring from the Otjikoto project site. The majority of equipment and supplies will be sourced from South Africa, North America or European suppliers, and will be ocean shipped to the seaport at Walvis Bay, Namibia. The mills and primary crusher were ordered in December 2012. The grinding mills, crushing equipment and the construction man camp have been secured and partial payment

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has been made and they are undergoing fabrication and shipping. The generators will be procured in February 2013. The Otjikoto gold project is located approximately 300 km north of Windhoek and is owned 92% by B2Gold and 8% by EVI Gold, a Namibian black empowerment group. The property has excellent infrastructure. It is located adjacent to a major paved highway and drilling has outlined water on-site well in excess of the life-of-mine requirements. The current average annual production for the first five years is approximately 141 000 ozpa of gold at an average operating cash cost of US$525/oz. The plant facility, which will utilise a CIL recover circuit and support infrastructure, will be built to support a plant expansion from the initial

processing capability of 2.5 to 3 Mtpa with minimal additional capital expenditure. The Otjikoto gold project has excellent exploration potential. An aggressive exploration drilling programme continues on the success of the high-grade Wolfshag zone discovered in late 2012, that is adjacent to the planned Otjikoto pit. These positive results indicate significant exploration upside and the potential to outline additional resources, which could lead to the expansion of throughput capacity and increase annual average gold production. The mineral reserves established for the Otjikoto project are based only on the indicated mineral resource and are therefore eligible for conversion to the probable mineral reserve category. The mineral reserve estimate was calculated based on a gold

price of US$1 350 and resulted in a cut-off grade of approximately 0.4 g/t. The pre-production capital cost estimate for the Otjikoto project’s processing plant and infrastructure was compiled by the project management team, which was supported by the primary feasibility consultant, DRA Mineral Projects, and other engineering contractors that contributed significantly to the capital cost estimate form and basis. DRA provided the plant process and infrastructure capital costs, and VBKOM Consulting Engineers Namibia provided the form and basis for the surface mining capital costs inclusive of the mining equipment and mine development costs. Epoch Resources provided the designs and quantities for the tailing pond cost estimates.

Water preservation


Taking centre stage on a global platform


bout 130 million cubic metres of water is stored in Thermal Coal’s underground workings; a figure that is rising every day. The birth of its award-winning reclamation plant, commissioned in 2007, was the result of the company’s desire to manage this water more effectively and efficiently using an alternate solution. Following more than a decade of research and development, Anglo American Thermal Coal (AATC) approved a R300  million water reclamation project and followed this with a bulk supply agreement with the water-stressed eMalahleni Local Municipality. The result saw the global resource company simultaneously providing a sustainable mine water solution that also benefits the communities residing around its mining operations. The water reclamation plant also provides a LEFT The first phase capacity of the reclamation plant is 30 Mℓ/d BELOW The reclamation plant’s expansion is well under way, which will increase the capacity to 50 Mℓ/d OPPOSITE RIGHT Reverse osmosis is part of the reclamation plant’s desalination process

Anglo American’s coal subsidiary, Anglo American Thermal Coal, is proving that its commitment to environmental sustainability around its operations is as important to its business as the coal it produces, writes Laura Cornish.


Inside Mining 02/2013

Water preservation local solution for BHP Billiton Energy Coal South Africa (BECSA), which supplies mine water to its South Witbank colliery. “Project timing could not have been better. Environmental legislation had and still continues to grow increasingly stringent for coal mining operations, particularly with regard to acid mine drainage (AMD). The need for our collieries to operate responsibly was therefore as critical as it had ever been. Those two factors, coupled with the local municipality’s cry for additional potable water has seen this plant outperform our original expectations,” says Thubendran Naidu, hydrology manager at AATC. The reclamation plant has celebrated five years of operation and, based on this success, is now undergoing a significant expansion to double its production.

Phase 1 – just the beginning “It took more than 10 years to identify various suitable technologies for the plant, particularly suited to its scale and possible future expansions. Life cycle costs had to be considered as well. A pilot plant project was developed in partnership with Aveng Water (formerly Keyplan), which was subsequently contracted to build the main plant and thereafter operate and maintain it on our behalf,” Naidu continues. Commissioned in 2007, the plant desalinates rising underground water from AATC’s Landau, Greenside and Kleinkopje collieries, as well as from BECSA’s defunct South Witbank mine, thereby preventing polluted mine water from decanting into the environment and the local river system.

Using the latest in water purification technology, it is currently desalinating 30 Mℓ/d of mine water to potable quality, most of which is pumped directly into the municipality’s reservoirs, meeting about 20% of its daily water requirements. Additional water is piped to Greenside, Kleinkopje and Landau collieries, as well as to various nearby AATC service departments for domestic use and for mining activities such as coal processing. These operations are now self-sufficient in terms of their water requirements. The plant also supplies potable water to Zibulo mine, BECSA’s Klipspruit mine and the Phola coal washing plant. “Daily stringent water quality monitoring ensures that the quality of our water meets the highest standard and is never compromised. The plant operates at a 99% water recovery rate and we are aiming for a zero waste facility through the 100% utilisation of our solid by-product. We are already not far from achieving that vision. We have undertaken and are planning more research into opportunities to reuse the nearly 200 t of gypsum-based solid by-product the plant produces daily.”

Phase 2: A major expansion AATC is well under way with the reclamation plant’s expansion to effectively double its capacity to 50 Mℓ/d. “The expansion has largely been driven by our Landau colliery in particular, which is undergoing its own expansion,” Naidu explains. Plant construction commenced in September 2011 and the expanded plant is due to start operating towards the first quarter of 2014. Commissioning (in phases) will start from mid-2013. At the end of 2012, the plant was at about 60% progress, with civil construction nearing completion.

Mechanical and electrical installation started in January 2013, together with the installation of the piping, pumps, control instrumentation and power supply. Naidu explains that some of the project’s key challenges include keeping to schedule The technology (prior to expansion) Mine water (from all four mines) is pumped into to feed dams on-site. The water is treated in the plant’s first stage process where the acidity is neutralised using limestone; clarifiers settle out the solids and the clear water passes through an ultrafiltration circuit to remove fine particulate matter. The final step is reverse osmosis for desalination. The reject from this first stage passes through two more process trains to increase the potable recovery to about 99.5%. “I consider this a groundbreaking technology when one compares this plant to seawater desalination plants that achieve between a 60 to 70% recovery rate. Such high recoveries have never been achieved globally (I believe) with such a small brine stream.” The brine is stored on-site in a specially designed evaporation dam. Chlorine for final disinfection and limestone salts to balance the taste and chemical stability of the product are added into the final product before it is supplied to the consumer. The already remarkable process technology will be taken one step further when the plant is expanded – no additional brine will be produced. Despite the advanced online process control and monitoring in place, special attention is given to managing the plants feed sources and ensuring consistent and uncompromising product quality. The operation stays in touch with the mines to manage surface and underground water levels during wet and dry periods. A rigorous independent water quality monitoring programme is in place to ensure the strictest compliance to quality and the operation reports into a national database administered by the Department of Water Affairs (Blue Drop Status Reporting System).

Inside Mining 02/2013


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When it comes to mining, it’s not just about digging deep into the earth – it’s about digging deep into your skills and determination to make mining activities safer, more

TOP Mine water is pumped into to feed dams on-site. The water is treated in the plant’s first stage process where the acidity is neutralised using limestone BOTTOM Thubendran Naidu, hydrology manager at Anglo American Thermal Coal

and cost. “AATC is investing R732 million into the expansion. “Safety is also key and all contractors permitted on-site must understand our non-negotiable standards. The project team has implemented a major drive on contractor engagement and visible felt leadership. Considering that the project will use up to 600 people during the construction, ensuring the safety of our people remains an ongoing challenge.” The Upper Olifants catchment, within which the plant is located, remains water stressed with a growing water demand and presents a substantial upside potential for the reclamation plant’s future sustainability. The need for water in the Bushveld Complex’s Eastern Limb – a growing mining area – holds further opportunities. “In other words, this plant forms part of our country’s national water strategy.” While the life of a mine may be finite, the need to treat and prevent acid mine drainage post mine closure is significant. The reclamation plant will provide a water treatment service indefinitely following the closure of the contributing mines.

economical and more rewarding for your business. By-product solutions

Call us, or visit TWP South Africa T 0861 TWP TWP (SA) / +27 11 218 3000 E

Over the past few years, Thermal Coal has launched research and development projects aimed at helping offset the cost of the water treatment facility and reaping further financial and environmental benefits. By-product applications for its gypsum-based material, which can be used to manufacture blocks and bricks for housing, are already proving to be environmentally beneficial and useful to the community. Following the construction of a pilot house (using the gypsum bricks) on-site, another 66 houses have been built in the nearby Clewer suburb. Naidu says it is a globally accepted housebuilding method that has now moved into subsequent project phases. “Our aim is to build about another 500 houses, primarily for our own employees.” Ultimately, Thermal Coal will look to create a start-up entity to sell the gypsum product into a broader market. The plant produces between 180 and 200 t per day of the solid by-product material. Opportunities remain open for other by-products at this stage, including the production of sulphur, limestone and magnesium carbonate.

Tel: +27 11 781 2415


Water preservation


Preserving the environment for future generations Respect for the environment and resident communities through responsible environmental management is paramount to BHP Billiton Energy Coal South Africa and is integral to the way in which the company runs its mining operations, writes Laura Cornish.


HP Billiton Energy Coal South Africa (BECSA) understands that humanity’s continued existence is inextricably linked to the ongoing wellbeing of the environment. This requires that mining be done in a sustainable manner, i.e. it allows for the present generation to provide for its needs without compromising the needs of future generations,” says BECSA environmental manager, Muna Forbang. An environmentally responsible approach to mining is “enshrined” in the BHP Billiton Charter, which sets out its values and guides decision-making within the company. To this end, BHP Billiton has

“The treatment of mineaffected water ensures that pollution of the environment through uncontrolled discharges... is avoided” devised and implemented defined policy guidelines that encapsulate world-class environmental practices, and it is through the rigorous application of these policy guidelines that BECSA ensures it stays true to the BHP Billiton values and is able to make a meaningful contribution to preserving the integrity of the environment and its associated water resources for future generations. Its participation in the eMalahleni water reclamation treatment plant – an Anglo Paul Simelane working in some of the rehabilitated land at Middelburg colliery


Inside Mining 02/2013

Water preservation

American Thermal Coal (Anglo) owned plant – is a perfect example. “The plant ably demonstrates how, through effective collaboration, Anglo and BECSA are able to contribute to the preservation of the environment, while benefitting local communities,” Forbang reiterates.

“Furthermore, the treatment of water enables the supply of potable water to the community in a region where access to clean water is a pressing need.

The eMalahleni reclamation plant An agreement concluded between Anglo and BECSA entitles BECSA to participate in the plant by means of a ‘right-of-use’ stake. This enables BECSA to pump approximately 3.6 Mℓ/d of mine-affected water from BECSA’s defunct Witbank colliery underground workings to the plant for treatment. “The treatment of mine-affected water ensures that pollution of the environment through uncontrolled discharges of such mine-affected water is avoided. This in turn contributes to the preservation of the quality of the ecological water reserves.”

Maite Masegela, one of BECSA’s metallurgy graduates

When I say I’ll deliver... I deliver! Ben Pretorius

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DID YOU KNOW BECSA is currently constructing a reclamation plant (Middelburg water reclamation plant) located at its Middelburg coal mine). The plant is scheduled to move into operation in 2016. It will treat between 15 and 18 Mℓ/d of mine-affected water.

Water preservation


Prioritising mining H2O Africa’s growing mining sector holds infinite business opportunities for the supply industry. Quick delivery and erection time guarantees new and repeat business on the continent – the traits SBS Water Systems attributes its escalating business success, writes Laura Cornish. LEFT An SBS Tank at Maamba colliery in Zambia RIGHT The SBS Tank installed at the Central Ashanti JV project in Ghana remains the company’s flagship project to date


ince its establishment in 1998, SBS Water Systems has gained recognition and acceptance in the municipal and rural water supply sectors as one of the liquid storage supply partners of choice. The company is recognised for its prompt service delivery and South African quality designed tanks. As its name suggests, the company specialises in the manufacture, supply and installation of liquid storage solutions that are quick to manufacture and deliver, easy to erect on-site (regardless of terrain) and comprise quality Zincalume that can withstand difficult weather and site conditions.

Project name:

Kibali Gold Project (Randgold Resources)


DRA Minerals

Project name:

Bakubung Platinum Mine


Wesize (Bakubung Minerals)


TWP Projects (part of the Basil Read Group)


TWP Projects (part of the Basil Read Group)

Tanks size:

Two tanks – 98 000 ℓ and 588 000 ℓ

Tanks size:

250 000 ℓ


En route


May 2012

Location of site: Rustenburg, South Africa


As a result, very little maintenance is required on the SBS Tanks as well. SBS Tanks are well suited to the mining sector, particularly in difficult-to-access African regions where mining project delivery is largely affected and often delayed by logistics and labourers with minimal experience in project and construction development and management. SBS Tanks cater for and overcome both of these challenges. “We recognised the untapped mining opportunities on our doorstep and embarked

Inside Mining 02/2013

Location of site: Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

on breaking into the sector in 2010. Establishing yourself in the mining industry is challenging and not something we overcame easily. But our product speaks for itself, and following the installation of our first tanks in Ghana in 2010, we have never looked back,” says Delayne Gray, MD at SBS Water Systems. While the company has celebrated many mining installations since then, Gray still considers its Ghana project its flagship, which ultimately represents its entrance into the mining sector. “We supplied four tanks to AngloGold Ashanti in Ghana for one of its mine’s process and potable water. The contract included one 300  000  ℓ tank, two 110 000 ℓ tanks and one 50 000 ℓ reagent tank that was installed into the process plant.” In the space of two years, SBS Water Systems has completed numerous installations across Africa, including Sierra Leone, Ghana, Malawi and Zambia, and currently equates about 30% of its business to the sector (which is even higher if the average size of the tanks is taken into account), by comparison with other industry sectors.

Project name:

Namoya Mining (Banro Corporation)


MDM Engineering

Tanks size:

Six tanks – 554 000 ℓ, 75 000 ℓ, 1.04 Mℓ, 232 000 ℓ, 123 000 ℓ and 29 000 ℓ


En route

Location of site: Namoya, DRC

Water preservation

SBS Water Systems has installed over 650 units since its establishment, boasting 100 tank installations in 2012 alone. “Our vision is to become a complete turnkey tank supplier to mining projects, which can equate to more than 12  tanks for a single project.” And while the company used to import its tanks, it has recently established its own manufacturing plant and is in the process of attaining its ISO 9001 accreditation. “We are extremely proud of this development and consider ourselves an international tank supplier with a proudly South African touch.” Local manufacture reduces input costs and favourably reduces lead times.

The SBS Tank SBS Tanks can be predesigned in terms of height, volume and diameter, and are not limited to storing drinking water. They also hold raw water or fire water, and can even be installed in certain areas within a process plant. “A change to the internal liner and other minor modifications ensure our tanks can be installed almost anywhere for storage of any liquid. In previous installations, for example, a tank was coated externally and internally with a polyurethane layer to protect components from cyanide splash,” Gray explains. Project name:

Maamba Colliery


Maamba Collieries


All tanks comprise an internal lining, meaning no water comes into contact with the steel. “We offer our clients a 10-year nonleak warranty, but believe our tanks can last in excess of 60 years.” SBS Tanks vary from 12 kℓ, ideal for exploration, to 3.3 Mℓ, meaning they cater to the majors as well. They are

Establishing yourself in the mining industry is challenging and not something we overcame easily. But our product speaks for itself simple to erect, which in turn means easy to dismantle and relocate – another mining-attractive feature. “We are also flexible enough to change the tank design right through to implementation stage, which only requires minor retrofit changes,” Gray continues. “The product’s quick erection can be attributed to our build system – where all modular, light weight components are fitted together and erected from the ground up. Because no one is required to work at height, it has a significant positive impact on safety risks.” It takes no more than 15 days to erect the largest SBS Tank (3.3 Mℓ) and no more than 10 people to do the job. The tanks are transported by sea in 6 and 12 m containers Project name:

Waterpan Mine – Xstrata Coal South Africa (XCSA)

ELB Engineering


XCSA and C9 Civils

Tanks size:

222 000 ℓ

Tanks size:

368 000 ℓ


March 2012


June 2009

Location of site: Zambia

in segments to Africa, or by small vehicles within South Africa. “While we actively focus on educating the industry on the numerous advantages and benefits of SBS Tanks, we acknowledge its limitations and accept that not every tank’s application can be met by using an SBS tank.

In most cases, the external pipework has to be supported due to the extreme lightweight nature of the tank walls,” Gray admits. While the company’s business future is to continuously focus on the core product range, it is constantly striving to elevate its position, service and product offering. “We are looking at introducing a range of stands that will enable us to elevate our tanks. We are also looking at including more compliant and user-friendly attachments such as level indicators, ladders and other accessories.” An SBS Tank installed at Xstrata’s Waterpan mine in South Africa

Location of site: Witbank, South Africa

Inside Mining 02/2013


Women in mining


Women flex their muscles Local diamond miner De Beers Consolidated Mining is proving that women are not just capable of running and operating mines, but have the aptitude to do it well, writes Laura Cornish.


oorspoed may be the smallest carat producer in the De Beers Consolidated Mining (DBCM) portfolio, but it remains an important contributor to the company and its annual production targets. It is the company’s youngest mine, established and launched in 2008, and represents the first of a new generation of 21st century mines that meet the highest standards in environmental and social performance. Steering the Voorspoed ship is its young, dynamic black general manager, Mpumi Zikalala, whose passion for mining and Voorspoed in particular, is driving the success of this mine. Voorspoed never misses its production targets, thanks to a vibrant, youthful workforce with a large female contingency.

Voorspoed is an opencast operation that occasionally produces large and exotic coloured diamonds and is probably best known for its rare pink stones. The mine is located about 30 km north-east of Kroonstad in the Free State province. It is currently mining at a depth of about 50  m, over a surface area of 12.5  ha. All diamond processing is carried out at the on-site facility. Because the mine is a marginal operation, its production targets are significant, averaging between 13.5 and 15 Mtpa (run-of-mine (ROM)) – driven by its low carat count per hundred tonnes. Voorspoed averages about 20 cpht, meaning attention to running a streamlined, truck and shovel-intensive operation is essential at all times.

“We are currently mining Cut 3, which will take us to a depth of about 300 m by 2020,” says Zikalala. While this leaves the mine with a fairly short lifespan, DBCM is investigating the potential of a Cut 4 expansion project, aimed at expanding the Voorspoed’s history 1906 1912


2007 2008 2008


Inside Mining 02/2013

Mining started De Beers acquires the operation from Voorspoed (but does not operate it due to its hard rock content that could not be crushed) Licence approved on 10 October and process plant construction commences the same month (R1.3 billion) Early commissioning starts in December Voorspoed officially opens on 4 December First carats produced

Women in mining

ABOVE A load haul dumper in the Voorspoed pit delivering ore to the primary crusher RIGHT A diamond recovered in the Voorspoed mine sort house OPPOSITE LEFT Voorspoed’s general mine manager, Mpumi Zikalala

mine further. Drilling to determine this is already under way. DBCM expects to recover about 800 000  carats per year (without Cut 4), or more than 10  million carats over the life of the mine. Activities at Voorspoed, licensed until October 2023, should generate more than R1  billion for the Free State region in salaries, services and locally procured products.

A shining example – in every way Every employee at Voorspoed has completed secondary school and some have

Inside Mining 02/2013


Women in mining Voorspoed’s production 2011

2012 (end November)

Waste tonnes mined

10.8 Mt

11.6 Mt

Kimberlite tonnes mined

2.3 Mt

2.5 Mt

Kimberlite tonnes treated

2.4 Mt

2.5 Mt

Carats recovered

579 678

546 092

tertiary education as well. At least 25% of the technical and mining jobs at Voorspoed (of the 428 employees) are held by women, and 27% of the total mine complement is female, a figure Zikalala attributes to the mine’s success. “What makes this mine so special is our young workforce, which is driven to improve and constantly strive to overcome challenges. This motivates me and motivates everyone to work as a unified team – a particularly important aspect considering Voorspoed’s marginal status,” Zikalala points out. The impact this has on the operation’s safety statistics is equally impressive. The mine has had zero fatalities since its mining right was granted and no lost time injuries in the last 19 months, which




E+I 17999


Women in mining

LEFT The Voorspoed mine pit, as of December 2012 ABOVE Voorspoed’s mining operator, Puleng Polelo, has embraced the challenges of working as a women in a man dominated industry

in addition to its own employees includes another 506 contractor staff. Cash generated from the mine has helped fund the creation of 19 different small and medium business enterprises and dispersed R5.89 million in the process. Of the 280 people working in these enterprises, 31% are women, youth make up 55% of the workforce and 2% have disabilities. All the businesses provide a service to the mine, meaning the cash recovery rate from these ventures is high. “I always wanted to establish myself within the sector as competent, efficient and capable of handling what many still consider a man’s job. General consensus

taught me early that the job is hard, particularly for women. I want to prove the contrary and believe I’m doing so, particularly at Voorspoed, which is considered a

which comprises a lot of men, as well as every other employee.” Driven by large volumes, the opencast mine operates some of the industry’s largest earthmoving equipment. One of the female employees, Voorspoed’s mining operator, Puleng Polelo, is not only operating one of the ADTs on-site, but is also qualified to operate two other machines. “I love my job, and the value DBCM and Voorspoed has added to my life and my

At least 25% of the technical and mining jobs at Voorspoed (of the 428 employees) are held by women gentleman’s mine,” Zikalala points out. “I don’t believe in discrimination and am proving that men and women can work together, at board level and at the coal face. I have the respect of my management team,

family’s. I look after the machines I use and ensure we get the maximum usage and performance from them. I am productive in my day, and look forward to every shift,” says Polelo.

Profile: Women in mining


Eversheds’ unparalleled authority Eversheds South Africa, the local subsidiary of one of the world’s largest corporate law firms, has a watertight mining team. At the helm is director Debbie Ntombela – a valuable female mining member and leader whose experience in the industry is unparalleled, writes Laura Cornish.


hile most corporate, boardroom level female mining executives offer value to their respective firms, Ntombela is an irreplaceable asset to the larger sector, in her capacity as a director at Eversheds, and to the broader industry. A lawyer by profession, Ntombela spent a decade working at the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR). Between 1998 and 2002, she formed part of the draughting legislation team that developed the original Mineral & Petroleum Development Act (MPRDA) – from concept – together with the Mining Charter. Ntombela, in her role as deputy director of mineral law at the DMR, then went on to train and help the various DMR regional

properly, she notes. The industry has expressed its willingness to adapt and adhere to the law, she says, but must be 100% committed. “The commitment is there, but there is a lack of understanding from the people who are supposed to implement it.” “Transformation, for example, has happened, but not at the level it is intended to be. The main problem with BEE entities is that they don’t actively participate because they don’t know how to. The industry needs to find a solution to this challenge.” Ntombela’s overriding message to the industry is clear: “Mining companies must comply now with the charter and MPRDA. The DMR knows what it is doing and has the power to take control although this is not an ulterior motive. Certain facts remain, the

“Women know how to make things happen and can overcome the difficulties associated with occupying high level positions.” Debbie Ntombela

offices implement the legislation and spent a significant portion of her time teaching and training a few of South Africa’s previous mining ministers, including Lindiwe Hendriks and Buyelwa Sonjica. “I have developed a passion for the mining industry, particularly with regards to training, educating and transferring knowledge and skills,” says Ntombela. Having assisted in the development of the sector’s prolific legislation, there is no one better qualified to help companies understand its requirements and implement it. Her role at Eversheds remains the same. While Ntombela believes that the implementation of the MPRDA has been successful, no one has measured its effectiveness


Inside Mining 02/2013

majority of mining companies do not comply with the stipulated equity ratio requirements, nor do they comply with the amended 2010 Charter’s local procurement policy.” Community development is another area that needs further investment. Mining companies are supposed to spend 1% of their turnover on community development initiatives. “Financially speaking, this is a substantial amount, especially from the majors that, simply put, can do more.” Speaking from a woman’s point of view, Ntombela is proud to be a woman in a male dominated industry and is equally proud of her female colleagues and associates (there are five in her team alone) and the current minister, Susan Shabangu.

Having worked with numerous of the country’s prestigious mining houses after joining Eversheds in 2003, Ntombela has earned the industry’s respect and respects it equally in return. “Companies and their CEOs (all men), including Gold Fields, Total Coal South Africa, Shanduka Resources and Glencore, are remarkable and are making the right decisions for our industry.” Ntombela believes the industry should take a more active role in pursuing women for the industry and did this in her very own home with a daughter who is qualified in metallurgical engineering. “Women know how to make things happen and can overcome the difficulties associated with occupying high-level positions, which men are constantly vying for.”

Sharon Rakobela, operator of a Komatsu 930E haul truck at the North Pit at Anglo American Platinum’s Mogalakwena platinum mine

Women in mining


Equality, it’s the name of

Considering women represent 50% of the world’s population, they should be equally represented in the workforce, especially in traditionally male-dominated industries like mining, writes Laura Cornish. 40

Inside Mining 02/2013


he number of women in South Africa’s mining sector is on the rise, and they are proving that their capabilities, at the coal face and in the boardroom, are a value-add to the sector. While the general mining industry has shown a positive inclination towards increasing its female head counts, certain companies are leading the way forward and leading by example. Although she will soon step down from her position as CEO for global mining firm

Anglo American, Cynthia Carroll has been and will continue to be an ambassador for promoting women in the mining profession. As the only major mining company run by a female chief executive in the past decade, Carroll has used her position to focus on female employment in the company and is a passionate advocate of gender equality. “There are more women in mining now than ever before, especially those who have and are rising within their respective

Women in mining

the game

ABOVE Tebogo Motlhamme, a metallurgist working at Sishen Mine, takes samples of iron ore for testing. As a woman in a core mining discipline, she is a rare gem LEFT Close-up of Thando Zondi standing on a dragline at Anglo American Thermal Coal’s Kleinkopje mine

of South Africa. The group provides opportunities for women already working in the industry to network and seek personal mentoring. Presently, there are more than 400 members from South Africa, and the

Companies sponsoring WiMSA in 2013 • • • • • • • • • • •

Anglo American (primary sponsor) Deloitte Xstrata The Mineral Corporation Johnsons Clothing Rio Tinto MTS Chamber of Mines Royal Bafokeng CSIR National Empowerment Fund

“Women are making influential decisions and are playing more significant roles at management level in Anglo American.” Cynthia Carroll, outgoing CEO of Anglo American

organisations as a result of their talents and capabilities. Women are making influential decisions and are playing more significant roles at management level in Anglo American,” says Carroll. In addition to investing in its own company, Anglo American is furthermore the primary endorser of the Women in Mining South Africa (WiMSA), a non-profit organisation established in 2010 that provides a forum to facilitate growth and participation of women in the mining industry

group is anticipated to grow substantially beyond this. “I understand the value and support they offer our local mining communities and I am confident that they will continue to fulfil the purpose I created at Anglo American when I took up the position of chief executive – creating conditions and a framework for women in the sector to thrive,” Carroll states. According to Carroll, Anglo American has the largest percentage of women in its organisation across the globe (in the mining sector). “About 15% of our total workforce comprises of the female gender,” she says. “The inroads we have already made are great, but the company is committed to

achieving more. The target is to increase the percentage of women in the organisation to 21% by the end of 2014, with 40% in management positions.” While such aspirations could be considered possibly unreachable, Anglo American has already proved it knows how to deliver on its goals and ambitions. In the past eight years, it has already more than doubled the number of women management positions and its South African business arms are contributing equally. About 25% of all managers in South Africa within the Anglo stable are women. “Our platinum business has worked particularly hard to overcome historical mining legacies. All operation change

Inside Mining 02/2013


Women in mining

IMPALA PLATINUM – ANOTHER FINE EXAMPLE With the passing of time, some women have challenged gender stereotypes and decided that what their male counterparts can do, so can they.

Another mining major committed to employment and gender equality is Impala Platinum. The company has specific targets to meet in this regard. Overall, the company aims to achieve 55% and 45% HDSA representation at D and E level (see column) respectively by 2014. To achieve these goals, the company’s employment equity strategy focuses on: • retaining key talent as far as possible – aiming for turnover below 7.5% per annum • promoting talent from within – aiming for 80% HDSAs at D level and 70% at E level • recruiting scarce skills where necessary – aiming to recruit 80% HDSAs at D level and 70% at E level • using graduate and skills development programmes to advance transformation in targeted occupations (80% HDSAs and 40% women) • promoting women into occupations under-represented (differentiated for each occupation) with a greater focus in operations where the representation of women can be expanded


Inside Mining 02/2013

• identifying and eliminating transformation barriers in poor performing departments, functions and occupations • empowering operational transformation forums and assisting them to advance employment equity and eliminate transformation barriers • inculcating the right corporate culture and value system to advance and sustain transformation initiatives In 2004, Vuyisile Sithole – or Vuyi as she is fondly known – enrolled at the University of the Witwatersrand and was awarded a bursary in 2005 by Impala Platinum. She graduated in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science degree in mining engineering. In 2008 she joined Impala

Platinum as a mining engineer in training. She obtained a blasting certificate in 2008 and further obtained a mine manager’s certificate for metalliferous mines in 2010. While in training with Impala, Vuyi acquired experience in mining projects with emphasis on mine planning and feasibility studies. She is currently following a production-oriented training programme. Vuyi has worked as a miner in both mechanised and conventional sections. She is currently a development shift supervisor and acting mine overseer. Following the end of her exposure as a mine overseer, Vuyi is keen to continue her mining career and be appointed as a mine manager.

Tobey Sithole trained and qualified at Highveld Steel and Vanadium in Emalahleni where she worked for four years. She joined Marula mine in May 2008 as an instrument technician. In June 2010 she was promoted to senior instrument technician, a position responsible for the instrumentation department with approximately 15 employees reporting to her. She holds a BTech Electrical Engineering, National Diploma Instrumentation, and a trade assessment certificate. Tobey Sithole has spoken at several high-level conferences about the role of women in the mining sector and continues to inspire other women to find their place in the industry.

Women in mining

WiMSA’s mentorship programme plans

ABOVE Venetia mine employees - A team of women drivers await trucks during the shift change. From Left to Right: Annikie Mudau (drilling operator), Martha Mandiwana (truck operator), Mary Chauke (truck operator), Dithauto Ramanala (truck operator)

houses, PPE, etc. now accommodate women’s needs. Over the past six years, the number of women in the business has increased from about 400 to 4 000. In 2011, it was recognised as the top gender

empowered company in the resources industry in South Africa.” The group’s thermal coal business is another leading by example – 18% of the workforce is women and 22% hold senior management positions. “From our boardroom to the mine face, we want women to have access to the many rewarding career opportunities provided by our industry. We don’t offer women the chance to be equal. We offer them the opportunity to be exceptional.”

Th e N a me t h a t Re a lly H o ld s Wa ter ABECO

Est. 1983 Manufactured in South Africa Specialists In: Pressed Sectional Steel Tanks • Structural Steel • Supporting Towers • Water Storage • G.R.P Tanks

TANKS Abeco House, 6A Bradford Rd Bedfordview, South Africa

Tel: +27 11 616 7999 | Fax: +27 11 616 8355 E-mail:

Following on the success of WiMSA’s (Women in Mining South Africa) mentorship programmes, the organisation plans to establish a student chapter, which will focus on female geoscience students in different tertiary institutions. To this end, WiMSA plans to facilitate internship and bursaries through its website by enticing companies to advertise available bursaries on the site and enabling students to apply for the bursary/ internship through the site. The student chapter will extend to female pupils in high school with natural sciences subjects who show an affinity to pursuing a career in geosciences. In the scholar mentorship programme, initially only a few of schools will be chosen in the Gauteng area to participate in the programme. This will be done by contacting the education department for a list of schools and contact numbers, contacting the schools and carrying out site visits, and then choosing the most appropriate schools.

Pumps and mixers


The start of a no-valve metering revolution Watson-Marlow Bredel SA has launched of its Qdos 30 pump range.


eveloped in response to extensive industrial customer feedback for improved chemical metering, the Qdos 30 pump range eliminates ancillary equipment, enhances productivity and reduces chemical waste through more accurate, linear and repeatable metering than typical solenoid or stepper-driven diaphragm metering pumps.

“This new range of pumps can be installed in restricted environments and is suitable for chemical metering applications such as disinfection and pH adjustment of drinking water, flocculation, industrial cooling water preparation and reagent dosing in mineral processing,” says Watson-Marlow Bredel SA’s general manager, Nico van Schalkwyk. According to Van Schalkwyk, the pumps can safely handle caustic, abrasive, viscous, shear-sensitive and gaseous fluids, as well as those that are slurries or contain suspended solids. The Qdos 30 Universal is the premium model in the range and features a fully configurable response to the 4 to 20  mA input

signal and 4 to 20 mA and alarm outputs. Four other pump variants are available in the range. “Watson-Marlow has given particular consideration to customer preferences during development of the new Qdos  30 pump,” says Van Schalkwyk. He cites the display of the residual level in the tank as an example. Users can now keep an eye on the level at a glance. Linear dosing is another outstanding feature of the Qdos 30 series pumps, which are described as ‘valve-less pumps’. “The pumps deliver extremely accurate dosing performance, even under difficult conditions when pressure, viscosity and solids content vary,” he adds. Volume flow ranges between 0.1 and 500 mℓ/min at up to 7 bar. IP66-compliant manual, analog and Profibus control options simplify integration. In addition, the pumps do not require seals or valves, which can clog, leak or corrode.

Increase reliability - reduce costs! In the mining industry, water is money. Flushing pump seals and diluting thickened slurries is incredibly costly because the water added has to be removed or treated. Watson-Marlow Bredel peristaltic pumps have no seals to flush – and have the ability to pump thickened slurries up to concentrates of 80 percent solids. So replace your troublesome PC, double diaphragm and centrifugal pumps with our peristaltic pumps. They offer: • Less water consumption • Lower energy consumption • SPX patented direct-coupled design incorporating extra heavy-duty bearings within the pump rotor, which eliminate any overhang load and gearbox failures • No flow reduction due to specific gravity variation • Less maintenance and spare parts

JOHANNESBURG: Tel: +27 11 796-2960 RUSTENBURG: Tel: + 27 14 596-6695 CAPE TOWN: Tel: + 27 21 852-3649 DURBAN: Tel: + 27 31 512-5122 E-mail: Website:

• Heavy duty construction for difficult fluids like acidic, caustic, abrasive, viscous, shear-sensitive, gaseous and corrosive chemicals • Flows from microlitres to tens of thousands of litres an hour, and up to 16 Bar. Two new pump models have recently been added to the range: The Qdos 30 eliminates ancillary equipment, enhances productivity and reduces chemical waste through more accurate, linear and repeatable metering. The APEX range of pumps offers levels of versatility unrivalled by any other positive displacement pump. Its unique geometry allows easy field conversion between three different hose elements to double or triple the flow without the need to invest in a new pump.

Watson-Marlow \ Bredel \ Alitea \ Flexicon \ MasoSine

Pumps and mixers


Optimising platinum recovery Dosing and mixing specialist Ecochem Pumps has completed the design and fabrication of two identical chemical reagent dosing systems for the platinum mines.


he systems will effect round-theclock dosing within customer concentrator plants, automatically maintaining a flow rate proportional to the rate of ore feed. Over or under-dosing is not possible. Ecochem Pumps successfully installed and commissioned several other similar systems over the past two years, each one guaranteed to achieve a full 12-month maintenance-free operation interval across a 24/7 duty cycle. Results on-site have to date achieved an 18-month operational interval without a single breakdown on any of the dosing pumps. Accurate reagent dosing is a vital component of optimum platinum recovery. If any of the four key reagents is under-dosed, valuable platinum is lost to the tailings and dumped in the slimes dam. Conversely, over-dosing to ensure full mineral recovery needs to be avoided because of the very high cost of reagents, and potential environmental damage caused by excessive use. At the heart of the two dosing systems are a number of API  675 and ATEX-compliant

Maxroy industrial dosing pumps from Milton Roy. During design, Ecochem’s projects division provided for very close monitoring of pump dosing rates by including magflow meters on the chemical dosing lines. After delivery, these will be integrated with the customer’s PLC and SCADA control systems to allow measurement and monitoring of the actual chemical dosing flow rate of each pump, and comparison with a control set-point. Dosing rates will be automatically adjusted either by variable speed drives that change the motor speed or in some cases by electric actuators varying stroke lengths. Pumps throughout the two systems are equipped with calibration run pots on the suction side. These allow operating and engineering staff to perform online calibration

A chemical reagent dosing system designed and fabricated by Ecochem Pumps

run tests to verify actual flow rates without any risk of contact with the chemicals. The Maxroy pumps used in Ecochem’s two dosing systems feature 316 stainless steel. All pumps are fitted with double diaphragms and rupture detection warning to enable continued operation even after diaphragm rupture. Continued operation is further ensured by integrated pressure relief valves inside the liquid ends to protect the diaphragms and dosing lines In South Africa, Ecochem Pumps is the sole authorised agent for the Milton Roy dosing pump range commonly used in processing industries.

Fluid mixing technology, worlds best practice We offer: • Robust and ef¿cient agitators for all industries • The latest impeller designs for the best process results • Innovative research and design to tailor our mixers to your requirements • Global backup and support services for all mixer brands • World-class application experience with installations across the globe

Mixtec supplies the world with some of the most advanced and comprehensive Àuid mixing technology that is available today. Its ability to solve mixing problems with the latest technology and expertise is solely due to its commitment to mixing research and development. Whether your requirements are for simple blending or solids suspension to the more exacting standards of multiple complex reactions, Mixtec has the capability and experience to suit your needs, today and in the future.

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Pumps and mixers


Vale Mozambique’s major pump pick-up Slurry pump supplier Metso has secured a contract with Vale Mozambique to provide its Moatize coal mine with 110 heavy-duty slurry pumps.


he contract also covers initial start-up and commissioning, together with service training and assistance for the first six months of operation. The pumps are specially designed for the demanding conditions associated with arduous coal mining conditions. Vale began production at Moatize in August 2011 and has ongoing expansions to increase production to 5 Mt in 2013, and then 11  Mt, with a final target of 22  Mtpa, the timing of which depends on the upgrading of the Sena railway, which is used to transport the coal from the mine to the harbour of Nacala. “This pump contract with Vale is a good example of Metso’s global project handling capabilities, utilising our experts based in South Africa, Portugal and Brazil. As the

Service underpinned by expertise, experience and energy Focused on engineering, project management and project services within the hydro-pyro metallurgical, minerals processing and chemical industries, K' Enyuka produces affordable, workable and effective solutions.

The most aggressive duty pumps for the Moatize order are the Metso XM400 cyclone feed pumps

biggest single pump order Metso South Africa has ever received, this represents a real breakthrough for Metso in Mozambique,” says Graham van Bosch, regional sales manager: Slurry Handling Solutions, Metso South Africa. All 110 pumps will be delivered by the last quarter of 2013. The Moatize delivery consists of heavy and extra-heavy duty horizontal and vertical spindle spillage pumps specifically designed and sized for the given applications, most of which are considered as arduous. High chrome iron alloy is the material best suited for coal applications, providing excellent abrasion resistance with a good corrosion resistance. This material has proven itself time and time again at a variety of coal mines throughout the world with enormous success. The most aggressive duty for the Moatize order, as with all mines, is the cyclone feed pumps where the Metso XM400 pump has been selected. This extra-heavy duty design was specifically chosen because of its large diameter impeller, which enables the pump to operate at a minimum rpm, reducing the impeller tip speed and, hence, rate of wear. The inlet diameter is such that the inlet velocity is also at a minimum reducing both abrasion and impact wear. Wet end life is therefore considerably extended. All pumps chosen for this project are designed for ease of maintenance, during normal and routine inspection or repair. Bearing frames and rotating elements can be removed as a unit enabling efficient impeller and gland seal component renewal.

Hydro-Pyro Metallurgical | Mineral Processing Engineers | Project Managers

T +27 11 498 6000 F +27 11 498 6060 E

Coralynne & Associates +27 (0) 11 422 1949

A Metso XG350 gravel pump, which also comprises part of the Moatize order

Project delivery


An improved alternative Weba Chute Systems has commissioned 20 new Weba discharge chutes at the dense medium separation (DMS) drum plant at Kumba Iron Ore’s Sishen mine in the Northern Cape, with four still to be installed.


he order involves design, manufacture, supply and installation of the chutes to replace an existing set of 24 at the drum plant, which had been operating for about 15 years and could no longer handle the steady increases in capacity, owing to their narrow design. This resulted in frequent blockages, leading to costly downtime and production losses while the blockages were cleared. The existing chutes were also extremely worn out and rusted. “The new chutes are large enough to cope with present throughput, as well as future capacity increases. Since commissioning,

there have been minimal transfer problems, but a follow-up inspection has been scheduled to ensure they are performing to our standards.” Each Weba Chute System is custom designed for a specific application, taking into account factors such as belt width and speed, material size and shape, and throughput. Projects manager Edward Cruickshank says there are numerous advantages to be gained from this locally developed transfer system, which when introduced on a new project achieves the optimum design configuration for the application with the best belt cleaning

Weba Chute Systems are being commissioned at the DMS drum plant at Kumba Iron Ore’s Sishen mine

arrangement and optimum selection of belt type and size. It is possible that spillage can largely be eliminated as well. Further benefits that apply equally to retrofitted Weba Chute Systems include a significant reduction in material degradation, greatly reduced levels of dust and noise, reduced production losses owing to fewer blockages, significantly reduced spillage and vastly improved safety levels.

Project delivery


WearCheck enters the Northern Cape


orthern Cape-based mines and industries now have the option of reducing machinery running costs and avoiding catastrophic plant failure with the recent opening of predictive maintenance specialist WearCheck’s new branch in Kuruman. All the standard WearCheck services are on offer, including automotive, industrial, coolant, fuel and transformer oil analysis. Other options include vibration analysis, thermography and laser alignment services. An onsite sampling service for transformer oil is also available. Running the new branch is WearCheck’s local expert, Northern Cape sales & technical support consultant Francois van Eeden, who brings with him a wealth of experience in

the condition monitoring arena. Van Eeden is well-placed to advise the local mining industry on vibration analysis, thermography and general oil analysis, after using the full spectrum of condition monitoring services for over 15 years in the engineering industry, including his most recent position as site manager for ABB’s Kendal power station. WearCheck Northern Cape is situated in Marietta Crest right next door to sister company Set Point Laboratories. WearCheck MD, Neil Robinson foresees a good relationship between the new branch and the local mining fraternity. ‘We have identified a demand for reliable predictive maintenance services in the Northern Cape region, and Kuruman is strategically well-positioned as a regional base for WearCheck.”

INDEX TO ADVERTISERS Abeco Tanks 43 BHP Billiton Energy Coal South Africa IFC De Beers Consolidated Mines 36 Delf Consulting 29 Dickinson Group OBC Digby Wells 22 Enviro Mining Conference 2 Johnson Crane Hire 31 Kaytech IBC K’Enyuka 46 M3 Construction 17 Mine Automation Africa 47 MineRP 24 Mixtec 45 NuWater 8-9 Routledge Modise (Eversheds) 38 Snowden OFC Southern African Coal Processing Society 39 Traminco 13 TWP 28 VBKom Namibia Consulting Engineers 25 Verder Pumps 37 Veyance Technologies SA 23 Watson Marlow 44 WearCheck 48

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Inside Mining Feb 2013  
Inside Mining Feb 2013  

Inside Mining Feb 2013 edition