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Highly commended 2012 PICA Cover of the Year - B2B Publishing





Hennie Maas


BVi Group’s director of mining and EPCM projects on Mayoko and African prospects P16

DRILLING & BLASTING Explorers move up the value chain




The latest innovations and success stories



POWERCRUSHER A leader in mobile crushing and screening

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June 2013




Atlas Copco Powercrusher A T Atlas Copco brand is The re renowned for a wide range o of surface and underground m mining equipment in operation aacross the globe. Its mobile ccrushing and screening range, aalready an internationally aacclaimed product line, is making it its mark on the African continent w with growing speed.




Inside Mining and are bigger and better than ever



MPRDA Amendment Bill 2012 What the experts say



Mayoko Exxaro breaks into iron ore in the Republic of Congo



BVi Group launches into Africa with Mayoko



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Togo and Gabon tip the Ferrex iron ore scale Celebrating the Khumani milestones Ferrum Crescent hungry for Waterberg infrastructure West Africa – the new Pilbara region Local sun catchers hit the mining market



Weir Minerals Africa Gavin Dyer, Rui Gomes and Nkosinathi Ntuli

42 44 45

Filtaquip Kobus Boshoff UMP Dion Simonato Multotec Thomas Holtz



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The many benefits of vibration control Master Drilling keeps growing New surface core drilling rig from Atlas Copco Mandiana-Magana – a promising prospect Nimble Nimba Drilling filler



54 54 55 56 56 57 59

AngloGold’s Siguiri sings Fits like a glove Upscaling plants leads to bigger orders The heart of filtration applications Pump mining range extended The benefits of Hydro-Solids pumps En route to minerals sands project

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Publisher Elizabeth Shorten Editor Laura Cornish


Journalist Reggie Sikhakhane Head of design Frédérick Danton Senior designer Hayley Mendelow Designer Kirsty Galloway Chief sub-editor Claire Nozaïc Sub-editor Patience Gumbo Contributor Tony Rorke Marketing & online manager Martin Hiller

Bigger, better and right

at your fingertips

Production manager Antois-Leigh Botma Production coordinator Jacqueline Modise

Wow! There are so many things I want to share with you in my column this month that I’m not

Financial manager Andrew Lobban

quite sure where to start. There is, of course, our commodity feature on ferrous metals, which is filled with great reads and interesting projects from South Africa all the way up to the Republic of Congo, Togo and Gabon. The West African region in general is swarming with juniors hungry to get their hands on iron ore property, develop a mine and tap into the high-demand export market. Could this lead to an over-supply in years to come? Highly likely according to a variety of sources, but let’s wait and see. For now, it is giving me plenty of great stories to tell. What I am most excited about, however, are the exciting developments that are taking place across the 3S Media mining brands – both the magazine and its sister online website, I am extremely proud to introduce to you an entirely new website – rebranded, relaunched and better than ever. I promise an experience like none other for all those who take the time to visit it. Consider your multi-platform mining information hub. Of course you can find the latest mining industry news from across the entire African continent, but what you will also discover is the latest in mining services and equipment, opinions, technical papers and more. I personally don’t believe there is another mining website out there that is as attractive and information-rich as ours! Don’t believe me, see for yourself. I am also happy to inform our readers that we have officially implemented an African distribution strategy, which aims to ensure Inside Mining is distributed across the major mining areas in Africa – reaching the right people and landing on the right desks. This is, of course, best suited to our advertising clients who are looking to promote their businesses beyond South African borders. This is a massive development for the magazine, which I expect will deliver returns for our clients and enable me to offer you great editorial features from across the continent. But, just as a reminder – or for those who didn’t know – a digital version of Inside Mining is also available. For months I have examined the popularity of consumer digital magazines. Everyone is downloading them onto their tablets these days. Why not try it with Inside Mining? The magazine looks fantastic in digital format – it’s clear, easy to read and navigate, makes the photos look fantastic and weighs… well… less than a magazine does anyway. I find myself going through previous issues online, just to enjoy what technology has to offer. But let me not digress further, although I really do enjoy sharing my passion for Inside Mining and with you. I hope you feel the same about sharing it with me! To our avid readers, be sure to sign up and get the latest updates and inside scoop from the mining industry. Check out what we are talking about on our website, Facebook page or follow me on Twitter and have your say.

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INSID E M IN IN G 0 6 | 2013




A leader in mobile crushing The Atlas Copco brand is globally renowned for a wide range of surface and underground mining equipment. Its mobile crushing and screening range, an internationally acclaimed product line, is making its mark on the African continent with growing speed, writes Laura Cornish.


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and screening


AVING IDENTIFIED the ‘missing link’ in its Surface Drilling division a few years ago, Atlas Copco resolved this gap following its acquisition of family-owned, Austria-based Hartl Powercrushers at the end of 2010. The rebranded entity, Atlas Copco Powercrusher, is already a market leader in Europe, and is asserting its capabilities on the African continent with one of the most competent mobile crushing and screening fleets. The product range includes mobile track crushers, jaw crushers, impact crushers, cone crushers and screening plants. LEFT Cubical shape crushing BELOW Gneiss is not an issue for the robust PC6 jaw crusher

Prior to the acquisition, Hartl was dealing globally through distributors. Both parties have come through the integration period seamlessly and are already working in unison. “Now a part of the Atlas Copco family, we have the muscle and capability to sell our products directly to the mining and crushed stone sector, particularly on the African continent, which, until 2010, we had very little exposure in,” says Shaun Montgomery, Surface Drilling division regional product manager. “I believe going direct is one of our main strengths, considering the recent shake up in the local crushing and screening market,” he continues. It has been a little over two years since Hartl has been adopted into the Atlas Copco family, and adopted the company values and cultures, and the focus going forward is to take this message to the market – to ‘get

in the mining industry,” says Hedley Birnie, business line manager for the Surface Drilling division at Atlas Copco Mining and Rock Excavation Technique South Africa. In 2009, Hartl completed the construction of a new production facility in Europe. Montgomery says it is one of the most advanced and modern manufacturing facilities. It was built to satisfy global capacities and includes a separate test box to test all machine functionality prior to transporting to its destination. While all the equipment ranges will still be manufactured in Europe, the local Atlas Copco keeps a full spare parts complement. There has been training for local staff, although Montgomery adds that because the company is mechanically focused, the basic knowledge and understanding is already there. “We have come through our integration period. Atlas Copco is like a big ball in motion, it may roll at its own pace, but it cannot be stopped. This very notion will ensure that our endeavours into the African market space will be successful,” Montgomery notes. “Making a breakthrough into the industry, and creating a show piece for the rest of the market to see is a goal that we want to realise soon,” Birnie adds.

“We have the muscle and capability to sell our products directly to the mining and crushed stone sector.” Shaun Montgomery the word out’ that Atlas Copco has a strong crushing and screening market offering and is pushing this perception. The Atlas Copco Powercrusher ranges are now distributed through the company’s 70 customer centres globally. “Atlas Copco has been around for 140 years, with a well-established reputation in the mining industry. With the new names and backing of such a successful institution, our product ownership is strong and our customer values are being received and taken more seriously.” “Going directly to the market, Atlas Copco sees the advantage of using the divisional synergies as a way of penetrating the market at all levels and areas. The stockholding and control is in our hands, enabling us to get a better feel for the customer’s technical and service requirements and offer a better response time and service. The brand name is also a plus factor as Atlas Copco is well known

The equipment Montgomery explains that while the African market is spoilt for choice in mobile crushing and screening equipment, the Powercrusher range has ‘one-of-a-kind’ distinguishing features. “The majority of crushing and screening ranges were originally designed and developed as stationary structures. Meeting the demand for the mobile equipment trend saw our competitors put their machines onto tracks. Hartl was never in the stationary business, meaning our core design and geometry is different and is still today the best suited in terms of ‘true’ mobile requirements.”

Atlas Copco Powercrusher jaw crusher While the Atlas Copco Powercrusher jaw crusher has world-class components, it is the crusher box technology that puts the

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“Our product ownership is strong and our customer values are being received and taken more seriously.” Hedley Birnie machines in a ‘class of their own’. “We are the only manufacturer that produces an upthrust toggle plate that produces more cubicle shaped material, another added benefit is fewer blockages,” Montgomery explains. Jaw crushers from Atlas Copco Powercrusher incorporate a unique quattro movement for maximum processing efficiency. Materials are drawn in due to a more vertical motion of the swing jaw plate and a more effective force is applied over the entire face of the crushing chamber, with an efficient post-crushing effect as rocks exit the crushing chamber.

Atlas Copco Powercrusher impact crusher

time between wear part change outs. The action of the quattro-type jaw movement and design allows for even more wear over the full surface of the liner and not only on the bottom end,” adds Birnie. Cone crushers from Atlas Copco Powercrusher are able to accept ‘all-in’ feed, which minimises the need for pre-screening of material entering the crusher while maximising processing efficiency due to more particle-on-particle crushing action. Crushing occurs in a chamber between an external fixed cone and an internal moving mantle mounted on an oscillating shaft assembly. A release system provides overload protection by

allowing tramp to pass through the crushing chamber without damaging it. A new Atlas Copco innovation is a steel rejection system that further increases operational uptime.

Recent successes and the future “We have been selling our products successfully into West Africa, thanks largely to Atlas Copco’s four branches in Ghana. We continue to perform well in Latin America, the Far East and Europe, and have a massive 54 machines in operation in Libya,” Montgomery points out. “With regards to our future, Atlas Copco strives to be the best of the best and this means constant attention to all of its product lines and their development,” Montgomery concludes. ABOVE Atlas Copco offers a wide range of screeners to suit all applications BELOW Due to optimised geometry, Atlas Copco impactors eliminate the need for a primary unit in soft to medium-hard stone

“The geometrical design of our impact crushers guarantees minimal percentage oversized fractions. As a result, clients can use impact crushers as a primary crushing tool, eliminating the need for jaw crushing entirely for soft stone materials.”

Atlas Copco Powercrusher cone crusher The 1 000 mm cone crusher is particularly ideal from a maintenance point of view, Montgomery outlines. Only the lid needs to be removed for repair, as opposed to taking off the whole shell. It also sports a 1 300 mm cone crusher that provides high capacity output. “The jaw crusher’s upward thrust toggle plate gives a unique action on the jaw, allowing the crusher to obtain the maximum efficiency from the unit while increasing the


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The minister shall,

in her discretion... The future of South Africa’s mining sector has never been so uncertain. Cabinet’s approval of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) Amendment Bill, 2012, has caused an outcry from the industry, writes Laura Cornish. Here is what the experts say. FROM FAR LEFT Peter Leon of Webber Wentzel, Warren Beech of Routledge Modise and Henk Deist of RMB


LTHOUGH PUBLISHED in the government gazette in December 2012, the MPRDA Bill remains in draft form while the local mine developers and operators, associations, financial institutions, investors, shareholders, service and equipment providers pray for their voices to be heard. While the Bill proposes to remove ambiguities in the MPRDA, it appears to be doing the exact opposite, placing more power in the hands of the Department of Minerals Resources (DMR) and its minister, Susan Shabangu. “The principal legislation governing the mining industry in South Africa – the MPRDA Bill 2002 – is [already] characterised by uncertainty, vague and ambiguous provisions, and overly broad discretion, which is accorded to the minister of mineral resources to regulate the licensing process,” asserts Peter Leon, head of Africa mining & energy projects at law firm Webber Wentzel. “The amendments it proposes seem to distance the MPRDA further from international best practice. The Bill is replete with instances of vague and uncertain language, and amplifies, rather than removes,


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the uncertainty created by the MPRDA,” he continues. This regulatory uncertainty has proved to be a deterrent to investment in the South African mining industry, which Leon points out has been recognised by the National Planning Commission, appointed by President Jacob Zuma in May 2010. He adds that this is responsible for developing a vision and strategic plan for South Africa’s longterm development, in its ‘National Development Plan 2030’. “Considering this ‘problem’ is not new to South Africa and its government, the Bill amendments are nothing but contradictory to their aim and lack clarity. As bankers, we promote regulation, even onerous if necessary. Financiers and banks welcome regulation and rule, and operate within a strict regulatory system. But it can only work successfully if it is not discretionary, and the

proposed amendments are overloaded with discretion,” says Henk Deist, head of resources at RMB. Routledge Modise’s director and head of mining, Warren Beech, agrees undeniably. “The DMR’s tentacles of control are everywhere in the Amendment Bill. Investor confidence continues to slide as a result, painting a very bleak picture for South Africa’s future. Placing mines on care and maintenance is going to gain momentum and rounds of litigation will follow for those who decide to stay.” While the proposed amendments are too many to discuss, the three mining professionals highlight the most concerning elements and the possible consequences should they materialise.

South Africa’s proposed new mineral regulatory regime BENEFICIATION IT IS NO SECRET that the minister has been promoting local beneficiation for a while and, thanks to the outlined amendments, will have the sole discretionary power to do


so, including percentage per commodity and price as well as designated percentage of raw mineral production supplied to local beneficiators. The minister will also give written consent prior to those seeking to export. “Not only are the lines between minerals extraction and beneficiation blurred, with four levels starting at the mining extraction level through to final production manufacturing, the simple reality is that it is often uneconomic to beneficiate in South Africa, especially at final product manufacturing stage. Our country is energy constrained, and energy costs and costs of employment are escalating, making such beneficiation uneconomical. We need to extract the maximum value from our mines, for the benefit of the stakeholders, including the communities, and the Bill will deliver the opposite results,” Beech states. Deist adds that the incoming beneficiation legislation is just one example of the minister’s increasing discretionary power. “Incentives, from a power or tax perspective, would possibly encourage local beneficiation, but there is no mention of this. Look

at the local diamond beneficiation industry’s failure, which will simply be replicated on a larger scale. This is an objective too aspirational for the South African environment at this stage.”

TIME FRAMES FOR ACTIONS THE BILL HAS deleted many of the time periods currently contained in the MPRDA, and replaced them with reference to a ‘prescribed period’ to be determined by the minister. “There is no guidance as to when and how the relevant periods will be determined,” says Leon. “Even the order for application processing is open-ended,” Deist adds. South Africa has followed the “first in, first assessed” principle for over 100 years and it has served the country well to date (within reason). “Ministerial consent in terms of Section  11 already takes a minimum of six months, often longer. Who will invest in the development of new mines if no one can predetermine a return on investment as a result of uncertain regulatory approvals?” Beech asks. 

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5 or 10% INCREASE IN PENALTIES Currently, the MPRDA makes provision for prosecution for breaches of the MPRDA. Shabangu also wants to introduce an administrative fine system. “The proposed fines are 5 or 10% of turnover, which could be financially crippling to mining companies,” according to Beech.


ENVIRONMENTAL PROVISIONS All three believe the proposed changes to the environmental regulatory regime are of major concern. Leon explains: “Mining and prospecting environmental regulation is proposed to take place under the National Environmental Management Act 2008 (NEMA), with the minister as the responsible regulator, rather than under the MPRDA. The Bill, however, has not been developed in line with the provisions of either NEMA or the NEMA Amendment Act 2008, particularly as regards the latter’s transitional provisions. While the NEMA Amendment Act also provides that the environmental regulation of mining and prospecting activities will be brought under the NEMA, it envisions that this will only occur incrementally over a three-year transitional period with the Minister of Environmental and Water Affairs ultimately becoming the responsible regulator. Thus, the Bill’s proposed amendments will leave the MPRDA in direct conflict with NEMA.” Deist believes that while it is in the best interests of the DMR to grant environmental approval for mining (if environmentally compliant), this is not so for NEMA. “If NEMA achieved its environmental objectives, there would be no mining at all,” he says. “This has a direct bearing on financiers like us.” Banks issue guarantees to the DMR on behalf of mines for closure and rehabilitation costs when a mine closes. The DMR currently gives a closure certificate signifying compliance with liability post closure, the bank takes the guarantee away and is no longer liable. The government is proposing that a

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mine remain indefinitely liable post closure, directly implicating the financial institution that holds the guarantee. “We cannot take liability responsibility indefinitely. The best solution would be to establish a fund that mining companies contribute towards in case of liabilities post closure.” Beech explains that the minister is proposing to regulate old mining dumps and stockpiles, which it currently does not. “Placing legislation around this would have massive implications. Remember the De Beers tailings judgment in 2008 – it puts this entirely into context.”

TRANSFER OF RIGHTS The minister is proposing that shares held by a listed company can no longer be traded without Shabangu’s permission and consent – be it one share or a million. “This is a legal impossibility. The only time such consent would make sense is if there is change in control of a listed company,” Deist points out.

“Politically, the government wants to control its natural resources and is attempting to use the Act to control its mines. This is control, not just government intervention. It grants the DMR massive discretionary powers and creates further uncertainty, which is already so high. This makes a financier reluctant to finance deals,” Deist concludes. “It should also be noted, however, that the Bill is only in draft form. Hopefully, the DMR will address the shortcomings in the Bill revealed by the public participation process before it is introduced to Parliament this year,” Leon states. “The architecture of a mineral regulatory regime is of vital importance to the success of a mining jurisdiction. If a jurisdiction’s mineral regulatory regime can – by complying with the international best practice principles considered above – create an environment of certainty, predictability and stability, it will promote investment and growth in the industry. The importance of the effective regulation of the exploitation of mineral assets cannot be overstated.” Beech concludes: “I cannot argue with what the government is trying to achieve, but its process in doing so could not be more wrong. The objectives make perfect sense, but that, I’m afraid, is all. Never before has there been such radical changes proposed to mining regulation in South Africa, which could be so detrimental directly and indirectly, to the industry.”

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Exxaro’s Waterberg Despite its reputation as a significant South African coal miner, Exxaro’s larger business strategy has always included developing an iron ore portfolio. When it delivers its first iron ore later this year, its strategic vision will become a reality, writes Laura Cornish.

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iron ore equivalent


UR MOVEMENT into the sector should come as no surprise. Exxaro has embedded iron ore skills in the company, which we have retained since the Kumba Resources (Kumba) unbundling in 2006 when Kumba was relisted as Exxaro and Kumba Iron Ore was formed. Many of our employees used to work at Sishen mine and have deep routed knowledge and understanding of the iron ore industry,” says Ernst Venter, executive head: growth, technology and services at Exxaro. The combination of strategy and skill has seen the company invest in and develop its first iron ore project – Mayoko – in the Republic of Congo in central West Africa. Having searched the African and Australian continents, scouting the junior industry for the ‘perfect’ project, Mayoko was acquired in March 2012 as part of Exxaro’s acquisition of African Iron, an Australia-listed and domiciled iron ore developer working on the exploration and evaluation of Mayoko and its contiguous Ngoubou-Ngoubou prospects. They are located approximately 300 km north-east of Pointe-Noire (where Exxaro has an office) on the Atlantic Ocean. And the company is hungry to bear fruit from its efforts and investment. “We want to bring this project to the market as soon as possible and are on track to produce our first iron ore before year end. We are already being approached by potential customers.” Venter declares the Republic of Congo as Exxaro’s iron ore destination of choice. “This is the area where we want to play in, which will provide us with a solid entry into the iron ore market. We believe it could be a new iron ore region with the potential to deliver between 40 and 50  Mtpa of iron ore in the long term.”

The Mayoko attraction “Mayoko meets every criterion in terms of what Exxaro defines as the ‘right project’,” Venter explains. “The demand for steel, and therefore seaborne iron ore, is expected to increase by 400 Mt/annum and more in the next seven years and we knew upfront that we needed the right resource and reserve to be a successful player and meet the demands of this market. Mayoko’s resource is substantial and its iron quality superior. It is situated

Train wagons are already on their way to site

Mayoko’s current status and long-term potential

in a mining political and socially friendly country close to existing infrastructure and will be easy to mine and process.” In other words, it ticks every box. The project already had a 121 Mt JORCcode compliant mineral resource when Exxaro acquired it in 2012, consisting of a lumpy hematite cap of direct shipping ore (DSO) at 55% iron and beneficiable DSO ore at 41% iron. The deposit literally sits on the surface, meaning the top material will require very little beneficiation. Subsequent drilling across only 22% of the Mayoko project area has confirmed a 685 Mt resource by January 2013, which excludes banded iron ore formation magnetite at depth, revealing the massive open-ended project characteristics. Exploration drilling is continuing and by now a JORC resource of at least 750 Mt has been proven. It is situated near an existing underutilized, railway line, passing within 2 km of the main prospect and terminating at the port of Pointe-Noire. Mayoko comprises 82  km of strike length running parallel to the railway line. “Exxaro completed a lot of additional drilling last year and we believe that there could be as much as 2  billion tonnes in the regional geology.”

“We are currently finalising the mining convention to have all necessary agreements in place for upgrade and use of the rail and ground exploitation and are in discussion with the necessary ministers as well as the Port Autonome de Pointe Noire for port access. The process is flowing relatively smoothly and the government is open; they want us to mine and understand the economic value we are bringing to the country,” says Venter “While the intention is to get up and running as soon as possible, the longer term potential for Mayoko is high.” The project is being developed in three phases. The first phase is to start production this year. The second is to produce 2 Mt of iron ore product in 2014. The third is to expand the project significantly to 10 Mtpa by 2016/17. A feasibility study for this expansion is already under way. As described, the mining and beneficiation processes will be simple. “Mayoko will initially comprise three open pits, mined as a truck and shovel operation with a zero stripping ratio. The ore will be crushed, de-slimed and then run through a dense media separation (DMS) plant to upgrade the ore to about 62% iron.” A mine manager has been appointed; Diesel Power has been awarded the mining contract

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Mayoko is situated near an existing underutilised railway line, passing within 2 km of the main prospect

and Tenova Bateman the DMS plant. The site is already taking delivery of all major equipment items and machines. There are already over 400 people on-site, including contractors, exploration and project teams. About 1 000 locals have also been employed since Exxaro became involved. “The challenge will be training the local people, taking into account the language barrier – the Congo area is very French influenced.” Venter adds that the volume of iron ore travelling to the port for export will initially require three trains a day, with 35 to 50 wagons per train. The railway line will be upgraded and Grindrod will supply locomotives for the line. There are currently two passenger trains a week using the rail line with numerous small villages alongside. “We need to take responsibility for safety all along the entire railway line once operational.” While diesel generators will be used to power the project initially, a more permanent

power solution will be sourced, which will supply up to 50 MW for the larger project’s needs. There is also potential for hydropower and gas power. The significance of this project, coupled with the flow of Exxaro personnel passing through the site each week – between 60 and 70 – has seen the company purchase its own second-hand Boeing aeroplane. The plane is fully branded and ensures commuters travel safely to the airport in Point-Noire, from where they are chartered, to an airstrip 4 km from the Mayoko site.

A new village surfaces The remote location of the site has required Exxaro to further invest in the establishment of an entire campsite. The campsite includes enough accommodation to house 550 people. Because Exxaro is heavily invested in sustainable mining, it will further look to introducing a passive water treatment system, upgrade the healthcare facilities and also look at power supply options for the community.

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BVi Group’s

launch pad into Africa

BVi Group’s strategic business focus to expand into Africa some two and half years ago has been a resounding success. The company is busy with numerous projects across the continent, including its first mega mining infrastructure venture: Exxaro’s Greenfield Mayoko iron ore project in the Republic of the Congo, writes Laura Cornish.


VI GROUP WAS awarded the infrastructure contract for all infrastructure development at the Mayoko project in September 2012. Completion (of the first phase) is due toward the end of 2013. It is Exxaro’s first iron ore development, expected to initially deliver 2 Mtpa of iron ore (in 2014) and then possibly scale up to 10 Mtpa. “BVi was selected by Exxaro for this project based on our excellent mining infrastructure experience and the professional manner in which our projects are executed,” says Hennie Maas, BVi director of Mining and EPCM projects. “This is BVi’s first mega mining infrastructure project in sub-Saharan Africa and we

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consider it a great opportunity to secure further similar work in Africa. The South African market has been our cornerstone thus far and will never be neglected; however, opportunities in Africa are expected to drive exceptional growth moving forward. Bearing this in mind, we will use Mayoko as a stepping stone to launch ourselves further into Africa. “Working on the continent is different to South Africa and a special set of skills and experience are necessary to ensure project success. Future clients will ask: Do you have working experience in Africa? We can now confidently say yes. Coupled with our high standard of work, we are confident doors will open for us,” Maas adds.

BVi’s contract Lenro Harmse, BVi Mayoko project manager, outlines the contract scope, which includes but is not limited to the following major infrastructure items: • bulk earthworks • contractor laydown areas • sourcing and selection of construction materials • major river crossings • roads and haul road access to the mine areas • water supply from river intakes • electricity generation, supply and reticulation • water purification • sewerage treatment • stormwater management


OPPOSITE The design work for Phase 1A of the project has just been completed and construction activities are planned to commence during July 2013 ABOVE BVi Group was awarded the full infrastructure contract for all infrastructure development at the Mayoko project in September 2012

• project, operational offices and workshops • civil design of all plant and equipment • surveying of infrastructure areas • construction management of contractor • establishment of a permanent personnel village • housing of permanent employees • expansion of the construction village • master town and regional planning for the new local town township • long-term power supply studies • community project.

activities are planned to commence during July 2013. Design work on Phase 1B of the project commenced in May 2013. Harmse admits that while BVi has encountered challenges on the project, they are viewed as opportunities to learn and grow. “The unavailability of construction materials has enforced creative design philosophies. For every design, the supply source and time to site must be considered prior to finalising a design,” Harmse explains. “A constantly

In addition to Mayoko “We have invested huge sums of money into developing the BVi Africa brand and are very proud to say that we are making inroads and are now reaping the fruits of our investment,” Maas proudly states The first phase of BVi’s African development strategy is to establish a presence in Namibia, Angola, the DRC and Mozambique. This is in addition to countries where the company has already or currently is execut-

“BVi was selected by Exxaro for this project based on our excellent mining infrastructure experience.” Hennie Maas, BVi director, mining and EPCM projects

At present The design work for Phase 1A of the project has just been completed and construction Additional contracts under way • BVi Congo has been successful in acquiring a number of contracts; the most significant project being the Butembo-Beni-Kasindi BOT roads concession project in eastern DRC. “We have now established a partnership with the DRC government for the development of a framework of sustainable infrastructure projects to carry out these projects. • In Mozambique, the company is involved in a number of projects in various governmental sectors, with its regional office in Maputo. • With regards to Angola, BVi is proud to be the project manager and technical service provider for a newly formed initiative, SAAHI (South Africa Angola Housing Initiative), which is a government-supported programme focusing on providing human settlements and associated infrastructure in Angola.

wet climate calls for constant special care to be taken in designing roads, stormwater and other infrastructure to ensure continuous operation in these conditions. From an environmental point of view, special care was taken to minimise the impact on the pristine rain forests,” he continues. “Adapting and changing the way we work, within a very short time frame, to effectively manage the conditions and challenges of this project, is a success we will carry with us.” says Harmse. This can be attributed to BVi’s recent experience on mining infrastructure projects such as Kumba Iron Ore’s Kolomela project, Exxaro’s Inyanda colliery, the Sishen Bucket and Bowl workshop, and Life-of-Mine workshops. “It is clear that the combination of BVi’s experienced staff complement and philosophy (working with our clients and not for them) enables us to satisfy our clients and secure recurring work.”

ing projects (without a fully fledged office). These include Lesotho, Botswana, Swaziland, Malawi, Uganda and the DRC. “In the DRC, we established a company, BVi Congo SPL in 2010, which is a service provider for Francophone Africa. At this point in time, we are excited about our progress towards the execution of our African development strategy, Phase  1, aimed at establishing a permanent presence in all our target countries. It is also our intention to, during the construction phase of the Mayoko project, establish a permanent presence in the Congo. This will greatly enhance and support our BVi Congo SPL initiative,” Maas outlines. During 2013, BVi Africa will intensify its efforts to focus on developing its presence in Africa. “In addition to the Phase 1 strategy, we will also be focusing on various other targeted African countries, thus building on our success and previous experience gained.”

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Togo and Gabon tip the scales The current uncertainty in the South African mining sector has seen AIM-listed iron ore and manganese explorer and developer Ferrex amend its business strategy, with a change in regional focus MD Dave Reeves tells Laura Cornish.


NLY LAST YEAR, Ferrex was fast-tracking its South Africa-based Malelane iron ore project towards production. The company has injected a vast amount of cash into the project and is already far advanced in terms of mining and processing knowledge. Despite this, Reeves has seen a drastic decline in investor confidence in South Africa and has subsequently placed his focus on projects located outside the country.

Malelane iron ore (South Africa) on the back burner Malelane, in which Ferrex holds a 74% interest, incorporates prospecting rights over a 4 192 ha tenement in Mpumalanga. It could be described as the ‘perfect’ iron ore development project for a junior. It is ideally located in terms of infrastructure, has near access to water and power and is only 6 km from a railway line that runs to the Port of Maputo in Mozambique, 170 km away. A substantial target and maiden JORCcompliant inferred resource has been defined and estimates on an operational size, capacity and lifespan have already been determined. An application for a mining permit also lies on the horizon. Only a pre-feasibility study and environmental studies, including the drafting of the social and labour plan in preparation for submission of its mining lease application, are necessary to take Malelane through to development. Even so, this is no longer the immediate priority or focus. “It is difficult to raise finance for projects in South Africa at the moment, especially as a junior. The level of investor uncertainty in the country has forced us to review our assets and ultimately, the decision is that our cash will be better spent on our projects in Togo and Gabon,” Reeves points out. He says that this is not necessarily a reflection of the company’s own view, as Ferrex still believes South Africa has many advantages, such as Outcrop sampling under way at Mebaga in Gabon

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excellent infrastructure, local skills and engineering prowess; it is a reflection of the wider investment communities view. Not so long ago – last year in fact – Malelane was set to be Ferrex’s first producing mine. Its predicted operational status, however, has been shifted from first to third position. “It is still a good project with a high profit margin, so we have every intention of developing it and will still apply for a mining permit later this year.” Considering the average time frame estimate for government to grant a mining licence is as much as 18 months, Malelane still has a long road to walk.

The Malelane potential An exploration target of between 775 and 930 Mt at between 34 to 36% iron, along a three-tiered banded iron formation, has been defined and a maiden JORC-compliant inferred resource of 139 Mt at 37% iron (at a cut-off grade of 20%), was declared in March 2012. A metallurgical test work programme commenced during 2012, which determined that dense media separation and reflux classifiers would deliver the best beneficiation results and an iron yield of 58% and a mass yield of 43%. “The project could be economically viable as an opencast mining operation, producing 1.8 Mtpa at 57% iron over a 16.6-year mine life. At these production rates and the estimated net profit value of US$523 million (R4.69 billion), the project is positioned in the lowest quartile for capital intensity of new iron ore projects globally,” says Reeves.

Nayega manganese (Togo) – the first operational mine A definitive feasibility study is currently under way at the company’s northern Togo-based manganese project. It is due to be completed no later than mid-2013. “We intend to finalise the bankable feasibility study later this year, and have already appointed DRA Mineral Projects to complete detailed engineering design for a beneficiation plant.” This mine has the potential to deliver about 250 000 tpa of manganese product as

The Mebaga iron ore deposit is a high grade ore body

an opencast operation with no waste stripping ratio. “Initial metallurgical test work has shown that Nayega’s ore can be beneficiated via a low-cost process route of screening and gravity concentration to produce a saleable manganese product. We aim to start production as early as 2014, making the project our first operational mine,” Reeves outlines. Nayega is a residual manganese deposit, comprising lateritic and saprolitic mineralisation extending up to 10 m below surface. Mineralisation, which is on average 3.3 m thick, occurs over a strike length of 2.2 km at widths of up to 500 m. The project has an estimate indicated JORC-compliant resource

“Investor uncertainty in the country has forced us to review our assets... Our cash will be better spent on our projects in Togo and Gabon.” Dave Reeves, MD of Ferrex

of 7.3 Mt at 14.7% manganese. The project consists of five exploration permits covering 92 390 ha and has direct access to the regionally important deep water port of Lome, 600 km away.

Mebaga iron ore (Gabon) – fast-tracking resource definition Gabon is a stable, pro-mining country – especially in relation to South Africa at present. “There are far less prescribed regulations and unnecessary uncertainty, so despite the lack of skills when compared to South Africa, we are pushing forward with this project and anticipate it to be our second producing mine,” Reeves notes. Ferrex has an 82% holding in the 309 km² high-grade direct shipping iron ore deposit, which extends from Gabon into the Republic of Congo and Cameroon. “We are implementing a fast-tracked exploration plan targeting the definition of a highgrade iron ore JORC-compliant resource in 2013. Drill rigs were mobilised to site in May and, based on historical information, the company is anticipating high-grade intersects and mineralisation. Our immediate priority is to increase the project’s resource, which, if historical data is correct, is currently 20 Mt

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of iron ore with a 60% average grade.” Like Malelane, Mebaga’s deposit is a banded iron formation, with a strike length of more than 20 km at widths of up to 2 km. In terms of infrastructure, the project is only 30 km from a sealed highway. The main rail line is 100 km south and terminates at the Port of Owendo, which currently exports 3.5 Mtpa of manganese. In addition, the government is building a hydropower station only 40 km from the deposit and is upgrading all roads in the area to highway status. Ferrex also owns a 74% stake in the blue sky Leinster manganese project in South Africa, which is by far its lowest priority. “Ultimately, our ambition to be a 5 Mtpa iron ore player remains realistic. We have every intention of achieving this in the long run by advancing our low capex deposits, which offer significant value uplift potential through resource delineation, into production,” Reeves concludes.

TWP South Africa

ABOVE Drilling on-site at Malelane

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BOTTOM RC drill rig on-site at Malelane


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Celebrating Khumani The expansion of Assmang’s Khumani iron ore mine in the Northern Cape adds another chapter to DRA Mineral Projects’ association with the mine, which goes back to the project’s first phase in 2005. An Inside Mining exclusive.


LONG-TIME PLAYER in such areas as coal, gold, platinum and diamonds, the project presented DRA with its first major iron ore execution project.

A brief history of Khumani and Phase 1 The opencast Khumani iron ore mine was formerly known as the Bruce, King and Mokaning (BKM) project, referring to the farms on which the iron ore resources are located. It is located near Kathu in the Kalahari Desert and was established to expand Assmang’s existing iron ore business from its single operating Beeshoek iron ore mine. Iron ore is transported for export via Transnet’s iron ore rail channel to Saldanha Bay, 860 km away. Phase 1 of the Khumani mine project pipeline saw the construction of a new ABOVE Khumani iron ore thickener and plant LEFT New WHIMS plant under construction

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opencast iron ore mine on the Bruce farm (adjacent to Kumba Iron Ore’s Sishen mine) and a 10 Mtpa greenfield beneficiation plant on the Parson farm. The Phase 1 detailed design and engineering of the processing plant began in September 2006 and was completed successfully by the end of 2008. Even though the project was DRA’s first iron-ore venture, it was delivered on time and within budget – notwithstanding the tight deadlines with tough and competitive market conditions in the construction industry at the time. The original design of Phase 1 included scope for expansion to 16  Mtpa and, after the results of the Phase 2 feasibility studies proved positive, the green light was given for the Khumani Expansion Project (KEP) to go ahead.

KEP kicks off A large project with a value of R6 billion, KEP involved a number of components: • run-of-mine (ROM) crushing and processing facilities for the new King opencast mine, including workshops and associated mine infrastructure


Stockpiling at Khumani

• material handling, including an overland conveyor belt • additional ROM stockpiles, stacker and reclaimer machines • additional washing, screening and jigging capacity • new primary and secondary thickeners and extension to the dewatering circuit • extensions to the existing paste deposition facility • extensions to the product yard, including new stockpiles, stackers and reclaimer • a second railway balloon and a second rapid load-out station • a new railway siding to access the local rail line and doubling of the export arrivals and departure rail line • a new robotics laboratory. Early works on KEP commenced in October 2008 with full-scale construction of the King mine, ROM processing and infrastructure starting in January 2009. This portion of the project was handed over four months ahead of schedule in November 2010.

Construction of additional rail infrastructure and load-out station was completed by August 2011, followed by the brownfield

Parson plant expansion commissioning in October of the same year, then the extension to the product yard in June 2012. 

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From mine to rail Crushing Khumani’s ore is transported from the open pits by truck to the mine’s crusher plant, consisting of a gyratory primary crushing unit, scalping station and a cone crushing unit for secondary crushing. The ROM plant also includes an 18 000  t buffer stockpile prior to the 3  km long, 3  500  tph overland conveyor feeding the ROM stockpiles at the Parson process plant.

Processing The ore is stacked onto and reclaimed from the ROM stockpiles to feed the now 16 Mtpa Parson processing plant’s on- and-off grade streams. The KEP project scope for the off grade circuit consists of: • an on/off-grade ROM stockpile • tertiary crusher • three washing and screening systems • two lumpy jigs and screening system • one additional fines jig • an additional HPGR screening system The scope of the on-grade product circuit consists of a number of conveyor upgrades so that the increased throughput of material is screened, washed and recrushed in the tertiary crusher. Bucket wheel reclaimer

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The processing plant’s water circuit required the construction of an extension to the existing dewatering plant and the addition of a 90 m primary thickener, an 18  m secondary thickener, 4  km of overland tailings pipe and a 5 m lift to the existing paste disposal dam wall. In addition, two 20  Mℓ potable water tanks were built. Once contaminants are removed via the jigs and the product processed, it is transferred to the product stockyard. Separate stockpiles for lumpy, direct reduced iron and fines product were built to store and handle the product, ready to be loaded and railed. Commissioning of the processing plant was undertaken by DRA with the assistance of Minopex, the group’s mineral plant contract operations and maintenance division. KEP vital statistics Key statistics for KEP include: • 7.5 million cubic metres of earthworks moved • 78 000 m3 of concrete cast • 7 500 t of steelwork erected • 39 conveyors installed and an additional 38 modified • 28 km of conveyor belting installed • 31 km of rail tracks installed • 52 km of piping installed • 430 km of electrical and 150 km of instrumentation cabling installed.

Rail infrastructure Khumani’s expansion required a second rail load-out station and the doubling of the existing rail balloon in order to accommodate the additional throughput. The rail infrastructure for the export product required a doubling of the arrivals line while the local product necessitated the construction of a local siding. Each of the two rail load-out stations is capable of loading up to 100 t of material per minute.

Beating schedules & safety records Two particular milestones stand out on the KEP project for DRA: the fact that the project was completed ahead of schedule and, more importantly, an impeccable safety record during the entire construction process. Safety has always played a critical role in DRA’s corporate culture both on- and offsite. By September 2012, when the last section of the project was completed, the project achieved a fatality-free record of more than 12 million man hours worked. The labour on-site peaked at 2  700 during the middle of 2011. Contributing to the project coming in ahead of schedule was the fact that only three 14-day shutdowns were required, with most of the pre-shutdown work taking place on scheduled maintenance days.

As a brownfield project, construction had to accommodate the mine’s existing operations. An excellent communications channel between the project team and mine operations ensured that the process remained smooth and trouble free. In addition, the project team maintained close supervision of site contractors to ensure quality of construction work, as well as ensuring that suppliers and contractors were kept on track with the programme milestones. A few of the project’s milestones include the handing over of both the King mine and Parson plant four months ahead of schedule, while the ROM stockpile was handed over six months ahead of schedule. In addition, the product yard extension and second rail load-out station was on time as per the baseline programme. As a result of the success that DRA has achieved with the KEP project, the company was awarded a further EPCM contract for a super fines recovery plant at Khumani. This plant makes use of wet, high-intensity magnetic separation to process tailings for the extraction of saleable product. Construction on the plant commenced in September 2011 and the engineering and procurement phases of the project are already complete. By the end of the first quarter this year material had been introduced to the plant and the first product produced. At the time of writing, it was expected that the plant would be handed over to the Khumani mine by the end of May 2013, two months ahead of schedule and under budget. ABOVE AND BELOW View of Khumani plant

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Hungry for Waterberg Developing coal miners in the Waterberg are not the only players dependent on rail and water infrastructure to start mining and moving product. Fortunately, iron ore company Ferrum Crescent’s Moonlight project fits in neatly with the proposed infrastructure upgrade and expansion time frame, writes Laura Cornish.


HE NECESSITY FOR rail, water, energy and transmission infrastructure has been identified by the government’s National Development Plan as one of 18 strategic integrated projects (SIP 1) to “transform South Africa’s economic landscape” and unlock the northern mineral belt – the Waterberg region being the catalyst. South Africa’s future coal and energy demands are dependent on this project.

Rail capacity – first and foremost It is a well-known fact that Lephalale’s Waterberg region will emerge as the next generation coal fields as Mpumalanga’s coal resources approach depletion. The reality is that this is less than 10 years away. Coal, however, is not the only mineral in the Waterberg region; platinum and iron ore are ‘hot’ minerals within the area – further driving the necessity for the approval and construction of the SIP 1 project. ASX/AIM/JSE-listed iron ore junior Ferrum Crescent is one such company keen to take its Moonlight magnetite iron ore Limpopo-based project up the value chain and into production. Strategically, its Drilling under way at the Moonlight site

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development path has been well thought out as it anticipates production start-up around the same time that a number of new rail upgrades and expansions are completed and capacity constraints alleviated – scheduled for completion around 2018. The company is aiming to reach production start-up in 2018. “And this is no small project for a junior,” says Ferrum Crescent’s COO, Vernon Harvey. “We need to complete a bankable feasibility study (BFS) and raise capital – about US$1  billion (R9.09  billion) for the development of the entire project. A pelletising plant located at Thabazimbi is most suitable to our beneficiation needs, which will take about three years to complete. This means we need to start construction in 2015. If we achieve all our goals, our project will come on-stream around the time the necessary infrastructure is completed.” The current active line from Lephalale (solely used by Exxaro’s Grootegeluk coal mine [1.5 Mtpa]) joins Thabazimbi where approximately 2 Mtpa of iron ore is transported

to Vanderbijlpark (about 2 Mtpa). “This entire system is due for upgrade by Transnet to cope with future coal demands from the Waterberg. “The first upgrade, in various phases, will expand the rail line’s capacity to 23  Mtpa. The Phase  2 upgrade will entail an entirely new heavy haul line from Thabazimbi to Ermelo, which starts at 40 Mtpa. We are banking on acquiring capacity for rail transport of the product to be exported through Richard’s Bay from Transnet as iron ore capacity becomes available on the existing line. There is currently some spare capacity on the existing line from Thabazimbi to Rustenburg and beyond,” explains Harvey. The Lothair/Swaziland rail line connection and upgrade will also take some capacity off the coal line to Richards Bay. The upgrades involve construction of bypassing loops and also electrification of line between Thabazimbi and Lephalale once Medupi power is available. The Richards Bay port is also being upgraded for additional iron ore capacity.

The Moonlight deposit has several mineral zones at or near surface

The Moonlight project The Moonlight deposit (or farm) is not a new discovery, Harvey outlines. It was drilled by Iscor in the 1980s and 1990s and forms part of a larger property across two contiguous farms: Gouda Fontein and Julietta. Ferrum Crescent acquired its new order mining rights for all three farms in October 2012. “Between 2008 and 2011, we undertook an infill drilling programme on the Moonlight farm and determined Iscor’s historical data to be accurate,” says Harvey, who describes the project as a “unique” magnetite-banded iron ore deposit containing material capable of producing a high-quality metallurgical pellet feed concentrate. Its JORC-compliant resource of 308  Mt has an average grade of 26.9% (16% cut-off ) iron. It comprises a coarse grain product that can be easily upgraded – to about 70%

INSID E M IN IN G 0 6 | 2013 29


The Moonlight mineral resource categories • 172 Mt inferred at a grade of 25.3% iron • 83 Mt indicated at a grade of 27.4% iron • 52 Mt measured at a grade of 31.3% iron iron content. Coupled with its low phosphorous, silica and alumina content, the opencast project becomes increasingly attractive. There are several mineral zones at or near surface with a low strip ratio that equates to low mining cost benefits. Based on beneficiated grades and quantities, the project has a minimum 20-year lifespan. For a junior company, Ferrum’s development plan for the project is substantial. “Our plan is to produce 6  Mtpa of

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direct reduction and possibly blast furnace grade pellets for use in the steelmaking industry. We already have a signed agreement with Switzerland-based Duferco SA for 4.5 Mtpa, with first rights to an additional 1.5  Mtpa if not sold domestically,” Harvey explains. Duferco is a leading private company in the trading and end use of iron and steel products. This would require a largescale opencast operation mining approximately 42 Mtpa. “Because the majority of our product is for export, we will require three trains every day, with 100 wagons each per day for 330 days of the year. This equates to 18 600 t of iron ore pellets transported to the port every day.” Duferco suggested the production of direct reduction pellets from this particular ore body type, which is suited for use in electric arc furnaces (as opposed to blast furnaces). This method of steelmaking is quickly becoming a preferred modern ironmaking methodology. It is far more environment-friendly, requiring any local energy source instead of coal and is more cost effective.


Additional infrastructure necessities A bankable feasibility study (BFS) is currently under way in respect of a dual water/slurry pipeline pelletising plant. “We need 80 MW of power and a 240  km pipeline, which links to Thabazimbi – both of which we will have to invest in and build our-

the largest iron ore pelletising plant in South Africa once built and requires an international expert to facilitate its development.

The future Moonlight is only the beginning of the road. The farms Gouda Fontein and Julietta, which

“We already have a signed agreement with Switzerlandbased Duferco SA for 4.5 Mtpa.”

resolution aeromagnetic survey of Moonlight and surrounds in 2012, which confirmed the potential for significant additional mineralisation. The company’s plan is to confirm these additional iron ore areas by drilling and other mine exploration once it is in production. The existing JORC-compliant mineral resources give Moonlight in excess of 20 years’ production based on the 6 Mtpa profile,” Harvey concludes. A typical communition circuit from Danieli. Moonlight’s will be similar

Vernon Harvey, COO of Ferrum Crescent

selves. For power, this entails a 132 kV power line connecting the site to Lephalale. Eskom has indicated it may be able to provide power in 2017.” Italy’s steel giant Danieli, which ranks among the three largest suppliers of plant and equipment to the metals industry worldwide, is undertaking the process design for the BFS and will design and oversee the plant’s construction. According to Harvey, this will be

along with Moonlight farm are covered by the company’s granted New Order Mining Right, have yet to be properly explored, and Ferrum Crescent has further applied for prospecting rights on an additional two contiguous properties – Good Hope and Karnemelksfontein. “From the results of historical drilling by Iscor in the 1980s and 1990s, it is known that there is large additional tonnage of iron ore mineralisation. Ferrum commissioned a high

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The new Pilbara iron ore region

There are signs of heightened interests by mining companies around the world in what is believed to be the world’s next Pilbara iron ore-rich region. West Africa is abuzz with iron ore exploration projects and mining licence applications. Reggie Sikhakhane looks at the progress of some of these projects.


EST AFRICAN countries such as the Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Nigeria, Cameroon and Sierra Leone are said to have untapped iron ore reserves that may be able to supply the world’s ever-increasing demand for iron ore-dependant products, such as steel, over the long-term future – so much so that the area has been likened to Pilbara in Australia, one of the richest iron ore destinations in the world. While the majors (BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Vale) remain focused on expanding their current operations in Australia, a new population of juniors has emerged, all focused on developing their iron ore projects in West Africa and cashing in on the demand for iron ore. Should all these projects, for both majors and juniors, start producing, analysts predict it will have a detrimental impact on the long-term price of iron ore as supply will exceed demand substantially. South Africa-based diversified miner

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African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) has also signalled its interests in the West African region recently. Patrice Motsepe, ARM’s chairperson, visited Guinea and met with the country’s president, Alpha Condé. Motsepe says that the visit was inspired by ARM’s interest in iron ore and infrastructure related to iron ore. It is believed that an investment by ARM into iron ore mining in Guinea could boost investment appetite in that country, which has been negatively affected by a violent political landscape over legislative elections, as well as Guinea’s mining code. Exxaro is another major investing millions of dollars into its Republic of the Congo-based Mayoko iron ore project – the result of its acquisition of ASX-listed mining company African Iron for AU$313  million (R2.84 billion) in 2012. The Mayoko iron ore project, situated in the south-west of Congo, is on a 1 000 km2 tenement and has a confirmed ore reserve of 685 Mt. The project is expected to deliver

2 Mtpa of iron ore, with first production expected in the second half of the 2013 financial year.

Exploration activity AIM-listed resources company Sable Mining Africa recently announced that it will drilltest an extension to the area of mineralisation covered by the recently completed JORC resource report at its Nimba iron ore project in Guinea. The company revealed that the extension area is approximately 200 m wide and up to 3.9 km in length, with an exploration target potential of between 45 and 80 Mt of canga. ABOVE BHP Billiton Iron Ore is one of the world’s premier suppliers of iron ore, employing 13 000 people across the Pilbara. Mining operations are supported by the town of Newman while Port Hedland houses the company’s port and rail facilities (Photo: BHP Billiton) OPPOSITE Drilling on site at the Marampa iron ore project in Sierra Leone

Sable added that the extension has the potential to increase the Nimba project’s current JORC resource from its current 121.5 Mt. “The Nimba project has already demonstrated itself to be one of West Africa’s premier high-grade iron ore deposits, and the significant mineralised extension on two of the three plateaux further reiterates the quality of the deposit and the commercial value of its development. “We are now focused on a further drill programme to better define the enlarged resource potential of the Nimba project, adding to the current JORC resource of 121.5 Mt at an in-situ grade of 57.8% iron. In conjunction with this exploration work, the company continues to advance its logistical solutions and, accordingly, we are pleased with the progress made in this region,” says Sable Mining’s CEO, Andrew Groves. Australian resources and investment company Cape Lambert Resources confirmed that an environmental licence has been granted for its 100%-owned Marampa iron ore project located in Sierra Leone. The Marampa project is currently at the permitting and development stage, and located 90 km north-east of Freetown in Sierra Leone. Marampa comprises two granted exploration licences held by Marampa iron ore, which is indirectly a wholly owned subsidiary of Cape Lambert, with a total JORC mineral resource of 680 Mt at 28.2% iron covering four deposits (Gafal, Matukia, Mafuri and Rotret). Cape Lambert says that the awarding of the environmental and mining licences will significantly de-risk the Marampa project and adds value from a potential investor’s perspective by clearing the way for the development of the project. 

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“The granting of the environmental licence is another step toward progressing the Marampa project to eventually become Sierra Leone’s third iron ore producer. Marampa has been demonstrated to be a financially robust project, and gaining the necessary governmental approvals will significantly enhance the asset’s appeal to potential buyers, in turn adding significant value for our shareholders. A number of interested parties are currently in the Marampa data room reviewing the project details,” explains Tony Sage, Cape Lambert’s executive chairperson. The two existing iron ore producers in Sierra Leone are London Mining, which owns the Marampa iron ore mine, and African BELOW There are major port facilities in Pilbara that accomodate the large iron ore volumes. West Africa may require similar infrastructure in the future (Photo: Rio Tinto) RIGHT The current exploration estimate for the channel iron deposits and overlying laterite on Kogi’s land holdings is 1.6 to 2.7 billion tonnes iron. This estimate includes 1.2 to 2 billion tonnes within the Agbaja project exploration licence

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Minerals, which owns the Tonkilili iron ore mine. Kogi Iron, an Australia-based iron ore exploration and development company, has advised that it has completed an additional 30 hole diamond drilling programme at its 100%-owned Agbaja iron ore project located in Kogi State, in Nigeria. A total of 726 reverse circulation (RC) holes were drilled, including 138 RC holes completed in the current dry season programme, covering an additional 1.2  km2. RC drilling has been carried out at a spacing of 200  m x 100 m within the Stage 1 resource area. The current exploration Target  1 estimate for the channel iron deposits and overlying laterite on Kogi’s land holdings is 1.6 to 2.7 billion tonnes at 35 to 50% iron. This estimate includes 1.2 to 2 billion tonnes at 35 to 50% iron within the Agbaja project exploration licence. Undoubtedly one of the largest deposits in the West African iron ore region is the

Mbalam-Nabeba iron ore project, which is overseen by ASX-listed Sundance Resources. The project is located in Cameroon and extends into the Republic of the Congo. It has a probable iron ore reserve of 436.3 Mt. This project is also at an exploration stage, with Sundance announcing that it is seeking a strategic partner that will help the company run and manage the large-scale project. Both Cameroonian and Congolese governments have expressed support of the


project, adding that the project is of a national interest, and are eager to see it being developed. Sundance is also undertaking investigations into port and rail infrastructure mechanisms.

Outlook The West African region is said to benefit significantly from the development of iron ore mines, which will bring the much needed infrastructure and improve the logistics network of the region. China, the world’s largest iron ore consumer, is poised to increase its demand for steel, a product with iron ore as a key ingredient, and West Africa will seek to supply this demand. There are important factors that will determine the flourishing of the West African iron ore region. Political stability, the mining

tax and legislative regime as well as the willingness of the governments concerned to work with the private sector on issues such as infrastructure development are all key. Rio Tinto’s Simandou iron ore project in Guinea already indicates the potential for similar mining operations in West Africa (Photo: Rio Tinto)

For the moment, iron ore prices are expected to remain strong into 2014 on sustained demand in China. Iron ore reserves are depleting in other regions of the world and the West African iron ore region could capitalise on this. Recently, India’s role as a major supplier in the seaborne market was defined as being in “terminal decline” after mining was suspended in the states of Karnataka and Goa and exports were capped. According to a Morgan Stanley report, availability of material has remained tight amid low iron ore stocks at the ports, traders and steel mills. The report adds that on the demand side, it believes “the combination of a recent sharp drop from record high steel inventories and a high level of steel output in China suggests strong iron ore consumption in the country.”

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Ensuring mines remain sustainable and optimally profitable


S THE MINING industry acclimatises to growing political, social, economic and operational challenges, so too does the need for high-level, technologically advanced equipment and services. Enhanced safety, efficiency, productivity and reduced operating costs have become critical and vital contributions towards ensuring the industry remains sustainable. Ease of operation has become critical as skilled labour numbers continue to decline while depleting ‘easy-to-mine-and-process’ ores require intelligent and cost-effective equipment to retain output volumes. Eskom’s inability to keep up with energy demands is placing further difficulties on the sector. This issue looks at OEMs and service providers that are adapting their equipment and service offering to meet the mining industry’s evolving needs, thereby ensuring they remain cost- and production efficient in an energyconstrained market.

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Local sun catchers hit the mining market Large energy consumers are looking to find alternative, sustainable power generation methods. Renewable energies may be the solution, but finding local costcompetitive renewable technologies is the challenge – or is it, asks Laura Cornish.


T IS NO SECRET that Eskom is energy constrained, so much so that its integrated demand management (IDM) programme continues to provide financial incentive for mining houses looking to invest in alternative energy solutions. Eskom recently approved proposals to construct three concentrated solar power (CSP) heated plants (of 600, 1 200, and 2  400  kW thermal) at Gold Fields and AngloGold Ashanti mines through its IDM budget. Once operational, these systems will likely be the only CSP heated plants of their kind in the world. All three of the gold mine plants are for elution heating systems, with two mines using steam and one using thermal oil in the CSP collector to provide heat. The CSP plants have been designed by BBEnergy, an independent business unit within the BBE Group, specialising in power and energy management in mine

The 150 kW pilot linear Fresnel CSP heated plant at Eskom’s research and innovation centre in Rosherville

ventilation, refrigeration, compressed air and renewable energy systems. BBEnergy is also a registered ESCo (Energy Services Company) with Eskom. Last year, BBEnergy became the first South African company to design, develop and implement its own CSP heated plant, and manager Chris Nell describes the latest data as “positive and exciting”. Based on the performance of its prototypes at the company’s Bryanston premises, Eskom awarded the company a contract to construct the 150 kW pilot linear Fresnel CSP heated plant at Eskom’s research and innovation centre in Rosherville, Johannesburg. The plant was completed towards the end of 2012 and is now in the final stages of testing. To date, the test data generated from the pilot plant indicates that the system is performing above its design objectives. It is the biggest plant of its kind in South Africa. Investigations at the pilot plant include practical operational issues, such as stowing during storms, maintenance effects, start-up and shut-down, remote monitoring and control. The thermodynamic test

INSID E M IN IN G 0 6 | 2013 37


FIGURE 1 A 3D rendering of a CSP


programme included a closed system test, which demonstrated that in less than one hour the system exceeded 40 bar and 250°C when relief valves blow off. A daily cycle variable temperature test with a range of flow rates from 1 to 4 kg/s achieved a maximum of 162.3  kW, while fixed temperature duty tests indicated an 11.2% variation in heat duty, as the operating temperature varied from 230 to 250°C. “This third-generation plant has exceeded our design expectations and, based on all the development to date, we’ve recognised its immense potential for power station augmentation,” says Nell.

“This is a local design, built by a local company, with more than 95% local content,” BBE CEO Steven Bluhm adds. “It’s poised to bring meaningful energy savings to the national grid and has potential for significant job creation. “The Linear Fresnel process has been used extensively around the world to generate electricity, but this is the first time that it is being harnessed in South Africa to assist BBEnergy clients in the mining industry to save on energy costs in a predictable and meaningful way. CSP systems are able to produce energy more costeffectively than existing electrical and fossil-fuelled boilers, thereby easing the burden on the already over-loaded national grid, particularly during the high-demand daytime periods.”

CSP technology is also inherently environmentfriendly and has the potential to attract funding from carbon reduction mechanisms

The design strikes a balance between cost, reliability and efficiency, resulting in a commercially viable, modular, solar steam generator that provides industrial companies with a strategic source of energy. The system generates heat using mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a fluid-carrying, thermal receiver tube. Concentrated energy from the sun heats the fluid flowing through the tube and the resulting thermal energy can then be used for various industrial processes, such as absorption refrigeration. CSP technology is also inherently environment-friendly and has the potential to attract funding from carbon reduction mechanisms.

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Excellent Minerals Solutions

Would you put your most valuable resource at risk by using non-OEM replacement parts? Our research & development Our quality product Your peace of mind

WEIR is a registered trademark of Weir Engineering Services Ltd

For more information, contact us on +27 (0)11 9292600 INSID E M IN IN G 0 6 | 2013 39


OEMS MEETING PRODUCTION AND COST TARGETS WEIR MINERALS PANEL EXPERTS (Left) Gavin Dyer – sales and marketing director (Right) Rui Gomes – slurry

pump product manager (Far right) Nathi Ntuli

– cyclone product manager


OW CRITICAL is the role of the OEM in ensuring that mining companies deliver on their production and cost targets, particularly in your field of business? GD, RG & NN Our entire business model

and overall approach is driven by the need to make our customers’ lives easier and deliver a lower cost of ownership, across all of our product ranges (pumps, rubber products, hydrocyclones, comminution equipment, slurry valves and screens). The OEM plays a major role in ensuring that mining operations are not only sustainable, but profitable as well. Our entire design criteria are driven by this delivery aim: to help mines sweat their assets and maximise their recoveries.

What equipment do you offer the mining industry that specifically caters to reducing a mine’s costs, improving efficiencies and increasing production? Our entire slurry pump range incorporates the latest wear reduction technology, which equates to greater efficiency, less downtime and greater productivity. Incorporating our pumps across an operation can deliver massive savings for the client. Focusing on wear improvements across all our product ranges is a constant deliverable, which provides added financial and production benefits to our clients. Our cyclones are awakening the coal industry at present – they have a payback period that can be measured in less than a week.

We have a host of case studies and success stories to demonstrate cost reductions and efficiency improvements across our product range. Increased production and reduced downtime directly contribute to our clients’ bottom line.

What services do you offer the mining industry that caters to reducing a mine’s costs, improving efficiencies and increasing production? We instruct all of our service centres (across South Africa and Africa) to look for value-add opportunities for clients and are noticing an ever-increasing interest for our service exchange programmes (for slurry pump ranges), which we guarantee will minimise downtime. These

programmes ensure that we carry all the risk by taking full responsibility for our pump’s performance in operation and continual needs. We guarantee, in some instances, that we can replace a pump in less than an hour if using our service exchange programme. Because we are the global centre of excellence for screen research and development (R&D) within Weir Minerals, we are looking at implementing a similar programme for this equipment range. We have offered similar exchange programmes on cyclones in the Northern Cape and Mpumalanga regions. Our dewatering pump rental model ensures that our customers can keep operating efficiently in changing conditions and furthermore assists our clients that often face capital expenditure restrictions. Our distribution model is to establish our own operations on the doorsteps of our customers, which ensures that our service exchange programme is successful. Our branches are all fully equipped with a complete spare parts inventory, meaning one less responsibility for the mine and subsequently, reduced risk as well. Critical spares are stocked for all our products, including cyclones, Linatex hoses, Linatex screens exciters and Linatex rubber. Cavex hydrocylones installed at Phola coal processing plant

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How have you adapted your equipment and service offering to meet the industry’s changing and most current needs? Our dedication to moulding our product ranges to deliver maximum on-site performance has seen our platinum-focused Rustenburg branch achieve significant growth, a major feat considering it is the most depressed mining sector at present. The platinum mines are under enormous cost pressures and Weir Minerals is assisting them to drive their costs down. We have already taken over the entire maintenance of one of the platinum plants where our equipment is installed. R&D is extremely important to Weir Minerals around the world. Our slurry pump improvements have been remarkable over the years, always driven around improving energy efficiency and wear life performance. The new WBH centrifugal slurry pump, for example, has some unique features that have never been tried before. It offers more than 20 enhancements to our current technology, including a fully adjustable and rotatable throatbush, which spreads the wear more evenly, thus maintaining the pump in tip-top performance for longer periods. It boasts a revolutionary one-piece frame for the correct alignment of bearings, seal and impeller to the front liner, as well as easier access for impeller adjustments. The WBH

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE Service exchange pumps, including dredge & gravel and process chemical pumps available for immediate use The Middelburg branch OEM stock holding for service exchange Weir Minerals Africa is the centre of excellence for screen research and development in the Weir Group

pump was built with enhanced efficiency and operational savings in mind. These pumps share a common bearing assembly with our DWU range of dirty water pumps. From a customer stockholding point of view, this further cuts down on spares holding. Our latest products have improved wear life and energy efficiency, so while they require capital to install, the benefits and payback are significant.

How is Weir positively contributing towards mines’ ability to reduce their energy consumption? We actively participate in the Energy Efficiency Forum and contribute to the industry at large. We guarantee our clients between 2 and 5% energy saving per pump when implementing the new technology. Considering large mines can have up to 400 pumps installed on one site, the energy savings are dramatic.

Give an example where you have assisted a mining

company to reduce its operating costs in today’s challenging operating environment. After installing and commissioning eight Cavex ceramic lined cyclones at the Phola coal processing plant, the metallurgical department at the plant noticed an immediate improvement. There was a 49% increase in solids reporting to the underflow by comparison with the original cyclones. An additional 24 tph of solids reported to the underflow compared to the original cyclones and they produced a finer cut with an average d50c of 107 microns as compared to an average d50c of 210 microns produced by conventional cyclones. As a result, an increased solids loading of 24 t per hour per cluster onto the spirals increased the saleable

yield. Plant availability also increased and downtime has been reduced. Due to these substantial improvements, 18 additional Cavex cyclones were subsequently installed at Phola coal. A Warman slurry pump replaced an existing problem pump for Consol Minerals. It is fitted with an expeller that seals the gland without any leakage while in operation and does not require external flushing water. After 2 000 hours, the pumps were opened for first inspection and no wear on the impeller or sealing arrangement was visible. While the previous pump required an impeller change every 3 000 hours, at current wear rates this installation is expected to last up to four times longer, with change-out required at approximately 20 000 hours.

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OW CRITICAL is the role of the OEM in ensuring that mining companies deliver on their production and cost targets, particularly in your field of business?

KB In today’s competitive environment, it is important for the OEM to understand the needs and challenges that the mining industry is currently facing. This assists the OEM to be an active enabler and supporter to a mine’s operational needs. Filtaquip changes its services and equipment solutions according to our customers’ requirements by

staying abreast of challenging environment conditions. Our plant and equipment is cheaper (from a capital point of view) with the best price performance ratio. Our operating costs are cheaper, maintenance is simple and our plants require few people to operate and maintain them. The bottom line is to offer the most competitive value proposition as cutomers don’t have time or capacity any more to do this.

What equipment do you offer the mining industry that specifically caters to reducing a mine’s costs, improving efficiencies and increasing production? Our core business is liquidsolid separation/dewatering equipment and plants, including high rate thickeners, flocculant plants, associated pumps and filter presses. We pride ourselves on being a focused dewatering equipment company and don’t dilute our scope by attempting

to be everything to everyone. Through our partnership with OEM technology leaders in Europe, we offer liquid-solid separation plants that set the standard in productivity.

Flocculant plants Our flocculant plants are fully automated and have an advanced, installed sampling system, which takes samples at selected intervals. The flocculant dosing rate is adjusted accordingly and varies automatically depending on the settling performance. This translates into optimal settling conditions and optimal dosing rates, resulting in tremendous improvements in thickener performance while only using the required amount of flocculant, which also relates to a saving in operational costs.

Thickeners Our high-rate thickeners are made of 304 stainless steel and 316 (depending on the environment), meaning they require no maintenance. And despite our advanced manufacturing materials, we still compete with conventional thickeners costs.

Pumps We offer a range of high-wear resistant slurry pumps (highpressure slurry pumps focused at dewatering applications – submersibles, vertical spindles and special filter press booster pumps). We believe our booster pumps (high-performance double cavity centrifugal pumps with a single drive) are the class-leading high-performance slurry pump in the industry. They are the key driver, ensuring our filter presses perform so well in terms of performance and productivity.

What services do you offer the mining industry that caters to reducing a mine costs, improving efficiencies and increasing TOP Filtaquip dewatering plant LEFT Close-up view of a filterpress

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production? We offer the full turnkey project service, from test work to process design, system installation and commissioning, either as a complete package or separate components/areas. We are a one-stop shop OEM supplier with an intricate knowledge of the dewatering process, enabling us to take full responsibility for project execution. This means lower costs and less risk to our client. Mines are moving away from self-labour operated plants, which mean they require their service providers to be more flexible. Filtaquip also operates and maintains its plants and will also operate and maintain any dewatering plant on-site (subject to an auditing process).

How have you adapted your equipment and service offering to meet the industry’s changing and most current needs? Environment regulation and law is becoming more stringent, and mining companies need to adapt their businesses to become environmentally compliant, but cash is tight for most at present. Filtaquip recently introduced a lease system, whereby in conjunction with a financial institution, clients can purchase our equipment on capital lease to pay off over an extended period.

Give an example where Filtaquip has assisted a mine to reduce its operating costs in today’s challenging operating environment. Our dewatering technology is employed in the coal industry where very high throughputs are required for the most competitive operating costs. We are dewatering (for an AMD application) and yielding a filter cake with residual moisture of less than 17% (on average), yielding a dry environmentally friendly cake, with clean reusable water filtrate on the other side.



• - No More Time Consuming Troublesome Membrane Squeeze Required – No Flocculant Required o High capacity - up to 40 tons/hour achievable per press

60 mo nth availa Capital lea equip ble on all se Įnan ce ment plan & Op as well as t and erate Agree Maintain ment s

o High pressure Feed Technology o Short clearing cycle 3 - 5 minutes o Lowest residual moisture-up to 95% recovery of water/liquid from slurries o Fully integrated cloth washing - 5 minutes for a press with 180 plates o Shaker gasser plate shaking system for eĸcient material release • Process Pumps • Fully Automated Flocculant Plants o No operator involvement • Complete Turn-Key Plants 17 Bisset Street, Jet Park, Gauteng South Africa Tel: +27 (011) 397 2121 Fax: +27 (011) 397 2126 Email: info@¿ INSID E M IN IN G 0 6 | 2013 43





OW CRITICAL is the role of the OEM in ensuring that mining companies deliver on their targets, particularly in your field of business?

PANEL EXPERT Dion Simonato – marketing manager

DS The OEM’s role is a critical

one as our equipment defines the operational performance of equipment in operation on-site. Our business is the manufacture of polyurethane specialist products. Polyurethane is a unique material that offers the elasticity of rubber, but

the toughness and durability of metal. It replaces rubber, plastic and metal with the ultimate in abrasion resistance. Polyurethane can reduce plant maintenance cost and OEM product cost. Finite element analysis (FEA) studies predict life cycle, enabling us to specify correctly design and specify material. Each project UMP handles is treated as its own project, which includes in-house quality control, including self-testing facilities and international back up. UMP workshop

What equipment and services do you offer the mining industry that especially cater to reducing a mine’s costs, improving efficiencies and increasing production? UMP supplies cost-effective solutions in: • polyurethane wear protection for pipes, linings, flotation equipment and chutes • pipes that deliver cost reductions because they are especially formulated and designed, they are harder wearing, they have extended lifespans, they require less electricity, less

maintenance is required on pumps and pipelines, flotation equipment has higher wear resistance and a longer life expectancy and chutes that replace heavier metal type liners.

How have you adapted your equipment and service offering to meet the industry’s changing and most current needs? To meet industry changes, UMP works closely with clients and OEMs, and builds a close relationship in developing what clients require for their specific needs. Our suppliers formulate best options for longer life and we are always striving to develop new materials and technologies. UMP’s FEA studies improve product design and material efficiency reducing the customers life cycle cost of components or equipment.

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Wear Linings


Site Services


Steel Fabrication



Polyurethane UMP is a South African manufacturing company that serves the mining, infrastructure and engineering industries by focusing on providing solutions with its range of specialist polyurethane products.


Flotation parts


FEA design and component testing


Wear solutions


Lining of pipes, specialised bends, fittings, valves and pumps

14 Plantation Rd, Edenvale, Gauteng, South Africa Tel: + 27 11 452-1000 | Fax: +27 11 609-6477


Polyurethane services include:





OW CRITICAL is the role of the OEM in ensuring that mining companies deliver on their production? TH For us to stay relevant in a globalised world, we must remain state-of-theart in terms of the specialised equipment we produce for the mining industry. This requires us to balance the two aspects of developing innovative new equipment, while ensuring its relevance in the flow sheet. This commercial and technical relevance underpins all our development activities as we work closely with our customers to extract top dollar from their existing investments.

How have you adapted your equipment and service offering to meet the industry’s changing and most current needs? In line with a transition in the global mining industry, away from mergers and acquisitions in favour of a focus on extracting wealth from existing assets, we are intensifying our process support activities throughout the mining industry to add maximum value to client applications where our products are operating. We’re committed to drawing on our in-depth application knowledge to add value to our customers’ assets by ensuring that their processes remain optimal. These customers want to see predictable or consistent failure patterns in order to plan their maintenance activities more effectively. It’s a given that plant equipment in the flow sheet will

PANEL EXPERT Thomas Holtz – Group CEO

that specifically caters to reducing a mine’s costs, improving efficiencies and increasing production?

eventually wear out and fail, so it’s a case of managing the replacement of older equipment in the most effective way, both in terms of controlling costs and sustaining operational efficiencies while equipment is being changed out. Our strength is that

Multotec develops and supplies specialist process equipment primarily into the gold, platinum, iron ore, diamond, base metal, mineral sand, coal and chrome sectors, and the engineers working on these commodity-specific product lines include qualified metallurgists and former plant personnel. These professionals understand client applications and have the knowledge and experience to specify or

improving efficiencies and increasing production? What differentiates Multotec in the market place is the diverse equipment support package we offer. We’re right there at the end-user level, from plant commissioning and onwards into the day-to-day grind of running that plant 365 days a year for the entire life cycle of the plant. We’re there to make sure the plant remains as efficient as when it was first put together. Management and plant personnel move on and ore bodies change, and the efficiency of a plant will deteriorate over time without active collaboration between plant personnel and equipment suppliers. This is the space we’ve played in very successfully over many

Multotec engineers understand client applications and have the knowledge and experience to specify or reconfigure a product for an application we have the ability to conceive of the design, make the prototype, evaluate it, test it and then install and operate it. Every plant is different, so a slight customisation on a certain screen or cyclone has to be compatible with the next stage. Therefore, while our products are not unique, they are customised to each application products specialists.

What equipment do you offer the mining industry

reconfigure a particular product for an application. We’re not a low-cost producer and, typically, this is not what gives value for money. The valueadd lies in having correctly specified products that work efficiently, fail predictably, are maintained sufficiently and can sustain the required efficiencies throughout their working life. The key is being able to reconfigure or improve the performance of a particular piece of equipment so that it works to specification in the circuit for the lifetime of the plant.

What services do you offer the mining industry that specifically cater to reducing a mine’s costs, Multotec products are manufactured under stringent quality control systems to ensure optimum performance

years and this is exactly what our clients are looking for. They need metallurgically knowledgeable people who are prepared to go into the plant, look at the application and see for themselves if cyclone cut-points are right, that the screens are functioning as they should, if the samplers are working effectively and the spirals are achieving accurate results. At this level, it’s possible to recommend improvements that might increase the throughput or the yield. One of the primary metrics of a plant owner is the cost per tonne of ore processes. The owner cannot influence the price of the mineral, so the profitability of the operation is based on being able to drive down the cost per tonne of ore being processed. Multotec’s value proposition focuses on this aspect of the plant.

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The many benefits of vibration control Controlled blasting is becoming the order of the day in modern blasting technology, as both the mining and civil engineering industries look for benefits like vibration containment near sensitive structures. By Tony Rorke


HEN BLASTING in an opencast mining environment, for instance, pit wall failure can be triggered by high vibration levels from blasting – with potentially catastrophic consequences. There are also cases where blasting operations on civils sites may need to be conducted within just a few metres of buildings or a major pipeline. This is where electronic delay detonators really play an important role, as the timing flexibility supports the detonation of small multiple charges in each blasthole to keep vibration levels down. BME has developed its AXXIS electronic delay detonators, which have a very high accuracy and are an alternative to the traditional shocktube detonator systems. The flexible AXXIS Digital Initiation System allows any firing time up to 10 seconds at millisecond intervals to be programmed and BME is thus able to design complex firing sequences in a blast for achieving predicable and repeatable blast results. Because of the detonator accuracy, vibration from the blast can be predicted accurately and reliably. BME’s new blast design software, BlastMap III, allows complex timing designs and analysis of the results for each blast. An example of how the system ensures a controlled blast was seen recently for a new wing of a hospital in Nelspruit; the blast took place within 50  m of the existing building where patients could not be evacuated. The blast therefore had to be well controlled to ensure that vibration levels were low and that there was no fly rock towards the hospital. In large open pits, a wall failure can mean the difference between continued operations

Preparing for a large controlled blast at a chrome mine close to a village near Rustenburg

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Image showing the contours of timing for a complex large blast with a difficult geometry in hard rock

and permanent closure of the mine site. The use of accurate electronic delay detonators helps to reduce the risk of this happening. Using the AXXIS system, it is possible to select the firing time of each blasthole in a blast to create quiet vibration zones in certain directions. By engineering the correct timing, these quiet zones can be directed towards critical structures like mine pit walls while higher vibration zones can be directed away to less sensitive areas. To maximise the full productivity benefits of using electronic delay detonators, it is vital that the blast timing design is right. There is no real value in using such detonators while continuing with a fixed timing design that does not change to address variations in rock type or blast geometry. BlastMap  III software and AXXIS provide a powerful system for getting the best blast

results and making mining as efficient as possible. In addition to vibration control, the system’s benefits include finer fragmentation, dilution control in ore blasts, heave control (to achieve desired muck pile shapes) and specialised blasting scenarios. Blast preparation is also significantly faster. Logging and programming of detonators can take place as soon as the detonators are in the hole; operations can be undertaken while holes are being charged, during the stemming period or even before the detonators have been connected on the surface lines. Previously, an entire network had to be connected before programming and logging could take place. The size of electronically detonated blasts undertaken by BME has been steadily growing, reaching over 3  000 detonations in a single blast. This opens the door to valuable cost savings and higher productivity, as larger blasts mean that they can be conducted less frequently; this saves on the need to ‘walk out’ and ‘walk in’

draglines, drills and other large equipment at opencast sites. Another major plus factor is safety. Using the AXXIS system, an event can be initiated remotely from up to 3 km from the blast. The system is safe because it relies on encrypted communication protocols between the blasting boxes and detonators, and employs passive communication between the intelligent connector and logger to establish connector ID and firing time. The encrypted two-way communication process allows the blaster to confirm that all the detonators are functional before pressing the fire buttons, removing any concerns about unexpected misfires. AXXIS was designed around five principles: safety, ease of operation, robustness, reliability and accuracy. It has proved its worth in these respects, even in South Africa’s harsh mining conditions. Electronic delay detonators are the future in blast timing and will become the main method for initiating blastholes in the near future. Although they may be slightly more expensive than shock tube equivalents, the overall cost is minor compared to the huge benefits that can be obtained by using electronic delay detonators. Tony Rorke graduated in mining geology from the University of the Witwatersrand in the early 1970s and subsequently obtained his MSc in geology. He spent a number of years researching rock engineering, with a focus on seismology and rock preconditioning. In the mid-1980s, Rorke moved into the field of blasting physics and became an independent blasting consultant. Since 1995, he has worked with BME, first as the company’s drill and blast specialist and subsequently as the director of blasting technology.

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Master Drilling

keeps growing Master Drilling Group, a specialised drilling services provider that listed on the JSE on 20 December last year, has delivered a sterling set of year-end financial results. This is a massive achievement considering the current repressed mining climate, especially in South Africa.


ASTER DRILLING HAS come a long way since it was established in 1986. It was founded by the current CEO, Daniel Pretorius, and launched itself into the mining sector with only two raise bore machines. Today, the company has over 150 drilling rigs (covering a variety of different drilling functions), which include the largest fleet of raise bore machines globally. It has an international footprint and delivered a 10% increase in its profit for the year end December 2012 to R100 million. ABOVE Exploration drilling is a key business area for Master Drilling BELOW The company has over 150 drill rigs in its fleet

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The company provides specialised drilling services to major, mid-tier and junior mining and exploration companies in countries including South Africa, Zambia, Burkina Faso, Mexico, Peru, Brazil and Chile. It also provides services for civil engineering applications in a variety of emerging markets and is actively operating across Southern Africa, Latin America, West Africa and the Middle East. “One of the major contributing factors to the positive results is our strategy to continuously grow our fleet and thus support growth into 2014. On the back of this, we are pleased to have delivered results that are in line with our expectations, even prior to the industry strikes,” says Pretorius. Revenue is up from R687  million in 2011 to R818  million in 2012. Upon listing, Master Drilling raised R352.5  million (before expenses), which was allocated to reducing expensive debt on the group’s Brazilian companies’ balance sheets and to the acquisition of new machines

at a cost of R190 million, required to grow the company. “We added 10 machines to our raise bore fleet, which now stands at 88, and another

Master Drilling’s specialised service offering: Master Drilling provides both primary and secondary services to its clients, depending on the terms of each individual contract. Primary services include: • raise bore drilling • box hole and slot riser boring/drilling • drain hole drilling • drop raising • shaft support • surface blast hole drilling. Primary services offered by Drillcorp Africa (company acquired by Master Drilling in 2005) include: • core drilling • percussion drilling • reverse circulation drilling. Secondary services are offered in contracts where the scope of services exceeds the core primary services on offer. These are either offered directly by Master Drilling or alternatively subcontracted to third party providers and include: • earthworks, piling and foundation construction • directional drilling and wedging • core logging and cutting.


10 to our exploration drilling division, which covers underground production drilling. By doing this, we will be able to service demand, grow organically where we currently operate and venture into new areas at a rate of at least two new countries every year. “We would also like to expand into the East and further into Africa, with a possibility in the longer term of expanding to Australia, Canada and the US, given the size of its mining industry in those countries and the scope for work.” Diversification is another cornerstone of Master Drilling’s growth strategy. Until now, the company has played actively in the precious metals and base metals sectors. Additional revenue growth, however, is expected from taking on projects in the coal, iron ore and ferroalloys (chrome and manganese) sectors in South Africa. The company’s existing client base in Africa already includes Harmony Gold, Exxaro, Anglogold Ashanti, Impala Platinum, Gold Fields and Lonmin, to name a few. The group’s strategy further includes improving performance through an automation

upgrade plan that aims to foster skills development with training in sophisticated computerised systems. Looking ahead, Pretorius says the company is looking at joint ventures in Europe and Asia. The first company of its kind to be represented on the JSE, Master Drilling has recently signed strategic agreements with major and mid-tier companies, which Pretorius says is a step in the right direction towards achieving some of its strategic objectives. “For 2012, just over 40% of group revenue was generated in South Africa. The outlook for 2013 is that this figure will reduce even further to between 20% and 30%, as most of the growth opportunities are outside South Africa’s

borders,” says Pretorius. According to him, this growth process has already started, with the first machine delivery anticipated in the second half of 2013 and another machine every two months after. The benefit of the capital injection will be visible in 2014.

Master Drilling has the largest fleet of raisebore drills in the world

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Exploration excellence Atlas Copco Geotechnical Drilling and Exploration, a division within Atlas Copco’s Mining and Rock Excavation Technique business area, has introduced a new exploration drill rig for mineral exploration core drilling for the Southern African market.


HE INTRODUCTION of the new range of Atlas Copco Boyles surface core drilling rigs opens up the mineral exploration market to the widest possible field of potential users in Southern Africa, including Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa,” explains Atlas Copco Exploration Products Africa general manager Graham Martin. The complete Atlas Copco Boyles range, which includes the C6, C6C and C8C, was officially launched in South Africa in February 2013, “with the promise of additional sizes to be added to the range over a period of time,” adds Martin. Previously marketed as the ‘C-Series’, the Boyles range will complement

the existing Atlas Copco Christensen CS range of surface core drilling rigs currently available to the local market. Manufactured in Märsta, Sweden, the well-established CS

hoist with a capacity of 133 kN and 15  t, and a rod holder with a gas cartridge for long service life, which handles rods from BO to PO size and casing up to PW. It has a proven and reliable rotation unit that can generate the highest penetration rate and a four-speed gearbox that converts power into high torque. The rig offers a depth capacity of 1 830 m and is equipped with a newly designed level-wind wire line winch that rolls the wire evenly across the full width of the drum. Another advantage is that the rig is designed to allow users to carry out service and maintenance functions in the field. Discussing the range’s environmental and safety aspects, Graham says that the rigs are driven by industry-proven Tier  III diesel engines that conform to EU emission standards. “There is also added focus on the range’s safety features. Radio remote control, which is standard equipment on the Boyles C8C, enables the rig’s tramming

“This is an exciting development not only for us but also for the industry”

The new range of Atlas Copco Boyles surface core drilling rigs provides the company with opportunities in the mineral exploration market

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range has enjoyed market acceptance for more than 15 years. The Atlas Copco Boyles C8C focuses on power and simplicity to make exploration operations available to the broadest possible range of drilling professionals. The new surface core drilling rig has been specially designed for high productivity, with maximum simplicity and ease of service and maintenance. It is equipped with a powerful main


functions to be precisely controlled from a safe distance, eliminating the danger of being on or next to the machine while in motion. Tramming stops automatically if radio contact is lost.” Turning to the vital aspect of service, Martin confirms that Atlas Copco Exploration Products Africa will continue to offer full service, which will include driller and operator services, parts, back up and support, for the new Atlas Copco Boyles range. “This is an exciting development not only for us but also for the industry; there has been much suspicion regarding equipment originating from Asian countries, but their ability to develop and innovate has moved quickly, and we are very happy that the Boyles range of drills comes to the market with a quality product at an affordable total cost and the guarantee of full support for our customers,” concludes Martin. Headquartered in Märsta, Sweden, Atlas Copco Geotechnical Drilling and Exploration develops, manufactures, and markets equipment for exploration drilling and ground engineering with production organised in specialised competence centres in North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. “Atlas Copco is one of the world leaders in surface core drilling rigs and, for more than 100  years, exploration professionals have depended on our ability to deliver excellent results in conditions of extreme heat, cold, drought, humidity, or high altitude,” remarks Martin Sommers, vice president marketing – Capital Equipment at Atlas Copco’s Geotechnical Drilling and Exploration division.


A promising prospect AIM-listed gold mining exploration company Sovereign Mines of Africa has commenced the third phase drilling programme at its flagship MandianaMagana gold project in eastern Guinea.


HE PROGRAMME IS planned to consist of around 8 000  m of reverse circulation drilling. The initial batch of assay results from the satellite prospects should be available in June. The release of the maiden inferred resource is expected in Q3 2013. The planned programme is focused on infill and expansion drilling of gold mineralisation within the Yagbelen and Wyondjian gold prospects outlined by earlier programmes, with the objective of producing an initial inferred gold resource. The Yagbelen and Wyondjian gold mineralised zones occur as multiple bands of quartz veining and silicification within distinct, north-west trending corridors of deeply oxidised and weathered metal sediments. These mineralised corridors are each traceable for 8  km across the Mandiana-Magana concession and are defined by extensive artisanal gold workings and gold in soil geochemical anomalies. “We are focused on the discovery and exploration of large-scale gold systems in the most under-explored gold belts of West Africa. Drilling to date at the Yagbelen and Wyondjian prospects has established a strong base to build substantial resources within the Mandiana-Magana gold property. In order to continue developing the full potential of this very large mineralising system, the drill-programme will also include the very first drill-testing of four new compelling prospects along the mineralised trend,” says exploration director John Barry.

Over 9 000 artisanal pits have been mapped within the property and prospecting for gold – the area’s principal economic activity, which has significantly increased in the past year – using a new generation of highly sensitive metal detectors. The planned programme also includes additional drilling at the Damantere prospect located 1 km along trend, north of Yagbelen. Of special interest is the Namatou prospect, recently identified within a third mineralised corridor in the extreme west of the concession. The Namatou zone, 1  km long and 200  m wide, is the site of intense artisanal gold workings and gold in soil geochemical values up to 5 000 ppm of gold. A highly prosepctive area The Mandiana-Magana gold property is located within the productive Siguiri Basin, which extends into north-east Guinea and hosts AngloGold Ashanti’s Siguiri gold mine, Nord Gold’s Lefa gold mine (total resources 7.78 Moz), Gold Fields’ Yanfolila advanced gold project just across the Sankarani River in Mali (resource of 750 000 oz averaging 2.5 g/t gold) and Avocet Mining’s Tri-K development stage property (inferred resource of 3.2 Moz).

Exploration drilling on-site at Mandiana Magana

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High expectations for Phase 3 drilling AIM-listed coal and iron ore focused Sable Mining’s exploration team has identified an area underlain by canga contiguous to the ore body modelled on Plateau 2 and 3 of its Nimba iron ore project in Guinea. A new drill programme could reveal massive potential.


HE EXTENSION AREA is approximately 200 m wide and up to 3.9  km in length and has an exploration target potential of between 45 and 80 Mt of canga. It has the potential to increase Nimba’s current 121.5 Mt JORC resource. Sable Mining has a significant interest in a 123.5 km² exploration permit in the Mount Nimba area of south-east Guinea. The project stretches over three plateaux with a total combined aerial extent delineated of approximately 35 km² and is adjacent to the 600 Mt EuroNimba iron ore project. It is located approximately 30  km from a multi-user standard gauge railway with spare capacity, which extends 260 km from Nimba to the deep water port on the Liberian coast at Port Buchanan. “The Nimba project has already demonstrated itself to be one of West Africa’s premier high-grade iron ore deposits, and the significant mineralised extension on two of the three plateaux further reiterates the RIGHT On-site drilling at Nimba BELOW Typical landscape in Guinea, around the Nimba area

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Core sample from Nimba

quality of the deposit and the commercial value of its development. We are now focused on further drill programme to better define the enlarged resource potential of Nimba, adding to the current JORC resource at an in-situ grade of 57.8% iron. In conjunction with this exploration work, the company continues to advance its logistical solutions and, accordingly, we are pleased with the progress made in this region,” says Sable Mining’s CEO, Andrew Groves. Subsequent geological interpretation using light detection and ranging, ground penetrating radar and geological mapping and modelling of the surface and sub-surface (basement) components has indicated that this area is an extension of the adjacent thick canga material found across the Nimba plateaux (an area of approximately 78 ha). Extrapolating the company’s existing drilling data in the area, this extension is believed to consist of thick and high-grade iron mineralisation. To confirm the quantity and quality of this material for inclusion into the company’s next mineral resource statement update

targeted for Q4 2013, a 37-borehole programme has been designed. Drilling will commence as soon as drill mobilisation and resupply are completed, which is anticipated during Q2 2013. The drilling is expected to be completed in two months. The exploration will be conducted by Sable Mining’s in-house team of geologists supported by external independent consultants Xstract Mining Consultants from Perth, Australia. Metallurgical test results at the Nimba

project indicate that a simple dry plant process involving crushing and screening will produce a high-grade lump product in the early stages of production followed by the introduction of a wet process, which would be fully able to produce both a high-grade lump and fines product. Furthermore, initial decrepitation index tests indicate very low decrepitation, suggesting that the ore is suitable for metallurgical processes and direct blast furnace feed.


Glittering gold ASX-listed Nigerian gold explorer Australian Mines has received the final assay results from the three remaining drill holes completed at its 100%-owned Yargarma project in Nigeria.


HE ASSAY RESULTS received from the remaining holes at Yargarma include 2 m at 3  g/t gold from 124  m, 1  m at 5.27  g/t gold from 47  m and 1  m at 0.97  g/t gold from 59 m. The Yargarma drilling programme comprised eight diamond core holes for a total of 1 227 m and was designed to test a series of conceptual targets identified through airborne geophysical and surface geochemical sampling surveys completed in 2012. The company also received the assay results for four diamond core holes drilled within its emerging Kasele prospect, which

include 2 m at 2.22 g/t gold from 197 m and 2 m at 1.11 g/t gold from 25 m. Australian Mines’ intention is to revisit the targets tested during this drilling programme, as well as complete field reconnaissance work of some additional targets within its extensive tenement package in the coming weeks. “With all the results from the 2012 drilling season now received, management is now mobilising to site in preparation of the 2013 field season,” says the company’s managing director, Benjamin Bell. “While our key targets for 2012 were the typical West African shears, in the coming exploration programme the company

will also be targeting intrusion-related gold mineralisation as we assess some further exciting prospects. We anticipate recommencing our exploration activities in October, which is the start of Nigeria’s dry season, and we look forward to updating shareholders as results become available.” Australian has three Nigerian prospects – Yargarma, Kasele and Tegina – which are located within 2  774  km² of granted exploration licenses within Nigeria’s northwest goldfields.

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AngloGold’s Siguiri sings


OUTH AFRICAN pinch valve and knife gate valve manufacturer Atval has successfully manufactured and delivered three 800 mm pinch valves – the largest type of valve ever manufactured by the Johannesburg-based company

– for AngloGold Ashanti. The valves were delivered to the AngloGold Ashanti Siguiri mine in Guinea, West Africa, in September 2012, enabling the project to increase its run-ofmine output from 9 Mtpa to 12 Mtpa. The project was completed within four months and comprised the design, tooling, manufacturing and testing of the valves, says Atval’s owner, Ted Atkins. “The 800 mm nominal bore 10 bar KE series pinch valves, with enclosed body design, were fitted with B-grade heavy-duty natural rubber sleeves. The valves were installed on the ring main of the Siguiri gold plant’s tailings facility, where AngloGold Ashanti increased its pipeline from 700 to 800 mm in diameter to accommodate the increase in production.” Atval director Mark Atkins explains that pinch valves were used in this application, owing to their longevity in high-wear Atval director Ted Atkins alongside one of the three 800 mm pinch valves for AngloGold Ashanti’s Siguiri mine

Fits like a glove


OLLOWING THREE years of extensive research and development, a new range of urethane sleeves used in Dual slurry knife gate valves has been officially introduced to the local market in a joint collaboration between abrasion-resistant valve manufacturer Dual Products International and specialist polyurethane product manufacturer Urethane Moulded Products (UMP). Dual Products International produces valves for the mining industry worldwide and exports valves to more than 50 countries. UMP is one of the most wellknown polyurethane moulding companies in South Africa and is recognised as one of the largest urethane pipelining companies in the country, with over 200 km of urethane lined pipe being supplied since 1980. UMP’s director, Trevor Carolin, points out that the two companies have invested R1.5 million in developing the valves lined with polyurethane sleeves, which were officially launched in South Africa in April 2013. “These innovative products are a breakthrough in valve technology and are

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exclusively available through Dual Valves, making it the only company in the world to supply urethane sleeves for the Dual slurry knife gate valve (flanges). The sleeves have been tested up to a pressure of 40 bar and will be used in the Dual high-pressure knife gate valve.” Stephen van Rensburg, Dual Products International director, highlights the fact that the products have been tested at Matla Power Station in Mpumalanga and on slurries in different mining applications, including gold and uranium, with positive results. “Initial urethane versus rubber stroke tests were done in Finland using water to test the effectiveness and durability of the product over other materials. The results showed that the knife gate valve with a urethane sleeve could handle 75  000 strokes, compared to just 5 000 on a rubber sleeve. This is one of the main reasons why urethane was selected for the valves,” he explains. According to Van Rensburg, the use of urethane in these products has opened up the potential for substantial growth not only in the South African market, but also in Africa and as far afield as North America. “The wear life of the valve and sleeves are one of the biggest selling points,” he concludes.

applications. He says the requirement for pinch valves in South Africa is rarely greater than 500 mm. “Larger valves are generally used in applications where there are low yields of precious metals in the rock. We had previous experience in manufacturing an 800 mm valve to assist with water distribution in the lowveld of Mpumalanga. The expertise gained from that project helped us to successfully complete the AngloGold Ashanti project.” Atval manufactures all its valves, as well as the tooling and testing needed to ensure a successful product. Mark continues: “This is an advantage that Atval has over its competitors, as it can react quickly to requests for new designs, for valves not previously manufactured. This is supported by well-proven design formula and design calculations as required under the company’s ISO 9001/2008 certification.” Atval had to manufacture all the tooling required for the production of the valves. Once the tooling was completed, in-house machinery had to be built to handle the manufacturing process. He adds: “The company’s plant is built to handle the manufacturing of valves up to 1 000 mm and the technology is capable of manufacturing large sizes.”


Dual slurry knife gate valve The valve is built with a cast SG Iron fabricated body and features a heavy-duty stainless steel blade. Removable sleeves on either side of the blade provide a bidirectional bubble tight seal, with no metal parts in contact with the slurry (flanged).

Wafer slurry knife gate valve The valve is built with a steel body and features a heavy-duty stainless steel blade. Removable sleeves on either side of the blade provide a bidirectional bubble tight seal, with no metal parts in contact with the slurry. When open, the knife-gate is fully withdrawn from the slurry flow (wafer).

Dual urethane lined slurry knife gate valve The valve is built with a cast iron body and features a heavy-duty stainless steel blade. The one-piece urethane liner is moulded throughout the body and chest area. A cut away in the urethane liner downstream side helps to clean out the seating area. The valve also features a high chrome/urethane deflector cone that protects urethane seat from the main stream slurry flow.


Upscaling plants leads to bigger orders


HE MARKET FOR chemical transfer pumps is shrinking in terms of small orders, but growing for larger orders. This is due to smaller plants in many industries being closed and replaced with larger plants, taking advantage of economies of scale to deliver a lower cost of production per unit. This is according to Adrien Hourlier, Someflu’s international sales manager, who recently visited the company’s local exclusive distributor, Ecochem Pumps. Ecochem distributes Someflu’s range of chemical transfer pumps throughout South Africa and neighbouring countries. Ecochem has, for many years, supplied the market with Milton Roy’s range of chemical dosing pumps. The Someflu chemical transfer pump is complementary to the Milton Roy chemical dosing pump in process operations. Ecochem Pumps made use of the installed Milton Roy product base during

Hourlier’s visit to introduce him to existing customers, where he made presentations on the Someflu product range. Ecochem Pumps recently received a significant order for Someflu pumps from a leading platinum mine in North West province. These pumps, which have already been supplied and installed, are expected to be commissioned soon. Someflu also recently received a very large order for a fertiliser super-plant to be

built in Morocco. Hourlier says that such multi-national projects would always present an opportunity for sales of the Someflu product, provided that the local supplier could provide on-site fault diagnosis. “Ecochem Pumps is particularly strong in fault diagnosis, which is one of the main reasons that we selected them as our authorised distributor.”

About the Someflu pump Someflu centrifugal pumps are designed for transferring corrosive, abrasive and hazardous fluids in mining, chemical, petrochemical, water treatment and other applications, managing the bulk transfer of chemicals from one point to another. The pumps, machined from a block of raw material, can handle a flow rate up to 1 500 m3/h and a 100 m head pressure. SOMEFLU’s international distribution manager Adrien Hourlier

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The heart of filtration applications

Pump mining


ILTAQUIP MAY BE recognised in the mining industry primarily for its turnkey dewatering systems. The success and high performance of its equipment can be largely attributed to the combination of plant components, including its pumps. Filtaquip recognises that pumps are the heart of any filtration application. Pump selection plays a huge role in determining the performance of the plant – including the number of cycles and cubic meters of sludge produced per hour to determine the sludge dehydration rate and the residual moisture of the filter cakes produced. Its pump designs have a special performance curve ideally suited to liquid-solid separation. They have a typical high delivery volume at low speed in a filtration cycle at low pressure, with reduced delivery as the pressure increases over the filter and the pump speed is increased as the permeability of material in the filter press chamber reduces. “This special feature, made possible with variable speed motor control, enables us to guarantee a homogeneous filter cavity filling from the start of the cycle and better mud compaction during the subsequent filtration stages,” says MD Kobus Boshoff. These pumps can be designed specifically to customer requirements to ensure the correct specification. In applications where the slurry has a low pH, the internal components of the pump are lined with a durable rubber and made from stainless steel. This decreases pump corrosion, which reduces pump maintenance costs and therefore decreases overall plant maintenance costs. The Filtaquip pump range includes submersible pumps, vertical spindle pumps, rubberised submersible pumps and special filter press booster pumps. “Our booster pumps are world class. These pumps are uniquely designed for high performance and ease of maintenance. Double cavity centrifugal pumps are equipped with a single drive and have the ability to produce up to 18 bar in delivery pressure. This allows for filter press cycles of less than 15 minutes and a residual moisture of as low as only 10% (application specific), without the need for membrane squeeze or air blows. They are, in combination with our class leading filter press technology, without a doubt the key driver in ensuring that our filter presses perform so well in terms of speed and productivity.”


NEW SYSTEM to minimise downtime on mines has been introduced to South Africa by German pump manufacturing giant KSB Pump and Valves. Comprising a full line-up of pumps for every application on a mine, supported by a world-class logistics and supply chain system, the company now provides end-to-end mine solutions that include full design, assessment and rapid response support systems in the event of failures. A dedicated mining division, KSB Mining, has also been established to manage the new multi-pronged system, allowing mines to make use of a single-source supplier throughout the duration of the mine, from design through operation and the eventual closure of the facility. The mining division will also be able to collaborate with customers’ technical personnel to find solutions for their mine water supply, processing and slurry pumping requirements.

All-round service According to the MD of KSB Pumps and Valves South Africa, Wolfgang Demmler, the company has a long and successful history in the mining industry in Southern Africa. The addition of slurry pumps to the range, followed by the implementation of new ultra-modern supply chain systems was the final requirement needed to give customers a true one-stop-shop experience. “We adopted a holistic plan based entirely on the requirements of our mines. It prioritises uptime and addresses the shortcomings currently being experienced by mining companies and project houses, such as poorly specified pumping systems, unreliability and slow parts supply in the event of a failure. “Our company has always been mindful of the fact that failure of a single pump can, in some instances, result in operational losses of millions. Wolfgang Demmler, MD of KSB Pumps and Valves South Africa

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range extended Through KSB Mining we have addressed the industry’s problems by implementing systems that ensure we can supply parts anywhere in the region within hours. “But our approach extends to preventing failures from occurring in the first place. We now provide a service to review customer’s requirements and design a reliable system system, specify the right pumps and valves fro from within our properly engine eer ered e range. ed rang In addition, we compile gineered t the correct maintenance schedules, as well as stock OPPOSITE A typical processing plant where KSB pumps are extensively used LEFT KSB slurry pump

holding requirements to ensure the system is properly supported. “As a focused pump and valve company with global sales among the top five contenders worldwide, we have the ability to supply every type of pump required on a mine. This is unique and gives customers the chance to standardise on KSB’s high-quality engineered pumps throughout the entire operation from water circulation to cooling, process and slurry pumping.”

Under one roof Demmler continues that standardisation also enables companies to dramatically reduce stockholdings of spares and parts across the board as there is a high degree of commonality among KSB’s entire range of pumps. Its strategy to manufacture products close to destination markets also means that customers in the sub-Saharan African region are quickly supplied from the regional manufacturing facility and head office in Germiston. “Within KSB Mining, we have the technical know-how to control mine pumping systems and make the entire operation more energy efficient as well as more reliable. Our deep knowledge of mine hydraulics, combined with quality products for every application on a mine, gives us a distinct edge when developing new mines or refurbishing existing ones,” he concludes.

The benefits of Hydro-Solids pumps


NCLUDED IN BECKER Mining South Africa’s range of locally manufactured slurry and solids transfer pumps are submersible Alert Pumpmor Hydro-Solids (HS) pumps, designed for optimum efficiency, low maintenance and extended service life in harsh operating conditions. “These HS pumps (model HTMS), which are manufactured to stringent OEM specifications, are designed to handle large, stringy and abrasive solids in tough environments,” says Gavin Swart, branch manager at Becker Mining South Africa. “Alert Pumpmor

HS pumps are used in many applications on the mines. The open vane design of this range ensures reduced carbon breakage. “The heavy-duty design of the wet end of these pumps also increases service life, with minimal maintenance requirements. These pumps also offer substantial power consumption savings.” The model HS pumps, with capacities to 636 m³/h, can offer pressures up to 40  m. Due to the recessed, non-clog impeller, solids or fibrous material up to 200  mm (depending on pump size) can enter the suction inlet and be expelled through the

pump discharge. Theree are six pump sizes in the HS range lable HS pumps are available tors with submersible motors ent designed for efficient us operation in hazardous environments. Alert Pumpmor pumps are available in horizontal end suction, vertical spindle and submersible configurations, in different materials, to suit specific applications in mining.

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Highlights for this year include • • • • • • • • •

Showcasing developments over the past five years A new generation of miners in Africa: women and junior miners Infrastructure and efficient services for Africa – Regional integration Lighting up Africa – Power and energy projects Building sustainable communities through mining Health and safety – come first Rules of engagement in mining in Africa Fronteir Markets – The Opportunities Why financing is still so illusive

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En route to minerals sands project


EIR MINERALS Africa is currently delivering a pump order for a greenfields mineral sands plant in West Africa that includes the supply of two 750 mm MCR pumps, the largest mill discharge pumps in the company’s range, each weighing in at 45 t. Weir Minerals Africa is one of the few manufacturers of mill discharge pumps of this size and the components necessary to assemble the two pumps were sourced from its operation in Chile and shipped to one of its South African sites, where a trial assembly was successfully conducted. Due to their size, the two Warman MCR pumps will be shipped via Port Elizabeth to Dakar. The pump order, comprising more than 60 units, follows two earlier orders for the same project that included rubber dredging hoses and rubber linings for chutes and tanks. The latest order for pumps includes Warman AH units, which have become the

world’s standard for the most difficult slurry duties, from 12/10 down to 1.5/1. Warman AH pumps are among Weir Minerals Africa’s most popular pump ranges and its footprint is steadily increasing on the African continent. Warman L Series medium-duty water and transfer pumps, incorporating the same design points as the AH pump but fitted with higher efficiency impellers, have also been specified for this mineral sands project. The pumps are being delivered in consignments in time for plant commissioning in the third quarter of 2013. A team of centralised Weir Minerals

Africa service technicians, as well as technicians operating out of the company’s Ghana office, will provide commissioning support, pump maintenance training for the mine’s plant personnel and after-sales back-up. Rui Gomes, product manager: slurry pumps at Weir Minerals Africa, says many of the pumps in this order are being supplied with

Warman 43D AH slurry pumps with polyurethane liners awaiting shipment at the Weir Minerals Africa manufacturing facility in Alrode

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mechanical seals, which is quite uncommon in the African slurry market, although well accepted in the rest of the world. “Mechanical seal designs have improved and are more specifically geared for the slurry market, which work well for our sealing arrangement requirements,” he comments. “The fact that mechanical seals have been specified as part of an order for an African application is a good indication that this trend will soon also be reflected on this continent. “West Africa provides many growth opportunities and this order has been a great opportunity to manufacture liners for some of these pumps in-house at our newly built polyurethane plant in Alrode. Apart from the cost-efficiency factor, this has also greatly improved our lead times. “Some time ago we identified a definite role for polyurethane parts in our industry and mineral sands is certainly one of the sectors that will benefit,” concludes Gomes. “The investment we’ve made in this plant bears testimony to our commitment to providing the best solutions for customer applications. While some would argue that a slurry pump is a slurry pump, the various commodity sectors we supply have very different requirements for these pumps. This forward thinking and solutions-orientated approach is how we hold our position at the forefront of our competition and it is reflected throughout our entire product line.”

INDEX TO ADVERTISERS Altas Copco Power Crusher




Atlas Copco CTS






BME Buildmax/Diesel Power BVi Consulting The Dickinson Group Discovery Drilling

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Morris Crane Pilot Crushtec Redpath South Africa Routledge Modise

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Verder Pumps


Veyance Technologies SA


Weir Minerals


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Inside Mining June 2013  

Inside Mining June 2013 edition