Page 1


af r ic an u pdates on th e

g ro un d a n d un d e rg ro un d

SAPPMA Realising a pipes dream

Diamonds Firestone's new captain

Iron Ore The Sishen game changer


Rigid haulers engineered to perform Overall, Kumba delivered a stronger operational and financial performance in 2017, as the strategic changes made in the prior year became embedded and gained traction.” Themba Mkhwanazi, CEO, Kumba Iron Ore P10

ISSN 1999-8872 • R50.00 (incl. VAT) • Vol. 11 • No. 04 • June/July 2018

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a f r i c a n u p dat e s o n t h e g ro u n d a n d

u nde rground


Opencast Mining

3 Editor’s comment

24 Booysen Bore bolsters drilling


machine fleet

6 Africa round-up

Drilling & Blasting

39 Market news

26 The next wave of innovation

Cover Story

Aurecon’s new digital rock mass photogrammetry mapping tool that uses unmanned aerial vehicles for surveying allows for quick, accurate, safe and remote mapping.

IT & Communications

4 New Volvo CE rigid haulers to deliver

29 Unlocking real-time data

improved production



Hot Seat 8 Firestone boasts new leader at the helm CEO Talks


30 Powering mines of the future Corporate Social Responsibility 32 Social responsibility among juniors

10 Unlocking Kumba’s full potential

33 Cummins launches Technical Education

Iron Ore

for Communities programme

14 Sishen: A flagship game changer

Mining equipment

Industry Insight

35 Innovation making for safer and

16 Accurate, safe and cost-effective

Case Study


efficient equipment

surveying solutions



36 Wafi-Golpu Project’s business case

18 Realising a pipes dream

SAPPMA Realising a pipes dream

improves significantly

Pipes, Pumps & Valves


22 Doubling valve lifespan

40 Electra Mining 2018 is upon us


DIAMONDS New leader at the helm

IRON ORE A game changer


RIGID HAULERS ENGINEERED TO PERFORM Overall, Kumba delivered a stronger operational and financial performance in 2017, as the strategic changes made in the prior year became embedded and gained traction.” – Themba Mkhwanazi, Kumba Iron Ore CEO P10

ISSN 1999-8872 • R50.00 (incl. VAT) • Vol. 12 • No. 03 • June/July 2018



@mining_news www.facebook.com/pages/ Mining-News

The new Volvo R100E, with a focus on low total cost of ownership at the forefront of its design, is sure to be a hard hitter in the Southern African mining and quarrying sectors.

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editor's comment

Publisher Elizabeth Shorten Editor Mpinane Senkhane Journalist Phila Mzamo Contributors Cecilia Jofre Head of design Beren Bauermeister Designer Ramon Chinian Chief sub-editor Tristan Snijders Sub-editor Morgan Carter Client services & production manager Jayshree Maharaj Production coordinator Jacqueline Modise Financial manager Andrew Lobban Distribution manager Nomsa Masina Distribution coordinator Asha Pursotham Printers United Litho Johannesburg Tel: +27 (0)11 402 0571 ___________________________________ Advertising Sales

Jodi Haigh Tel: +27 (0)11 467 6224 jodih@lantic.net ___________________________________

Survive, we shall The South African Department of Mineral Resources has been invited to attend the upcoming G7 Summit in Canada, after a seven-year absence in the economic forum, which is attended by some of the most powerful nations in the world. That’s a good sign.


n 5 and 6 June, the Junior

fortunate enough to be able to pick his

Indaba took place and

brain regarding his approach to the top job

Deputy Minister of Mineral

and how his operational experience as GM

Resources Godfrey Oliphant

on the ground (at Firestone’s Liqhobong

said the invite as well as the DMR’s

project in Lesotho) will likely help him with

launch of the ‘junior miners’ programme’

his new highly strategic position.

in 2018 made him optimistic about

We at Inside Mining are especially

the future of mining for junior miners in

excited for the upcoming and much-

South Africa, as both this event and the

anticipated Electra Mining 2018. As

G7 Summit will provide opportunities for

Southern Africa’s biggest mining, industrial,

new entrants identified throughout the

machine tools, electrical and power trade

mining value chain.

show, Electra Mining Africa is ranked

No. 9 3rd Avenue, Rivonia 2191

In his keynote speech, he also noted the

PO Box 92026, Norwood 2117

programme would assist miners with issues

and comes not a moment too soon,

Tel: +27 (0)11 233 2600

of access to funding, geological data,

because, as you will read on page 40, it is

Fax: +27 (0)11 234 7274/5

compliance and access to markets, in

at times such as these that trade exhibitions

order to diversify ownership, participation

and face-to-face interaction with

and increase investment and job creation

customers become even more important

in the sector.

in order to ensure business survival.

www.3smedia.co.za ___________________________________ Annual subscription:

South Africa: R330.00

Exciting times are upon us in the mining

(incl vat & postage)

industry, for both juniors and established

Foreign: POA

mining houses. Kumba Iron Ore’s flagship

Email: subs@3smedia.co.za

project site, Sishen mine, is a testament to

ISSN 1999-8872 Inside Mining

just that. With the iron ore price in a better

Copyright 2018. All rights reserved. ___________________________________

place now, the Kumba business has not

All material in Inside Mining is copyright

efficiency too. The mine was also fatality

protected and may not be reproduced either

free in 2017 – no easy feat (see page 14).

in whole or in part without the prior written permission of the publisher. The views of contributors do not necessarily reflect those of the publishers.

among the world’s largest mining shows

And survive, we shall.

Mpinane Senkhane

only increased sales, but productivity and

CEO Themba Mkhwanazi takes some time to speak to Inside Mining about the Kumba Iron Ore business and how making some changes to the business’s fundamentals made a world of difference when it came down to the numbers. His passion for the industry and his people is inspiring, to say the least (see page 10). Speaking of leadership, Firestone Diamonds introduced a new CEO; we are

To our avid readers, be sure to sign up and get the latest updates and inside scoops from the mining industry. Check out what we are talking about on our website and Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter and have your say.

@mining_news www.facebook.com/pages/ Mining-News

With the iron ore price in a better place now, the Kumba business has not only increased sales, but productivity and efficiency too

editor In sid e M in in g JUNE /JULY | 2018



New Volvo CE rigid haulers to deliver improved production Babcock customers can now look forward to achieving production targets faster, as the new range of Volvo Construction Equipment rigid haulers becomes available in Southern Africa later this year, following the official launch in Scotland in April.

Babcock’s after-sales service has earned the company the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) Best Dealer Volvo Services Award


Ins i de Mi n i n g JU N E / JU LY | 2 0 1 8



he new Volvo Construction

optimum safe payload to further boost

Equipment hauler range consists

production and minimise operational

of the 45-tonne R45D, 60-tonne

costs. Other features that make the

R60D, 72-tonne R70D and the

R100E more durable, cost-efficient and

flagship 100/95-tonne R100E, a com-

comfortable than any other rigid hauler

pletely new rigid hauler featuring new

in its class include a speedy body-tip-

technologies and a striking new design.

ping system ensuring fast cycle times for

David Vaughan, managing director

an all-round efficient performance; a

for Babcock’s Equipment business,

new suspension design and wheel track

attended the launch at Volvo’s Moth-

configuration to absorb high levels of

erwell facility where guests had the op-

ground impact shocks; an ergonomic

portunity to test drive the R100E and see

cab layout for improved operator expe-

it in action at a nearby quarry.

rience; and a 360-degree visual system

Vaughan says that the R100E rigid

for safe and efficient operation. Vaughan says that the R100E has

quarrying applications where oper-

undergone extensive field testing at

ational costs are critical, took centre

mining sites in both Sweden and South

stage at the event, and expects the

Africa, a key market for rigid haulers,

machine to attract a strong following in

with the machine tested in both cold

Southern Africa.

and hot climates and in hard rock and coal environments. As with all Volvo

be competing in one of the most con-

machines, the R100E is built to the high-

tested segments of the rigid hauler

est safety standards for the protection

market, this top-performing machine

of both the operator and site staff.

with optimal production and minimal

Babcock expects the new Volvo R100E, with its focus on low total cost of

tender in the mining and quarry market

ownership at the forefront of its design,

segment,” he says.

to be a hard hitter in Southern African mining and quarrying.

The groundbreaking R100E is engi-

Updates and modifications

neered to perform and is built on strong

The three D-Series rigid haulers – the

Volvo DNA. Offering a true 100/95 tonne

R45D, R60D and R70D – are all based

payload, the R100E allows operators to

on the existing and well-proven Terex

meet production rates faster while

Trucks TR-Series, now with Volvo up-

simultaneously providing low cost of

dates and modifications to meet the

ownership and ease of serviceability.

brand’s exacting standards. Covering

The R100E’s 60.4 m3 capacity

on low total cost of ownership at the a hard hitter in the Southern African mining and quarrying sectors.

company the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) Best Dealer Volvo Services Award, announced earlier this year at the Volvo International Conference held in Portugal. Undertaken by an independent company appointed by

operational costs will be a strong con-

Engineered to perform

The new Volvo R100E, with its focus forefront of its design, is sure to be

hauler, built for surface mining and

“Despite the fact that the R100E will

Volvo R100E

Volvo, the survey measures after-sales service according to customers, with Babcock receiving top honours in the EMEA region.

payload capacities from 41 tonnes to

V-shaped body for optimum load reten-

65 tonnes, the D-Series rigid haulers are

tion and minimal material carry-back

designed to reduce fuel consumption

enhances cost savings and customers

while promoting safe operations and

can expect to spend less per haul,

ease of use. Also powered by premium

while the industry-recognised load

engines, the R45D, R60D and R70D rig-

profile policy enables the operator to

id haulers achieve high-performance

meet a consistent average target

torque and up to 567 kW (760 hp) pow-

payload of 95 tonnes.

er, even at low engine speeds. With

Central to its powerful and efficient

impressive tractive effort, generated

performance is the R100E’s new, fully

by the complete drivetrain design and

electronic 783 kW Cummins QST30

configuration, the D-Series rigid haulers

engine for superior power and fuel

are the ideal machines to traverse the

efficiency, backed by an improved

steep slopes often found on mining and

‘connected’ drivetrain delivering high

quarrying worksites.

torque capabilities, excellent pulling

The R100E and the D-Series machines

performance and class-leading rim pull.

will be backed by the same after-sales

The Volvo Adaptive Shift Control pro-

support, immediate access to parts

vides automated adaptive shift sched-

and qualified service technicians, and

ules for excellent performance and fuel

well-laid-out service points for quick

efficiencies in all operating conditions.

maintenance and increased machine

Intelligent monitoring systems such


uptime that is standard for all Bab-

as the On-Board Weighing (OBW) op-

cock-distributed machinery. Babcock’s

tion ensure the machine moves the

after-sales service has earned the

I n s i d e M i n i n g JUNE /JULY | 2 0 1 8




Mining news

from around the continent

Kenyan oil production is now back on track

Gwede Mantashe, South Africa's Minister of Mineral Resources

massive corruption scandal. Petrobras holds half the shares in the company, while 40% are held by a subsidiary of Grupo BTG, Pactual SA, and 10% by Helios Investment Partners. Bankers have previously estimated the value of the Petrobras venture to be about $2 billion. The venture has stakes in two offshore blocks that contain two producing fields – the major Agbami field in OML 127, operated by a local Chevron affiliate, and the Akpo field in OML 130, operated by Total SA. The sale has attracted the top trading


firms, which are always on the hunt for

Oil production on course after agreement on revenue share

long-term crude supplies.

Kenya will start the small-scale export of crude oil from its fields in the far

South Africa

northern county of Turkana in June the revenue, averting delays, said the

Government working to finalise Mining Charter by June

presidency. Tullow Oil and its partner

Minister of Mineral Resources Gwede

Africa Oil discovered commercial

Mantashe says his department aims to

after an agreement on how to share

reserves in the Lokichar basin in 2012. Total has since taken a 25% stake.

Heavily indebted Petrobras is selling its assets while facing a corruption scandal

A row broke out after President

and that of the local community to 5%, leaving the rest to the national government. He has since met with officials


in June 2018, having taken on board inputs and concerns from stakeholders

Uhuru Kenyatta cut the share of the Turkana county government to 15%

finalise and gazette the Mining Charter

across the country.


Vitol, Glencore and Shell running for Petrobras assets

Mantashe, who was delivering the Department of Mineral Resources’ (DMR's) budget speech in Cape Town, said it was evident that the conflict

The world’s three largest oil traders

in the industry around the mining

from Turkana at State House in

are competing to buy the African

charter and, therefore, failure to have

Nairobi to strike a new deal, which

arm of Brazil’s Petrobras, which owns

the sector coalesce, contributed to

will raise the county government’s

stakes in two major Nigerian offshore

uncertainty and fear among investors.

share to 20% and cut the national

oil blocks, industry and banking, after

governments’ share to 75%. “We

submitting bids in May. Last November,

Ramaphosa, we have intensified our

now have an understanding that

state-controlled Petroleo Brasileiro

engagements on the Mining Charter

can put Kenya on the map of oil

SA, known as Petrobras, launched

– something we believe is a significant

exporting countries,” Kenyatta said

the sale of 100% of Petrobras Oil &

tool for transformation,” said Mantashe.

in a statement. The deal will allow a

Gas BV, or Petrobras Africa, as part

long-delayed law on oil exploration

of the heavily indebted company’s

noted that the Mineral and Petroleum

and production to clear, allowing

plan to offload US$21 billion in assets

Resources Development Amendment

exports to begin.

through 2018, as it also faces a

Bill (2013) was before the National

Ins i de Mi n i n g JU N E / JU LY | 2 0 1 8

“In line with the call by President Cyril

In his address, the minister also

Council of Provinces. He said, “Eight of

Jafari Haniu, deputy director:

the nine provincial legislatures supported

Presidential Communications.

the bill in the negotiating mandates

Kabudi said Tanzanite One would

process. Issuing of mining rights and

agree to pay compensation to the

the proper processing of applications

government as well as uncollected

for mining licenses are among our

taxes. The minister did not disclose the

key priorities.”

amount to be paid.

Mantashe said the vision and mission

Kabudi said the company will pay

“Leaving platinum and diamond with the 51%49% [shareholding structure] has the potential to scare off investors.”

statements of the DMR would focus

the compensation to government in

Batirai Manhando, president,

on the department’s work as the

instalments, starting on 1 June 2018.

Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe

regulator and enforcer of compliance

He also revealed that the mining company had agreed to adhere to

The requirement was removed in all the

the 2010 Mining Act and its regulations.

economic sectors except for platinum

for the 2018/19 financial year – an

Among the conditions stipulated in the

and diamonds.

amount he felt was inadequate for the

Act is a clause that will require mining

growth of the sector.

activities on the mining site to be

week, the chamber’s president, Batirai

conducted by locals.

Manhando, said they were engaging

in the sector. He said R1.9 billion would be allocated

“The funding allocated to the

Addressing journalists in Harare last

department and its portfolio of entities

with the national government to scrap

remains inadequate if we are to

the requirement in the extractive sector.

effectively carry out our mandate. Addressing this anomaly is important.”

Tanzanite One has promised to fork out an undisclosed amount to the government for past anomalies


Diamond and platinum miners lobby to scrap 51%-49% law

Manhando said the extractive sector must be opened up to allow for more capital injection. “It is our view that these two industries are capital-intensive

The Zimbabwean Chamber of Mines

industries and, by their nature, require

has said it is engaging government,

a lot of money. Leaving platinum and

with a view to push for the scrapping of

diamond with the 51%-49% [shareholding

the 51%-49% shareholding structure in

structure] has the potential to scare

the platinum and diamond sector.

off investors. We think the law should

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa amended the

be revised in line with other metals,” said Manhando.

controversial Indigenisation Act after coming into power last year. This Act forced foreign-owned businesses to cede 51% of their shares to Zimbabweans.

The 51%-49% shareholding structure was removed by the Mnangagwa presidency in all economic sectors except for platinum and diamonds


Tanzanite One agrees to compensate government Tanzanite One Mining Company has agreed to compensate the Tanzanian government for past anomalies by the company. The Minister for Constitution and Legal Affairs, Professor Palamagamba Kabudi, who led the government team in negotiations with the mining company, revealed this in early May. The agreement was reached by Kabudi and the mining company’s managing director, Faisal Juma, in Dar es Salaam, according to a statement that was released by

In sid e M in in g june/july | 2018


hot seat

Firestone F boasts new

or Firestone, Bosma’s promotion follows Stuart Brown’s decision to step down as CEO and director of the business. Bosma

is a qualified geologist and holds BSc (Honours) and MSc degrees as well as an MBA from the University of Cape

leader at the helm

Town’s Graduate School of Business. With more than 24 years’ experience

in the mining industry, of which 14 years have been in the diamond sector, where he worked for De Beers, Bosma say, “I am looking forward to this challenge. I joined Firestone in July 2014 as the manager: Mineral Resources on the owner’s team as we commenced developing the Liqhobong diamond mine in Lesotho. “Once operational in 2016, I became the general manager of the mine, where my responsibilities included sourcing and appointing a competent operational team consisting of locals and expats, and managing the production ramp-up to commercial production,” Bosma shares. Prior to

Firestone Diamonds, a new diamond producer with operations focused in Lesotho, has announced Paul Bosma’s appointment as the new CEO with effect from 1 July 2018. Bosma is excited to take the helm and shares his outlook and plans for the future with Mpinane Senkhane.

joining Firestone, Bosma was general manager of a joint venture between De Beers and Anglo Gold Ashanti. He previously worked as vice-president for Pala Investments, an international mining investment fund based in Switzerland.

Operational update Towards the end of 2017, Firestone shared an operational update that showed solid mine production, with a quarter-on-quarter increase in tonnes treated since the mine was commissioned. The average value per carat achieved improved on the previous quarter, while the sale held in December was stronger than the first sale earlier in the period. Then CEO Stuart Brown expressed cautious optimism on diamond pricing in 2018 after positive initial year-end retail numbers out of the US and China. At the time, the company also announced a revised mine plan.

Liqhobong in numbers 92 604 ct of diamonds recovered in the first quarter of the year


Ins i de Mi n i n g june/ july | 2 0 1 8

Paul Bosma has 24 years of experience in the mining industry

Firestone sold 217 380 ct, at an average of $81/ct, in the first quarter, yielding proceeds of $17.6 million

Mine plan is for open-pit mining to 383 m over 15 years

“As we announced in December 2017,

depth of 393 m and construction of

we are pursuing a revised mine plan

a main treatment plant (MTP).

with the objectives of delivering the

“At the time of acquisition,

best returns in the medium term at low

Liqhobong was the world’s third

risk while at the same time offering

largest undeveloped kimberlite

the optionality of taking advantage of

resource as measured by contained

the longer life of mine potential of the

carats. We have since financed,

Liqhobong orebody.

developed and commissioned

“The company is on track to deliver

the mine, and are now running

this plan and I am looking forward

at full nameplate capacity

to sharing with the market the 2018

without any lost-time injuries since

financial year results. The next financial

commencement, totalling over

year, commencing 1 July 2018, is an

6 million man-hours worked.

excellent opportunity for us to fully assess the diamond assortment across

Optimistic new leadership

the entire pit now that we’ve mined

“So far, we’ve recovered two

through the upper, mainly weathered

100+ carat stones as well as

kimberlite horizons.

two stones valued in excess of

“Looking forward, we are still

US$1 million, and also some smaller,

busy optimising and improving

high-value fancy yellow, pink and

the long-term plan based

purple stones, which all indicate

on the latest geotechnical

the potential of the orebody,”

information and increased plant

Bosma states.

throughput assumptions. This

Having previously been general

work will be completed during H2

manager on the mine, Bosma is

2018,”says Bosma.

confident that his experience will

The flagship Liqhobong project The Liqhobong diamond mine is

Paul Bosma, newly appointed CEO of Firestone Diamonds

give him an operational perspective in his now highly strategic position. “Because of the time I have

Bosma adds that the latest

located within the Liqhobong valley

spent as GM on the mine, I know

refinancing exercise undertaken by

in the Maluti Mountains of Lesotho,

the deposit, local conditions and

Firestone placed the business in an

approximately 120 km east-north-east

operating parameters well. We

excellent position to fully assess the

of Maseru. It is owned by Liqhobong

have a committed and competent

value potential of the Liqhobong

Mining Development Company

team that has delivered on all

orebody over the next 12 months.

(LMDC), a company owned by

the operational parameters

Firestone Diamonds (75%) and the

within our control.

Kingdom of Lesotho (25%). The mining

“My focus in my new role is to

“Together with the work we are doing on further optimising the long-term plan,

lease for Firestone Diamonds is valid

ensure that the positive operational

I am looking forward to sharing

until June 2021, with options to renew it

momentum is maintained while

positive news with the market

by two additional periods of 10 years.

further seeking enhancement

during my first year as CEO of

The project primarily involves the

opportunities as guided by the

Firestone Diamonds,”

development of an open-pit mine to a

board,” he adds.

Bosma concludes optimistically.

In sid e M in in g june/july | 2018


ceo talks



Themba Mkhwanazi was appointed CEO of Kumba Iron Ore in September 2016, at a time of adversity and significant change for the business. Fast forward almost two years, and Kumba profits have climbed under his leadership – an improvement he attributes to dedication and team work. By Mpinane Senkhane


khwanazi was appointed

A new day for Kumba

CEO following Norman

Mkhwanazi has been steadfast at the

Mbazima’s decision to

ship’s helm for almost two years now

step down after four

and Kumba is in a profitable position,

The 4 100 primary shovels more than doubled Sishen’s hourly tonnage, following improvements in work practices, such as planning and execution, blasting and floor stock, as well as wider benches and dispatching.

years in charge. Significant change was

despite the sometimes volatile iron

under way: the business had just been

ore price. Much of this positive turna-

through a restructuring, which resulted

round can be attributed to Mkhwana-

in some retrenchments; a new operating

zi’s leadership approach, a committed

Exceeding expectations

model had just been introduced

team, and a number of strategic

In the adoption of this operational-per-

to improve operational efficiencies;


formance-centred approach, Kumba

and technology was becoming an area of focus for the business.

“Iron ore prices are not under our

has since seen impressive financial re-

control and can be volatile. But my

sults. Kumba recorded significant profits

strategy, when I became CEO, was to

in 2017, up from the year before, and

deliver value by optimising all aspects

the business was able to pay out full year

of performance and focusing on what

dividends of almost R31. It also had a

we could control, which included im-

fatality-free 2017 – an especially notable

proving productivity, deploying new


technology, improving operational

“First off, as safety is at the heart of

efficiencies, and expanding our mar-

everything we do, I am particularly

gins by achieving higher realised prices

proud that we were fatality free in 2017

while reducing costs. Operational per-

and that we have improved across all

formance, over which we have control,

metrics. This was directly attributable to

was the biggest driver of profit growth

our programmes focused on embedding

at 7%. Ultimately, we operate in a com-

a culture of zero harm and ensuring safe

petitive and uncertain environment.

working practices by all our employ-

We focus on managing what we can

ees and contractors. In 2017, we had

control, in order to mitigate what is out-

zero fatalities; high-potential incidents

side of our control,” says Mkhwanazi.

were down 46%; lost-time injuries were reduced by 43%; and total recordable

Themba Mkhwanazi, CEO of Kumba Iron Ore


cases were down 20%. “Overall, Kumba delivered a stronger operational and financial performance in

I n sid e M in in g june/july | 2 0 1 8

ceo talks


Kolomela Production Report •K  olomela’s production increased by 26% to 3.5 Mt for the first quarter of 2018, driven by higher plant throughput and the full ramp-up of the DMS modular plant.

• In comparison to Q4 2017, production decreased by 9% as a result of wet weather conditions, which reduced primary equipment tempos.

•W  aste stripping increased by 32% to 13.4 Mt due to improved efficiencies.

• T he full year production guidance for Kolomela remains at 14 Mt, with waste stripping at 55 Mt to 57 Mt. (See page 14 for Sishen’s production report) 2017, as the strategic changes made in

factors under Kumba’s control, as op-

the prior year became embedded and

posed to relying on dynamics beyond

gained traction. Both Sishen and Kolo-

the company’s control, i.e. the iron

mela exceeded operational guidance,

ore price.

resulting in total production increasing by 8% to 45 Mt,” Mkhwanazi states. He adds that Kumba delivered an

“Operational performance, over which

Horizon 1 (current)

we have control, was the biggest driver of profit growth at 7%. Kumba realised

Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes,

an average FOB (freight on board) price

depreciation and amortisation) of R19.6

of US$71 (R907) per tonne despite higher

billion – a 6% increase. Attributable free

freight rates on the Saldanha-Qingdao

cash flow was up 10% to R12.3 billion,

route increasing to $12 (R153) per tonne.

reflecting stronger operational perfor-

“Ultimately, we have been able to

Kumba Ore’s Three Horizons •K  umba believes it has the potential to perform even better, which can be achieved through improving the performance of its current assets.

mance, disciplined cost management,

return a significant portion of earnings to

the extraction of full value for differen-

our shareholders, while ensuring a robust

tiated quality products, and ongoing

capital structure,” he continues.

Horizon 2 (short to medium term)

Unlocking full potential

•K  umba will also look at investing

capital discipline. “This led to headline earnings per share increasing by 12% to R30.47, mainly due

At a media visit in May, Mapi Mobwano,

to grow its core business over

to the increase in revenue,” he says.

GM at Sishen – Kumba’s flagship oper-

the medium term, developing

ation – made mention of an operating

new technologies to process

was able to achieve this Ebitda by mak-

model the entire Kumba business had

lower-grade material and

ing good on his strategy to influence

embraced in a bid to unlock Kumba’s

expand exploration activities,

full potential.

which will lead to the extension

Mkhwanazi asserts that the business

“At our 2017 annual results announcement, we projected total production volumes of 44 Mt to 45 Mt for the full 2018 year.”

Inside Mining asks Mkhwanazi to un-

of the life of its mines.

pack this operating model and exactly what it entails. He explains, “Our operating model is designed to ensure more stable and efficient operations, and

Horizon 3 (long term) •K  umba will evaluate other

continues to deliver significant value to

organic and inorganic

our business. It is a management system

opportunities that are value

where every major task by every team

accretive and able to deliver

on the mine is scheduled and tracked

sustainable value.

In sid e M in in g june/july | 2018


ceo talks electronically. The model has, among

Geographical split of Kumba Iron Ore’s export sales

other things, set the drum beat of how we do things and has contributed to our improved productivity and overall efficiencies. “Thanks to the roll-out of the model – which is simply about planning, sched-

eu/mena 18%

uling and execution – we have seen productivity improvements at our operations and throughout our value chain.

japan & korea 17%

The results of the operating model is evident in Kumba’s safety, operational and financial performance At Sishen • In 2017, Kumba saw a 62% productivi-

china 63%

ty improvement in its Sishen fleet.

•D  irect operating hours increased by 31%, adding three extra production

india & other asia 2%


Ins i de Mi n i n g JU N E / JU LY | 2 0 1 8

Kumba supplies 10% of its annual production to Arcelor Mittal South Africa

ceo talks hours per day due to the new measures introduced, such as operator

At Kolomela • T he implementation of the operating

training, altered shift patterns and

model resulted in improved plant

greater accountability at supervi-

reliability and scheduling, combined

sory levels. This resulted in higher

with a reduction in unplanned work

attendance rates and a more

and associated incidents of empty

committed workforce.

buffer stockpiles.

• T he 4 100 primary shovels more than

• T his resulted in plant operating hours

doubled Sishen’s hourly tonnage, fol-

increasing by 18%, while tempos also

lowing improvements in work prac-

increased by 6% following the imple-

tices, such as planning and execu-

mentation of advanced process con-

tion, blasting and floor stock, as well

trol at the plant. Tempos now exceed

as wider benches and dispatching.

nameplate capacity by 18%.

• S cheduling improved so that each

• In mining, direct operating hours of the

and every person understands and

trucks increased from 14.6 hours per

knows what is expected of them.

day in the first half of 2016 to 16.5 hours

Kumba saw an 80% improvement in

per day in the second half of 2017 – up

negotiations, understanding customers’

sequencing of activities, which also

18%. This improvement was brought

needs, the acquisition of new customers

delivered higher production.

about through the implementation of

to ensure that Kumba has a diversified

smart shift changes, the efficient use of

customer portfolio, and improving cooper-

available time, improvements in at-

ation between marketing and operations

tendance, and a reduction in time lost

to produce the products customers need. “The management team is totally

due to equipment standing idle. “In effect, the operating model is a man-

committed to implementing all these

agement process that provides us with

measures and, more so, the company

a designed, sequenced and repeata-

is in the best position to deliver sustain-

ble set of work steps that can guide us

able cash flow and shareholder returns

through our work each day, so each

through challenging times, like those

team achieves its objectives in the most

faced a few years back.

efficient way,” Mkhwanazi explains.

Diversifying its client portfolio

Getting the most out of the Kumba portfolio

At the moment, China is Kumba’s biggest customer; however, changing market

Mkhwanazi says his focus as a leader

conditions in the region and globally

continues to be on how Kumba can ex-

mean that, in the long term, new geogra-

tract the full potential of its portfolio.

phies will need to be explored. “We value our customer base in China

“We’ve made some real progress on this over the past year, with a step

and this market will remain key for some

change in productivity and break-even

time; however, we are expanding our

price, driven by a focus on operational

marketing to new geographies such as

excellence that has been well executed

Europe and the Middle East, where there

by the team,” he says.

is growing demand for high-quality prod-

Mkhwanazi indicates how, alongside

ucts. Our aim is to have a more diversified

that progress, the business also

client portfolio. Last year, we increased

underwent a comprehensive review

our sales outside of China by 9.3% to

to test every aspect of the value

15.2 Mt,” he continues.

chain to see where improvements

Notably, Kumba outperformed peers on

could be achieved. At the company’s

the realised FOB price by an average $14

annual results in February, he then

(R179) per tonne through 2017 despite the

announced the outcome of this review

fact that most of its peers are geograph-

process with Kumba’s full potential

ically much closer to China. “Kumba’s

transformation strategy.

products are premium quality – and the

“Reaching our full potential is a mul-

demand for high-grade products continues to be very strong.

tiyear journey and we have a clear transformation agenda, which will focus

We believe this shift towards higher-qual-

on driving our operations to unlock Kum-

ity ores is structural and should support

ba’s full potential with three Horizons

product premiums in future. “At the end

(page 11),” Mkhwanazi shares.

of the day, we believe we have an op-

He admits, however, that there is still

portunity to transform our business and

more that can be done in continuing to

build a legacy for generations to come,”

improve on the basics, such as better

Mkhwanazi concludes.

In sid e M in in g june/july | 2018


iron ore


A FLAGSHIP GAME CHANGER Kumba Iron Ore’s Sishen mine is an open-pit iron ore mine, 14 km in length, producing a leading-quality lump ore and a premium fine ore. The company now intends to extend the life cycle of the successful operation, which currently has 13 years left on its roster. By Mpinane Senkhane


umba’s flagship project Sishen

in May, the Kumba Iron Ore team pre-

the best in the business, and the best in

mine is located just outside

sented future developments and un-

Anglo American in three, by becoming

of Kathu in the Northern

packed the mine’s operational strategy.

a full potential mine,” said Mobwano in

Cape, South Africa. Mining

“Sishen is at 13 years life of mine, but we have an exploration programme,

American’s Kumba Iron Ore operation

which we are confident and excited

A high-quality ore

and Sishen is one of the largest open-pit

about between Sishen and Kolomela.

Sishen currently produces four types of

mines producing iron ore in the world.

We are also currently looking at

iron ore: the massive and laminate ores

The mine accounts for the majority of

improving the amount of ore we get

(lower quality), and the breccia and

Kumba’s iron ore production – together

out of the ground; however, this is

conglomerate ores (higher quality). At

with the Kolomela project just a few kilo-

still in feasibility stage,’ said Themba

the moment, the premium lump is in high

metres away. The mining operation at

Mkhwanazi, CEO, Kumba Iron Ore.

demand in the market, placing Kumba

Sishen dates back to 1953, with the first

At the site visit, GM of the operation

in a favourable position with the premi-

ore from the mine exported in 1976, and

Mapi Mobwano unpacked Sishen’s

in excess of 900 Mt of iron ore produced

strategic aim, coined ‘The Full Potential

over 60 years of the mine’s operation.

Programme’, which looks to become the

and Seaborne Logistics, Kumba, said

project benchmark at Anglo American

the company was inching its way

within three years.

closer to the high-value 65% iron

‘This is Sishen’ - Kumba As it stands, Sishen currently produces

“Sishen is a high-quality mine,

um product selling for US$84/t. Timo Smit, executive head: Marketing

content ore, which was trading at

about 31 Mtpa (million tonnes per an-

producing premium products and

a premium of $19/t to the medium-

num) and, with a 13-year life of mine left,

competitive on a margin basis – we

grade 62% iron ore. The company

the Sishen team is now exploring possible

are especially focused on eliminating

increased the iron content in the bulk

extension. During a media visit to Sishen

fatalities. In five years, we aim to be

of its ore to 64.4% from 64.1%, Smit

Sishen’s processing plant

Sishen currently produces 30 million tonnes/year

Lebo Mbethe, CEO of Advent Oil. While always a lady, Lebo is an astute businesswoman who can mix it with the toughest of miners


describing the Sishen mission.

at Sishen is carried out as part of Anglo

Ins i de Mi n i n g JU june/ N E / JU july LY | 2 0 1 8

iron ore


“The implementation of data integration

• It offers a high-quality premium product, which means Sishen competes well in margins. •T  here is a strong safety focus, with a commitment from leadership. • It has a 13-year life of mine, with the intention to increase this. •5  000 people are employed on Sishen mine operations. • Sishen is the second biggest Northern Cape employer after government. •T  he mine has a 14 km long pit, is 2.5 km wide and has an average depth of 275 m, with an estimated final depth of 400 m. • S ishen is divided into the north and south mines, for close and effective operation.

information technology has created

systems and the upgrading of industrial a technology-ready business,” said McGavigan. The modernisation journey for Sishen included a fleet management system upgrade that looked to optimise load and haul cycles to maximise productivity and efficiencies. Additionally, it included the implementation of a high-precision GPS shovel guidance system to dig

said, attributing this to the fact that

the company has invested a significant

the right material, keep the designed

demand for high-quality iron ore from

amount of money and resources – in the

bench grade, respect dig limits and work

China was growing. He added that

region of R749 million – on technology at

within the machine’s optimal operating

stricter pollution controls and efforts to

Sishen and Kolomela between 2014 and

specifications. The fleet management

improve smelter efficiencies were driving

2017 to implement the best available

upgrades also included real-time moni-

the demand for good-quality lumpy

technology in advanced process

toring, including asset health.

iron ore, which makes up two-thirds of

control, drones and mine information

Kumba’s production.

system equipment.

“The iron ore price for 62% iron content

Worth noting is that Kumba’s second project, Kolomela – as a part of the mod-

“First, we had to ask ourselves: ‘How do

ernisation initiative – boasts a fully auton-

delivered to China — which is now close

you modernise drilling, blasting, loading

to $65/t, down from the $70/t earlier this

and hauling after it has been done a

year, is expected to remain strong well

certain way for so long?’ We developed

that technology remains a game chang-

into the third quarter of this year before

a fit-for-purpose technology strategy in

er for the Kumba Iron Ore business.

weakening later this year,” Smit said.

2014 to improve safety, productivity and

omous blast-hole drilling fleet. Moving forward, McGavigan expressed

“We fully intend to rapidly implement

reduce costs. The automation of critical

appropriate and proven technolo-

value chain equipment and plant-

gies across the iron ore value chain to

Glen McGavigan, executive head:

improving efficiencies resulted in the

achieve safer, more productive and low-

Technology and Projects unpacked how

driving down of operational costs.

er cost operations,” he concluded.

Notable tech upgrades

The pit is 14km long

The pit is 275m in depth, with a final depth estimated at 400m


In Insid sideeMMin inin inggjune/july june/july| |2018 2018


industry insight Surveying in mining, tunnelling, drilling and construction projects is set to change dramatically, thanks to a new software technology that global engineering and infrastructure advisory company Aurecon has developed.

Accurate, safe and cost-effective surveying solutions C urrently, the status quo for

method. “We are prototyping a soft-

environments like mine pits, quarries and

inspecting rock faces is a

ware solution that uses drones to take

large construction sites, people share

manual process where ge-

digital photos of rocks and sites so that

spaces with large vehicles and plants.

ologists measure the failure

we can create 3D digital models. Our

But in environments where companies

planes and joints on the rock face in the

team has developed algorithms to ex-

are aiming for automated processes,

field. With Aurecon’s new digital rock

tract the data from the photos so that

the mixing of people and plant occurs

mass mapping from UAV (unmanned

we can, within seconds, automatically

minimally, to ensure efficiency and most

aerial vehicle) photogrammetry tool,

identify areas that need to be meas-

of all safety.

this can be done more accurately,

ured,” says Gibbons.

quickly, safely and remotely.

All around the world, manual meas-

Moving over mountains

Camilla Gibbons, infrastructure as-

urement methods are routinely used

Richard Matchett, digital practice lead-

sociate for Aurecon in New Zealand,

to get a statistically valid data set to

er: Gauteng & Africa, Aurecon, says

says that – with the use of drones, smart

represent the rock face. Not only is

UAV rock mapping provides a unique

algorithm development and software

this a time-consuming process, but it

opportunity for teams working on mon-

– the manual part of surveying has

also puts people in a high-risk environ-

itoring large cut faces along national

been transformed into a computerised

ment for an unnecessarily long time. In

roads in the more mountainous areas of

Aurecon drone surveying

Manual measurement methods are routinely used to get a statistically valid data set to represent the rock face


Ins i de Mi n i n g june/ july | 2 0 1 8

industry insight Aurecon is prototyping a software solution that uses drones to take digital photos of rocks and sites in order to create 3D digital models South Africa. “We are collaborating with

UAV photogrammetry tool meant the

mapping from UAV photogrammetry tool

the Aurecon team in New Zealand to

team would be able to reduce the

would eliminate the need for these ac-

develop proof of concept of the digital

time to two months.

cess solutions on a number of projects.

mapping in these applications, and see

“Not only does this tool vastly im-

The software that Aurecon is prototyp-

possibilities with other major projects in

prove the time it takes our engineers

ing utilises machine learning in combi-

the SADC region.

to deliver solutions, but it also results in

nation with Geotech software to derive

cost savings for the client. There are

and display rock joints in an interactive

ators Certificate (ROC) from the Civil Avi-

also massive health and safety implica-

photogrammetry model.

ation Authority in South Africa, which will

tions, as geologists and surveyors won’t

enable us to operate UAVs extensively

have to physically reach each part of

The future

on large infrastructure projects. The

a site, rock face or cliff that they need

“In an environment where the safety

added functionality provided through

to measure,” said Gibbons.

records of companies are under ac-

“Aurecon is awaiting its Remote Oper-

these algorithms will provide yet another

Formwork requirements such as scaf-

tive discussion and the work environ-

application of aerial data capture to our

folding, which also has a direct impact

ment of staff is being redesigned, this

growing digital offering,” says Matchett.

on construction project timelines and

technology will be a valuable addition

cost efficiencies, will also be greatly

to the arsenal of tools reinventing the

impacted by the new tool. With road

future of work.

Time is money On a project site in Hong Kong, Au-

construction and tunnelling projects,

recon’s geological assessment team

for example, lanes are generally closed

can be used to design rock bolts as well

“In the future, we envision that the tool

estimated that a year’s worth of field-

and scaffolding is erected or elevated

as mesh and support methods that can

work would be needed to measure and

work platforms used so that geologists

be added into 3D design models to fur-

assess the specific rock faces. Using the

can reach the cliffs that they need

ther the asset management records for

new digital rock mass mapping from

to measure. The digital rock mass

our clients,” concludes Gibbons.

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industry insight

Realising a pipes dream

Ronnie Motebejane, head: Manufacturing at Marley Pipe Systems


The sheer size of the pipes – at a diameter of 1 000 mm – is clearly demonstrated by this passing employee

uality checks form an

factory visits for quality audits. “One of

ensure manufacturers are compliant.

integral part of all the steps

the prerequisites to being a member of

In terms of our code of conduct, when

in product's life cycle.

SAPPMA is to be subjected to regular an-

a member is non-compliant, we issue

Whether looking at raw

nounced and unannounced factory au-

them with seven days’ notice in writing

material selection or product fabrication

dits and product sampling,” says Venter.

to establish how they plan to fix the prob-

and installation, this is especially

“There is no commercial incentive for the

lem. We do follow-ups and also ensure

important for pipelines that make up

existence of the organisation. We simply

third-party inspection. Follow-ups come in

mining water infrastructure.

ensure that manufacturers do not window

the form of ‘extra classes’ a member can

dress, and show a compliant front, while

take, in order to fulfill their requirements.

compromising on quality.”

Should they fail, the association will look

For the mining industry, this means regular product quality checks help drive the decrease of a project’s exposure to

Venter notes that the organisation audits

at suspension.”

downtime, which can be a direct result of

and samples the products affiliated man-

substandard infrastructure.

ufacturers send out to the industry, and

Role of SABS

takes action if and when they transgress.

Venter notes that the association is often

African Plastic Pipe Manufacturers Asso-

“This gives us better control and account-

said to be in competition with the South

ciation), says the association has taken

ability,” he adds.

African Bureau of Standards (SABS), the

Jan Venter, CEO, SAPPMA (South

an uncompromising stance on quality.


A well-engineered pipe system is not only dependent on good design but strict adherence to quality standards throughout the value chain. Quality advocate SAPPMA is facilitating the mission to ensure superior pipes and fittings make it into mining projects around the continent. By Phila Mzamo

Venter explains that if a member does

national standardisation institution, to

He says the body monitors the quality of

transgress, assistance to aid in quality

which he responds, “SAPPMA is in no way

pipes manufactured by its members and

compliance is given. “The association is

competing with SABS. The statutory body

those entering the market by conducting

not about exclusion. It is put in place to

is respected for its position as the national

Ins i de Mi n i n g june/ july | 2 0 1 8

industry insight Plastics manufacturer Safripol specialises in the production of highdensity polyethylene

requirements for quality testing – i.e. the Upper and Lower Spec Limits (USL/LSL), as well as stricter additional requirements regulator of standards and we structure

for process control and testing, the Upper

our approach accordingly.

and Lower Control limits (UCL/LCL). This

“We have a differentiation and use their process to update our minimum standards. Our association acts as a ‘partner’

ensures that we can back up our quality claims,” he adds.

in the handling of matters related to the

Making quality HDPE pipes

plastics piping industry, having a common

Ronnie Motebejane, head: Manufactur-

goal but different functions.”

ing at Marley Pipes Systems, says the pro-

Inside Mining visited the Pretoria plant

High-density polyethylene pellets

cess for making HDPE pipes is relatively

of SAPPMA member Marley Pipe Systems,

generic and simple, using various manu-

to observe the product cycle of one of

facturing technologies and methodolo-

• Once a homogenous melted material is

its popular mining pipes systems – the

gies. He adds that stricter requirements

reached at the desired design temper-

Megatuff HDPE pipe.

for ensuring specifications are compliant,

ature, the material is extruded through

fit for purpose, and carry a lifetime guar-

the extruder head assembly into a vac-

antee differentiate normal HDPE pipe

uum cooling tank, through calibrated

Quality stuff Recognised in the industry as one of the

from high-quality variants.

sizing equipment.

leading high-density polyethylene (HDPE)

“Marley focuses on the basic Six Sigma

pipe manufacturers, a co-founder of SAP-

methodology (suppliers, inputs, process-

the pipe and pressure rating, the contin-

PMA, and a member of a multinational

es, outputs and customers) or the IDEF0

uous pipe is pulled by the haul-off and

group of companies – The Aliaxis Group –

methodology (a method designed to

exits the cooling tank, moving directly

Marley Pipe Systems strives to provide the

focus on inputs, control mechanisms and

on to the printing and cutting stations

best-quality pipe without compromise, by

outputs) for its generic pipe extrusion

for various sizes. Straight lengths are

leveraging on its global expertise support,

process,” he explains. “All of these have

coiled into longer lengths depending

says Brett Kimber, MD, Marley.

quality assurances, quality control, and

on customer specifications.

“Marley’s HDPE pressure system carries

other regulatory requirements.”

•A  fter cooling, depending on the size of

9001 QMS, and bears the SANS 4427 per-

manufacturing quality pipes are:

What to look for during an internal inspection

mit for manufacturing HDPE pipe. Both of

• Batching the PE resins or pellets, and

According to Marley product specialist

the SABS mark of trusted quality for ISO

these systems have generic and specific

The basic steps involved in

following this by heating in the extruder.

Ian Venter, the company’s internal quality control inspectors are deployed in all of the pipe cycle shifts. He says they look out for in-processing deviations to internal and specified operational conditions, both in the up- and downstream parts of the manufacturing process. Venter says the work of inspectors also involves picking up deviations in parameters, and ensuring those are corrected on the control limits. He notes that once the above is com-

S&I materials requirement: Reliable high-density polyethylene raw material supplier who can supply a good-grade HDPE resin for the desired application. Such suppliers should be able to give certifications confirming that raw materials meet specifications and are tested in accordance to the applicable (ISO/SANS) permits

Marley conducts laboratory testing and exposes products to various sets of parameters, including water baths from 20ºC to 80ºC under pressure, for periods of between 24 hours – in ambient room temperatures for maximum or ‘continuous’ operating pressure tests at 1.25 times the nominal pressure – and 1 000 hours under stress

plete, inspectors must document control to make sure the work done is within the required parameters, and that operators adhere to defined timeframes for conducting their process parameter checks.

What to look for during an external inspection Venter notes the external quality check process adopts a similar method to internal processes. “External inspectors conduct inspections and non-destructive testing on the raw materials and pipes. They

In sid e M in in g june/july | 2018



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industry insight both financially through claims, as well as loss of lives. “Good-quality pipe imports bring good benefits to the end users, but the pricing model can result in the inability of local manufacturers to remain competitive. This can, ultimately, force some to lower their prices to a point of insolvency, resulting in job losses as companies struggle to keep up with the below-market pricing. “Imported pipes enter our market at ridiculously cheaper prices than our raw materials before conversion due to the use of other heavily recycled and unknown plastic types, and potentially cheap labour outside the country,” he explains.

An HDPE continuous pipe, being pulled by the haul-off, receives the SAPPMA quality stamp of approval

According to Kimber, manufacturers source raw materials from a few suppliers (one local, and several international). This results in small margins locally, as the whole pricing on raw material is around 80% of the total cost.

look for adherence to specified conditions including pipe wall

“If you add conversion prices, you end up in the price range of

thickness, the ovality or out-of-roundness of the pipe, the re-

R37/kg, overshooting the R28/kg average. In South Africa, this is con-

quired pipe length, the workmanship of the pipe (is it smooth

sidered extremely costly for fledgling construction companies who

or does it having water mark lines etc.), and the traceability

tender and are awarded contracts based on prices rather than the

on the pipe being aligned to what is specified.

quality, integrity and longevity of products after installation.” Kimber says local manufacturers are beginning to adopt the tech-

Industry insight

nology needed to go into automations and supplying to export mar-

Kimber notes that the plastic pipe manufacturing industry is

kets. He believes this could further the decline in employment. “My

characterised by modern manufacturing processes operat-

advice to government regarding this export regu lation is, ‘if we can

ing in a competitive and challenging environment.

make it in the country, do not import it’,” concludes Motebejane.

In addition to meeting a wide variety of demanding customer requirements, he says producers of pipe products must also respond to ongoing developments in the industry as a result of changing health and safety, quality, and risk management issues. According to Kimber, one of the biggest problems in South Africa is that the industry is cutting corners and this could see the demise of the whole plastic pipe manufacturing industry, with private, mining and government organisations moving to other alternatives for water, slurry and waste reticulation. “The industry could ultimately collapse if cutting corners is allowed to continue. If unscrupulous manufacturers, not regulated by the SABS body or other pro-quality organisations like SAPPMA, continue to use non-complaint raw materials and other chemicals in their pipes, they potentially harm the quality of potable water in the country.” “The SANS and ISO specifications are explicitly clear regarding the use of recycled raw material,” adds Kimber. “Only recycled materials accumulated from a manufacturer’s own extrusion process should be used, preferably during the same batch of production, in limited quantities, so as not to influence the material characteristics of the PE resins.” Kimber says a second issue is the regulation of imported ready-to-use pipes (ISO 4427-2), with government and related organisations playing a critical gate-keeping role. “Bad-quality pipes, once installed, can cause damage to our economy

“Bad-quality pipes, once installed, can cause damage to our economy both financially through claims, as well as loss of lives.”

In sid e M in in g june/july | 2018


Case Study

DOUBLING VALVE LIFESPAN TARKWA GOLD MINE IN BRIEF Ghana is consistently ranked among the world’s top 10 gold producers. One of the key contributors to this status is the Tarkwa mine operated by Gold Fields Ghana.

Nkomati Mine, located in Machadodorp, Mpumalanga

Tarkwa is situated in the south-western part of the country, some 300 km west of the capital Accra. It began open-pit mining operations in 1998. Rated as a world-class, lowcost surface mine, the operation is the country’s largest producer of gold, extracting over 14 t (500 000 oz) annually. This is well over 12% of the national total.


Ins i de Mi n i n g june/ july | 2 0 1 8

Valve issues can lead to unplanned downtime and losses in output, which is why cutting costs on valves may be costly in the long run. With the help of Metso’s service experts, the Tarkwa mine has been able to achieve consistent reliability, leading to improvements in the plant’s efficiency.


alves play an important role

attributed to the use of lower-grade

in the CIL (carbon-in-leach)

materials. One of the challenges in this

refining process, which Tark-

situation is that supply chains regard

wa mine adopted in 2004,

valves and similar products as commod-

both in terms of their numbers and func-

ities. Price, therefore, becomes the main

tionality. Premature failure has the two-

motivating factor behind the buying

fold outcome of unplanned downtime

decision, irrespective of potential conse-

and subsequent losses in output.

quences down the line.”

Christian Appiah, sales engineer:

Metso has enjoyed a longstanding

Valves Business Services, Metso, explains

relationship with Gold Fields Ghana

that valves in the mining environment

through its supply of heavy-duty equip-

work under extremely demanding con-

ment, including crushers, pumps and

ditions. “Valve and actuator failure can

mills. It was from this association that

arise for a number of reasons. For exam-

Tarkwa was approached with regard

ple, high levels of pollution owing to dust

to the possibility of sourcing alternative

and other contaminants results in very

valve requirements from Metso’s Valves

poor air quality. Added to this are the

Business Services.

problems of very high ambient temperchallenges posed by vibration. An errat-

Step changes in efficiency and reliability

ic and low-voltage power supply also

That was the beginning of an inten-

compounds potential issues,” he says.

sive process involving a great deal of

atures and pressures, not to mention the

Appiah goes on to explain that the

groundwork and technical analysis over

valves fitted as original equipment to

a five-year period. Appiah was deeply

the second-generation plant performed

involved in the process that ultimately

as expected in terms of life expectancy;

provided the solution to the customer’s

however, it was after routine replace-

needs. To cover the demanding ap-

ments that problems began to emerge.

plication requirements, the best-fitting

“There seemed to be a problem with

valves were selected from Metso’s

quality, even in instances where the

large portfolio of products for different

valves were replaced by seeming-

mining and mineral processing plants.

ly identical products from the same

For the Tarkwa mine, the solution was

brand. This is something that could be

control and on/off valves, including ball,

Pipes, Pumps & Valves

Refining this volume of precious metal requires the operation to annually process an average of around 13 000 000 t of orebearing material. In 2004, the mine switched over to using CIL technology for this process. The CIL plant was expanded in 2009, which resulted in some unexpected consequences: an unprecedented reduction in the lifespan of valves.

butterfly and V-port control valves that

extended to other essential segments

had been supplied in 2015 as replace-

of our recovery processes.”

ments for items that had reached the

Metso’s solutions for Tarkwa Gold Mine:

end of their working lives. “This was very much a team effort between technology and sales, and this

• Design and engineering services

level of cooperation was essential, as

• Nelprof valve selection

CIL is a massive process in a plant of this magnitude. A key component in the

software tool • Control and on/off valves:

planning phase prior to the adoption of

- ball valves

Metso products for the CIL process was

- butterfly valves

Nelprof – an advanced software solu-

- V-port control valves.

tion that helped us to select the best-fitting control and on/off valves for the specific application,” says Appiah. The dual advantages of the scientific selection and installation of durable valves to the correct specification were soon recognised by Tarkwa’s engineering management. “There has


been a significant reduction in downtime. Gains in productivity have been matched by reduced operational expenses,” notes Solomon Boateng, plant engineer: CIL, Tarkwa. The Tarkwa mine’s engineering management has been satisfied with the performance of the installed Metso valves, as they have yielded step changes through their consistent reliability and the plant’s overall efficiency. Boateng contextualises the positive transition from unreliability to constant productivity: “These valves have now given us peace of mind concerning the operation of the critical elution circuit in the CIL process. The use has been

Metso valves installed at Tarkwa's plant

In sid e M in in g june/july | 2018


opencast mining

Booysen Bore bolsters drilling machine fleet Northern Cape-based Booysen Bore has bolstered its drilling machine fleet with the addition of three new FlexiROC D65 surface drill rigs from Epiroc.


systematically replace all its non-Atlas Copco drill rigs at the end of their life cycle with ROC L8s.”

The Booysen Bore business When founded in 1977, Booysen Bore focused mainly on exploration drilling. In

ooysen Bore purchased its first

Mining & Rock Excavation Technique

FlexiROC D65s in 2013, which

business area and Hydraulic Attachment

have subsequently drilled in ex-

& Tools Division, focusing on the mining

cess of 500 000 x 300 mm diam-

and civil engineering sectors. The indus-

eter holes for nine Northern Cape solar

trial businesses remain with Atlas Copco.

farms, as well as a large number of blast-

Hedley Birnie, business line manager:

holes in Northern Cape mines. The com-

Surface & Exploration Drilling (SED), Epi-

pany’s fleet also includes a SmartROC

roc, explains how the business partnership

D65 for blast-hole drilling as well as a few

with Booysen Bore started: “In 1999, the

CS14 and CS1500 core drilling machines.

SED area sales manager for Atlas Copco,

The more recent delivery by Epiroc of

Cobus Engelbrecht, conducted the very

three new FlexiROC D65 surface drill rigs

first trial with a ROC L8 MK I test machine

has bolstered Booysen’s total drilling ma-

for Booysen Bore at Beeshoek Mine. The

chine fleet to 51.

machine was the first drill rig capable of

The Epiroc business

drilling at an angle, making it ideally suited for block drilling. Booysen Bore was so

Epiroc evolved from the global split in

impressed with the ROC L8’s performance

January 2018 of Atlas Copco into two

that it decided to keep the machine

separate companies and comprises the

for blast-hole drilling on the mine and to

1990, the business expanded its services to blast-hole drilling and continued to grow into the successful business and major role player in the Northern Cape’s mining environment that it is today. Part of the MOGS (Mineral, Oil & Gas Services) Group, Booysen Bore’s offering includes down-the-hole (DTH), percussion, exploration and core drilling, as well as in-pit dewatering drilling services. Operating with a staff of 430 from its Kuruman head office, supported by an office in Beeshoek and a facility in Kathu, the company is mainly active in the province’s iron ore and manganese mines but also holds a sizeable market share in the supply of drilling services to solar facilities in the region. Thirty eight out of the 51 ROC L8, D60 and D65 machines are currently in operation. Pieter Malan, GM, Booysen Bore Drilling Company, explains that the Northern Cape presents some of the most challenging conditions in the world. “We drill into some of the hardest rock in the world, with compressive strengths above 500 MPa under extreme surface and weather conditions; these drilling machines take quite a hammering. While

Booysen Bore's fleet is maintained from the well-equipped workshop at the company's Kuruman head office


Ins i de Mi n i n g june/ july | 2 0 1 8

opencast mining most machines start to fall apart after only a short time of drilling, the Epiroc drill rigs give us up to 80% availability over many years of operation. Only machines of this exceptional quality will last for 30 000 hours plus. “In addition, the ROC boasts the lowest fuel consumption per metre drilled compared to all other machines used by Booysen Bore in the blast-hole environment. So, as far as we are concerned, when it comes to technology, reliability, ease of operation, manoeuvrability and fuel efficiency, the ROC machines are in a class of their own.”

Machinery developments Birnie acknowledges Booysen Bore’s fundamental role in the joint development of the machines, from the ROC L8 MK I up to the state-of-the-art FlexiROC D65. Pieter adds that they were impressed by the fact that, when they raised ideas, Atlas Copco not only listened but also responded to their requirements in the development of the machines, which resulted in the ROC family becoming the preferred drill rigs for Booysen Bore. He confirms that these developments prompted Booysen Bore to replace all its MK I machines, which at one stage totalled 16, with MK II units, when they reached the end of their lifespan. He also notes Atlas Copco’s assistance with the conversion of a ROC10 MK II to an RC (reverse circulation) machine for exploration drilling.

LEFT TO RIGHT As the pioneers in using Atlas Copco/Epiroc drilling machines for close on two decades and with a reputation of excellence, Booysen Bore has become a selling platform of Epiroc drilling machines for other drilling companies in the area.

Developments included a lighter tower, the replacement of steel feed with stronger and lighter aluminium feed, improvements to the air system, changes to the cooling system and breakout table, an improved engine uptake, as well as a stronger compressor. The latest FlexiROC D65 crawler rig sets the benchmark in DTH drilling, delivering a perfect balance between productivity and efficiency to provide a complete drilling solution. With hole diameters of between 110 mm and 203 mm, this rugged, multifunctional machine is able to handle a vast number of drilling angles, delivering straight, smooth holes with plenty of air to keep the hole clean for easy charging. The high efficiency of the DTH hammer relies on its precisely matched compressor capacity.

Epiroc evolved from the global split in January 2018 of Atlas Copco into two separate companies and comprises the Mining & Rock Excavation Technique business area and Hydraulic Attachment & Tools Division, focusing on the mining and civil engineering sectors

The Bisie mine layout

A solid long-term business partnership: Cobus Engelbrecht (Epiroc), Pieter Malan and Hein Booysen (Booysen Bore), and Hedley Birnie (Epiroc)



The next wave of innovation

Innovation is key to ensuring continuing market relevance and customer satisfaction. With that in mind, AEL Mining Services (AEL), a leading international manufacturer and supplier of explosives, has developed a state-of-the-art solution that is perfectly suited to cater for the blasting needs of the global surface mining industry.


orming part of AEL’s intelliBlast™

electronic initiation techniques. This in

required to move and deploy these piec-

value proposition, intelliShot® has

itself has delivered multiple benefits to

es of equipment was substantial. With

been purposefully designed to

customers, including a reduction in blast-

intelliShot, even though two Command-

allow our customers to improve

ing delays, uniform rock fragmentation,

ers are still required for remote firing, the

their balance sheets and pursue cash

management of blasting vibrations and

weight saving and advanced design

preservation by facilitating the delivery

blast data management, while ensuring

is such that they are easily portable by

of optimised blasting outcomes.

uncompromised safety at all times.

a single person when packed into their

IntelliShot has revolutionised the blast-

carry case.” The intelliShot system has the

ing industry by ensuring consistent and

electronic detonator, the Commander

capability to fire up to 16 000 detona-

efficient blasting results through the use

(the control device), a CE4 tagger (an

tors in a single blast and uses encrypted

of precision electronic initiation. This in

input device, of which up to 10 can be

itself has various benefits to customers

used) and a unique, proprietary software

such as reductions in blasting delays and

interface – ViewShot™ 3D. The intelliShot

improved uniformity of fragmentation

system thus ensures that any blast, no

while ensuring uncompromised safety

matter how complicated, is easily pre-

at all times.

pared and fired successfully; on time,

“IntelliShot merges world-class advanced technologies with user-friendly

every time. “By utilising the latest technology and

interfaces, making complex blasting

techniques, we have managed to signif-

simple, fast and accurate. The system is

icantly enhance the system characteris-

designed and engineered in collabora-

tics. A primary consideration was usability

tion with our technical partner DetNet,

and, to enhance this, we have dramat-

with manufacturing and production

ically reduced the weight of the control

located across the globe where centres

device, the Commander, from the previ-

of excellence exist,” explains Simon Tose,

ous generation of devices.

global mining optimisation manager at AEL Mining Services.

Changing the blasting industry


The intelliShot system is comprised of an

This is both noteworthy and important as it is standard to require a minimum of two boxes on–site–one to control the system on the bench and the other to

IntelliShot has revolutionised the blast-

fire remotely from a point of safety. With

ing industry by ensuring consistent and

the older generation of control devices,

efficient blasting, through the use of

weight and size ensured that the effort

Ins i de Mi n i n g june/ july | 2 0 1 8

The intelliShot in the field

DRILLING & BLASTING AEL Blasting Solutions is a developer, producer and supplier of commercial explosives, initiating systems and blasting services for mining, quarrying and construction markets in Africa and across the world. AEL is also one the largest supplier of explosives technology and initiating systems in Africa

design that, in addition to the safety considerations, is resistant to electromagnetic pulses, static electricity and both shock and pressure waves. With a completely redesigned Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC), the intelliShot Detonator boasts 15 times more memory than its predecessor. “With the extra memory, we can save critical information such as user IDs, delay times, GPS

radio frequencies to establish a blasting

coordinates, length of down-hole wear

network between multiple Command-

and additional blast information such as the date and time of tagging,” says

ers, which can stretch over several

Tose. Through using inherently safe

kilometres. IntelliShot is suitable for

devices to communicate with

any application and, in the larger networked configuration,

the detonators, as well as the

particularly for large surface

superior communication abilities designed into the

blasting operations where the requirements may vary

system, the predictability

from simple-line blasting

in performance and

through to complex de-

success of initiation of

signs requiring multiple

each detonator is great-

decking on several syn-

ly enhanced. This leads

chronised box cuts and/

to greater consistency

or benches.

in blasting results and dramatically reduces

Safety considerations

the chance of adverse blasting incidents such as

The intelliShot Detonator is

vibration and fly-rock. Tose

a fully programmable, elec-

explains that not only will this

tronic delay detonator suitable

approach save precious time

for all types of blasting operations

for clients; it will also have a much

and builds on the remarkable safe-

larger benefit to local communities that

ty principles inherent in the DigiShot / ®

DigiShot® Plus range of electronic deto-

are encroaching on mines. “By making

nators, currently supplied by DetNet and

use of all the technology, we can formu-

AEL. These safety principles, and other

late exactly how much blast material is

design considerations, benefit from over

needed to get the job done while not

30 years of electronic detonator learning

placing the community in harm’s way,”

and experience. This has resulted in a

concludes Tose.

The intelliShot system ensures that any blast, no matter how complicated, is easily prepared and fired successfully; on time every time

The intelliShot Detonator is a fully programmable, electronic delay detonator suitable for all types of blasting operations and builds on remarkable safety principles

With its extra memory, critical information such as user IDs, delay times, GPS coordinates, length of down-hole wear and additional blast information can be saved on the intelliShot Detonator

In sid e M in in g june/july | 2018


IT & Communications


full potential of real-time data


Big Data can be applied to mining operations with greater efficiency and accuracy than ever before, thanks to software innovations such as Pitram from Micromine, a fleet management and mine control solution.

ith the quantity and com-

advantage of Pitram is that it is both scal-

(HMI) applications in the mining industry.

plexity of data collected in

able in its approach and agile by design,

“The use of assisted-control equipment

the mining industry rapidly

providing a world-class, customised solu-

is more and more common, while fully

on the increase, the ability

tion for any mining operation, irrespec-

autonomous equipment is common in

tive of existing systems or infrastructure.

haulage and drilling operations.

to handle these large, complex data sets is critical. This has highlighted the need in

“Data is king, and it’s how we interpret,

“I believe that ongoing advances in

the mining industry for easy-to-use, fast,

manage, and analyse that data that

digital technology have the potential to

function-rich, and fit-for-purpose solutions

delivers the real benefit for clients and

unlock new ways of managing variability

such as Pitram.

industry,” comments Renier Strydom,

and enhancing productivity in the mining

regional manager: South Africa, Micro-

industry. Of course, the greatest benefit

that captures, monitors, and reports

mine. In this regard, the latest trend is for

of this trend will be derived when such

on operational and production data. It

intuitive solutions that are not only user-

technology is integrated across the entire

provides real-time analytical capabilities

friendly, but that also promote integra-

supply chain. This, in turn, will allow for

to enable improved decision-making

tion among different software solutions.

more informed decision-making, as well

in critical areas such as equipment,

This trend is becoming prominent due

as more consistent mining operations,”

personnel, and asset utilisation. The major

to increased Human Machine Interface

Strydom stresses.

Pitram is a fully configurable solution



Schneider’s competitive advantage is its open EcoStruxure architecture, underpinned by a combination of people and technology, and the segment team within the organisation dedicated to collaborating with strategic customers to harness its potential. ining is the section that the

is constantly challenged by market

mining operations from ‘resource to

company is most interest-

volatility, grade decline, regulations,

market’ has provided the most value

ed in,” says Wilhelm Swart,

social license, skills gaps and workforce

to its customers.

vice-president for Schnei-

demographics, which puts a premium

der Electric South Africa’s Mining, Miner-

challenging problems and AMPLA

als and Metals (MMM) Africa Business.

something we’re well-positioned to help

– our integrated mining operations

our customers with,” he explains.

software – has become an industry-

Its dedicated segment approach provides a competitive advantage, having

leading standard. It’s a modular software

mining. It has also invested significantly

Digitisation software to drive mining

over the years to increase its compe-

“Of all the trends impacting the industry,

extraction and processing to blending

tence in the industry from an application

none will be as critical as digitisation. It

and storage, all the way through to

standpoint, helping it to solve its custom-

will impact every aspect of the industry

shipping logistics,” explains Swart.

ers’ challenges. It has developed specific

operation and provide the greatest

expertise around process control, mineral

potential for improving business and

timisation by collecting data automat-

processing, energy optimisation and sup-

operational efficiency,” says Swart.

ically from multiple plant and business

built an entire organisation dedicated to

suite with specific mining functionality that supports mine operations from

It enables value chain visibility and op-

He points out that one of the main

systems or through manual data entry,

challenges has always been to make

and establishing a single trusted source

but the fundamentals are sound, and

real-time decisions based on information

of information, which can be collabo-

Swart says Schneider expects that

that is spread across various databases

ratively used to drive efficiency, reduce

increased demand for mined raw

and applications. Devoting 5% of sales

cost and make better business decisions.

materials will be driven by population

revenue to research and development,

“A case in point would be a recent

growth as well as rapid and increasing

the company believes that technology

implementation of AMPLA across five

urbanisation. “The resources industry

centring around the integration of

mine sites at a major metal mining

ply chain efficiency. Mining is facing significant challenges


“It’s one of the industry’s most

on operational and business efficiency –




supply chain efficiency by 20%

5% of sales revenue

could bring more than R4.7 trillion

at five mining operations

to R&D

by 2025 into mining industry

Adopting AMPLA has improved

Ins i de Mi n i n g june/ july | 2 0 1 8

Schneider devotes

Reports indicate that digitisation


company. The system was used to

engineering and technical levels in the

groundwater from being dumped into

monitor and capture real-time asset

industry, meaning we sometimes need

their outflow. “The only way to achieve this

performance and condition data and to

to fill that void with our own project engi-

‘future state’ is to develop it jointly with our

provide root-cause analysis when assets

neering or remote asset monitoring servic-

strategic customers and partners and work

were being underutilised. Globally, across

es, for example. It also means we need to

closely to understand their challenges and

all five mines, it improved capacity by

collaborate with our customers over the

find new ways to solve them,” says Swart.

over 10%,” he adds.

medium to long term and not simply sell

“Our resource-to-market integrated solution consolidates and manages data

IoT will enhance mining

them things. “Now that the outlook has improved

“The rewards are significant for those

from multiple mine, plant and business

and mining operations are starting to

willing to try. It’s been estimated that

systems. This enables customers to iden-

make capex investments again, they

in the next five years, mining industry

tify production issues, manage inventory

also need a workforce that can ramp up

leaders will achieve their most significant

and quality, track and manage produc-

and become productive quickly, and

improvements by embracing digital tech-

tion and asset performance, understand

much of our software and workforce en-

nologies like the IoT and advanced ana-

costs, and analyse business KPIs.

ablement solutions help them do that,”

lytics that can harness the power of big

he explains.

data,” he urges.

optimise its port logistics by predicting

Using augmented reality

could bring more than AU$470 billion by

how each entity in the supply chain

Training solutions made possible by virtual

2025 in additional value to the mining,

would operate – from mine to plant to

reality or maintenance troubleshooting

minerals and metals industries by means

rail and port – and has improved supply

tools that utilise augmented reality are

of productivity gains, cost reductions,

chain efficiency by 20%.”

examples of the industry looking for new

and fuel and energy savings – but only

technologies to transform the way it op-

if they are able to overcome some of

erates in the future.

the challenges.

“As another example, one of the biggest iron ore miners in Australia uses it to

Futureproof Remaining ahead of the curve is tough

Some reports indicate that digitisation

“One of the challenges is making tech-

“To give another example, one of our

when it comes to market changes and

customers in Canada has deployed

nologies available in ways that are easy

advances in technology, especially

our training and simulation solution at

to implement and leverage, and that

in mining where change is constant,

a groundwater treatment plant that

brings us back to EcoStruxure because it

but Swart cites open platforms, the IoT

had to meet critical environmental

provides that common open architecture

and digitalisation as good examples.

requirements. It was used to train new

on which everything can be connected,”

“We also see significant turnover at the

operators on how to prevent above-limit

concludes Swart.

www.schneider-electric.co.za In sid e M in in g june/july | 2018


Corporate Social Investment

Social responsibility

among juniors


xploration happens in a mine’s infancy, and future production will be impacted by the social and environmental aspects

involved right from the start of the exploration process. Therefore, the earlier social and environmental aspects are

By nature, junior mining and exploration make for risky business. Not only do junior miners run the risk of not finding valuable enough mineral reserves, but they also risk having their explorative efforts frustrated by ineffective social and environmental management. By Cecilia Jofre

considered in a project, the greater the chance of success.

that are flexible and can grow with their

to resources. Geological research is

Exploration does not exist in a vacuum;

evolving requirements, and that are as

incomplete without collaboration and

it is part of the mining value chain. Track-

easy to use as possible, as well as inte-

cooperation with the communities

ing performance in all aspects of the

grated – to release the burden of cap-

because they can and will frustrate

exploration phase and generating clear

turing data across multiple spreadsheets

production efforts. Communities are the

governance reports give junior miners

or point solutions.

ones who ultimately provide access to

an edge when it comes to attracting

the resource, in the form of the social

institutional investors and complying with

Community engagements

regulatory requirements. Junior miners

Investing early in software management

comes more pressing during production

must consider investing in technologies

information systems can deliver exten-

as opposed to exploration, establishing

sive benefits throughout the life of the

good relationships with communities

mine. Keeping auditable records of all

right from the start makes the path to

community engagements, such as com-

social cooperation smoother.

mitments made and grievances logged,

licence to operate. While the issue be-

Looking after your social and envi-

as well as all environmental monitoring

ronmental concerns assists in obtaining

from day one, helps to safeguard the

permits, as well as attracting investors.

mine in later years. Social risk is now con-

Institutional investment is concerned with

sistently regarded as one of the top 10

how you manage stakeholders and envi-

risks mining houses face. This investment

ronmental sustainability. It is much easier

in technology needs to be weighed

for production to begin if the junior mi-

against the risk and associated possible

nors have already laid the groundwork

opportunity costs of not engaging effec-

for cooperation with the community.

tively with the community.

There have been too many instances

Free pre-informed consent from communities helps junior miners have access

of community protest action bringing mining operations to a costly standstill for us not to look at this from the start. You might as well get it right from the beginning and make yourself that much more

Cecilia Jofre, chief sales officer, IsoMetrix


Ins i de Mi n i n g june/ july | 2 0 1 8

attractive to investors.

Corporate Social Investment

Cummins launches Technical Education for Communities (TEC) programme Engine, filtration, and genset manufacturer Cummins Africa Middle East in conjunction with Komatsu Africa Holdings has inaugurated a new Technical Education for Communities (TEC) programme.


10 million manufacturing jobs worldwide unfilled owing to a shortage in technical capabilities and soft skills. The TEC programme seeks to plug this gap by providing schools in South Africa with the necessary tools to equip learners with market-relevant skills that prepare them

hrough the partnership, Cummins and Komatsu will enhance the

entrepreneurship on the continent. “This initiative falls exactly within the

standard education platform to

government’s domain of focusing on

help develop a market-relevant

uplifting the youth through training. It is,

for the world of work throughout the course of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0. Blom highlighted in his address that the

curriculum, teacher training and career

therefore, a very important initiative, and

TEC programme was a sterling example

guidance, and also provide much-need-

both Cummins and Komatsu are to be

of the private and public sectors com-

ed practical experience for students.

commended. South Africa needs many

ing together to uplift local communities.

The TEC programme forms part of a

more such initiatives to give young peo-

“While our industry is dependent on tech-

global initiative that targets the technical

ple access to training so that they can

nology and innovation, everything begins

skills gap in South Africa through local

become employable, and thereby play

with people, which means that human

vocational education programmes. It is

a meaningful role in both their communi-

resource development is critical. I am

the realisation of an agreement signed

ties and the future of the country,” Minis-

absolutely convinced that, with the sup-

by Gino Butera, vice-president and man-

ter Pandor said.

port of all stakeholders, we will succeed in

aging director, Cummins Africa Middle

this initiative.”

East, and Mike Blom, managing director,

Commitment to sustainability

Komatsu Africa Holdings in October 2017.

Butera noted in his address that the TEC

tiative in 2012, 19 schools in 11 countries,

programme launch was a testament to

which include Morocco and Nigeria,

launched on 21 May during a ceremony

Cummins’ commitment to sustainable

have been established, with the Sed-

hosted at the Sedibeng TVET College,

solutions for the communities in which

ibeng TVET College becoming the twen-

during which Minister of Higher Education

it worked and lived, in partnership with

tieth school to fall under the auspices of

and Training Naledi Pandor delivered

Komatsu. “Together, we will provide com-

the programme.

the keynote address. She was accom-

prehensive tools to improve job skills. We

panied by members of the Department

are proud to bring this global programme

gramme in South Africa builds off a glob-

of Higher Education and Training and

to South Africa for the first time, and wel-

al corporate responsibility agreement

merSETA. Minister Pandor lauded both

come the first group of learners. We look

signed by Cummins and Komatsu in June

companies for taking the initiative to

forward to the results, and trust that the

2016. The global agreement established

boost vocational skills development in

leaners will maximise the opportunities

general guidelines and a framework for

South Africa, by focusing on delivering

made available to them.”

Komatsu and Cummins to form, co-

The latest TEC programme was

technical training related directly to the

He pointed out that, globally, employ-

Since the global launch of the TEC ini-

The latest addition to the TEC pro-

develop, and implement late secondary

needs of local industry, which, in turn, will

ers are experiencing critical shortages

or post-secondary vocational education

promote economic development and

of skilled technical workers, with around

programmes at global sites.


w w w.af r i ca . cum m i n s. co m Make a difference with Cummins

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Mining Equipment

Innovation making for safer and efficient equipment Reflecting its commitment to working with customers to continuously improve its products and services, mining equipment specialist Osborn has developed an innovative enhancement to its jaw crushers.

About Osborn Osborn Engineered Products is a leading name in mining and quarry markets, providing a full range of engineering products, including crushers, feeders, screens and further specialises in skid-mounted crushing and screening plants.

Osborn is one of South Africa’s foremost manufacturers of equipment for the mining and quarrying industries. Offering an extensive range of installation-ready products, its primary clients are the mining (70%) and aggregate (30%) industries.

Manufacturing is carried out at Osborn’s head office and manufacturing facility in Elandsfontein, South Africa.


his improvement will make the

need to weld lifting lugs onto the

leading manufacturer’s tough,

manganese liners. We have also elim-

high-quality machines safer

inated the need for coded welders

and more efficient than ever,

and non-destructive tests on welds,”

according to Andre van Tonder, product development manager, Osborn. “When our customers asked us to

he states. “The primary advantage for end users is the quicker change out of lin-

investigate alternative ways to lift

ers, which means less downtime,” he

jaw crusher liners in and out of our

stresses. Osborn’s new liner-lifting points

machines, we listened and respond-

have been designed and evaluated

ed. After detailed investigations, and

by the company’s professionally regis-

having conducted on-site tests with

tered engineers. Van Tonder notes that

customers, we are rolling out liner-

a minimum safety factor of five was

lifting features that cater for specific

applied to all designs. The points allow

customer requirements,” he explains.

for the use of standard D-shackles for

Innovation for efficiency

lifting. Van Tonder explains that older crushers only require minimum on-site

Osborn’s designs use standard lifting

reworks to allow for the hooking of lin-

equipment, not special lifting tools,

ers without moving them.

and have been thoroughly evaluated on several mines and quarries. This innovation will deliver exception-

“At Osborn, we aim to continuously improve our service and our industry-leading mining and quarrying

al benefits to customers. Van Tonder

equipment and capabilities. Our en-

elaborates: “With Osborn’s new jaw

hanced manganese liners will save

crusher liner-lifting points, there is no

our customers time and money. They

need for our customers to employ

will optimise safety and efficiency in

special lifting devices that require

lifting liners in and out of machines,”

additional certification. There is no

he concludes.


In sid e M in in g a pr il/M Ay | 2018


global report

Wafi-Golpu Project’s business case improves significantly The feasibility study update (FSU) for the Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture (WGJV) in Papua New Guinea was recently completed, and the impressive outcomes have given the greenfield Wafi-Golpu Project a revised execution plan going forward.

contemplated alternative options focused more towards a smaller, scalable, lower capital cost start-up mine. In November 2013, the pre-feasibility optimisation study was commissioned with the purpose of developing a single, preferred business case to a pre-feasibility study level of definition. WorleyParsons RSA was appointed by the WGJV as the pre-feasibility optimisation study consultant. Prior to commencing the pre-feasibility optimisation study, WorleyParsons utilised the StepWise methodology to develop, assess and shortlist preferred options. This process, developed by WorleyParsons’ strategic and advisory arm,


prospective funders to make strategic

afi-Golpu is a joint venture

and cultural heritage stewardship,” says

investment decisions, with a focus on

copper-gold project that is

Bryan Bailie, the executive project direc-

maximising returns, while minimising and

owned 50/50 by Harmony

tor for WGJV.

managing exposure to risk.

Gold Mining Company Lim-

Bailie says that by following the Step-

ited in South Africa and Newcrest Mining

Project background

Wise process, the WGJV and WorleyPar-

Limited in Australia. It is located in the

Various approaches to development

sons RSA were able to reframe a new

Morobe province of Papua New Guinea,

(including infrastructure configurations)

business case for the Wafi-Golpu Project

approximately 65 km south-west of the

have been considered in the investiga-

by looking at a small-scale build-up and

city of Lae.

tions for the development of the Wafi-

programme of ongoing work that led to

Golpu deposits. Early investigations con-

the feasibility study, and later the FSU.

The FSU report incorporates findings from earlier pre-feasibility and feasibility

sidered large-scale open-pit mining of

studies and draws on extensive data col-

the Wafi deposit rather than underground

lection undertaken since 2016, providing

mining; however, this was dismissed for

a deeper understanding of the project’s

various reasons. Subsequent investiga-

geotechnical, mining, processing, ocean-

tions were highly successful in more accu-

ographic, environmental and social

rately delineating an orebody, but further

parameters. It also forms an integral com-

work was required to determine the

ponent of the revised proposal for devel-

economic viability of mining. A number

opment in support of the special mining

of technical studies across various disci-

lease application, which was submitted

plines were completed since 2012, which

to the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA)

determined a viable business case for

by the WGJV in August 2016.

development of a large-scale deep-level

“The FSU developed by the WGJV,

block cave mine. The proposed develop-

WorleyParsons RSA and other consultants

ment contemplated a significant upfront

sets out an improved business case for

capital commitment to deliver maximum

the Wafi-Golpu Project, and the study

resource extraction and production pro-

confirms the preferred technical options

file over the project’s life.

to deliver the block cave mining pro-


Advisian, provides solid data to enable

The outcomes of the pre-feasibility study

ject safely and with appropriate consid-

initiated a pre-feasibility optimisation

eration given to environmental, social

study phase of work. This phase of work

Ins i de Mi n i n g june/ july | 2 0 1 8

A render of the Wafi-Golpu Anthonycomplex Viljoen, CEO, AfriTin mining

global report

Initially, 14 conceptual mining options

New legislation pertaining to changes

efficiency and design productivity. It

were developed and assessed with the

in the fiscal and taxation regime had

includes BIM, which augments the three

associated technical and business case,

adversely impacted the economics of

primary spatial dimensions of width,

which were narrowed down to three

the project while tailings management

height and depth with 3D, 4D and 5D

preferred options to carry forward into

developments, data from deep geotech

technology, allowing the entire project

the pre-feasibility optimisation study.

drilling and concerns regarding power

team to visualise project objectives as

WorleyParsons RSA completed the

generation all necessitated the recon-

never before, greatly improving opera-

pre-feasibility optimisation study in 2014,

sideration of the initial pre-feasibility and

tional efficiency in a dynamic time- and

which recommended a staged devel-

feasibility studies.

cost-saving environment. Leigh Cox,

opment approach involving the mass

Based on the orebody dataset im-

general manager: Engineering and

mining method, and block caving, com-

provement achieved in 2016, the FSU

Construction for WGJV, adds that mak-

mencing with the development of a

intended to validate, optimise and

ing use of the WorleyParsons RSA rapid

smaller lower cost start-up mine (Stage 1

improve upon the 2015 Stage 2 Golpu

prototyping, and other innovative pro-

Project). The Stage 2 Project focused on

pre-feasibility and feasibility study findings

cesses such as BIM, underpinned effi-

a life of mine plan as a follow-on from

and recommendations.

cient engineering and design delivery

the Stage 1 Project, with the objective

The FSU incorporates a much larger

with the added benefit of having higher

of identifying and evaluating options

mine than previously anticipated and

confidence in the design, design inte-

to maximise and enhance the value of

mining throughput will be increased from

gration, cost estimation and planning.

the Golpu orebody through optimising

3 Mtpa to 16.84 Mtpa at BC44, 6 Mtpa

access and the exploitation of the ore-

to 16.84 Mtpa at BC42 and BC40 at

sons RSA’s use of BIM for the FSU as it

body above 4 100 mRL target area.

pre-feasibility study level. This increase in

showed us how quickly different com-

throughput required the redesign of the

ponents and disciplines can be merged

underground material handling system,

together to help evaluate design, op-

In 2016, the feasibility study was sub-

process plant, associated infrastructure,

timise resource utilisation and identify

jected to a competent independent

and overland concentrate and tailings

design risks up front and on an ongoing

review process, which identified no

transport pipelines.

basis,” says Cox.


clarity around the infrastructure, which

In setting out the updated business case

will be associated with development of

for the FSU, WorleyParsons RSA drew on

the Wafi-Golpu Project and proposes a

SmartPlant design technology that utilises

modular designed power plant to en-

rapid prototyping, and other innovative

sure a reliable base load power supply;

processes such as building information

new port facilities created within the

modelling (BIM) to create a sophisticat-

Port of Lae; a new northern access road

ed digital project design platform and

and two new community roads; and

prepare for project execution as effi-

puts forward three types of tailings man-

ciently and cost-effectively as possible.

agement options for consideration.

Updated feasibility study

fatal flaws but made recommendations for additional work to be undertaken.

“By utilising our intelligent design tools,

“We were impressed with WorleyPar-

The findings of the FSU provide greater

If developed, the Wafi-Golpu Project

we were able to incorporate all the

will be the largest, deepest and most

consultants and role players involved in

complex underground mine in PNG,

the project into one user-friendly digital

with an expected mine life of 28 years.

model,” says Niell McEwan, senior pro-

As well as this significant injection into

ject manager at WorleyParsons RSA. He

the PNG economy, the project will have

explains that SmartPlant is a powerful

benefits across the country, including

portfolio of design and data manage-

around 2 500 direct jobs during con-

ment solutions that captures integrated

struction, about 850 ongoing operations

engineering knowledge to enable pro-

jobs and further indirect jobs created in

ductivity gains, improving engineering

the region.

In sid e M in in g june/july | 2018


Products & Services

market news

driving the industry forward

Unidrive scores with major Zest WEG recognition water, and the residential market where Zest WEG group motors are widely used to power machinery and other equipment. Theo Mashego, managing director, Unidrive says, “We are extremely excited and humbled by this recognition by the Zest WEG Group, which comes after a long and vigorous accreditation process. “This official appointment of our factory as a repair and service site for Zest WEG products is also a recognition of our competency as a company and, most importantly, a result of lots of hard work by our staff. We are proud of this achievement.” Unidrive will repair and service Zest WEG LV motors up to model IEC 355, giving the company a wide range of products to work on. “This extensive Zest WEG product range will further increase our expertise and the challenge has definitely created excitement for our staff,” says Mashego. South African electric motor repair and service company Unidrive Electric Motors, a black-female-owned company, has scored another major achievement with its appointment as the official repair

and service centre for Zest WEG Group low-voltage motors in South Africa. According to the company, this major achievement will expand Unidrive’s services in new sectors such as mining, oil and gas,

Schneider extends Altivar range for energy-intensive applications Energy management specialist Schneider Electric has extended its range of Altivar process drives to include the Altivar 960 – a variable-speed drive solution for energy-intensive applications in the oil and gas, and mining, minerals and metals sectors. Energy-efficient drive systems can assist energy-intensive sectors in several ways, says Marc Ramsay, vice-president: Industry Business, Schneider Electric Southern Africa. “They help to boost business performance by reducing commissioning time and considerably improving production uptime. Moreover, they are specifically tailored to optimise energy usage during production, which lowers costs and reduces CO2 emissions.” According to Ramsay, Schneider Electric customers

The Altivar process drive range

are now able to use Altivar process drives for applications and projects across the board. “From single-drive projects to the most complex multi-drive applications that have advanced load-sharing functions, the Altivar 960 delivers.” Ramsay says the range is ideal for the mining, minerals and metals sectors, as it offers better control for conveyors, stackers, reclaimers and process cranes, boosting energy efficiency and uptime. Other benefits include drive-to-drive load sharing, to lower strain on individual drives, as well as high resistance to load and higher current available, for improved motor reactivity and stability.

Milwaukee improves tool management with app Improved tool management due to greater control, access and traceability is now available through a new app and equipment tracker from Milwaukee, distributed locally by leading supplier Upat. The ONE-KEY app is a digital platform for tools and equipment that allows users to customise, track and manage their power tools. The app, a free-to-use inventory management program, is available for download for iOS and Android devices. Bluetooth-enabled, the app operates as a tool and equipment tracker that can be strapped on to just about anything that needs to be tracked, including nonMilwaukee products. “While some power tool manufacturers do offer a single digital

inventory system, ONE-KEY takes this a step further in the industry with the addition of a tracking functionality. It is cloud-based, using Bluetooth to detect any tool within a 30 m radius. Werner Koch, product specialist, Milwaukee, explains that the app updates the tool’s last recorded position. Therefore, if a tool goes missing, the user simply has to open the app to learn the date and time that the tool was last located. As soon as the tool comes within range of a ONE-KEYenabled device, it will turn itself off, which is an important security feature. The app user also receives a notification when the tool is within range, and its whereabouts. Once it is recovered, it can simply

ONE-KEY app users receive a notification when a tool is within range, with info on its whereabouts

be reactivated on the app, whereafter it can be used again within minutes. “All of these features available through the ONE-KEY app increase productivity; extend the lifespan of tools and accessories, as they are used more efficiently, and reduce power consumption, as there is less battery drain,” Koch concludes.

MSA Africa extends gas detection capabilities MSA Africa has extended its gas detection capabilities significantly with the acquisition of UK’s Senscient, and the launch of its new Ultima X5000 with Bluetooth communication. According to Etienne Jacobsz, country manager, MSA, high false-alarm rates, slow detection and poor reliability are frequent bugbears for on-site operations in terms of gas-leak detection. “We have significantly fixed these problems with the introduction of the latest Enhanced Laser Diode Spectroscopy (ELDS™) technology from Senscient by MSA Africa, following the acquisition of the UK company by MSA Safety. Senscient patented its ELDS technology in 2009 for the detection of a range of toxic and flammable gases. The main benefit of this technology is that it eliminates false alarms faster. This means increased reliability in terms of detecting hazardous gases, thereby boosting safety on-site and reducing operational costs. ELDS has significantly changed the way that facility operators protect their

personnel and assets from hazardous gas leaks, enhancing MSA’s reputation as a global leader in gas detection technology and equipment. “This innovative technology from Senscient complements our existing fixed-gas and flame-detection portfolio,” Jacobsz highlights. It gives MSA a stronger foothold in a range of industries, including gas and pipeline processing, ammonia and fertiliser production, refining and petrochemicals, wastewater, PV, marine and process analytics.

The new Ultima X5000 is the latest in gas detection technology from MSA Africa

In sid e M in in g june/july | 2018



VISIT US! 10 – 14 September 2018 | Expo Centre, Nasrec, Johannesburg, South Africa

Electra Mining 2018 is upon us


It is not only in South Africa that the mining industry battles with challenges such as low commodity prices, slower-than-expected economic growth, or challenges raising capital. These are typical of the industry throughout Africa and, indeed, globally. But optimism is upon us, as is Electra Mining 2018. SKETCH2017/10799


n 10 September 2018, over

important this year. Visitors will be able

decision-makers – making Electra Mining

850 exhibitors and an an-

to source new products, equipment,

Africa the place to be. It’s busy, it’s inter-

ticipated 35 000 visitors are

machinery, and the latest systems and

active and it’s a great place to showcase

expected to attend the

services to address these operational

products, to get clients together in one

and business needs.”

place and to meet potential new ones.

Electra Mining Africa show, which will cover 38 000 m² of indoor and outdoor exhibition space.

The event is an important marketing tool


for exhibitors, and offers the opportunity

A RICH HERITAGE! For the first time ever, Electra Mining

to generate hundreds of sales leads to be

industrial, machine tools, electrical and

Africa will offer free-to-attend seminars.

followed up on within the weeks after the

power trade show, Electra Mining Africa

These will be held in association with

show. This is why exhibitors keep coming

is ranked among the world’s largest min-

SAIMechE. Running alongside the show,

back, again and again.

ing shows. The show will take place at

the seminars will address various topics,

the Expo Centre in Johannesburg.

including the latest technologies and

As Southern Africa’s biggest mining,

IT’S A SHOW THAT BELONGS TO YOU. cutting-edge solutions, helping dele-

“It is at times like these that trade exhi-

bitions and face-to-face interaction with gatessolutions stay ahead of the pack and run Source 100’s of cutting-edge customers become even more impor-

sustainable, productive operations. The

Compare products and brands seminars will provide an excellent learntant in order to ensure business survival,” says Gary Corin, managing of ing platform with industry specialists sharGet advice director from technical experts Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery, the

ing their knowledge and expertise.

Watch liveAfrica. demo’s organiser of Electra Mining Why attend?

“Many professionals visiting the show

will use Electraseminars Mining Africa to network, Acquire knowledge at free-to-attend



exchange ideas, share information and develop partnerships,” says Corin.

“Local mining, industrial and power gen-

Many of the 2018 exhibitors booked

eration companies need to find solutions PLATINUM




that are cost-effective, reduce operaSPONSOR SPONSOR

their exhibition floor space even be-

tional spend and focus on streamlining

fore the end of the 2016 show. This

operations for maximum benefit. That’s

speaks to the high quality of visitors to

why Electra Mining Africa will be Leigh so Miller FOR MORE INFO CONTACT:

the stands, most of whom are senior I leighm@specialised.com I Tel: +27 (0)10 003 3060


Brought to you by:

index to advertisers Babcock OFC

KSB 28

Cummins 2

Micromine 29

Electra Mining Africa

Model Maker Systems


Epiroc OBC


Ins i de Mi n i n g june/ july | 2 0 1 8


Osborn IFC

SBS Water Systems


Schneider Electric


Tenova Delkor


The switchboard your installation deserves Blokset is the low voltage switchboard for electrical distribution and motor control Blokset switchboards have long guaranteed the durability and availability of several tens of thousands of installations the world over. Tried and tested reliability, overall performance and an attractive TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) have caused Blokset to become, the reference switchboard for a large number of panel-builders, industrial site managers and maintenance managers, in a few years.


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Inside Mining June/July 2018  

Get the inside information on mining and exploration projects in Africa and beyond.

Inside Mining June/July 2018  

Get the inside information on mining and exploration projects in Africa and beyond.

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