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Highly commended 2012 PICA Cover of the Year - B2B Publishing MEDIA





Sales director

Noel Bessler on Osborn’s leading industry position P12

COAL & URANIUM Rising stars in the making

PANEL DISCUSSION SACPS conference round-up



BAUMA AFRICA 2013 EDITION P66 ISSN 1999-8872 • R40.00 (incl. VAT) • Vol. 6 • No. 9 • September 2013





September 2013





Passion It isn’t very hard to find




M Multidisciplinary cconstruction firm Liviero’s growth strategy L w enacted when group was C CEO Neil Cloete joined the c company in March 2011, a allowing the company to e expand its presence in t mining sector. And it the s successfully has.

Comment from Rosemary Falcon



Osborn cements its industry-leading position



Sentula takes its coal assets off the table


18 22 30 34 40 42 46

The negative impacts of renewables and carbon tax Kangala races to the production starting line Makhado, Coal of Africa’s new beginning Mozambique’s new mover and shaker A new power station on the horizon for Eskom An answer to low-grade uranium deposits A welcome water lifeline for Namibian miners



South Africa’s coal future is in the right hands



50 52 55 56 58 60

Enelex Viktor Valenta FLSmidth Mark Sheward Roymec Technologies Hoosen Essack Weir Minerals Africa JD Singleton Multotec Roy Roche Derrick Corporation Nic Barkhuysen



66 68 70 72 74 75 76 78 80

Atlas Copco launches new compact rock bolting rig Bell B60D makes its debut BME builds more mobile mining units Biometric licensing system a South African first HPE showcases every attraction A steel award for SBS Polypipe sails into Africa Solid steel from Ruukki Zest WEG Group transforms Eskom's Kusile


82 86 88

Tenova TAKRAF accelerates into Africa Front end loaders, the workhorse warrior Large-scale plant optimisation saves millions


90 92

New crushing and screening product range introduced Copious contracts for FLSmidth




INS I DE MI NI NG 0 9 | 2 0 1 3


South Africa’s mining industry needs partnerships

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Publisher Elizabeth Shorten Editor Laura Cornish Head of design Frédérick Danton Senior designer Hayley Mendelow Designer Kirsty Galloway Chief sub-editor Claire Nozaïc Sub-editor Patience Gumbo Marketing & events coordinator Neo Sithole Production manager Antois-Leigh Botma Production coordinator Jacqueline Modise Financial manager Andrew Lobban Administration Tonya Hebenton Distribution manager Nomsa Masina Distribution coordinator Asha Pursotham Printers United Litho Johannesburg Tel: +27 (0)11 402 0571

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It isn’t hard to find Sitting at my desk, reflecting on the past month and the content in this issue, one word comes to mind: passion.


HILE THE MINING industry as a whole could typically be described as passionate, I have really felt its effect in a big way while putting the September issue together. I can proudly boast that I am the first person (from the media) to visit Universal Coal’s new Kangala project in Delmas. This project is at the height of its development phase and will deliver first coal in February next year. The enthusiasm from the Universal Kangala team is absolutely infectious. They are so passionate about this project that I cannot help but feel the same way. The contractors and subcontractors are equally as excited about it and I am looking forward to watching this company transition from junior developer to miner as Kangala comes on line. It is not often that an editor gets to watch a project evolve from an empty piece of land to a full-scale mining operation. My personal list of such projects is not very long, but it is growing. There is no better feeling than watching a project evolve, tracking its development and observing it come to life. It really brings you closer to the industry and its players. Next year, I will proudly add Kangala to my list. The past month also took me past Delmas, all the way to Secunda, where I attended the Southern African Coal Processing Society’s biennual coal conference. It was fantastic to see all the major industry players under one roof. The presentations, although a little technical, helped me realise just how much effort is being put into ensuring the coal industry is sustainable well into the foreseeable future. Technologies, ideas, concepts and case studies were revealed and discussed at length. If such dedication and commitment to looking after a sector’s future is not described as passionate, I don’t know what is. Certain facts are absolutely evident, South Africa needs coal to fuel its electricity needs and there are a lot of industry experts, bodies and professionals working hard to ensure that when you switch a light on at home, it gives you light. Ensuring this On site at Universal Coal’s is a growing challenge, considering our resources are depleting and our Kangala project quality is dropping. Turn to page 48 for a round-up of the conference, followed by some input from other conference attendees. Let’s share our passion I say! Examining the coal sector holistically, South Africa is undoubtedly in a good place as we remain invested in our future. With depressed coking coal prices and a drop in demand for the product, thermal coal producers are sitting pretty. Eskom desperately needs coal and is buying it from anyone who has it on offer. What a good place to be.

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INS I DE MI NI NG 0 9 | 2 0 1 3



By Rosemary Falcon

Director, Technical Affairs, FFF

Greetings from the office of the president of the Fossil Fuel Foundation.

industries depend on coal for power, steam and chemicals. At present, renewable energy sources supply just over 1% of the power generation required by the country, nuclear power is currently on hold and alternative fossil fuels in the form of gas in its various forms are still on the ascendancy. In addition, the qualities of coal are declining and the location of sources of coal in future is likely to be further afield than is currently the case. The source of coal to ensure security of energy supply in the near future is therefore in question. Superimposed upon all this is the threat of carbon taxation and related environmental constraints on all producers and users of coal and related fossil fuels. Quo vadis? In order to balance the equations of the weaknesses outlined above, it is necessary to recognise South Africa’s strengths in addressing at least some of these issues. Commonly termed clean coal technologies, these are designed primarily for the reduction of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. It is little known that South African expertise has developed the highest levels of

SA, hold your head up high


HAT AN INTERESTING time it has been for the Cinderella of the mining industry, not least of which is how the coal industry has changed over the past 10 years. At the turn of the century, coal was a commodity sourced predominantly from five major mining companies supplying exports to lucrative markets. In a space of just over a decade, the majors have split, junior miners have burgeoned and exports have changed in direction (and quality) and mines are now supplying to the markets in the Middle and Far East. The


recognition that climate change is associated with greenhouse gas emissions has imposed upon coal a threat that could cause a major downturn in the production and use of coal as a continuing source of energy the world over. Against this backdrop, the image of coal in South Africa has taken a tumble despite the fact that this country is listed as having the highest dependence on coal in the world. Coal provides 95% of the country’s energy, almost 40% of its liquid fuels and 95% of its metallurgical carbon-based reductants. Approximately 6 000 small-scale

coal beneficiation in the world, making, in effect, ‘a silk purse out of a sow’s ear’! Cleaner or better grade coals lead to higher process efficiencies and fewer emissions. The power stations that are now being fed the lowest grades of coal in the world, with research and adaptation, are now producing some of the highest combustion efficiencies in the world. Newer clean coal technologies, advanced research and implementation are well under way in the use of biomass for co-firing with coal and in the development of cogeneration where excess hot gas is used in a secondary cycle to produce further process heat or additional power. In other spheres, South Africa is also on the way to leading the world in underground coal gasification and establishing the feasibility of storing – or even using – carbon dioxide. And so, against all odds, necessity has proved to be the mother of invention. While South Africa still has a fair way to go to reach the targets of reduced emissions announced by the president in 2012, it is well on its way and can truly hold its head up high among all other coal-dependent countries of the world!

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Junior Mining & Exploration CONFERENCE & EXHIBITION 5, 6 and 7 November 2013 the forum, the campus, Bryanston, Johannesburg, South Africa

Discussing the challenges facing junior miners in Africa and exploring potential solutions Top of the agenda at this year’s event: • The labour situation and what can be done to diffuse it, including what miners can do independently of unions to reduce workplace tension • Accessing capital in a constrained global financial environment and when market sentiment is so negative • Creating the necessary enabling environment for mining to flourish in South Africa • The MPRDA: the 2013 Amendment Act and the draft Amendment Bill • Maintaining your social licence to operate: environmental sustainability and SLPs

What are the benefits of attending? • Participate in the only conference aimed exclusively at junior miners in South Africa! • Uncover investment opportunities and successful strategies for junior to mid-tier mining companies from exploration to production • Learn how to access capital for junior mining projects • Discover how to participate in aligning government, labour and industry sector initiatives and creating a harmonious labour market • Learn how to forge a common purpose between industry and communities to maintain your social licence to operate Researched and developed by:

Supported by:

Mining companies / junior mining companies • Dr. Lelau Mohuba, Chief Executive Officer, Sephaku Holdings • Andre Bojé, Chief Executive Officer, Wescoal • Harry Mtshweni, Director, NEO Resources • James Allan, Chief Executive Officer, Sable Platinum • Ted Blom, President & Chief Executive Officer, GNCC • Dr. Johnson Mahlangu, Chief Executive Officer, Leeba Mining Labour unions / labour specialists • Senior representative, NUM • Tony Healy, Owner, Tony Healy and Associates • Gideon du Plessis, General Secretary, Solidarity Analysts / consultants / visionaries • Clem Sunter, Scenario Planner • Lara Smith, Managing Director, Core Consultants • Grant Mitchell, Mining Policy Consultant • Jacques Erasmus, Head of Mining, Southern Africa, KPMG • Chris Hart, Chief Strategist, Investment Solutions • Andrew van Zyl, Principal Consultant, SRK Consulting • Briony Liber, Associate Partner & Principal Environmental Consultant, SRK Consulting • Koos Vivier, Director & Geohydrologist, Ages Group Association representatives • Vusi Mabena, Head for Transformation, Chamber of Mines • Stewart Foya, Manager: Mineral Resources and Engineering Geology Unit, Council for Geoscience • Peter Temane, Chairman, South African Mining Development Association (SAMDA) Lawyers / advocates • Adam Gunn, Partner, Warburton Gunn Attorneys • Hulme Scholes, Partner, Malan Scholes • Brandon Irsigler, Director, Norton Rose Solution providers • Murray Macnab, GM: Mining, TWP • Dr. Graham Herbert, MD, Teba VIP CODE: P3341INSMIN

TO REGISTER: +27 11 771 7000

Fax the below form to 011 880 6789 or for more information call 011 771 7000 or visit Title: _________________ Name: ________________________________________________________________________________________________ Company: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Job title: ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Tel. no: ____________________________________________________ Fax no: __________________________________________________________ Email address: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Please send me further information about the 2 nd Annual Junior Mining & Exploration Conference & Exhibition



The opencast ABOVE Liviero's plant is valued in excess of R700 million OPPOSITE Liviero completed the civil work surface infrastructure for Bakubung MAIN IMAGE Mining at Vanggatfontein


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alternative Multidisciplinary construction firm Liviero’s growth strategy was enabled when group CEO Neil Cloete joined the company in March 2011, allowing the company to expand its presence in the mining  sector. And it successfully has, writes Laura Cornish.


UGUST 2013 represents a major milestone in Liviero’s history: 30 years of successful business as the biggest privately owned multidisciplinary contractor in South Africa – employing about 2 000 people. It also represents the company’s successful entrance into the opencast mining arena, having completed its first contract mining year at Keaton Energy’s Delmas-based Vanggatfontein coal mine, to much acclaim.

Mining kick-off “A large contributing factor to our successful entrance into opencast mining is our plant hire business, which has been providing heavy plant and equipment into the sector for years. Not only did it provide us with the necessary experience, but it guaranteed a highproduction, low-cost operation attributable to the right fleet of equipment, which we continue to achieve,” Cloete outlines. While the Vanggatfontein contract remains the company’s only mining contract for now, it demonstrates Liviero’s capabilities and dedication to the job, which in essence entails meeting monthly production targets. “Moving 1.5 million bank cubic metres per month is no small feat, but for us it is just the tip of the production iceberg. Our ultimate intention is to move up to 50 million bank cubic metres annually, a goal we consider achievable in the medium term, especially in the wake of pending new contracts. The junior coal sector In each issue, Inside Mining offers advertisers the opportunity to promote their company’s products and services to the appropriate audience by booking the prime position of the front cover, which includes a two-page feature article. The magazine offers advertisers an ideal platform to ensure the maximum exposure of their brand. Please call +27(0)11 465 5452 to secure your booking.

INSID E M IN IN G 0 9 | 2013



TOP LEFT & RIGHT Liviero's first process plant under construction

is vibrant, and we believe there is plenty of opportunity to take on new contracts in this specific area of the mining field, particularly in light of the Medupi and Kusile power stations coming on stream in the next two years,” Cloete reveals. And while its main focus remains in South Africa, the company is perfectly comfortable evaluating opportunities and taking on new business across border within the SADC region in countries such as Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique. “The intention is to be smart and patient. Mozambique holds ample opportunity for us, but remains severely restricted by infrastructure challenges. Achieving success in Africa is all about evaluating potential, understanding risk and getting the timing right.” “Ultimately, we have every confidence of becoming a mid-tier opencast mining contractor, focused specifically on coal but open to hard rock mining applications as well.” Nehan Deysel joined Liviero in 2012 as Liviero Mining’s director-in-charge. Deysel is an opencast mining expert, having work previously at Sentula (Scharrighuisen

at the time) and MCC, one of the largest opencast mining contractors in Africa. Liviero may be considered a junior mining contractor, but its fleet is impressive and boasts Liebherr’s largest excavator: a 250 t machine, which is large, even for big multinationals operating in the opencast market. The Vanggatfontein fleet on-site – as new as the contract itself – includes 12 Cat 777 rigid trucks, 100 t class machines recognised for their heavy-duty capabilities and 24 Volvo A40 (40 t payload) ADTs. The majority of its excavators are Liebherrs.

Liviero Plant Cloete says: “Our policy is to own our plant and equipment, which is valued in excess of R700 million. We associate with worldclass brands, including Cat, Liebherr and Volvo, which we believe is key to ensuring Liviero itself is recognised as an outstanding brand. These are global companies with the highest reputations. Their machines are tested in the global market and they deliver high standards of back-up support. “We also have a strategic replacement strategy for our fleet, which includes keeping it modern and in line with current trends and demands. Maintaining our fleet properly to ensure it delivers the best

The perfect combination – Neil Cloete and Luca Liviero Cloete is no stranger to the construction and mining industry, having previously fulfilled the role of MD at Aveng Grinaker-LTA. Liviero chairman, Luca Liviero (the son of the founder, Giosue Liviero), together with his right hand man, Cloete, has grown the company organically in the past two years. “My appointment and position has provided Luca with the time and energy

“We hav have ve every confidence of becoming a mid-t ie opencast mining contractor, mid-tier ffocused ocused do on coal, but open to hard rock m in nin as well.” Neil Cloete, group CEO mining t focus fo ocu on exploring new growth avenues. Working closely to toge eth together, we have also provided the Liviero group with stability and d focused fo and heavily on attracting talent into the organisation and d putting p and the right systems and governance in place. The comb combination of all these business elements enables us to deliv e deliver to our clients’ needs and simultaneously grow the co om company,” Cloete explains.

10 INS I DE MI NI N G 0 9 | 2 0 1 3

production deliverables is, however, equally as important. It is all about finding the right balance; something we are achieving thanks to Liviero Plant, whose sole responsibility is to manage and maintain our fleet.”

Liviero Building and Civils The company’s mining exposure and project work extends to every Liviero operating company, including its foundation business units of Liviero Building and Liviero Civils. “Our civils mining portfolio is also achieving respectable growth levels as our client list ranges from mining juniors to mining majors.” The company is currently building a largescale water processing plant that will convert Witbank coal mine water into a potable drinking product. This project falls on the back of Liviero’s first entire mining process plant project, which it completed a few years back for platinum junior Platmin’s Pilanesburg project on the Bushveld Complex Western Limb. “We successfully completed the civil work surface infrastructure for Wesizwe Platinum’s new Bakubung platinum mine, specifically the heavy civils work for the shaft collars and pre-sink requirements. In addition, we have constructed a 24 km overland conveyor, a 12 km access road and various internal civil works (reservoirs, pipework, platforms, etc.) for Sasol Mining’s greenfield Impumelelo coal project,” adds Liviero Civils’s MD, Stuart Knight. “Ultimately, we want our mining brand and capabilities out there. We now offer the industry a one-stop-shop service through our various business units, from earthworks and civils through to building, mining and even rehabilitation. Unlike some of our competitors, we are small enough to provide our customers with individual attention, but big enough to deliver projects of any scale. We have retained our family business values, which focus on being adaptive, flexible, entrepreneurial, quick on decision-making, safety conscious and less bureaucratic,” Cloete sums up.





011 922 3300

East London

043 727 1057

Cape Town

021 531 8110


031 717 2300


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Cementing its leading Astec Industries Group aims to expand its presence in the mining sector and wholly owned subsidiary Osborn is perfectly suited, and positioned, to help realise this strategy.


HE JOURNEY OSBORN and Astec have taken since merging in 2000 has been a prosperous one. Already one of South Africa’s leading materials handling and crushing and screening contractors, the company has grown substantially thanks to its expanded product line distribution licence agreements in sub-Saharan Africa from Astec. “The coal sector in particular continues to drive a lot of revenue for the company, with a solid South African footprint. After all, we were acquired by Anglo American decades ago as a result of our coal handling ability. We have also been successful in the country’s biggest commodity growth areas of iron ore and manganese. So much so that we plan to open a branch in the Northern Cape to expand on our current representation,” says Osborn’s sales director Noel Bessler. “We are also recognised for our full back-up service for all the product ranges.”

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The company recently introduced a focused export sales business arm (for Osborn products), which is doing well in far off places such as Russia, South America and Kazakhstan, in addition to Southern Africa. “We are a specialised mining and construction company with almost a century of experience. Our depth of knowledge and experience in these sectors will ensure our position within the Astec Group is of extreme importance as the company looks to expand its global mining presence,” says Bessler. Osborn’s in-house range of equipment, coupled with its distribution licence agreements, is extensive and constitutes one of Astec’s largest divisions: aggregate and mining. The company will be exhibiting a number of products during the Bauma Africa exhibition, aimed at cementing its service offering to current and potential clients. One of the company’s most exciting product lines, from BTI, will be on show at Bauma. The rock breakers are increasingly sought after for their reliability and simple

design. Over the past decade, since Osborn started managing the sales and marketing for BTI (also a member of the Atec Industries Group), BTI’s growth in the sub-Saharan region has been significant. Bessler is looking forward to showcasing Osborn’s latest product line, which is from KPI-JCI and includes a range of vertical and horizontal shaft impactors. “This equipment is brand new to Osborn and enables us to compete in new markets.” Bessler adds: “One of the unique features of the KPI-JCI vertical shaft impactor (VSI) is its versatility. The same machine can be configured to run in standard, semi-autogenous and fully autogenous modes. The VSI crushers deliver highly consistent end products, are available in both stationary and portable configurations, and crank out up to 500 tph production output.” Another machine that will be proudly on display at the Bauma exhibition is Astec Mobile Screen’s high-frequency screen, engineered to provide higher production


industry position capacities and more efficient sizing compared to conventional screens. High-frequency screens feature aggressive vibration applied directly to the screen, which allows for the highest capacity in the market for the removal and separation of fine material, as well as chip sizing, dry-manufactured sand and more. Osborn’s internal range of equipment adds further diversity to the entire product and service offering, and has been aligned to be complementary to its distribution product licence ranges. While the company will only have its locally designed and built track jaw crusher plants on display, it is also well recognised for its apron feeders, rotary breakers, single and double toggle jaw crushers, which in many cases are recognised as household names. The product line also includes: • a range of big screening and vibrating equipment • modular crushing and screening plants, which have performed and sold very well in the Northern Cape • minerals sizers, which the company first introduced two years ago • an idler manufacturing business (mining main focus).

Larger solutions like modular plants, which will not be on display due to size and cost limitations, will also be available in multimedia format for viewing at the show. Looking at the modular jaw crusher, Bessler notes how new and existing customers are recognising the value of Osborn’s ‘plant in a box’.

the quick tram mode that is unique to American Augers’ equipment,” Bessler explains. “The mid-sized DD-110 horizontal directional drill is a self-contained unit that excels in hard-to-reach jobsites and boasts the most rotary torque in its class (18 982 Nm).” Bessler points out that the GEFCO product

“We are a specialised mining and construction company with almost a century of experience.” Noel Bessler, sales director, Osborn “For customers seeking equipment that is easier to transport, our modular plants offer an affordable solution that fits the bill.” Such plants are ideal for quick plant expansions and are available in four different sizes: 2540, 3042, 3055 and 3648. The modular cone crushing plants come in sizes 38, 44, 52 and 57 and the modular screening plants in 6 x 16 inches and 6 x 20 double and triple decks. Osborn will also showcase an American Augers DD-110 horizontal directional drill. American Augers’ auger boring machines are designed for the fast, efficient installation of wider diameter pipes from 450 to 3 500 mm. “They eliminate the safety risks associated with traditional tunnelling methods like pipe jacking and are more efficient by using LEFT Osborn supplies modular plants to the mining sector BELOW KPI-JCI vertical shaft impactor

range falls in line with Astec’s focus on the energy sector, as gas continues to become an increasingly attractive alternative to coal for power generation. GEFCO Inc., which will also have a presence at Bauma, is a world leader in the design and manufacture of portable drilling rigs and related equipment for the water well, environmental, groundwater monitoring, construction, mining and shallow oil and gas exploration and production industries. Osborn/ NCP offers a wide range of standard and custom designed mills. Sizes range from 1.6 m up to 11.6 m in diameter for various mining operations. Osborn has over 220 mills in operation globally. The mill range includes AG, SAG, ball, rod and pebble mills.

BAUMA AFRICA 2013 Osborn can be found at stand D 10 in the outdoor area at Bauma Africa 2013

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Tipping Sentula’s scale Sentula Mining is undergoing a major face change as it looks to focus and invest in its money-generating businesses, which no longer include coal, CEO Robin Berry tells Laura Cornish.

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ENTULA’S COAL asset portfolio, which includes an operational anthracite operation in South Africa and numerous exploration deposits in various SADC countries, is up for sale. The company has decided to instead focus on what may have previously been considered its secondary business arm: mining services. “These are the businesses that generate the cash and we have revised our strategy to maximise on the potential these companies have to offer,” says Berry, who adds that the company has much to benefit from its new business approach. “Divesting our coal stakes will help alleviate our debt levels and has always been an option on the table for us. We have increased the confidence levels in our coal exploration assets, increasing their value for potential buyers.” In 2007/8, the company acquired the majority of its coal asset stakes, the anchor being Koornfontein. “In 2010 we disposed of our stake in Koornfontein to reduce the company’s debt, thanks to an opportunity to sell it at fair value. It was a good deal from both parties’ perspective. Without that asset, we either had to bulk up with another significant stake or dispose assets through a single deal or individually. While we have chosen the disposal route, we retained them long enough to move them up the value


curve. Schoongezicht, for example, was sold for R22 million, an asset we acquired for R6 million. There is similar value uplift in all of our assets.” Sentula is actively pursuing potential buyers (including Miranda Minerals) for its coal assets. Berry notes that transactions will be in place for all of them by the end of March 2014. MAIN IMAGE The majority of Benicon's business is in the coal sector BELOW Sentula will merge Benicon and CCT early next year

“By early next year, we will have completely repositioned ourselves as a bulk earthmoving, drill and blast, crane hire and exploration services company. We are nicely diversified and will focus on how best to extract healthy margins from our own operations,” Berry sums up. “As a purely mining services business, there are also opportunities to look at gaps in our service offering. We have early stage exploration services (upfront work with insight into what mines are coming), earthmoving, and drill and blasting – covering all mining aspects. The gap in our portfolio

Sentula’s mining investments • Nkomati Anthracite (South Africa) – 60% - opencast mining was suspended during March 2011, pending the approval of the operation’s EMP addendum – subsequently approved by the DMR - the decision to place the mine on care and maintenance, with the suspension of the underground operations during May 2011, was taken, while the mine progressed the approval of its integrated water use licence - the mine received its integrated water use licence in November 2012 and commenced with the construction of water management infrastructure and dewatering operations. • Sentula exploration (South Africa) – 100% - Schoongezicht (prospecting licence) – disposed of for cash consideration of R22 million - Bankfontein (mining right awarded) – proceeding with disposal process with identified parties. • Indongo (Zambia) – 25% - a small-scale mining licence for the initial opencast area of the Mulungwa project has been awarded and continues to be maintained - continuous assessment of opportunities to monetise the asset. • Mabapa (South Africa) – 75% stake - prospecting licence being maintained - exploration remains in abeyance - exploring avenues to dispose of this stake. • Asenjo (Botswana) – 25% stake - exploration and feasibility work has continued in line with the defined work programme - prospecting rights extended for a further one year from June 2013 - having disposed of the Lechana prospect during the 2013 financial year, shareholders have engaged an advisor to facilitate a disposal process for the remaining assets - a recently received expression of interest underpins the value attached to these assets

lies in mine design, to a small extent, and minerals processing, which we would add through an acquisition or joint venture.”

Benicon and CCT The biggest challenge in the opencast mining sector is not work availability, but rather about how capacity is utilised to extract decent margins. Contractors in this market are being driven by price pressure from clients needing to keep costs in check as well as from internal pressures such as labour, rand-dollar exchange rates, etc. “Benicon is well regarded in the mining industry, particularly in the coal sector, and I am confident this business will continue to be successful. It is already fully contracted for the 2014 year. Benicon owns an equipment hire company (with an equipment fleet of 18) in Mozambique, which operates through Geosearch’s local branch. “This provides us with an active footprint and will springboard us into a major contract.” In December 2012, Benicon successfully merged with Sentula’s Megacube opencast contracting business, which included three contracts. Two were completed in March 2013 and the third, for Keaton Energy’s Vanggatfontein mine, was not renewed. “We were fortunately awarded a new waste and ore load and haul contract with Anglo American Platinum’s Mogalakwena operation shortly after our contract concluded. “We have decided to merge all of our opencast businesses going forwards, which includes CCT, Sentula’s hard rock opencast contractor, currently subcontracting to Samancor on a number of projects through Benicon.” The company is also fully contracted for 2014.

Geosearch African exploration specialist Geosearch has a good, but volatile, track record and relies heavily on the status of the global economy. “The double recession we are experiencing now means demand is slow as exploration budgets take massive cuts. The company has been largely exposed to South Africa’s platinum sector until the middle of last year, with subdued interest picking up at the beginning of this year. This has impacted the local workload substantially. For now, and into the foreseeable future, as much as 90% of Geosearch’s business will be generated outside of South Africa. Even so,

INSID E M IN IN G 0 9 | 2013 15


Sentula is actively pursuing potential buyers (including Miranda Minerals) for its coal assets gold exploration in Central and East Africa is significantly down and this, along with logistical uncertainty for Mozambique’s coal sector, means business across the most lucrative mining territory remains tight. “We are in the process of restructuring this business – down to the bones – to ensure it can sustain its presence in current jurisdictions while preparing for the upturn when it

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comes.” Its African track record shows it to be comfortable operating in Africa, especially in countries such as Ethiopia, the Ivory Coast, DRC, Botswana and Mozambique.

Jef Drill & Blast Berry believes the opportunities for growth within the company’s drill and blast company, Jef Drill & Blast, are substantial. “The

majority of this company’s growth will emerge from projects in Africa, where we are looking at projects in Mozambique, Tanzania and the northern DRC.” The company has a substantial local client base, including most major blue chip coal companies.

Ritchie Crane Hire Ritchie also stands on a growth platform, particularly in South Africa where demand for mobile crane hire will be driven through the country’s large infrastructure and coal mining projects such as Kusile Power Station. For now, the company remains a solid contributor through its position as a mediumand heavy-duty mobile crane hire company in the Mpumalanga region, supported by dedicated rigging expertise. It has contracts in place to supply crane services to Anglo American Thermal Coal, Samancor, Eskom and Xstrata Coal. The 2013 financial year saw Ritchie invest in a new 220 t crane and two 50 t mobile cranes.

Visit us at Bauma Africa, Gallagher Estate, September 18-21st, Outdoor stand D31



A negative impact on

mining and economic growth

There is a concern that a rapid movement towards renewables and the introduction of a carbon tax could slow South Africa’s economic growth and employment potential, without achieving the goals its proponents have put forward. By Rob Jeffrey, MD of Econometrix


HREE KEY PRIORITIES of policy are, firstly, alleviating poverty and creating employment; secondly, focusing attention on developing its goods-producing industries and, thirdly, making South Africa more productive by ensuring that we remain globally competitive. The impact of cost increases in electricity supply is therefore of critical importance to the country. Proponents of the move to renewables and a carbon tax list a number of potential advantages. In summary, they will help reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and hence contribute to a reduction in global warming by encouraging energy suppliers to make use of lower carbon techniques and users to move to alternative lower carbon sources of energy. The electricity sector is responsible for approximately 48% of South Africa’s carbon emissions as a result of its dependence on coal. As far as domestic users are concerned, it may well be possible, at a cost, to move over a relatively short period of time to other sources of electricity, primarily solar energy. However, domestic use accounts for only about 26% of total electricity usage. The primary users of electricity in South Africa are the all-important mining and manufacturing industries. They certainly

ABOVE The electricity sector accounts for about 48% of South Africa's carbon emmissions

INS I DE MIINING NI NG 0098 | |2 2 E M 00 11 33 18 INSID


can and will improve their efficiency, but this is a long-term process. This generally involves investment in more expensive and more efficient modern plant and equipment. Notwithstanding this, there can only be a slow improvement on the side of these industries and they are limited by their electricity sources, as Eskom is their sole supplier for their baseload power. In this country, over 80% of electricity supply is coal-fired. Levying a carbon tax on Eskom will have little impact in the short term on South Africa’s energy mix. In the long term, as set out in the government’s Integrated Resource Plan for Electricity, there will be a movement towards other energy sources. In this case, the plan is to move to much more expensive wind, solar and nuclear electricity sources. Gas is another potential source that needs to be considered as it could prove to be a far cheaper and abundant alternative. In the short term, the additional cost of the tax will simply be passed on to consumers in the form of higher tariffs. In the long term, there will be the higher costs of the more expensive sources of electricity. Notwithstanding the claimed advantages, one must preserve a competitive cost structure for industry. South Africa is not in the same position as European countries, which can hook into a vast electricity power grid with alternative energy sources when shortages of electricity from less reliable sources of power arise. The European power grid has many alternative sources of power generation ranging from coal-fired power stations in Poland to nuclear stations in France, while some countries such as Norway, Sweden and Switzerland are dependent on hydropower. Already the selected wind-powered option in Europe is proving to be uneconomic and highly unpopular. There have been numerous and expensive delays in the delivery of supporting infrastructure, while supply is proving to be unreliable and expensive. A recent article in The Economist highlighted the problems facing Germany’s ‘Energiewende’ [energy transition]. The aim of this policy is to phase out fossil fuels and nuclear power, and move to renewables, primarily wind and solar. The article stated that the process “undermines Germany’s claim to efficiency, threatens its vaunted competitiveness and unnecessarily burdens households”. Costs are expected to double

“as prices for natural gas and electricity in North America are plunging, thanks to the shale revolution, so Germany’s most energy-intensive industries are now eyeing expansion on the other side of the Atlantic”. Many people are taking a lead recently given by President Obama, whereby the US is to impose a tax on carbon emissions of coal-fired power stations. How this eventually plays out and whether this will be a good thing for the US, only time will tell. However, the US is very different to South Africa. It currently has a plentiful and growing supply of gas. Energy prices have, as a result, already fallen significantly, and

households over the next seven years. The economic impact of the price increases will insidiously be felt over a period of time, as decreased investment and other negative impacts filter through the economy. By 2021, it is estimated that the carbon tax alone would result in a -0.3% reduction in the potential annual growth of the GDP. This would be accompanied by a reduction in the cumulative potential employment creation of approximately 650 000 persons by 2021. If indeed the real price of electricity does double, these figures could increase by at least 50%. These are serious numbers, making employment creation targets of some

By 2021, it is estimated that carbon tax alone would result in a -0.3% reduction in the potential annual growth of the GDP this is leading to a renaissance in its manufacturing and industrial sector. The introduction of the tax in South Africa will increase prices and place the country at a considerable competitive disadvantage. This is particularly important for the goods-producing industries, especially the mining and manufacturing industries. An initial carbon tax of R120 per tonne of carbon dioxide emissions above certain threshold limits has been proposed for introduction in 2015. Thereafter this tax will increase by 10% per annum until the end of 2019. Because it will be passed on to customers, the initial proposed tax implies an increase of approximately 18% in the cost of electricity supplied to users. By the end of 2019 this would amount to an increase in the real price of electricity of 29% for the average consumer. Even with the proposed discounts of 60% to selected industries, this implies that the carbon tax alone will, by 2020, result in an increase in the real price of electricity at approximately 12%. The tax, together with the shift to renewables, could conceivably lead to a doubling of the real price of electricity to both business and

five million additional productive jobs for the economy by 2020 impossible to achieve. The impacts on the mining and manufacturing sectors are of particular concern. The mining and manufacturing industries are important contributors to the economy, representing 9% and 14% of South Africa’s GDP respectively. Their impact on the total economy, however, is far greater through their linkages with other important sectors of the economy. Importantly, these two sectors account for over 75% of the country’s exports by value. It is not an understatement to say that the well-being of the country is critically dependent on the good performance and the growth of these two sectors. Their continuing and improving global competitiveness is vital if this is to be achieved. They are essential for the economic and employment growth of the economy, as the country is, and will continue to be, dependent on their exports and their ability to limit the necessity to import goods. These two sectors are electricityintensive. Their capability to affect shortterm improvements in carbon efficiency will prove to be a slow process. In short,

INSID E M IN IN G 0 9 | 2013 19


ABOVE & BOTTOM Levying a carbon tax on Eskom will have little impact on South Africa's energy mix in the short term (Images: Anglo American)

a price increase on the scale envisaged by the introduction of the move to renewables and the carbon tax negatively impacts the entire economy with particularly severe impacts on the mining and manufacturing sectors. It is estimated that based on the introduction of the carbon tax alone: • The mining sector would, by 2021, have a cumulative GDP contribution of 2.7% less than would have been the case if the carbon tax had not been introduced. Recent growth in the sector has been limited and it can be anticipated that, in the absence of other measures, these trends could continue and the sector could well show little growth. • The manufacturing sector would, by 2021, have a cumulative GDP contribution of 1.1% less than would have been the case if the carbon tax had not been introduced. The above would be accompanied by a reduction in the cumulative potential employment creation of approximately 8% or about 70 000 fewer jobs in these two sectors alone. These numbers could easily increase by a further 50% as a result of the cost of moving to renewables. The knock-on effect from these two important sectors leads to an extremely poor performance of the total economy. The fact is that global markets are extremely price competitive, their ability to pass on costs is at best limited and exports will be

20 INSID E M INING 0 9 | 2 0 1 3

impaired. At the same time, local production will be less import-competitive. The result is a double effect on the balance of payments. This will result in further deterioration in the current account of the balance of payments and further depreciation of the rand, which would slow economic growth and have inflationary consequences for the economy. The negative impact on South Africa’s competitiveness could lead to a withdrawal of investment or, at minimum, international investors would prefer to expand in more economically friendly and more competitive countries. It is also interesting to note that the higher electricity costs may result in the exact opposite of one of its key objectives, namely reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. The mineral beneficiation industry is a case in point. This industry is of critical importance to South Africa, being a value-added process, and an important contributor to South Africa’s exports. International producers may plan their increases in capacity in other countries with possibly lower emissions standards than South Africa. Global carbon emissions could well rise rather than fall. It has been said that carbon finance should be a substantial opportunity for developing economies, as it is a way to promote new development projects such as renewable energy. It appears that, in reality, the benefits are at best difficult

to achieve and at worst do not exist. In Europe many projects are falling behind. The above discussion underlines the concern that the far too rapid movement towards renewables and the introduction of a carbon tax will slow South Africa’s economic growth, reduce its employment potential and raise unemployment levels, while not achieving the goals its proponents claim will be achieved. It would certainly detrimentally affect South Africa’s business sector and reduce the attractiveness of South Africa as an investment destination for its all-important goods-producing sectors. It could be an expensive price for South Africa to pay at a critical stage in its economic and political development. The problem of climate change is a global problem, but South Africa, as an emerging economy, is going to pay a considerably higher price than many other emerging and advanced  economies. Our contribution to reducing global climate change will be less than measurable, but our sacrifice will be enormous. Unfortunately, the major sacrifices will be paid for by the already disadvantaged, not by the privileged few who, in general, are those most in favour of its introduction.

Rob Jeffrey is a member of the Fossil Fuel Foundation JEFFREY joined the Nedcor Group in 1969 as an investment analyst and was appointed investment manager of the merchant bank after gaining experience in London. In 1975, he moved into the construction industry as a financial director and became MD of Dorbyl Structural Engineering and a member of the group executive committee. He later joined Murray and Roberts with responsibility for a number of diverse industrial, electronic- and engineering companies. Jeffrey was chairman of the Constructional Engineers Association (CEA), the CEA representative on SEIFSA, an executive member of the Association of Steel Merchant Stockholders, as well as being active on a number of other councils and committees. For more than 20 years, he has been involved in consulting to a range of clients in investment, business and economic analysis, strategic planning, organisation structuring, mergers and acquisitions. Jeffrey has worked closely with Econometrix for many years and joined the team to head up a business unit in 2004. He was recently appointed MD.


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MAIN IMAGE Removing ore from the box cut OPPOSITE TOP Development of the box cut is well under way to get to the first coal seam

HE GLOBAL COAL sector has changed dramatically in the past year. “In terms of sentiment, Australia is in a worse state than South Africa. Today, if you own coal, securing a sales contract with Eskom almost certainly guarantees the viability of your project,” Tony Weber, Universal Coal CEO, states upfront. “Our imminent production from Kangala, Eskom supply contract and project pipeline showcases an attractive investment, despite the regulations climate and uncertainty the country is facing.” This also means that plans for an inward, local listing on the JSE remain a priority for the company. Having secured all necessary regulatory requirements, the company’s 146.8 Mt resource Kangala mine, situated in Mpumalanga’s Delmas region, is undeniably on track to reach first production early next year. “We have an off-take agreement with Eskom in place. The mine will supply 2  Mtpa of thermal coal to the state-owned energy

enterprise. “We have our mining right (18 months post application), environmental authorisation and a water licence intact. Having successfully raised A$13.5 million (R125.95 million) last December, the project is also fully financed (BEE partner Mountain Rush, which owns 29.5% of Kangala, financially contributed its share). We also have a good management team in place seeing the project move successfully into production,” Weber adds.

The mine Activity on-site is bustling. Excavation of the massive pollution control dam (200 000 million litres of water) is under way and will be completed mid-October, before the rain starts. On-site haulage roadways are complete and civil foundations for the plant are in process. Most importantly, the construction of the box cut is already far advanced. The plant will receive its first coal in November, in preparation for


Race to the production starting line INS IIN NS SII DE DEE M MIINING M I NI N I NG N G 0098 | |2 2 00 11 33 22 2 2 INSID


the official commercial production in February 2014. “In order to achieve our target to test commission the plant, our cuts must be open and ready in November so we can provide coal. However, all project elements (infrastructure, process plant, mining pit, discard facility) must develop simultaneously to ensure a functional and operational site,” explains Universal Coal’s engineering manager, Petrie Erasmus. “In order to deliver 2 Mtpa (200 000 tpm) to Eskom, our ROM production rate will be just above that (2.4 Mtpa). The project has a very low stripping ratio (1.6:1),” Weber notes. For now, Kangala consists of a single pit with an eight-year lifespan, although there is a plan to introduce a second contiguous pit

Kangala consists of a single pit with an eight-year lifespan, although there is a plan to introduce a second contiguous pit (65 Mt of measured, indicated and inferred resource), with another eight years of life, in the short term. In addition to its local supply contract, Universal Coal has also concluded a deal to supply 100  000  tpa to a nearby Exxaro mine or the export market.

Stefanutti Stocks Mining Services’ (SSMS) contract mining arm has been awarded the full eight-year mining contract as part of a larger turnkey contract solution. “This is significant considering it’s the longest mining contract ever awarded to us. The average mining contract ranges between three and five years. We have also assisted with mine planning and design, which led to the construction of infrastructure on-site as well as management of the discard handling facility,” says Freddie Strydom, SSMS contracts director. “Our approach is lean and mean, and fits in perfectly with a junior like Universal Coal,” Strydom adds. In order to deliver its mining production targets, SSMS must move 450 000 cubic tonnes of overburden and 210  000 t of coal per month on average for eight years. “We chose a Komatsu mining fleet and have complete faith in the machine capabilities.” The fleet includes: • 60 t RHD465 rigid dump trucks • 40  t HM400-3s ADTs (SSMS is the first company to use these in South Africa)

ASX-listed coal junior Universal Coal has made significant strides over the past 12 months. Despite a tough economic climate, especially for juniors with South African deposits, the company has pushed its primary coal project, Kangala, forward and will produce its first coal early next year, writes Laura Cornish.

INSID E M IN IN G 0 9 | 2013 23


• PC850 excavators • D275 track dozers • WD500 wheel dozer The pit itself will comprise three or sometimes four different seams, which Universal Coal has defined. “The M seam is our upper first seam, containing the export quality coal. Underneath lie the BA and BB seams, which although separated by a small parting, are considered a single seam 2.5 m thick. The widest seam (BCC), at between 8 and 9 m, will be crushing and screened. On occasion we will mine the BD seam as well, which is about 2 m wide,” explains Universal Coal’s chief development engineer, Kevin Donaldson. The pit will extend no deeper than 30 m. The mine will obtain its water requirements from boreholes to avoid putting strain on the Delmas water supply. The boreholes will supply potable water and enough water to start the plant. Agreements are in place to access additional water should Kangala require it. The discard coal facility, with an inner slimes ring, is about double the area of the pollution control dam and has been designed to prevent environment contamination. It will comprise a piping netKevin Donaldson, work below the surface chief development engineer, to ensure ‘polluted’ Universal Coal water settles in the pollution dam only. “The mine surrounds a wetland, which Universal Coal has undertaken to protect at all odds. We have enclosed the area and will analyse the water constantly to ensure it is not being polluted,” Donaldson points out.

“The mine surrounds a wetland, which Universal Coal has undertaken to protect at all odds.”

The plant Kangala was originally scheduled for production start-up in April 2014, but thanks to the accelerated plant build, first coal will be in February. This is due to its fit-for-purpose design and modular build, says Mineral Resource Development (MRD) operational director, Harry Larkins. MRD was awarded the full turnkey contract for the process plant and, in joint venture with SSMS, was able to reduce the overall capital costs on the project significantly, ensuring its viability. “Our contract includes all plant elements, from water and mass balances through to process design, equipment selection, costing of capex and opex, and control philosophy. PJ Tech, subcontracted to MRD, is responsible for all structural design,”


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Combined experience in the following arenas is over 75 years: sGold s Platinum s Diamonds s Coal s Chrome s Vanadium s Heavy Minerals sDump Reclamation




All modular elements of the plant are being constructed on PJ Tech’s property in Middleburg, where they will be tested before taken to site

Larkins explains. All modular elements of the plant are being constructed on PJ Tech’s property in Middleburg, where they will be tested before taken to site. Building the plant off-site in a controlled environment reduces problem areas from occurring when erected and commissioned on-site. “It is all about quality management.” The plant will be a dual circuit operation, comprising a 250 tph (or 1.5 Mtpa) dense medium separation (DMS) washing circuit (for the M, AB and BB softer ores) and a 350 tph (or 2 Mtpa) crushing and screening circuit for the hard BCC seam, which requires blasting. This means that the plant is already larger than the original Kangala production rate, making it ready for an expanded production while accommodating over-capacity during the raining season or sufficient catchup capacity if necessary. It will be fully automated and include a full scadar installation. “We envisage tipping the ore directly into the bins from the mine and have further allowed for a stockpile area that can accommodate 10 000 t of ROM material on top of the loader operation pad. A slew conveyor will accommodate Eskom’s requirement for pre-qualification of stockpiles before shipment,” Larkins outlines. “Because the in-situ qualities of the coal are close to Eskom spec, and often higher, the DMS can be used as grade control, although we have included auto samplers to measure the grade of stockpiles, crushing and screening and DMS qualities,” he continues. The inherent moisture of Kangala’s coal is higher than average. “To combat that, we will put in a geomembrane lined herring bone drain to drain moisture underneath the stockpiles. A great deal of effort went into designing an ergonomic plant that complies with Universal Coal’s health and safety standards, Larkins notes. “All the equipment selected for the plant was also awarded to reputable companies with good track records. This means our plant is technologically modern and robust. The use of a rotary breaker (from Osborn), for example, reduces the tonnages of shale that will report to the DMS plant. We partnered with Osborn on the rotary breaker and two TOP Structural steel elements for the plant LEFT (From left) Jaco Nel, site manager, Stefanutti Stocks; Johan Olwage, contract manager, Stefanutti Stocks; Petrie Erasmus, engineer manager, Universal Coal; Komatsu drivers, Stefanutti Stocks; Kevin Donaldson, chief development engineer, Universal Coal

26 INS I DE MI NI NG 0 9 | 2 0 1 3


apron feeders due to the company’s superior knowledge of the equipment suited to the South African coal market.” The plant will comprise two 120 m3 feed bins, designed for two 65 t tipper trucks. Its footprint is compact – 140 x 220  m – and it is energy efficient and will be onsite and ready for cold commissioning in November. “We spent a lot of time selecting qualified people for the job and are employing and training local people from the Delmas area. Our contract includes plant operation and maintenance as well,” Larkins adds. Because of its dual structure, MRD will employ 68 people in total to run it. The maintenance contract encompasses all mine infrastructure maintenance, including power and water reticulation. Maintenance platforms have also been designed into the plant’s structure to ensure ease of maintenance and minimal downtime.

The rest of the Universal Coal portfolio The company has an additional four projects

Crushing and screening plant module

in its pipeline, two similar to Kangala. Combined, their JORC-compliant resource is 1.9 billion tonnes (thermal and coking coal). Kriel-based Roodekop is likely to be its next development project, although a water use licence, which was submitted over a year ago, is still pending. Universal Coal expects to receive it in the first half of 2014. “Our feasibility study confirms Roodekop to be a 1  Mtpa ROM thermal coal operation. It is also situated directly adjacent to Exxaro’s 1.5 Mtpa New Clydesdale colliery, which is currently up for sale. It is anyone’s mine right now, but the synergies it has

for us and Roodekop are significant,” Weber mentions. As a stand-alone operation, the CEO believes Roodekop could move into development towards the end of next year. Brakfontein, situated 24  km up the road from Kangala, is busy with a feasibility study, due to be concluded at the end of the year. Depending on the outcome of the study, this project could move into development soon, but remains subject to a feasibility study. It has an 87 Mt JORC-compliant resource. Universal Coal also owns two coking coal deposits and these are at pre-feasibility stage. They remain a significant portion of the company’s total coal profile.

IN SID E M IN IN G 0 9 | 2013 27

Providing Environmental and Social Solutions for the Coal Industry across Southern Africa.

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Meeting mid-tiers’ process needs Turnkey process solutions provider PJ Tech is working to establish itself as a major competitor in the supply of mid-sized turnkey coal projects.


J TECH’S BUSINESS has evolved from small and humble beginnings to fulfil an important role in the mining sector. Construction of its first plant for Universal Coal’s, the Kangala project, is well under way and will springboard the company further into this market. In 2009, the company was approached by Tata Richards Bay to build a primary ferrochrome recovery plant using its inhouse processes and patented designs. “It was this project that enabled us to identify the need for small- to mid-sized one-stop turnkey solutions – including the design, fabrication and construction of quality, cost-effective, lowmaintenance plants that can also be easily modified and upgraded,” explains Wynand Nieman, PJ Tech’s commercial director. PJ Tech’s growing success with smalland medium-sized miners can be attributed to its modular plant design strategy, which delivers fast turnaround times and is cost effective, from design to construction and commissioning. “This enables our customers to start production in a much shorter time frame, often making capital- and time-sensitive projects viable.”

Kangala plant pre-erected at PJ Tech's facility

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Modular, plug-and-play plants can be built, pre-erected and cold commissioned off-site (at the PJ Tech facility) in a controlled environment, enabling problem areas to be addressed upfront. Modules are designed and built to conform to standard shipping container sizes, which facilitate easy transport by road, rail or sea. Modular design complements standardisation of parts and components used and designs can be duplicated, reducing design and fabrication time. The combination of these factors means plants can be erected and commissioned on-site in the shortest time possible. It is this very construction process that PJ Tech is using to construct Universal Coal’s 2 Mtpa coal processing plant (including a DMS circuit and a crushing and screening circuit) for its Delmas-based Kangala mine. “We are constructing the entire Kangala plant (in modules) off-site, meaning construction on-site will be quick and effortless. This de-risks the project extensively.”

Shipping of the first phase of the plant started at the end of August, with erection commencement ready for mid-September. This time frame will ensure that first production is achieved in February 2014, two months ahead of Universal Coal’s original expectation. PJ Tech’s business also caters to multi-mineral solutions in the mineral sands beneficiation and alloy recovery from slag sectors. “We also supply solutions in the specialised crushing and screening industry – screening dry efficiently below 200 µm.” PJ Tech’s offices and fabrication facility is situated in Middelburg, Mpumalanga, conveniently close to South Africa’s major coalfields. “Our fabrication facility comprises 3 000 m2 of space, with two overhead cranes. We have an additional 8 000 m2 of outside assembly and fabrication area. We are also constructing a new stores area, which will add another 900 m2 of covered fabrication area,” explains Nieman. The facility also includes a dedicated 120 m2 covered sandblasting facility, which is scheduled to double in size. Spraypainting facilities and several other administrative departments in the office building add another 1 000 m2 to the overall premises.

A new exciting PJ Tech development PJ Tech is in the process of finalising a patented process for gravity separation of minerals below 50 µm. “We are also busy developing flotation solutions for coal and PGMs, incorporating new and existing technology,” Nieman notes. In order to supply a high-quality product, PJ Tech uses well-established, reputable suppliers such as Actom Electrical Machines, Rosta, Battlemax, Italvibras, Malvern Engineering, Mac’s Screens and Shumar Engineering, among others. As an added benefit, it has spares readily available when needed.



A new beginning The start of production at Coal of Africa’s R3.96 billion Makhado coal project will mark a turning point in the company’s history as it leaves its small-scale operations behind and evolves into a major coking coal producer, writes Laura Cornish


SX/JS/AIM-listed Coal of Africa’s (CoAL) foundation was built on the back of its Mooiplaats colliery and Woestalleen complex. Today, the company’s strategic plan entails cost-cutting measures and divesting of non-core assets. The success of its third operational project, Vele, which is producing well with an expansion on the cards, and the pending introduction of Makhado will ensure the company’s future success. Its plans include ‘letting go’ of its historical beginnings and both Mooiplaats and Woestalleen are on the disposal table. And while Vele, situated in the Limpopo (Tuli) coalfield, will remain a significant contributor to the CoAL production profile, the company has its hopes pinned high on Makhado – undoubtedly its future flagship. The Makhado coking coal project, situated in the Soutpansberg coalfield in Limpopo, has a significant hard coking (10% ash) and thermal coal (30% ash) resource, with an estimated 8  billion gross in-situ tonnes. This, more specifically, represents 795.6  Mt for Makhado and 7.2  billion tonnes for CoAL’s contiguous projects in the coalfield. It is scheduled to start producing in the second quarter of 2016, with a six-month ramp-up period thereafter. Results from the project’s definitive feasibility study have defined a 16-year LOM at an average rate of a massive 12.6 Mtpa ROM. This will equate to 2.3 Mtpa of hard coking coal and 3.2  Mtpa of thermal coal produced at steady state. The resource will be mined on an opencast basis with the potential for expansion into underground, after 16 years. “This high-quality hard coking coal project will not only deliver robust economic returns, but also contribute meaningfully to the economic development of the Limpopo province in South Africa,” says CoAL’s chairman, David Brown.

LEFT & OPPOSITE The Makhado definitive feasibility study defines a 16-year LOM at 12.6 Mtpa ROM

30 INS I DE MI NI NG 0 9 | 2 0 1 3


for Coal of Africa The coal reserve and resource estimates are reported in accordance with the JORC code and the Australian Guideline for Estimating and Reporting of Inventory Coal, Coal Resources and Coal Reserves.

Mine plan Makhado has been divided into three separate mining areas: the East, Central and West pits. The East and Central pits are separated by the Siloam fault with a displacement of approximately 50 m. The Central and West pits are separated by an area of sterilised coal associated with the village of Mudimeli. Mining will be staggered, commencing in the East pit followed by the Central and West pits, enabling CoAL to optimise the resources required for mining over the LOM as well as to provide a consistent balance of ROM quantity and quality through to the plant. First production is scheduled for month 26 from project start. Development of the East pit will include plant and infrastructure components that will cater for the production volumes from the other pits. Crusher and screening systems will be located to the south of each of the pits. The coal processing plant will be located to the south of the East pit. The processing plant site was selected to minimise haulage distances as the East pit is the largest pit with the greatest portion of coal reserves.

Process plant The processing plant will include the following processing steps: • ROM is de-stoned in the pit by scalping off the +50 mm, which will be discarded. The -50+0 mm stream, which is estimated to be approximately 77% of the mined ROM delivered to the tip, will be conveyed to the plant feed stockpile as feed to the hard coking plant. • The processing plant is mainly comprised of three processing sections: - a double-stage dense medium separation plant for both de-stoning and beneficiation of the hard coking coal and the thermal product, achieved through

a high gravity wash followed by a low gravity wash (for the coarse size fraction of -50+1 mm) - a fines (-1+0.15 mm) circuit comprising of a low gravity reflux classifier process for the production of the coking coal and a high gravity reflux classifier for the production of the thermal product

out to ascertain its usability primarily in Eskom’s power stations that are able to receive coal on rail. The tests confirmed that it is well within the specifications for Eskom’s power stations and, for export, the grade conforms to coal specifications required by importers and would be a suitable blend product

This high-quality hard coking coal project will not only deliver robust economic returns, but also contribute meaningfully to the economic development of the Limpopo province - an ultra-fines (-0.15 mm) circuit of Jameson column flotation cells for the production of the coking coal and a potential thermal product. The plant has been designed to optimise yields with all size fractions being beneficiated. Further design considerations included quality management and environmental protection, with an on-site laboratory and zero-effluent discharge. Makhado’s thermal coal is significantly different from the South African coalfields currently producing thermal product for both export and domestic use, mainly because of its high calorific value. Therefore extensive combustion tests were carried

for the power and cement industry in Asia. CoAL envisages product to be sold domestically and exported through CoAL’s allocation at Terminal de Carvão da Matola (TCM) in Maputo, Mozambique. Makhado coal will have a freight advantage in serving the South African domestic market compared to imported coking coals. The thermal fraction of approximately 3.2 Mtpa could be sold to South Africa’s electrical authority, Eskom. The project can also produce an export quality thermal coal. “Makhado provides South Africa with a new coking coal producing asset in the region, using established infrastructure for

IN SID E M IN IN G 0 9 | 2013 31


Resources and reserves

(as at 1 May 2013)

Resource category

Gross tonne in-situ

Geological losses

Total tonnes in-situ

Mineable tonnes in-situ

Total measured resources

402 780 570


362 502 513

265 024 500

Total indicated resources

298 594 886


253 805 653

76 743 000

Total inferred resource

94 232 132


75 385 706

2 998 000


795 607 588


691 693 872

344 765 500

domestic and international markets. It represents the future of the company and is the first step in the development of a major 8 billion tonne resource,” Brown highlights.

Infrastructure The Makhado project benefits from excellent existing infrastructure with respect to rail, road, power and port allocation. The site is located immediately to the east of the N1 highway (36 km north of the town of Makhado) linking South Africa to Zimbabwe and the rest of Africa, through the Beitbridge border post. Access to the site will be via the existing road infrastructure. Next to the process plant, infrastructure is the second most costly requirement for the project.

Water It is intended that water will initially be obtained from boreholes for the construction phase and this will be supplemented by some 4.6 Mℓ/d of water to be obtained from the Nzhelele Dam, subject to the company attaining a water use licence.

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Power It is envisaged that CoAL will install a 15 km 22 kV overhead power line from the Eskom Paradise substation to a consumer substation to be built at the East pit in order to provide for the 10 MV amp required for the mine and plant.

Rail Rail access will be obtained through the construction of a 22 km railway spur and rapid loading facility from the existing Huntleigh Siding, which will connect through to the local domestic market as well as for export through to TCM at the international Port of Maputo, Mozambique, located approximately 700 km from the mine site. Discussions are ongoing to ensure cost competitiveness for the Maputo corridor in comparison to other export corridors.

Vele mine remains an important asset to CoAL

subscribe for up to 100% (approximately 20 Mtpa additional capacity) of the Phase IV expansion. TCM has its own exclusive berth, shiploaders, stockpile area, rail tipplers, stacker reclaimers and conveyor handling systems.

Site infrastructure The mine infrastructure includes plant and mining infrastructure, workshops and offices, haul roads, stockpiles, etc. Various studies have been undertaken to optimally position the various requirements of a successful coal mining and processing project, and also take into account the potential impact of these on the environment and local community.

The way forward Port Currently, CoAL has 3 Mtpa throughput allocation at TCM, with the option to

“We have now embarked on the financing stage of the Makhado project and have already commenced discussions with both


A power solution SITUATED WITHIN a 200 km radius of the Waterberg generation pool (Matimba/Medupi power stations), the power network is severely constrained and Eskom has deferred all major new loads until the Nzhelele 400/132 kV/250 MVA Main transmission station strengthening has been completed – estimated 2017/18. EHL Consulting Engineers identified a fit-for-purpose electrical supply solution in spite of the network constraint and secured a 10 MVA supply from Eskom’s 132/22 kV Paradise substation; this capacity is sufficient for Phase 1 of the project, where after the full supply capacity (25 MVA) will be sourced from Nzhelele Main transmission station. EHL Consulting Engineers has designed the medium and low voltage reticulation for the mining and support operational infrastructure.

Drilling at Makhado

potential BEE groups, including our communities and strategic partners. We are working towards a funding structure that will include debt funding, whereby CoAL retains majority ownership with the incoming partner’s contribution meeting CoAL’s full equity requirement for the project. Our regulatory approval and funding requirements are targeted to be completed in the first half of 2014,” Brown concludes.

Makhado is only the start of mining in the area. In line with its strategy to become a major coking coal producer, the company will significant capital on its exploration targets in the coalfield. Referred to as its MbeuYashu project, it comprises the Mopane, Generaal and Chapudi deposits. The company has already submitted its new order mining right applications for the project and has already commenced with the environmental impact public participation programmes for Mopane, with similar processes on Generaal and Chapudi

expected to commence in September. The Makhado operation is required to adhere to all relevant South African energy-efficiency codes and standards of best practice. EHL Consulting Engineers has developed an energy policy with particular focus on reducing and optimising power and energy usage in general at Makhado. As a follow on from the energy policy, it is envisaged that an energy-management plan will be developed to set out the strategy for continually improving energy saving and optimisation measures.

IN SID E M IN IN G 0 9 | 2013 33


he Coal of Africa Limited - Makhado Project is situated in the Eskom Polokwane Customer Load Network, which is within a 200km radius of the Waterberg generation pool (Matimba / Medupi Power Stations). This network is severely constrained and Eskom deferred all major new loads until the Nzhelele 400 / 132 kV / 250 MVA Main Transmission Station strengthening has been completed – estimated 2017/18.

EHL Consulting EngineersLGHQW L¿HGD¿W IRUSXUSRVHHO HFW ULFDO VXSSO \VRO XW LRQLQVSLW HRIW KHQHW ZRUNFRQVW UDLQW DQGVHFXUHG D0 9$VXSSO \IURP(VNRP¶VN93 DUDGLVH6XEVW DW LRQW KLVFDSDFLW \LVVXI¿FLHQW IRU3 KDVHRIW KHSURM HFW ZKHUH after the full supply capacity (25 MVA) will be sourced from Nzhelele Main Transmission Station. EHL Consulting Engineers has designed the medium and low voltage reticulation for the mining and support operational infrastructure. 7KH0 DNKDGRRSHUDW LRQLVUHTXLUHGW RDGKHUHW RDO O UHO HYDQW 6RXW K$IULFDQHQHUJ\HI¿FLHQF\FRGHVDQGVW DQGDUGVRIEHVW  practice. EHL Consulting Engineers has developed an energy policy with particular focus on reducing and optimising power and energy usage in general at Makhado. As a follow on from the energy policy, it is envisaged that an energy-management plan will be developed to set out the strategy for continually improving energy saving and optimisation measures.

Tel: +27 (0) 11 370 7400 Fax: +27(0) 11 834 4203 Email: Address: 1st Floor Samancor House 88 Marshall Street MARSHALLTOWN 2107


Mozambique’s mover Ncondezi Coal Company’s Mozambique-based mine and power station project is attractive through numerous levels. If it secures sufficient funding to take it all development phases, it will deliver new power to the country and contribute towards the major infrastructure crisis the local coal sector is dealing with.


CONDEZI COAL COMPANY owns 100% of the Ncondezi project, which is strategically located in the powergenerating hub of the country: the Tete province in northern Mozambique. The company is developing an integrated thermal coal mine and power plant in phases of 300 MW, up to 1 800 MW, with first production planned for 2017. The first 300  MW phase is targeting domestic consumption in

34 INS I DE MI NI NG 0 9 | 2 0 1 3

Mozambique using existing transmission capacity to meet current demand. 2012 was a pivotal year for the company, as it transitioned from a coal explorer to an emerging power developer. Following the completion of the technical studies, which confirmed the viability of the company’s project, the board took the decision to proceed with the phased development of an integrated thermal coal power plant and mine. Paul Venter, CEO of Ncondezi, says: “Good progress was made during 2012 with Ncondezi completing all the major technical study work on the project, including two definitive feasibility studies on power and mine projects. Based on the outcomes of the feasibility studies, Ncondezi has decided to proceed

with the phased development of an integrated, long-life thermal coal power plant and opencast mine. Ncondezi is now focused on building an exciting power business in Mozambique with strong growth potential. The power plant is expected to be operational and generating electricity during 2017. The recent signing of a power framework agreement with the Mozambican government formally endorsing the project and the company is busy advancing the heads of terms on the key commercial agreements, targeting completion by Q4 2013.” Mozambique is uniquely positioned with an established and successful history of generating and exporting power. The country is the largest exporter of power to South Africa, is a key member of the Southern African Power Pool and is currently the fastest growing electricity market in Southern Africa. The government is keen to capitalise on this


and shaker

MAIN PICTURE Ncondezi's project could help solve local power needs ABOVE & OPPOSITE INSET Evaluating the Ncondezi project

position and further expand on its role as an important regional energy player. During the second half of 2012, Ncondezi successfully completed definitive feasibility studies on both its mine and power projects, which confirmed the technical viability and economic robustness of the proposed projects. However, since initiating the mine definitive feasibility study in Q3 2010, the macro-economic environment has changed considerably. Seaborne thermal coal prices have weakened significantly and there are capital constraints for large, greenfield mine development projects. The developing coal basin around Tete has not been immune to these changes and the

large, capital-intensive export rail and port infrastructure projects, primarily for coking coal projects, are developing much more slowly than originally envisaged. Ncondezi believes the power opportunity for the company is much more attractive. Adopting a phased development approach will deliver a more achievable, prudent and financeable path to production than the immediate development of a larger scale, more capital-intensive project as defined in the mine definitive feasibility studies, which is reliant on third-party rail and port infrastructure development for project operations to begin. Production of an export thermal coal product with associated capital expenditure is an option that will be initiated only when rail and port infrastructure in Mozambique has sufficiently advanced. The proposed site for the power plant is approximately 5 km from the planned opencast

coal mine and approximately 90 km from existing power transmission infrastructure. The location will reduce the costs of coal transportation and is at a safe distance from the mining areas to minimise any impact of mine blasting operations. The project is expected to be cost competitive with other sources of energy in the Southern African region. It has numerous advantages over other potential power projects in the region as it is scalable, has security of fuel supply and can be implemented within a 24- to 36-month time frame. Ncondezi has started to explore a number of potential funding options for the development of the project. The majority of the project is expected to be funded by debt, with an equity contribution of between 15 and 30% of the project cost. The equity contribution will only be required at the very end of the development stage, when the project has been largely derisked with all the key commercial agreements signed and potentially monetised with the debt financing in place. Ncondezi’s immediate focus for the coming year is to negotiate the key commercial agreements for the 300 MW project, namely the power purchase, the power concession, the coal supply and the transmission access agreements, and to optimise the capital expenditure for the integrated power plant and mine. Despite the company’s share price under performance over the past year, in line with many junior mining companies, achievement of these key project milestones will present share price catalysts as the project is systematically derisked. Equity contributions will be supported by engineering, procurement and construction firms, and operator and maintenance contractors’ equity contributions, which will further reduce the total equity requirement. As part of the potential funding options, the company has already initiated discussions with a number of potential equity partners, ranging from private equity groups, Africa-focused funds, IPPs, project development investors and power developers – all of which have indicated an appetite for the project. This year started on a highly encouraging note with the signing of the power

IN SID E M IN IN G 0 9 | 2013 35


Realising possibilities...

framework agreement. This is a formal endorsement for the project by the Mozambican government and gives Ncondezi the exclusive mandate to negotiate a power offtake with the stateowned utility company, Electricidade de Moçambique (EDM) as well as regional power offtakers. The application for a mining concession has also been submitted and the company expects to receive it during Q3 2013. As part of this transformation from mining to power, the company has implemented board and management changes and is proposing a company name change to Ncondezi Energy, which more accurately represents the nature of the business. “Looking ahead, I believe Ncondezi is well placed to achieve its objectives for the year. The company has an experienced team

“Ncondezi is now focused on building an exciting power business in Mozambique with strong growth potential. ” Paul Venter, CEO, Ncondezi in place that has the necessary power expertise and strong relations with the Mozambican government. Turning Mozambique’s coal resources into electricity provides shareholders with a more attractive business proposition in the current climate. The project will also deliver significant benefits to local communities, as well as the country as a whole through job creation, supporting economic development and providing Mozambique with long-term sustainable power,” says Michael Haworth, Ncondezi non-executive chairman.

...from mine to market.

Captive fuel supply

Resource Evaluation

Mine Planning

Mining & Mine Development

Materials Handling

Environment & Approvals

The power plant will have a captive fuel supply. The mine will comprise a 2 Mtpa ROM opencast mining operation with an average strip ratio of 1:1, producing 1.2 Mtpa of domestic grade thermal coal product at an average yield of +55% for supply to the 300 MW mine mouth power plant over a 25-year life. The Ncondezi project has a coal resource of over 4.7 billion tonnes, which is more than sufficient to supply a 1 800 MW power plant over 25 years.

Technology and technical information Mineral Processing

Tailings & Waste Management

Smelting & Refining

Transport to Market

Non-Process Infrastructure

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







The power plant will be a baseload electricity provider, using circulating fluidised bed (CFB) technology, and is expected to operate at an 82% load factor. CFB has been selected as it is better suited to the quality and composition of the domestic grade coal. It has proven unit capacity, with a number of units successfully operating worldwide, and it has low NOx and SOx emissions. The low emissions will ensure compliance with the government of Mozambique’s requirements for air quality, as well as meet the World Bank and IFC’s standards for emissions from coalfired power plants. Each 300 MW power block will comprise a steam generator, a steam turbine and generator, a wet type of cooling condenser system and electrostatic precipitators. The cooling system is proposed to include wet mechanical draft cooling towers, which

36 IN SID E M IN IN G 0 9 | 2 0 1 3


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will enable the units to operate at higher thermal efficiency. A hydrological study has been completed, confirming there is sufficient cooling water available and a water optimisation study is now under way.

Permitting The permitting process for the project has already commenced. A mine framework agreement was signed during Q2 2012 with the Ministry of Mineral Resources. This was followed by an application for a mining concession, upon completion of the Mine definitive feasibility study, in December 2012. The mining concession is a key prerequisite to commencing construction and mining operations and it is expected to be issued during Q3 2013. Work on the power regulatory process was initiated during the second half of 2012, with the company engaging with a number of government officials across key government departments, including the Ministry of Energy and EDM.

Power offtake and key commercial agreement Work streams to progress the power plant project towards a fully financeable project have commenced. Ncondezi is targeting EDM as the main offtaker for the first 300 MW. Negotiations have commenced with EDM, beginning with heads of terms for a power purchase agreement (PPA), and are expected to be concluded by Q4 2013.

Ncondezi expects to sign the final PPA in the second half of 2014 and is targeting a competitive electricity tariff. Heads of terms on the coal supply agreement are well advanced and are also expected to be completed by Q4 2013. The agreement will be conducted at arm’s length and on commercial terms with a minimum duration of 25 years.

Capital expenditure Capital expenditure estimates and operating costs for the integrated 300 MW project are being optimised, as the mine definitive feasibility study capital expenditure projections were based on a larger mining operation producing both domestic and export grade products. Current estimates indicate that the power plant requires US$504 million (R5.09 billion) of capital expenditure over a 24- to 36-month construction period and meets the +20% IRR hurdle requirements for infrastructure projects. Excluding an export coal component in the first phase of the mine’s development has presented a number of cost-saving opportunities through smaller mining and equipment requirements and higher average product yields. Ncondezi has been exploring a number of options to minimise capital outlay and operating costs further during the first half of 2013, including assessing contractor versus owner-operated mining and evaluating the detailed quotes from EPC firms based on the power plant

Current estimates indicate that the power plant requires R5.09 billion of capital expenditure over a 24- to 36-month construction period

minimum functional specifications, which have been distributed for quotation.

Construction and timeline First production is targeted in 2016, in order to stockpile coal supply for the power plant. Power plant minimum functional specifications have been distributed to selected EPC firms for tender and to obtain more accurate capital expenditure quotes. Indicative proposals are expected during Q2 2013, after which a short list of preferred EPC bidders will be invited to submit binding, detailed bids during the second half of 2013. The binding bids will play a key role in completing the PPA and project funding.

Project funding Ncondezi plans to develop the project in partnership with a power plant developer and operator. As a baseload electricity provider, the power plant is expected to generate a consistent and stable revenue stream and the company has received strong indications of the potential availability of project finance, ranging from 70 to 85% debt financing. It is envisaged that potential participation could include corporate and/or project equity, offtake and/or financing and construction capabilities. Ncondezi is exploring a range of options and opportunities regarding strategic investors participating in the 300  MW project. These potential strategic investors range to strategic partners (IPPs, EPCs, O&Ms), infrastructure and emerging market funds and local Mozambican companies.

Transport infrastructure agreement In early 2012, Ncondezi signed an agreement with Rio Tinto Coal Mozambique, a wholly owned subsidiary of Rio Tinto, and Minas de Revuboè. The agreement entitles Ncondezi to an export allocation on the Integrated Transport Development project (ITD project), which is a greenfield rail and port project, for its planned export coal production. Under the terms of the agreement, Ncondezi is not required to contribute capital to the ITD project feasibility study or development capital costs. However, Ncondezi will have the option to negotiate take or pay agreements with the ITD project operator once a decision has been made to implement it. The Ncondezi power plant could supply up to 1 800 MW of power

38 INS I DE MI NI NG 0 9 | 2 0 1 3

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A new power station on the horizon

Diversified South Africa-based mining group Exxaro Resources and France’s GDF SUEZ, a global leader in independent power production, have concluded a project development agreement and a coal supply term sheet for a 600 MW coal-fired power plant in Limpopo.


OLLOWING A SELECTION process, Exxaro selected GDF SUEZ in mid-2012 for the development of the power station in the Waterberg region. The proposed development site, 17 km north-west of Lephalale, is located adjacent to Exxaro’s Grootegeluk coal mine. The fuel for this 600  MW baseload coalfired power station will be supplied from Exxaro’s Thabametsi mine, a prospective opencast greenfield mine, via a surface conveyor belt. The mine will supply up to 3.8  Mtpa of ROM coal to the power plant post ramp-up. A conventional truck and

40 INS I DE MI NI NG 0 9 | 2 0 1 3

shovel method of operation will be utilised for the mining operations. “This is an exciting milestone for Exxaro in the development of this initiative to contribute towards power availability and supply in South Africa. As a major player in the coal mining sector, we are integrated in the power (and energy) production value chain. “We have taken advantage of the opportunities provided from current regulatory developments in South Africa’s mineral and energy sectors to develop a coal mine that can supply new power generating capacity. We have played to our strength of coal

production and partnered with a competent entity such as GDF SUEZ for the development of the power plant and electricity production. We anticipate working closer with all the regulatory authorities to make this project a success for the benefit of all in South Africa,” states Sipho Nkosi, CEO of Exxaro Resources. The period of the coal supply will be determined by the duration of the power purchase agreement, but it is anticipated to be up to 25 years. Coal will continue to be a significant part of South Africa’s energy mix even though the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Integrated Resource Plan for Electricity 2010 to 2030 sees renewable energy making up 42% of all new electricity generation capacities. The total capacity of the plant could be expanded to about 1  200  MW, depending on the availability of water and grid integration constraints. South Africa urgently requires the installation of additional electricity generation capacity in the near future due to the combination of a low reserve margin and growing electricity


Grootegeluk mine. Thabametsi mine will lie adjacent to Grootegeluk and will supply coal to the new power station

demand. GDF SUEZ and Exxaro are global leaders in their respective industries and are pleased to be able to combine their strengths to positively impact the baseload power generation capacity, with the aim of assisting in alleviating South Africa’s power supply challenges. In December 2012, the South African minister for the DOE issued a determination including an allocation of 2  500  MW of coal baseload power, which is in accordance with the capacity that the Integrated Resource Plan allocated to coal

‘new builds’ between 2014 and 2024. In line with this, the DOE issued a request for registration and information-seeking feedback from interested independent power producers by 12 July 2013, which was duly submitted by GDF SUEZ. “GDF SUEZ’s partnership with South Africa is gaining momentum, with several agreements successfully concluded during the second quarter of 2013. That is not only good news for us, but also for the country.

Successful public-private partnerships in the power sector will contribute to the adequacy and efficiency of South Africa’s electricity industry, which is key to the country’s economic development. The South African government is taking the right steps and GDF SUEZ takes pride in working with its local partner Exxaro to help improve the country’s energy supply security,” says Shankar Krishnamoorthy, CEO and president of GDF SUEZ Energy, South Asia, Middle East & Africa. As with the DOE’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, the DOE will be the procurer, while state-owned power utility Eskom Sipho will be the buyer and will sign the power purchase agreements.

“We have played to our strength of coal production and partnered with a competent entity such as GDF SUEZ.” Nkosi, CEO, Exxaro Resources

IN SID E M IN IN G 0 9 | 2013 41

About GDF SUEZ THE GDF SUEZ Group ranks among the world’s leading energy companies. It employs 218 900 people worldwide and achieved revenues of 97 billion (R1.31 trillion) in 2012. GDF SUEZ is listed on the Brussels and Paris stock exchanges and is represented in the main international indices. In the Gulf countries, it is the number one independent power and desalinated water producer with 25.5 GW of power capacity and 4.8 million cubic metres per day of desalination capacity. In Africa, the group started construction of a 300 MW wind farm in Morocco where it also has a 1 200 MW supercritical coal-fired project under development. In South Africa, GDF SUEZ is starting construction of the 94 MW West Coast 1 wind farm in the Western Cape. In June, the group signed power purchase agreements for two greenfield open cycle turbine power plants of 335 MW (Dedisa) and 670 MW (Avon), which are located in the Eastern Cape and KwaZuluNatal respectively.

IN SID E M IN IN G 0 9 | 2013 41



Support is on the way

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ASX-listed uranium company Marenica Energy is driven to deliver on its goal of becoming a low-cost uranium producer. This entails finding a solution to its greatest project challenge: rendering its uneconomic Namibia-based project viable. And it has, writes Laura Cornish.



MAIN PICTURE & TOP Sampling on site at the Marenica deposit

ARENICA ENERGY may own a large-scale uranium deposit in Namibia – 276 Mt resource (indicated and inferred) and 57  million pounds of uranium oxide (U3O8) – but it is missing the remaining vital element to establish a mining operation, an economical grade. “At 94 ppm, conventional processing is not suitable to deliver a profitable mining operation,” says Marenica Energy’s CEO, Murray Hill, who was appointed to the position in July 2012. Capital and operating costs for heap leaching the Marenica ore body was and

Marenica’s start-up MARENICA ACQUIRED its Namibia-based deposit in 2006 and completed a scoping study based on a potential heap leach operation in 2011. In 2012, a technical review led to the establishment of an innovative approach to the metallurgical process employed. Murray Hill joined the company in May 2012 and continues to lead the team forward on commercialising its technology and implementing it at Marenica. The ore body is near the surface, which lends itself to being opencast. Following U-pgrade commercialisation, the company intends to complete a pre-feasibility study on its project and take it further up the value chain.

Marenica’s metallurgical specialists and innovators • Doug Buerger, chairman and director – more than 40 years of experience in exploration and project development (born in Namibia) • Gary Johnson, strategic metallurgy – developed and commercialised Activox nickel leach technology, formerly at Rossing • John Farrow, CSIRO – extensive industry experience and a world leader in fines processing • Grenvil Dunn – extensive worldwide uranium experience, consultant to the UN and International Atomic Energy Agency • Gavin Becker, director and CEO of Metallica Minerals – more than 35 years of experience in operations and project development • Murray Hill, CEO – more than 28 years of experience in operations, design and project development, formerly at Husab • Gottfried Grobbelaar, geologist, Namibia – worked at Trekkopje prior to Marenica • Elana Williams, metallurgical consultant – extensive mineral sands processing experience (Richards Bay), formerly at Mintek

still is considered high and sub-economic based on current and expected future uranium prices. The company has taken the challenge in its stride, however, and looks set to overcome it. Should it be successful, its challenge will undoubtedly be deemed a blessing in disguise. “We believe we have developed a breakthrough process technology, applicable to any large, low-grade surficial uranium deposit,” Hill notes. Coined U-pgrade, the company is looking to license and commercialise the technology in the next year and already has a provisional patent in place. In addition to its possible miner status, the company could market itself as a process technology provider as well. “The technology may have been developed out of necessity, but it creates an exciting global business opportunity.” Hill and a technical steering committee, including some well-respected uranium experts, have designed the U-pgrade flow sheet using common process methodologies, which has delivered “exceptional” bench scale test work on the Marenica deposit, including: • process leach feed grade 60 times greater than mined ore • an increase in plant feed grade of 94 ppm U3O8 to about 5 500 ppm U3O8 • 99% of the calcrete ore/mass head (2 475 tph) rejected ahead of leaching, 1% of mass concentrated; this is significant considering it is the most intensive uranium cost process • potential annual production of between 2.7 million and 2.8 million pounds of U3O8.

IN SID E M IN IN G 0 9 | 2013 43


ABOVE Clearly visible uranium LEFT The deposit is very low grade, 94 ppm

In essence, the U-pgrade technology will upgrade low-quality resources while simultaneously reducing capital and operating expenditure. For now, Hill is reluctant to divulge exactly how the process works, but ‘watch this space’ he says. One of the highest costs for processing in Namibia is water, which represents about 30% of processing operational expenditure, Hill continues. “Our bench scale work took this project element into account.” Comparative test studies were performed using Perth tap water and seawater. They both produced similar upgrades and

44 INS I DE MI NI NG 0 9 | 2 0 1 3

recoveries. “Using seawater will significantly reduce overall costs required.” The company is ready to test the technology on other uranium ore types and believes it could deliver positive upgrade results for Areva’s Trekkopje project and Deep Yellow’s Omahola project, both of which are in Namibia.

The way forward to commercialisation Marenica Energy needs to raise about AU$2 million (R18.02 million) to further optimise the U-pgrade flow sheet and undertake test work on other uranium resources as well

and test further Marenica bulk samples. With sufficient capital in hand, the company will implement a six-month programme aimed at derisking and increasing confidence levels in the success of the technology. “The next step will be the construction of a 50 kg/h pilot plant, which we hope will be operational towards the middle of 2014. Here we will demonstrate the technology on a larger scale.” It will take no more than a month or two to showcase its capabilities. The company is already in discussion with owners and operators of other similar uranium deposits in Australia and Africa.



A welcome water lifeline The Namibian subsidiary of French uranium parastatal Areva, Areva Namibia, has signed a water supply agreement with Namibia Water Corporation (NamWater) to supply water from its Erongo desalination plant to uranium mines in the Erongo Region.


OCATED DEEP IN the Namib Desert, the Erongo Region is currently suffering from a severe water shortage, as the pumping rate for the Omdel aquifer has reached its maximum. This contract, which will preserve the Erongo Region’s water reserves, calls for the distribution of water by NamWater to three uranium mines, including Rio Tinto’s Rössing, Paladin Energy’s Langer Heinrich and China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group’s Husab project. The Husab project is set to be the third largest uranium mine in the world (15 million pounds of uranium oxide per annum) once operating at nameplate capacity (2017)

and will require massive amounts of water to do so. Areva is the sole owner of the Erongo desalination plant, which has been operated and maintained by Aveng Water for the past three years. At full capacity, the plant can produce 20 million cubic metres of potable water per year, thanks to the adoption of state-of-the-art technology, including screen filtration, ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis, limestone contact and chlorination. A part of this capacity will be used by Areva Namibia’s Trekkopje mine when market conditions are favourable for restarting operations. The plant was constructed to supply Trekkopje, which is connected to the desalination

plant via a 48 km pipeline. Trekkopje is a low-grade, large-scale, shallow opencast mine that was developed a few years ago. It may benefit from a pilot test study aimed at improving low-grade uranium mines (see story on page 42) that, if implemented, would make it less reliant on the uranium price to be viable. According to Hilifa Mbako, MD of Areva Namibia: “This first agreement is a prelude to a medium-term agreement that will enable the distribution of up to 10 million cubic metres per year. We are proud and happy that Areva’s Erongo desalination plant contributes to the water supply security and preserves the water reserves of the Erongo Region.”

NamWater’s water supply STATE-OWNED NamWater extracts about 9 million cubic metres of potable water each year from the Omdel aquifer and 6 million cubic metres from the Kuiseb River to efficiently supply the water needs of Henties Bay, Swakopmund and Walvis Bay as well as mining entities in the Erongo Region. Permission will expire in October 2013 to extract from Omdel and the permit will be reduced to half (4.5 million cubic metres) because the resource is exhausted.

TOP Erongo desalination plant ABOVE Rössing mine LEFT Langer Heinrich BELOW Husab development project

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It is in the right hands T

The Southern African Coal Process Society’s 2013 biennual coal conference, held in Secunda in July, successfully highlighted the current state of the South African coal sector and, more importantly, what the industry needs to remain sustainable going forward. Compiled by Laura Cornish.

HIS YEAR’S conference theme, ‘Coal processing: increasing the value of coal’, catered perfectly to the sector’s current needs, with delegates and speakers coming together to find solutions and answers to overriding current industry challenges. The reality is that South Africa’s coal mining industry is in desperate need of innovative thinking and revolutionary technology to keep mines operating as long as possible while high-quality resources continue to diminish and demand for the energy-producing commodity escalates. The SACPS conference brought together 270 of the industry’s leading players from around the globe to discuss and debate technologies that could provide answers to the coal sector’s questions. Over three days, various coal professionals presented ideas, concepts and case studies to an eager audience that was willing to engage and put forward thoughts and comments. The exhibition area, comprising the country’s leading coal equipment and service providers, buzzed constantly with networking. Leading South African coal companies Exxaro and Anglo American Thermal Coal were represented at the event and mining leaders from the University of Cape Town and North West University were also in attendance. Engineering majors All images courtesy of Anglo American. Photographer: Philip Mostert

TOP Greenside colliery LEFT Kriel colliery OPPOSITE Zibulo colliery

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including DRA, Sedgman and Taggart (recently acquired by Forge), Hatch and Tenova Mining & Minerals were present, along with many service providers including Multotec, FLSmidth, Weir Minerals Africa, Roymec Technologies, Xstrata Technology, Metso, Derrick Corporation, MC Process, MIP Process Technologies, Scanmin and more. In line with the conference theme, one topic was consistently addressed: coal fines beneficiation – the secret to extracting more value from resources. The process was examined from multiple angles, including flotation, screening, desliming and dewatering. Xstrata Technology observed how flotation technology (specifically the Jameson Cell technology) has advanced to the point where it can be used for thermal coal as well as metallurgical coal fines.

Exxaro Resources discussed the use of reflux classifiers for fines beneficiation. Barcandyle Engineering Solutions and Conn-Weld Industries (US) believe the Conn-Weld sieve can effectively remove the ultra-fine coal from fine coal. These sieves would typically replace vibrating screens in the flowsheet and are used only for fines product. A case study has successfully proven that use of sieves instead of a normal dewatering vibrating screen lower the amount of ultra-fines in the fines product from 29.49% down to 7.56%. This reduction in the ultra-fine content reduced the fine coal product ash from 26.02 to 12.31%. New technologies to improve the coal process were brought forward and included the three product cyclone, Weir Minerals Africa’s hydrocyclone, the TeePee screen panel from Multotec, a new thickener feedwell system from Roymec Technologies, processing

Little doubt can be left in anyone’s mind that the coal sector’s strategic players are passionate about the industry

coarse and small coal together, and MBE Minerals’ suggestion that recirculating fluidised bed boiler technology can be used to generate electricity from discard coal. In line with the SACPS’s objective to train and educate upcoming coal engineers, Prof Quentin Campbell of the Coal Processing Research Group in North-West University’s Faculty of Engineering encouraged student investment. The need for postgraduate work and hands-on experience is the key to ensuring continuity and an environment for new concepts to be born, nurtured and developed. Overall, little doubt can be left in anyone’s mind that the coal sector’s strategic players are passionate about the industry, driven to see it improve and evolve as it matures. In South Africa, it remains critical to the economy and a necessity for the majority of the country’s electricity needs. Extracting the maximum value from our remaining resources is therefore more important now than ever before. Fortunately, the coal sector is extremely proactive in ensuring this happens, gauging by the number of participants at the event and the level of engagement between parties.

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

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

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

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



3000 operates reliably and is a value-for-money solution.


AS THE conference well attended and what value did you obtain from networking and the industry-leading presentations? VV From the presentations, I understood that the efficiency of coal handling is a real issue in South Africa, but one that people are taking cognisance of. The opportunity to learn the specifics of South African coal market, facilities and conditions was a great help and will aid us in improving our activities in order to meet customer requirements. I believe that in South Africa we have to overcome a barrier of mistrust in dual-gamma ash content measurement. We will have to prove that the Enelex-made GE

What equipment/products/ solutions can Enelex offer the coal sector? Enelex has produced special electronics for the power and mining industries since the 1980s. Most of our business is related to the efficiency of coal utilisation as well as safety aspects of coal handling. In the Czech Republic, we cooperate with all coal mines and a number of coal consumers – mainly thermal power stations. We provide online coal quality measurement, automatic coal samplers and the complete systems of coal quality management. We provide flue gas oxygen analysers to ensure optimal efficiency of boilers and thermal monitoring systems, mainly to prevent spontaneous combustion of coal stockyards. The requirements of the coal sector differ by country. In the

Czech Republic, our online gamma ashmeters are our core business, but we also sell thermal imaging systems as well as CCTV systems to several mines to monitor the technology as well as for surveillance purposes. In South Korea we supply thermal imaging systems to monitor coal stockyards only, but in terms of sales, Korea has become one of our most important markets. In Ukraine, we sell a number of oxygen analysers to several power plants as well as online coal quality measurement systems. There is also demand for automatic coal samplers. Our expectations that our online gamma ashmeters would find a market in South African coal sector were confirmed during the SACPS conference.

What solutions did you present and market at the conference? We presented the idea of a total coal quality management system as a solution to improve the effectiveness of the coal supply chain. In the 1980s, the need for improvement in coal handling efficiency was identified as one of the important points to keep power generation independence for communist Czechoslovakia. The online method of coal quality measurement was implemented and tested in several power plants, but it was clear that the coal quality measurement had to be implemented at mines as well. Since the 1990s, monitoring coal quality in opencast mines started at several mines. Due to local conditions, the systems spread through the technology of coal handling and transportation. All those changes were, of course, simplified by the fact that post-communist countries still kept the mines and power plants as government enterprises, so the cooperation by means of common intent was relatively feasible. Enelex provides coal quality management solutions

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The key of the system is full supplier responsibility to deliver the coal suitable for the customer. If the supply is out of the contracted range, the supplier has to pay a penalty. In such business models, the suppliers satisfy the customer requirements so that boiler operations have stable coal inputs, allowing the operation of power plants to be more flexible. The demand for flexible and precise controlling of power generation has risen with the entrance of solar and wind power plants into the power grid.

What did you feel were the major trend issues discussed at the conference? The requirements in terms of the sustainable evolution of our population are not very positive in terms of coal usage. Still, we have to consider that coal has its position and cannot easily be substituted. Nonetheless, it has to be used carefully to save existing resources. Understanding the future of coal was one of the most discused points. Finding unexpected improvements, alternative technologies, consideration of minimising the coal processing power and material demands were some of the innovative topics covered.

What can your company offer to meet the evolving needs of the coal sector? We offer a complex and unusual concept for the management of the coal supply chain, one which makes the most of available coal resources and minimises coal consumption. While our online analysers of coal quality are primarily designed to work inside the mines and to monitor ROM coal, we offer the implementation of coal quality monitoring even at unexpected places, and environments that are not traditionally hospitable to sensitive electronics. And we can say that this is not a theoretical claim, it has been proven.




as the conference well attended and what value did you obtain from networking and the industry-leading presentations? MS The conference was fairly well attended by the usual people and the networking was useful. Many of the presentations covered the current state of the industry and necessary technologies, with very little on new developments.

What equipment and solutions does FLSmidth offer the coal sector? As a single-source supplier with a full value proposition aimed at the African coal mining sector, FLSmidth is able to offer

custom engineered solutions that will facilitate lower cost per tonne on process plants. The company’s technology capability extends from bulk materials handling to coal beneficiation and covers not only the supply of capital equipment solutions, but also a comprehensive technical support through its field service teams. From its coal classification and water-based cleaning line-up,

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the company supplies a range of equipment such as hydrocyclones, classifiers and spiral concentrators, Ludowici coal centrifuges, vibrating screens and complementary wear-resistant products. FLSmidth’s Wemco HMS systems are operating across many coal operations, and it supplies a comprehensive range of modular dense media cyclone plants using Krebs Heavy Media Cyclones and Wemco Heavy Media Drums. FLSmidth is a leading supplier of high-performance slurry handling equipment offering complete slurry, vertical, centrifugal and pneumatic pump assemblies under the industry-leading brands of Krebs millMAX severe duty slurry pumps and DorrOliver ODS pumps. The company is the world’s largest flotation equipment supplier with over 55 000 units sold. It is at the forefront of the trend to install fewer but

ABOVE FROM LEFT Centrifuge and reflux classifeir

larger units rather than multiple smaller cells to save space, power, maintenance and auxiliaries. It has pioneered large cell technology, from its first Wemco 257 m³ cell installed in 2003 to today’s 600 Series SuperCell, which is the newest introduction to the world of flotation technology. Designed

and engineered at FLSmidth’s technology centre in Salt Lake City, Utah, the 600 Series offers active cell volumes in the range of 600 to 660m3 accompanied by a multitude of mechanism offerings. It also supplies the world’s largest thickeners with the highest torque ratings FLSmidth has manufactured pressure and vacuum filters since 1910 and continues to supply filtration technology for coal processing flow sheets throughout the world. We also provide innovative solutions for all facets of ore handling in underground coal mining operations with expertise in crushers, sizers and feeder breakers, and more than 1 700 installed references worldwide. This equipment range also includes Vecor mine hoists and Dorr-Oliver head sheaves, cages, skips, mine cars, loading stations, spill pockets and conveyance suspension. FLSmidth’s material handling business in Africa has hundreds of materials handling installations, incorporating trusted brand names such as Möller, Koch, MVT, RAHCO, Convey-

or Engineering and FLSmidth Pneumatic Transport. FLSmidth Roymec draws on complete bulk handling system technologies to produce bulk coal material from ROM material to any final destination.

What products/equipment/ solutions did FLSmidth present and market at the conference? We presented the innovative

Ludowici Reflux Classifier, which represents state-of-theart fine particle technology (gravity-based separation) with proven efficiency benefits over traditional equipment. The Reflux Classifier also offers proven advantages in capacity, adaptability and efficiency with operating units across continents. We also presented fine coal flotation and marketed our complete flow sheet solution with all of our equipment.

What do you feel were the major trend issues discussed at the conference? No major trend issues were discussed. Most papers represented already wellknown technology.

What can your company offer to meet the evolving needs of the coal sector? Research and development is important to FLSmidth. The company offers a broad range of materials and process analysis, as well as pilot plant feasibility studies and design and optimisation.

Servicing and maintenance of a broad range of coal equipment is vital to ensure the high levels of reliability needed in this hard pressed sector, and our technical personnel are always available to ensure a rapid response to technical queries. In addition, our Delmas-based Supercenter is located on the coal sector’s doorstep and will support our customer service initiatives in this sector

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ROYMEC TECHNOLOGIES PANEL EXPERT Hoosen Essack – sales director


hat is your view on the current state of the local coal sector? HE In the face

of fluctuating prices, difficult operating regimes, arduous governance and environmental conditions that place an ever-increasing squeeze on profitability, industry players are continuously seeking modern methods of making a marked difference across their entire operation. Intense scrutiny and analysis of every aspect of the process and value creation through the entire chain are the key to survival in these times. In spite of coal being the life blood of the global public consumption energy sector for more than two centuries, there is a fierce push to ‘clean up’ the sector with regards its environmental impact and overall sustainability. Industry players are focusing much of their efforts in this regard along with cost saving and improving overall production efficiency going forward. The coal sector wants to be seen as ‘green’ as wind, solar and wave energy.

What equipment and solutions does Roymec Technologies offer the coal sector? Roymec offers a host of separation solutions to the coal industry to assist in areas including the supply of linear screens,

filter presses, vacuum disc filters, pressure disc filters and vacuum belt filters, among others. However, the most exciting current development is Roymec’s NexGen thickener, a culmination of an intensive three-year research and development programme. Throughout this programme, Roymec has systematically identified and redesigned various problematic areas that impede the performance of traditional thickeners. These problem areas include the feedwell, dilution systems, overflow notches, rakes/scrapers and flocculation techniques. This research has the potential to substantially shrink a thickener’s footprint while maintaining a high operating efficiency – a win-

What products/equipment/ solutions did you present and market at the conference? The newly

ABOVE FROM LEFT View of thickener overflow and Scrubber dust dewatering thickener units

and more efficient coal processes and equipment. In particular is the use of sampling systems used to measure coal’s inherent grade and composition inconsistencies. Subsequently, these inconsistencies can be dealt with appropriately further downstream, i.e. the foundation of automated forward and backward feedback control systems.

win scenario for both Roymec and its clients. Additionally, NexGen thickener technology can be retrofitted in existing thickeners, increasing their throughput capacity and operational stability.

designed Radflow feedwell was presented at the recent SACPS conference in Secunda, South Africa, and was well received by an interested and enthusiastic audience. The paper presented outlines the research process involved in identifying problem areas associated with industrial standard feedwells and consequently the design of what is arguably the world’s most advanced feedwell in terms of its performance.

What did you feel were the major trend issues discussed at the conference? A noted trend throughout the SACPS conference was the movement of the coal industry to smarter

What can your company offer to meet the evolving needs of the coal sector? The NexGen thickener is in keeping with the theme of being more efficient, as it’s an inherently stable thickener. However, by itself, this is not enough as the control of a thickener is generally left to the whims of the site operator. For this reason, Roymec is now incorporating the Paterson and Cooke SteadyBed thickener control system. This will finally make the omniscient thickener a smart piece of processing equipment, able to react to what and how it is being fed and be completely selfmanaged. Should the marriage of the NexGen thickener and the SteadyBed control system be amicable, the result will be a smarter thickener with the ability to react to the likes of which we have never seen before. A combination of all the attributes that are possible in the new NexGen design will allow the thickener to reduce

plant blackwater, improve underflow solids concentrations and go another step towards reducing and ultimately eliminating disposal areas. The full recycle of our precious water resource is not a distant dream any longer. The Roymec Technologies paper presented at the SACPS conference can be found on

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provided for easy networking opportunities with different role players. Networking ranged from catching up with old acquaintances to meeting possible new clients.

What equipment and solutions does Weir Minerals Africa offer the coal sector? Weir


as the conference well attended and what value did you obtain from networking and the industry-leading presentations? JDS The

Southern African Coal Processing Society (SACPS) conference is typically well attended, with industryleading speakers and visitors. This year was no different. Attendance ranged from suppliers to end users and everyone in-between. The setting for lunch and dinner Retrofitted Cavex cyclones in an existing cluster

Minerals Africa provides a comprehensive product range for the coal industry. Product solutions include slurry pumps, clear water

pumps, classification and DMS cyclones, vibrating screens, rubber hoses, wearresistant lining solutions like rubber lining/tiles and slurry valves. The product offering is complemented well by comprehensive service centres whereby original equipment like slurry pumps, vibrating screens and cyclones are supplied on a service exchange arrangement.

What products/ equipment/solutions did

you present and market at the conference? Although the focus of Weir Minerals’ technical paper was ‘Latest classification cyclone technology improves overall plant performance at Phola Coal’ and the underlying cyclone capability to the coal market, solutions in terms of slurry pumps, rubber hoses and vibrating screens were discussed.

What did Weir Minerals feel were the major trend issues discussed at the conference? The keynote speakers pointed to the fact that coal will be the primary source of energy supply in South Africa for at least the next 20 years, if not longer. This will need to be managed in a responsible manner by producing cleaner coal with fewer impurities prior to utilisation. Various case studies on improvements in process equipment and the latest technological improvements on various products were presented – all with the objective of increasing the value of coal by using the latest available market technologies.

What can your company offer to meet the evolving needs of the coal sector? Weir Minerals is well positioned to offer classleading solutions for the coal industry. Implementing the latest technology across the product range will either result in longer wear life (hoses, slurry valves, cyclones and vibrating screens), reduction in energy (slurry pumps, water pumps and vibrating screens) or an increase in yield (DMS cyclones, classification cyclones and vibrating screens). The improved products are supported by a well-established and equipped service centre in Middelburg, which services the Highveld/ Witbank coalfields.

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Excellent Minerals Solutions

Weir Minerals… Expertise where it counts. Weir Minerals is the world leader in the design and manufacture of pumps, valves, hydrocyclones and wear resistant linings, including WARMAN® centrifugal slurry pumps, ENVIROTECH® dewatering pumps and LINATEX® rubber products for the global mining and minerals processing industries. Our reputation is based on engineering excellence applied to innovative, customer focused solutions for processing minerals and aggressive materials. In line with our customer driven focus, Weir Minerals Africa also offers a pump rental concept as an attractive alternative to an outright purchase. For more information contact us on +27 (0)11 9292600

Copyright © 2012, Weir Slurry Group, Inc. All rights reserved. WARMAN is a registered trademark of Weir Minerals Australia Ltd and Weir Group African IP Ltd; MULTIFLO is a registered trademarks of Weir Minerals Australia Ltd; FLOWAY is a registered trademark of Weir Floway Inc.; GEHO is a registered trademark of Weir Minerals Netherlands bv; WEIR is a registered trademark of Weir Engineering Services Ltd.



MULTOTEC PANEL EXPERT Roy Roche – vice president, screening media


as the conference well attended and what value did you obtain from networking and the industry-leading presentations? RR The

conference was certainly well attended by what we perceive to be the appropriate level of people, and the networking opportunity was superb. The conference was attended not only by technical personnel but also by decision-makers throughout the industry and support industries such as universities and private research organisations. The opportunities offered in terms of this networking could not have been any better. There was both international and local attendance at all the right levels, definitely pushing the g that need to be dealt challenges with. When you consider the challenges being faced by the coal sector and the keynote addresses in terms of identifying and even offering possible scenarios this would benefit the sector. Key industry leaders participated and were able to

DMS cyclone

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give insight, new thoughts and new approaches to these challenges. In my opinion, this is a watershed conference and the coal industry will have to find solutions for its challenges. Just one of the questions that springs to mind is: If you consider that only 40% of available energy is effectively utilised, what about the remaining 60%? And how it is used and what do we do with waste materials and the potential liberations within the waste materials. Another issue is how to reduce the environmental impact to acceptable levels.

What equipment and solutions does Multotec offer the coal sector? The Multotec objective for the coal sector is ‘cleaner coal for cleaner profits’ and is achievable with our followingg product ranges: • Screening media – injection moulded polyurethane and polywedge screen panels

• Process equipment – dense medium cyclones, spiral concentrators, sampling systems, magnetic separators, centrifuges and filter presses • Ceramic wear linings – this product is used in high-wear conditions together with Multotec dense medium cyclones, centrifuges and pulley lagging.

What products/ equipment/solutions did you present and market at the conference? Screening Media Effective dewatering and rinsing Multotec has, over the years, developed numerous different screen panels, sieve bends, static screens and centrifuge baskets for

coal dewatering. Modern mining conditions are demanding more capacity from installed equipment than ever before. Dewatering applications are no exception, with current screens often unable to handle the additional demands placed on them. Our newly launched TeePee injection moulded screen panel displayed at the conference offers a solution for increased capacity without impacting on reliability or efficiency, with the following key features: • double the open area of conventional panels with the same aperture size • double the drainage capacity of conventional panels • standard modular design and pinning. Multotec TeePee panels are injection moulded, ensuring repeatable class-leading performance. Computer controlled injection machines maintain optimum conditions throughout the manufacturing process, resulting in consistent aperture sizing in a robust and hard-wearing polyurethane. Process equipment/wearresistant linings The Multotec MAX dense medium range of cyclones has the ultimate in alumina tiled cyclone engineering design. Computation fluid dynamic analysis, 3D computer aided design and extensive


field experience is combined in the production of the MAX cyclone design. This range of cyclones couples the highly efficient Multotec scrolled evolute inlet design and an engineered tile wear surface, thus ensuring MAXimum efficiency of separation and MAXimum wear life. Our MAX range of cyclones embodies the considerable specialised technological expertise and experience of two Multotec products that being cyclones and engineered ceramics. The Multotec scrolled evolute inlet design: • offers MAXimum efficiency of separation • is cost effective • has superior design confirmed by computational fluid dynamic analysis • is field tested • has higher capacities than other inlet configurations with minimal turbulence • offers a reduction in wear rates – especially on the vortex finder and inlet head • results in a reduction in overall operating and running costs • offers a scrolled evolute cyclone (final product) with a premium quality, precision engineered, alumina tile wear surface.

What did you feel were the major trend issues discussed at the conference? The challenges in repositioning coal as a non-environment impacting energy source as far as possible was the prime discussion point. All discussions were around maximising yield recovery and using the overall resource more effectively. The challenge for coal miners

and companies that sell beneficiation equipment is to give a high grade of thermal and coking coal at a consistent quality to the energy and steel producers. This will allow them to run their plants as efficiently as possible. Another key trend is to drive down mining and beneficiation costs, and on this score some new ideas and products were presented.

What can your company offer to meet the evolving needs of the coal sector? Product ranges that have been developed over time, which take our expertise and knowledge of the coal processing sector and the entire value chain into account. The ability to apply leading edge technology to applications at hand and our close relationship with our

customers, which allows us to modify and customise where necessary to meet the specific plant requirements. Added to this is our ongoing research and development capability. And last, but certainly not least, our trademarked Hawkeye monitoring system. We recognise the need to adapt our products to be efficient over the total life cycle of the product and the plant.



DERRICK CORPORATION PANEL EXPERT Nic Barkhuysen – regional manager, Africa

to continuing our support for the SACPS conference in years to come.

What equipment and solutions does Derrick offer the coal sector?


as the conference well attended and what value did you obtain from networking and the industry-leading presentations? NB The

conference was, as usual, very well attended. The SACPS improves every year and despite the depressed market conditions, the organisers managed to provide a world-class conference. The opportunity to network with the leading coal processing companies is invaluable to equipment suppliers. For us to see this many clients, both existing and new, in such a few days is otherwise simply not possible. We look forward

Derrick Corporation specialises in fine screening solutions. Specific to the coal industry, we have three exciting technologies to offer: • Classification of fines and ultra-fines with our Stack Sizer screens to reduce ash content, increase calorific value and change a typical tailings product to a revenue earning product. This technology is often employed prior to briquetting of fines. We successfully classify as fine as 45 micron with our unique polyurethane panels. • Dewatering and/or desliming of coal fines. Derrick’s patented Hi G Drier technology removes up to 85% of coal fines from either a thickener feed or thickener product. The resultant solids are always in a stackable conveyable

form and can be mechanically moved, either by conveyor or front end loader. A relatively cheap precursor to expensive thickening/filtration/centrifuging, the Hi G Drier can also be used in conjunction with the stack sizer to remove excess water from oversize and/or undersize products. • Dry screening of coal fines is often regarded as near impossible due to coal’s inherent retention of moisture. At Derrick we have developed, and continue to develop, high-capacity dry screening solutions with apertures as fine as 100 micron. Our newly developed four deck dry stack sizer is available in both single- and double-deck configuration with feed capacities up to 375 tph.

What products/equipment/ solutions did you present and market at

the conference? All of the abovementioned equipment was marketed at the conference.

What did you feel were the major trends discussed at the conference? The increasing pressure on maximising benefits derived from nonrenewable resources such as coal is set to escalate exponentially. Added to this is the equally important issue of responsible environmental management.

What can your company offer to meet the evolving needs of the coal sector? Our fine screening equipment fills a niche market in the existing coal processing sector where ultra-fines, previously destined for expensive tailings stockpiles and dumps, can now be converted to a revenue-generating product.

RIGHT Hi G drier BELOW Five deck stack sizer

With an increasing number of companies investing in briquetting equipment, our technology offers an ideal precursor to, or preparation of, suitable feed stock. The huge number of tailings and/ or slimes dams scattered across Southern Africa, when combined with our separation technology, offers innovative processing companies a significant advantage in extracting a saleable product and reducing the environmental footprint of these slimes dams and dumps.

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Big hearts deliver

big promises Family values, intellectual capacity, expertise, upskilling and teamwork – these traits are the foundations on which the ALS Group of companies business was built, and remain the core attributes of its ongoing success, discovers Inside Mining.

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HE ALS GROUP comprises 16 business units, and employs about 900 people specialising in the earthmoving and civils sectors. Working as individual units or together, they offer a deep pool of resources and skills, providing a ‘one-stop’ solution capable of overcoming any challenge. Each individual company is focused on a specific market segment within the earthmoving and civils industries, which equates to well-developed and highly specialised skills. These include specialised rental companies, open pit mining contracting, civils as well as construction companies. Although ALS Group has been working in the mining sector for less than 10 years, it already has numerous current and completed projects under its belt, and continues to drive its presence in the sector. “We appreciate the clients we have added to our client base over the past year, as well as the support from our suppliers. This has contributed to a great year for the mining part of our business, which today makes up a large portion of our turnover,” says ALS Group’s CEO, Johan Janse van Rensburg. He outlines the company’s key success attributes, qualities he upholds above all else and instils in every manager and employee. “We measure our performance on a continuous basis, providing us with the necessary information on which to base decisions, which directions to take and where to improve. We have put processes and checks in place in each part of our business, enabling us to measure and evaluate everything that can impact the bottom line.  “We also invest in technology and equipment to increase our productivity and work more dynamically. An example of this is the new improved engines, which deliver an improvement on fuel efficiency by as much as 30%. We continually work to improve control over expenses like diesel, logistics, communication and salaries. We position ourselves ‘as close as possible’ to our suppliers and clients, allowing us to establish long-term relationships based on trust. And finally, but most importantly, we continuously improve our workforce through

training, empowering and building the capacity of the individual in our service.” Looking to the future, ALS Group is looking to the coal sector for growth in the short to medium term, driven by the growing demand for energy, which fuels the local demand for coal. “We will, however, continue to diversify within the group to ‘hedge’ ourselves from fluctuations across industries and markets.”

Joining forces for delivery excellence The ALS Group’s most recent contract entails developing a new mining pit for a privately owned coal mining company and is the perfect example of the group’s capabilities. “We were awarded the contract in February and are currently developing the boxcut for the company’s pit situated in the Middleburg area. During the mining phase, our aim is to move about 450 000  m3 every month,” explains ALS Group's mining director, Gert Maritz. The award of the contract has seen numerous entities in the ALS Group involved in the project. “Our mining company does not own

any plant, our focus is mining and meeting production targets. Instead, we work with our sister companies, ensuring we deliver a top-quality service on every project element to our client through shared values and systems,” Maritz continues. The specialist plant hire companies supply the plant and are responsible for the operator as well as the maintenance of the machines. Erno Janse van Rensburg, plant hire director, ALS Group, reiterates the employee development sentiments: “Our company comprises specialists, because we put a lot of effort into developing the team. On-thejob training and general training courses are non-negotiable, meaning we are constantly upskilling our workforce, providing them with growth opportunities and ensuring absolute commitment in return. This also provides continuity between ALS companies when working together. ALS employees have a mutual respect for each other, further encouraged through a flat management structure with a hands-on approach.”

“We work with our sister companies, ensuring we deliver a top-quality service on every project element.” Gert Maritz, mining director, ALS Group

OPPOSITE AND TOP INSET On site in the Middelburg area – ALS still uses spotters on site RIGHT FLTR – Gert Maritz, mining director at ALS; Martin Joubert, client; and Giel Venter, ALS site manager

IN SID E M IN IN G 0 9 | 201 3



Because plant hire could be considered one of the core group businesses, looking after the fleet is essential. “Ideally, we try and renew our machines every 9 000 hours (three to five years),” Erno points out. The company spent in excess of R145 million over the past 12 months to renew the fleet. “Maintenance is equally, if not more important. We aim to service our machines after every 250 hours worked, which is more frequent than industry average but makes us more competitive in the second-hand market. We have dedicated mechanics on-site, always take extended warranties on our machines and are cost competitive on machine rebuilds at our facility in the area.” The ALS Group runs about 400 pieces of capital equipment.

The future of ALS Mining “We are a competitive opencast mining contractor with an excellent safety track record with not a single lost time injury recorded in the past five years. We have created a culture

where people take responsibility for their actions and ensure that honesty is upheld,” Maritz outlines. While the company’s aim is not to have a large number of contracts, new opportunities are always evaluated. “Our intention is to focus on the coal sector and penetrate the market, which we will do as opportunities present themselves.” The intention is to be a mid-tier player, moving about 1 million bank cubic metres a month in total, increasing to about 1.5 million bank cubic metres across the projects. “We don’t want to be the biggest, but do want to be the most competent and the most productive without compromising on safety. Working closely with projects provides clients with a sense of ease and comfort. Personal interaction and service delivery is a massive-value- add to any client,” Maritz adds. Although the current focus going forwards is coal, the ALS Group has considerable experience in hard rock mining and recently completed a five year contract with Littleton

RIGHT AND OPPOSITE FLTR – Renier De Klerk, BUM, ALS Dozer Hire; Johan Janse van Rensburg, CEO, ALS Group; Giep de Klerk, MD, ALS Group; Thys Joubert, director, ALS Group; Tertius Vermeulen, sales application engineer, Komatsu BELOW Gideon De Klerk, MD ALS Dozer Hire, testing the new Komatsu dozer

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Dolomite. It previously worked at Lonmin’s Marikana opencast platinum mine and Harmony Gold’s opencast Kalgold operation.

Komatsu dozers deliver Machine rebuilds and renewals are important values shared across all ALS Group companies. The Dozer Hire entity was officially established as a standalone entity four years ago, the company rents dozers as a value-added deal to the mining industry including operators and maintenance. “Our focus is rehabilitation and production dozing for the Mpumalanga coal mines,” states ALS Dozer Hire’s MD, Giep de Klerk. The company’s fleet comprises mainly Komatsu dozers, with a few supplementary Cats, with sizes varying from the D155 size right up to the D375s. “Machine renewal is an ongoing process, with a typical machine working between two and three years. Rebuilds are equally as important. We strip the machine down and rebuild it from scratch, enabling it to perform productively for another 10 000 hours on average.” The company recently purchased two new Komatsu dozers, which are already operational on one of Witbank’s larger coal mines. “Buying a few


new machines each year forms part of our business revolves around people and we are on-site and expect to remain there for another renewal stategy.” also more than comfortable with the people few years,” elaborates de Klerk. De Klerk speaks highly of the Komatsu at Komatsu ‘standing behind’ the machines – The company is also operating two dozdozers and will continue to show preference the guys delivering the back-up service etc. In ers at another ALS site in the area, doing for the brand, in line with ALS Group’s poli- the competitive market place we do business all material pushover and flattening the cy to develop relationships and work closely in these days there isn’t place for a company tipping area. It will supply another two mawith a select group of preferred suppliers. that does not understand the importance chines in the near future. The company re“Komatsu’s prices are very competitive and of service delivery. We believe Komatsu un- cently completed the construction of a twin we are accustomed to and comfortable with derstands this and they help us to meet the ramp system on opposite ends of a wellthe machines’ performance. known coal mine’s opencast pit, We bought our first Komatsu which will be used for conveydozers about 20 years ago, ors to transfer the ore from the and the two we bought eight pits. Each ramp is about 1 km in years ago are still working tolength and the project took only day. We have trust and faith three months to complete. in the brand.” The ALS Group is also focusing Giep de Klerk, director, ALS Dozer Hire “The ALS Group, over the its attention on the coal sector past 25 years, has always had a for its dozing entity and is tenpolicy to look at things from a long-term per- high standards our clients expect from us,” dering for new work in the Carolina and spective and to concentrate on sustainability. Johan affirms. Hendrina areas. We evaluate equipment over a 60-month pe“We have been working for about two and a “We love the challenges of the coal inriod and calculate everything from the pur- half years at one of Witbank’s more established dustry and are looking forward to growchase price, maintenance cost, productivity, coal mines, performing production dozing and ing our market share in this sector,” reliability, operator comfort, durability, cost dump rehabilitation. We have seven dozers de Klerk concludes. per tonne and, most importantly, the value of the machine at the end of the 60-month Welcome “Komatsu mining division, Isando would like to take this opportunity to welcome Giep de Klerk and ALS Dozer Hire to our Komatsu cycle. Evaluating Komatsu machines in this family, we are looking forward to a long mutual relationship with the possibility way over the years, we are comfortable with of future growth in the mining sector.” Tertius Vermeulen what we have in Komatsu. We believe that

“Komatsu’s prices are very competitive and we are accustomed to and comfortable with the machines’ performance”

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New compact rock bolting rig launched

Atlas Copco is launching a new, compact rig for rock bolting in small- to medium-sized tunnels and drifts. The rig, called the Boltec S, is fully mechanised and can operate in drifts as low as 2.8 m and up to 7.5 m.


ITH THIS LAUNCH, Atlas Copco is filling a gap in the market in terms of small, fully mechanised rock bolting rigs,” says David Shellhammer, division president for Atlas Copco Underground Rock Excavation. “We’re glad to be able to offer a rock bolting rig that fits the smallest tunnels and mines. No-one should ever have to work beneath unsupported ground. With this rig you will be able to eliminate manual bolting, which, in many cases, has previously been the only option in this segment.” Paul A O’Neill, product manager at Atlas Copco, adds: “The low operating height is due to the short dead length on the feed and the low cabin height. The Boltec S has a dead length of only 1.1 m, which is the best in its class.” It can be equipped with the new 14 kW COP 1435 rock drill, which offers up to LEFT Atlas Copco Boltec S – new fully mechanised compact rig for rock bolting TOP INSET Atlas Copco Boltec S – new compact rig for rock bolting in small to medium-size tunnels

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One of EPH Plant Hire’s eight new Komatsu PC200 excavators

30% faster drilling times than the lighter 11 kW COP 1132. Both rock drills are built from the same short housing parts, giving maximum room for installing longer bolts. Another feature is a new operator panel with only two multifunctional levers that control the whole operation from drilling to bolting. A new resin injection steering system, which is also controlled from the operator panel, makes the loading of resin cartridges into the pre-drilled hole much easier, as it is not necessary to move the whole bolting unit. The bolting unit is mounted in a forward facing position. This makes it easier to install bolts in both the left and right hand corners and also allows for face bolting when necessary. The bolt carousel can be loaded in a vertical position, resulting in a much faster reload time and a better working environment for the operator.

Atlas Copco Hydraulic Hammers hit harder & last longer ATLAS COPCO Construction Technique recently supplied eight MB1700 hydraulic hammers to longstanding customer, EPH Plant Hire. “To meet increasing demands in the hire industry, we have increased our rental fleet with the purchase of eight new Komatsu PC200 excavators which have been fitted with the Atlas Copco MB1700 hammers,” states EPH Plant Hire’s Enzo Chiocchi. EPH Plant Hire’s specialised fleet of excavators, fitted with hammers/peckers or buckets, comprises 30 machines ranging from 5 t mini excavators to 30 t machines. The company purchased the first hammer from Atlas Copco in 2007. The MB1700 hydraulic hammers boast a number of operator and maintenance friendly features such as the self-greasing and auto control systems. “A consequence of low maintenance is increased uptime and productivity,” remarks Chiocchi.

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The B60D makes its debut


The inaugural Bauma Africa takes place on the doorstep of South Africa’s leading heavy equipment manufacturer Bell Equipment, and the company plans to make an impact locally by showcasing its strides in innovation with the debut of its 60 t ADT.


OLLOWING IN THE footsteps of the company’s flagship B50D, which was coincidentally released for export at Bauma Germany in 2004, the B60D takes ADT design and innovation into a new league, opening up opportunities for the company in a domain that was previously only contested by rigid haulers. The B60D has full articulation and oscillation steering, but differs from a traditional ADT in that it has two driven axles, giving it a 4x4 capability. The company believes the 60 t payload will allow it to be able to move considerably more dirt than a regular ADT, at a lower cost per tonne than comparative rigid haulers. At the same time, the truck offers much better off-road capability than a rigid hauler and has the ability to work in worse underfoot conditions to increase days in production. Bell Equipment’s marketing manager, Stephen Jones, says: “We’re excited to showcase our cutting-edge products at a show of this magnitude on the African continent. Apart from our B60D, we will also be displaying our new B50D Ejector as well as the E-series ADT and upgraded Fleetm@tic fleet monitoring system, which were very well received at Bauma Germany earlier this year.” According to Jones, the company will also use Bauma Africa to introduce the new

Bomag MPH 600 soil stabiliser and asphalt recycler, as well as to announce the expansion of its Liebherr range of equipment in Southern Africa to include three larger dozers: the Liebherr PR744, PR754 and PR764 models. “Our stand is alongside that of our newest partner, Terex Finlay, which will display its range of mobile material processing equipment that Bell distributes in Southern Africa, thereby giving visitors to our stand a holistic view of our extensive product range.” Commenting on the importance of Bauma Africa, Bell Equipment’s chief executive, Gary Bell, says: “The African continent, particularly sub-Saharan Africa, is on a growth path with various governments and business placing strategic focus on infrastructure and related economic development. As a company, we aim to be the equipment supplier of choice by offering a one-stop shop for equipment solutions backed up with world-class product quality and technical support. Therefore a trade show such as Bauma Africa comes at an opportune time to bring together the various role players. An international exhibition of this stature in our region has been long awaited and Bell Equipment looks forward to the positive spin-offs for the region, the construction industry and our customers.”

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Born and bred right here - Bell is Africa’s very own global equipment supplier. With Bell you get machines built tough for our harsh environment and support from Africa’s most comprehensive network of people dedicated to your success. Best of all, while you are creating infrastructure and jobs, so are we. Choose Bell as your equipment partner and enjoy the pride of knowing you’re not just boosting your business but helping make Africa a better place too. Tel: +27 (0) 11 928 9700 E-mail:

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Building more mobile mining units

Stepping up the in-house manufacture of its mobile mining units (MMUs) is helping explosives supplier BME to further improve its client service levels and market penetration in Africa.


ME HAS BEEN custom-building MMUs to its own designs since 1986, using its own facilities as well as outsourcing its manufacturing needs to keep up with demand. “Our rapid growth into African markets has given us the opportunity to bring more capacity to manufacture in-house,” says Tinus Strauss, senior manager: operations. “We have also streamlined our processes so that we can cut lead times dramatically.” Although the company has always manufactured most of its MMUs, long lead times from external engineering suppliers were creating a bottleneck for the fast-growing company. With strategic investments over the past few years, BME is now able to produce over 50 units a year from its factory in Middelburg, Mpumalanga, according

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BME has been custom building MMUs to its own designs since 1986

to Strauss. The trucks can deliver any formulation to site (pure emulsion explosives, heavy ANFO [ammonium nitrate/fuel oil] doped emulsion and ANFO), providing the logistical backbone to the mine’s supply line of the required explosive blend. The two truck types – emulsion units and heavy ANFO units – are built to exact design specifications, as BME is accredited by the SABS as a bodybuilder. The SABS also certifies each unit before it is commissioned. Using a standard cab-chassis sourced from established truck makers, the company has been refining its MMU design and components to produce a highly efficient on-site solution for opencast mining operations.

“BME’s core business is blasting, so we systematically gather feedback from our teams in the field to constantly improve what we design and build,” he says. With over two decades of experience in engineering these trucks, the company has become expert in customising each one to suit its particular mining application. Its operations in African countries – which include Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mali, Mauritania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo – are often remote, demanding special attention to logistics and ease of maintenance. “We have ensured that our MMUs deliver quality service to our blasting teams on-site, but are also robust and as simple as possible to work on,” said Strauss. “This helps keep availability high by reducing the chance of downtime.” Skills sharing by BME experts also boosts the technical ability of on-site mechanics and ensures the units’ longevity. “On our mining sites around Africa, we support the local mechanics by putting our own specialised technicians on the ground to share expertise and do training on the maintenance of the MMUs,” he points out. To make sure that replacement parts are readily available on-site, BME has also put its own regular transport channels in place to reach Southern African operations. The high levels of local content in the units make it easier to source service parts and contribute substantially to the health of the local engineering sector. Fit-for-purpose design and componentry, combined with good maintenance practices, keep the average MMU ‘on the road’ for about eight years, after which it is withdrawn from service and replaced. The company’s upgraded manufacturing facilities are now geared to meet its replacement demands, which have grown steadily as the number of units in the field had risen. Strauss says that the next couple of years will continue to be busy from a manufacturing point of view. “We have developed systems that allow us to pre-manufacture certain items, so that we can assemble more quickly in the workshop. “Our substantial in-house expertise also means that we can control the amount of outsourcing that we do. But for now, production levels will have to remain high to keep up with our growth and replacement programme.”

For explosive advice, think BME.



Biometric licensing system

a South African first Booyco Electronics has commenced field trials at a local gold mine to validate its pioneering biometric licensing system, which is expected to take the control and licensing of underground machine operators a quantum leap forward.


Booyco Electronics has developed a system that uses fingerprints to authenticate licensed machines operators

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HE DEVELOPMENT OF this technology is likely to become a South African first, and very possibly a world first, and is already attracting widespread interest in the local mining industry. Anton Lourens, MD of Booyco Electronics, explains how the system came about: “A big issue in the mining industry of late has been maintaining proper control of underground machine operators. The issuing of keys to operators has opened the industry up to abuse, which has led to unnecessary safety-related incidents. “In response, we’ve developed a unique system that uses fingerprints to authenticate licensed machine operators. Unique personalised smart cards issued to these operators store their fingerprints, as well as details of all their licensed capabilities, with expiry dates. The only way an operator can access and operate a given machine is if the scanning device on the machine authenticates him by validating his fingerprint. “What is exciting about the system is that this level of control can be applied underground in other control environments, such


as explosive magazines and access control to underground substations. And, in terms of affordability, the new biometric licensing system will prove to be highly cost effective in terms of the value it adds.” Lourens says that the development of this system makes provision for an IS unit powered by an IS power supply, housed in a flame proof enclosure, for use in local coal mines. Communications to and from the biometric device take place via an approved control module. “At Booyco Electronics our philosophy is to supply electronic safety solutions that optimise mine safety,” he says. “We adopt a focused approach to providing innovative mine safety related products that will add value and increase productivity within the Southern African mining sector. “Intimate knowledge of the South African mining industry, combined with engineering and manufacturing expertise, allows us to create winning products for the local market.”

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+2711 823 6842 •



Showcasing every attraction High Power Equipment (HPE) Africa is showcasing the capabilities of its comprehensive product offering from its 1 215 m2 exhibition area.


PE AFRICA will be exhibiting and demonstrating the capabilities of a total of 14 Hyundai machines, including mini excavators, tracked excavators, wheeled excavators, backhoe loaders, wheel loaders and skid-steer loaders. “Exhibiting at a high profile event such as Bauma will expose HPE Africa and its product line to some of the biggest names and decision-makers in the highly lucrative African construction and mining industries, both of which have considerable potential for sustained growth,� general manager, Neil Sauls, explains. “Sophisticated technology and superior performance has enabled Hyundai equipment to work in any terrain, while meeting the demands of a number of construction and mining challenges across the African continent,� he adds. HPE Africa will also be demonstrating its range of Astra ADTs and rigid dump trucks (RDTs), as well as a selection of McCloskey jaw crushers and screens. “As investment in Africa looks set to increase, I am confident that HPE Africa can enter new markets in East and West Africa, while consolidating on its established presence in Southern Africa – especially within the rapidly developing Zambian and Zimbabwean mining sectors,� he concludes.

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Now reliability has a name... HPE AFRICA HPE Africa has a proud reputation in supplying worldleading earth moving equipment and uncompromised service to various industries, including plant hire, construction, government, mining, demolition and materials handling.To reach 110% productivity and get your business in business with the big names in heavy machinery, talk to HPE Africa today. 8SKIXLIV[IGERQSZIXLI[SVPH








A steel award on the horizon? Martin & Associates Consulting Engineers has nominated SBS Tanks’ 3.3 Mℓ Zincalume steel liquid tank in the Southern African Institute of Steel Construction 2013 steel awards.


HIS TANK HAS a diameter of 21.16 m and is 9.39 m high. The wall panels and roof sheets of all SBS Tanks are made of steel that is hot dipped and coated with a molten alloy of 55% aluminum, 43.5% zinc and 1.5% silicon, commonly referred to by its trade name Zincalume, thus rendering the SBS tank highly resistant to corrosion. “It is something out of the ordinary from normal steel structures and presents a whole new perspective to design for all the varying conditions. Although we are not the first to ever manufacture sheet steel tanks, we did push the boundaries,” Martin & Associates Consulting Engineers founder, Jim Martin, explains. Martin & Associates Consulting Engineers and SBS Tanks worked together to develop a range of tanks that are engineered to withstand the harsh South African climate. Martin states: “Our main interest was to refine certain design elements to maximise efficiency of production. It is a great challenge to comply with the design criteria for varying site conditions, different countries/regions, production requirements and transportation. It was exciting to work on something new and different to the everyday building structures.” Delayne Gray, SBS Tanks’ MD, is honoured that the SBS tank has been nominated for this award. “Although this is our first nomination for these awards, we hope it is not our last. We aspire to add value and provide products of quality and excellence into our industry. We are extremely proud of our product and know it is worthy of this nomination and look forward to attending the award ceremony in celebration of this.”

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Plain sailing into Africa Polypipe, one of Europe’s largest manufacturers of plastic piping systems, is set to expand its presence on the African market. The company is focusing on the mining industry, having already secured contracts to supply pipework systems to major mining projects in Kenya and Sierra Leone.


STABLISHED IN 1980, Polypipe is a global organisation. Its British manufacturing operation delivers technical excellence worldwide with over 20 000 product lines that offer the broadest range of plastic pipework systems available from a single manufacturer. With the breadth of its product portfolio, Polypipe is able to offer pipework and water management systems to meet the needs of mining operations, which involve both pressurised pumping and gravity systems, mining process pipework and all of the water supply and drainage involved in the construction of buildings, offices and accommodation complexes.

Polypipe’s export manager, Philip Wood, says: “In territories where water is in short supply, and with processes that place high demands on water usage, effective water management in large-scale mining operations is essential. Mining companies and their contractors need to consider the environmental impact of their operations, so efficient recycling of water used in the various mineral extraction processes is vital. Similarly, when considering the associated infrastructure, the effective reuse of water needs to be an integral part of their pipework design. Our British-made products are designed to meet today’s carbon and water challenges, and we provide solutions for the total water management process, covering capture, treatment, reuse, attenuation and soakaway, along with drainage for buildings and infrastructure.” One of the key product systems for this sector is Polypipe’s PE100, a high-density polyethylene pressure pipe system that has been used in some of the toughest mining environments in applications such as recirculation pipelines for heap leaching operations, solution mining, process slurry pipelines and process water. Chemical- and corrosion-resistant, it can cope with harsh materials from abrasive slurries to corrosive acids, bases and salts. It has excellent TOP Ridgidrain pipes LEFT Ridgidrain installation, Marampa mine, Sierra Leone

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hydraulic properties, enabling large volumes of liquid to be carried at high flow rates, and will resist scaling, biological build-up and damage through thermal shock. Pipes and fittings can be jointed using electrofusion or butt-welding techniques to form a continuous homogenous pipeline, which affords no chance of leakage. Of equal importance in mining applications is the Polypipe Ridgidrain twin-walled pipe system, which is suitable for nonpressurised stormwater, sub-surface gravity drainage and offers a number of advantages over traditional pipe systems. In underground installations, Polypipe twin-wall pipes will accommodate ground movement and subsequent settlement after installation without failure. Twin-wall pipes from 100 to 2 100 mm are available. Wood says: “One of the key advantages of the Polypipe Ridgidrain and RidgistormXL system is that it has excellent environmental credentials. The product has a high recycled plastic content and requires less energy to manufacture than other materials. It is up to 94% lighter than traditional concrete systems, making it easier to handle, which in turn considerably reduces transportation and on-site plant hire costs. When shipping the product overseas, Polypipe can maximise the sea container space by carrying pipes within pipes. This means that considerably more meterage can be loaded into one container – an important consideration when shipping pipes worldwide.”



Withstanding T wear and tear

HE COMPANY’S DIRECT-quenched Raex wear-resistant steel is made in a range of thicknesses from 2 up to 80 mm and can be used to manufacture parts for heavy machinery and equipment designed for excavation, loading, transporting and crushing ore in mines. Such parts include the buckets for excavators and front-end loaders, tipper bodies for heavy earthmoving machinery, mine conveyor systems, crushers, silos and hoppers. Raex wear-resistant steels prevent the wear and damage of structural parts and decrease repair costs for mining and road building machinery. The lifetime of a bucket made of Raex can be between two and three times more than that of structural steels. In applications that require increased payloads, the use of wear-resistant Raex and high-strength Optim steels can reduce the thickness of steel and the weight of tipper bodies by 20%. Raex wear-resistant steels have excellent cutting, bending and welding properties. Made using a direct quenching method developed by Ruukki, Raex wear-resistant steels have a hard steel surface and strong microstructure. The method improves the properties of wear-resistant steels and makes them consistent in quality. Ruukki’s technical customer support offers technical advice and cooperation to customers. Ruukki aims to have its sales network covering all main market areas to enable even faster and more flexible service. In South Africa, Macsteel VRN is Ruukki’s distributor of Raex wear-resistant and Optim highstrength steel products. Ruukki is committed to continuous sustainable development and was included in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for the fifth year running in 2012. Ruukki not only takes energy efficiency into account in its production processes and investment decisions, but also in the manufacture of special steels. This is how it enables customers to make energy-efficient machinery and equipment.

European steel manufacturer Ruukki supplies special steels for all applications requiring wear-resistant or high-strength steels. In South Africa, its customers predominantly operate in the mining sector.

LEFT The service lifetime of mining or recycling equipment is longer thanks to excellent mechanical properties of Raex LEFT INSET Direct quenched Raex wear-resistant steel is made in a range of thicknesses from 2 to 80 mm

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Transforming Kusile

The Zest WEG Group has delivered 18 auxiliary transformers to Eskom’s new Kusile coal-fired power station, about 15 km north of its Kendal power station near eMalahleni, Mpumalanga. This is one of the biggest single orders that Zest WEG Group has received for a power station. Four 7.5 MVA and one 20 MVA WEG transformers, part of the 18 transformers delivered to Eskom’s new Kusile coal-fired power station by Zest WEG Group

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HE DELIVERY is part of an order placed in 2011 for a total of 42 auxiliary transformers, from 3 MVA to 20  MVA, which will be supplied in consignments until 2016. Kusile is Eskom’s second most advanced coal-fired power plant project and will be the first power station in South Africa to have state-of-the-art flue gas desulphurisation technology installed to remove oxides of sulphur from the exhaust flue gases. The first unit is planned for commercial operation in 2014, with the last unit expected to be in commercial operation by 2018. The construction of Kusile power station will have a major impact on the lives and the economy of the community of the Nkangala district, as homes and social infrastructure are being developed to serve the thousands of contractors working on-site. “It’s possible that we secured the contract to supply the auxiliary transformers to Kusile based on the successful deliveries accomplished to date within an older Eskom contract,” says Russell Finch, power division manager at the Zest WEG Group. “Factors such as service, quality, delivery

times and price may have positioned us with Eskom as the best vendor for this category of transformers. Through a different contract awarded by Eskom in 2007, Zest WEG Group is supplying distribution, generation and transmission transformers ranging from 2.5 to 160  MVA to the power utility as part of its infrastructure upgrade programme to boost capacity and meet growing local demand for power. “Auxiliary transformers are a vital element of the Kusile plant and we’re so confident in the reliability of our product that we’ve extended the guarantee on these units to a period of five years from delivery.”

The units are being manufactured and tested at WEG in Brazil, the largest transformer manufacturer in Latin America, with Eskom representatives present to witness and approve the test results for each subsequent consignment. After testing, the auxiliary transformers are partially disassembled and packaged for sea freight to the Port of Durban. Once in Durban, they undergo an initial quality inspection conducted by Zest WEG Group technical personoad to o thee nel, before being transported byy road i inal assembly company’s Middelburg branch. Final o owed and oil filling is conducted followed by cold commissioning of each unit prior to final delivK ery to its temporary plinth at the Kusile site.

“ It’s possible that we secured the e y contract to supply the auxiliary e transformers to Kusile based on the o successful deliveries accomplished to ” date within an older Eskom contract.” Russell Finch, power division manager, Zest WEG Group p

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Global E entity,


reach Looking back over the past 12 months, largescale materials handling specialist Tenova TAKRAF Africa can celebrate a successful year in a tough environment, completing one significant African project and starting another. Strategically, this could not be more important as the company looks to expand its African presence, writes Laura Cornish.

Tenova TAKRAF Africa rapid load out station – supplied to a mine in South Africa

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STABLISHING A GREATER presence in Africa is one of two approaches the company is taking to sustaining and growing the business. And while most South African companies have shown a preference for the SADC region, Tenova TAKRAF’s MD, Riccardo Tonini, says that the company has a lot of experience in the region and is keen to use it as a leverage to venture further north. “Africa is the key to success in the mining sector, so much so that we believe it should provide us with the majority of our workload,” Tonini notes. “Through Tenova’s acquisition of Bateman in 2012, we were provided with immediate access to the technical and competitive in-house knowledge of the global Tenova TAKRAF, which in turn gives us significant depth to provide technological advancements and competitive pricing. This has and will continue to ensure we remain a strong contender for large-scale projects in Africa.” As a global entity, Tenova Mining & Minerals encourages its offices to collaborate on ideas and approaches, providing clients with perfectly tailored best client solutions, delivered by experts all over the globe. “This enables us to tackle big projects confidently without capacity constraints,” adds Tenova TAKRAF engineering general manager, Gavin White. One of Tenova TAKRAF Africa’s strengths is its ability to deliver large-scale EPC projects. “This contracting approach enables the client to know and understand their risk exposure.” The African business arm has already assisted the global Tenova TAKRAF with three different projects, in Chile, Mexico and Indonesia. This was followed by a project execution workshop in Germany where all


involved business units came together to improve future interaction based on lessons learned from the projects. The second business approach moving forwards is to adapt its service offering to meet local needs. “There are fewer capital projects coming online locally in the prevailing economic environment, especially in South Africa, so part of our strategy is to focus on smaller projects, machine upgrades and refurbishments. It’s also a great opportunity to truly enhance client relationships and to better understand their businesses, through providing client support services that assist operations to extend the lives of their machines and to get more out of their existing capital outlay,” Tonini outlines.

Prestigious projects Lumwana copper mine The company completed its contract at the Lumwana copper mine (LCM), which included the design, supply and installation of the conveyor system that feeds copper ore from the newly developed Chimiwungo pit at LCM to the existing process plant. LCM is an opencast copper mine in the north-west province of Zambia and is reported to be Africa’s largest copper mine. With the development of the new Chimiwungo pit, LCM now has two operational mining pits, which have the capability of simultaneously feeding ore to the existing process plant. Ore is already on the new belts,

“Younger generations are changing older-style project approaches, bringing energy, insight and alternative schools of thought, which is something we encourage.”

as mining at the copper project now moves out of the lower-grade material in the Malundwe pit into the new Riccardo Tonini, MD, Tenova TAKRAF Chimiwungo pit. Equinox Minerals, acquired by Barrick Gold Corporation support functions, including procurement, in July 2011, awarded the contract in April inspection, expedition and logistics, con2011. The scope comprises a 300 m long struction site and safety management sacrificial conveyor, a 3.4 km long overland and commissioning. conveyor and a 500 m long conveyor feedThe biggest challenges on this project were ing the process plant at a design capacity of the logistics and an aggressive project pro5 140  tph . The scope of work included all gramme. Transportation of materials and mechanical and structural equipment, inequipment in a large number of trucks from cluding the transfer towers and chutes, with South Africa to Zambia, called for great manTenova TAKRAF Africa’s battery limit for the agement focus and logistical control. project ending at the interface at the top of Moatize load out station Phase 1 and 2 the civil foundations. Having successfully completed Vale’s The overland conveyor had to cross an unPhase 1 load out station for Moatize dulating ground profile, together with a river in Mozambique last year, crossing, which necessitated several special Tenova TAKRAF design features to ensure that belt tensions are maintained. Tenova TAKRAF Africa was also responsible for project management, engineering,  all

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Gantry section of conveyor system supplied to Lumwana copper mine by Tenova TAKRAF Africa

Africa was recently awarded a contract to provide a load out station for the second phase of the project. Kusile Locally, the company’s project for Eskom’s Kusile Power Station remains its biggest LSTK contract. The project comprises of three separate materials handling contracts: the terrace handling system, the stockyard handling system and the limestone handling facility.

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Site access to commence site establishment was granted on 1 April 2011. In May 2013, the team reached 1 million lost time incident-free man-hours on the project, which has been incident free since the start and continues as such. The contract will be completed in phases coinciding with the phased commissioning of the power station over the next few

years. The scope of the project includes project management, engineering, procurement and installation of the yard and inplant conveyors, stockyards, stacking and reclaiming machines, civil works, and electrical and instrumentation work. The three packages include 79 conveyors, totalling a distance of over 16 km, and installation of 13 pieces of heavy equipment. These consist of stackers, reclaimers and feeders for the coal and limestone stockyard packages. When fully commissioned, Kusile, located in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province, will be a six unit, coal-fired power plant, with about 4 800 MW of gross output.

Driving technology and youth “The Tenova group is recognised for its innovation and within Tenova TAKRAF Africa, we are committed to nurturing the same culture throughout our company, pushing hard to be equally as innovative,” White points out.

In it for the long haul Tenova TAKRAF Africa is working on a number of development projects to enable it to be ahead of the curve. This includes conveyor belt dynamic analysis, an optimisation effort that delivers big energy saving advantages. Finite element analysis – specifically for large mills – is another initiative aimed at reducing mass without compromising on performance and capability, thereby driving down costs. “We are working closely with Tenova TAKRAF Germany, and various other companies within the group, to continuously improve our equipment,” White explains. The Tenova TAKRAF Africa has also moved to 3D design packages, enabling equipment and structures to be modelled, aiming at making the transition of drawings to fabricators seamless. It is also bringing ‘constructability’ into the design phase. This leads to better configuration in terms of time frames and overall costs.

“The Tenova group is recognised for its innovation... We are committed to nurturing the same culture throughout our company.” Gavin White, engineering general manager, Tenova TAKRAF Such innovations and approaches align perfectly with new generations entering the field. “Younger generations are changing older-style project approaches, bringing energy, insight and alternative schools of thought, which is something we encourage. Our average age has come down by about 10 years over the past 10 years as we have been placing considerable focus on attracting the best young talent available,” notes Tonini. Conveyor system that feeds copper ore from the newly developed Chimiwungo pit at Lumwana copper mine to the existing process plant

Goodyear Engineered Products, manufactured and sourced exclusively by Veyance Technologies Inc., is a global leader in industrial conveyor belt technology. Designed to withstand the harshest mining applications, our extensive product range includes:

• Steel cord belts • Textile reinforced belts • Solid woven belts We have 16 technical support centres accross Africa, and our global commitment to product innovation and R&D ensures that our brand remains synonymous with quality and reliability.

Goodyear Engineered Products – creator of the world’s longest conveyor belt. Tel: (011) 248 9300 • Fax: (011) 248 9380 Web:



The workhorse


Front end loaders may be one of the e sm smaller m aller m machines acchin n es rii ticc ally important im mpo o rtan nt found on a mine site, but they are critically ce. to an operation’s overall performance. nd Like any ADT, they must be robust and designed to withstand the harshest environment, writes Laura Cornish..

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OLVO CONSTRUCTION Equipment’s local distributor Babcock believes the Volvo range of front end loaders delivers on every performance front. As a result, they contribute significantly to Babcock’s bottom line, generating significant business and opportunities. “We have hundreds of machines running in South Africa’s coalfields and working in hard rock platinum applications where they continuously prove their muscle power,” says Babcock’s equipment sales director, David Vaughan. Front end loaders are used primarily in rehandling applications, strategically moving and loading materials and ore to designated areas. They are designed to be workhorses, with high production rates and strict time constraints. “Volvo equipment is widely recognised for its good fuel consumption rates, operating cost per hour and cost per tonne

moved per litre of fuel burnt. These factors all contribute towards increased productivity, ensuring cost savings for the client when looking at the overall machine life cycle,” notes Vaughan. “The Volvo range sells particularly well in the country, and this can be attributed to its longevity and ability to withstand the toughest applications, which most South African mining operations require. The majority of our machines are still working, with more than 25 000 hours on the clock. In most cases, this way exceeds industry averages – and they are still going.” The inclusion of preventative and maintenance contracts has seen Volvo front end loaders operate efficiently in excess of 30 000 hours. The company’s second largest loader, the L220G (11  t loading capacity), is used widely in slag operations and furnace

applications. “These are probably the toughest applications in industry, working with hot molten slag. The Volvo machines are manufactured to operate regardless. Chains cover the tyres, a slag bucket is incorporated and all internal parts are protected against heat.” One of the company’s biggest clients, AfriSam, uses both the L220G and L350G (17 t loading capacity), which are primarily used at ‘the face’ for digging and loading onto ADTs. Like the rest of South Africa’s mining service providers, Babcock believes the next step to future growth, for this particular product line, is securing new contracts outside of South Africa. The company has working experience in Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and recently opened a service outlet and backup facility in Tete, Mozambique, with an office in Maputo to accommodate the region’s emerging coal sector.

A Red Dot in the bag In 2011, Volvo Construction Equipment won a prestigious Red Dot Award for the L220G in the heavy engineering category and the A40F Articulated Dump Truck won the Red Dot Design Award in 2012. Red Dots are awarded to the best in design and business. An international design competition, the Red Dot Design Award is aimed at all those who would like to distinguish their business activities through design. The distinction is based on the principle of selection and presentation.

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Saving millions Obtaining the ultimate efficiency and dependability from massive capital machines on mines and large-scale bulk materials handling operations can save millions of rand and dramatically increase profits for the companies concerned.

Sandvik Mining Systems has adopted a scientific approach to assist customers to optimise capital machines


OR THIS REASON, Sandvik Mining Systems has adopted a scientific approach to assist customers to optimise capital machines. Through the effective monitoring of performance, reliability and outputs of each machine on-site, the company is able to devise programmes to ensure machines remain reliable and effective. The support services offered by Sandvik Mining Systems are unique as they incorporate all equipment on a customer’s site and are not limited to the company’s own brands. This effectively means that even non Sandvik customers can commission the company’s experts to undertake life cycle analysis and optimisation studies on any make and model of machine used in continuous mining and bulk materials handling industries.

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Plant equipment that can be optimised in this manner includes continuous mining machines, shovels, drills, loaders, stackers, spreaders, reclaimers, shiploaders, conveyors and related equipment.

All makes of machinery According to Rudi Pieterse, market development and sales manager for Sandvik Mining Systems, the decision to support other manufacturers’ machines is not as crazy as it might seem. “The kind of machines we are talking about can cost hundreds of millions of rand and can have an effective lifespan of more than 25 years. Over this period of time, some suppliers disappear, go bankrupt or stop providing effective local support for their machines and that is one of the areas where we can intervene and ensure our customers’ operations can continue.”

He adds that even under normal circumstances the company’s team of global experts is able to undertake inspections and optimise operational characteristics of equipment, work out correct maintenance schedules and preventative maintenance techniques. They are also able to adapt requirements throughout the life cycle of a machine and make changes according to ever-changing operational requirements. “Our after-sales optimisation service is designed to increase volumes processed and add years to the life of the equipment. It also helps to prevent breakdowns and minimises downtime of a plant. There is usually no redundancy in these processes due to the sheer scale of equipment, which makes it critical that they remain reliable at all times,” Pieterse says.

Stepped approach Customer service manager, Willem du Toit, explains that the service can be divided into three separate phases depending on customer’s requirements. Phase 1 type of


assessments typically includes visual inspections and walkovers where damage and irregularities of structural parts are identified. Wear and tear of mechanical and electrical equipment is assessed, and field and safety devices are checked for condition and location. When completed, required work can then be commissioned through Sandvik Mining Systems or through the company’s own maintenance department or suppliers. Similarly, Phase 2 identifies areas of improvement, but relies on a structured audit of stress measurements (e.g. strain gauging and proof loading), non-destructive testing (e.g. wall thickness measuring, dye penetrant and US-testing) and performance tests (eg. power consumption, motor rating and hydraulic pressures). Phase 3 is designed to enhance the process over the lifetime of the equipment. It includes the review and recalculation of performance parameters, finite element analysis (including animations and simulations), as well as fatigue life predictions, quality control procedures, inspection sequences

and maintenance management strategies. Once this has been established, the team is able to scientifically apply lifetime extension and life cycle cost programmes to manage the plant.

Specialist opinions All work is undertaken by a team of multidisciplinary specialists, including senior mechanical, structural and electrical engineers. Where equipment or processes are found to be insufficient, the company is able to identify appropriate actions that need to be taken in order to meet the required outputs of the plant. New machinery or additional machines may even be specified or in other instances plant reductions may be viable. “These services are in place to support our customers’ operations and ensure their continued success. As a result we are able to customise work scopes to support individual companies (or plant) requirements and support almost any machinery through our global team of technical specialists,” concludes Du Toit.

“Our after-sales optimisation service is designed to increase volumes processed and add years to the life of the equipment”

An iron ore stacker reclaimer at Khumani in the Northern Cape

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GRINDING CIRCUIT IMPROVEMENT WITH EXCEPTIONAL RETURN ON INVESTMENT The unique combination of the patented high capacity Stack Sizer and Derrick Polyweb™ urethane screen surfaces (as fine as 45 microns) now makes fine wet screening a practical reality. Over a thousand Stack Sizers are currently operating at mineral processing plants worldwide and earning significant returns. For example, replacing hydrocyclones with Stack Sizers can result in increased mill capacity and production rates, reducing power consumption per ton. Improved classification also minimizes overgrinding of valuable minerals, improving the performance of downstream processes. 5-Deck Stack Sizer Copyright ©2013 Derrick (All rights reserved)



Introducing a new T

HE COMPANY HAS expanded its comminution portfolio focused on the mining, sand and aggregate markets with the introduction of its new Enduron line of comminution equipment, including crushers, screens and feeders. The new line will be sold and serviced through Weir Minerals Africa’s existing regional network and creates a platform for further expansion into the crushing and screening market. “These new products are proven performers in heavy-duty crushing applications,” says Winchester Maphosa, Weir Minerals Africa’s product manager for comminution products and screens. “Enduron crush-ers are characterised by a unique and ingenious design that easily combines lightweight, compact and robust frames to achieve durability, lower total cost of ownership and a better overall performance than other existing models. “The Enduron range places emphasis on enhancing emining productivity and safemise ty, and is designed to maximise ciencustomers’ operational efficienre typcies. Screens and crushers are ically the workhorses of an ore prosign and cessing operation and our design ned with application expertise, combined ces,, will our product support resources, prrovide ensure that the new products provide ope optimum performance as they cope with the demands of today’s mining and aggregates industries. ne “The Enduron SP series cone o crushers range from 100 to n400 hp and we’re already designger ing the next generation of larger s. crushers for future applications. The jaw crushers start from thee model MS2416H, with a 0.6 x r0.4 m open feed size, to our curl, rent largest MS6048H model, with a 1.5 x 1.2 m open feed size..

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Weir Minerals Africa may be recognised first and foremost as a mining pump service provider. It is, however, now equally focused on its other product lines, including comminution, with the introduction of a new equipment range.

“The addition of this equipment enables us to offer KHD high-pressure grinding roll (HPGR) equipment in conjunction with the Enduron range of vibrating screens, feeders and crushers, providing cost-effective comminution packages.” Weir Minerals has a global alliance with KHD Humboldt Wedag to market KHD’s HPGR product in the mining and minerals processing market worldwide and to act as an exclusive recommended global service provider for these products. By linking the service capabilities of the Weir Minerals network with KHD’s leading technology, the company brings a vastly improved offering to its combined customer base. The H HPGR product offers reduced operatcost and improved plant performance ing costs in ore p preparation and mineral processing. Althoug the general benefit of applying Although high-pre high-pressure grinding rolls as an effective, low-e low-energy grinding concept may generally be applicable, considerations for installation of a HPGR are vastly different for every application. In diamond treatment, the most important consideration is an efficient crushing of the ore while at the same time avoiding th the breakage of the larger diamond ge gems. Apart from other benefits, HP HPGRs are especially suited for the treat treatment of diamond ores. In ggold or copper ore treatment, HPGR grind grinding has been shown to increase the recovery r of values. As was indicated d above, a most ores are susceptible to the ccreation of microcracks in or alon along the mineral grain surfaces b by the high press force. This promotes mineral liberation for gravity recovery, or the access and percolation of leaching fluids rendering the o more amenable to recovery ore

LEFT TOP The Enduron MS Series hydraulic jaw crushers LEFT The Enduron SP Series high-capacity cone crushers


product range by leaching. Based on the microcracks, a high contact between the leaching fluid and the mineral surfaces is achieved in order to obtain a profitWinchester Maphosa, product manager, able production. In addition, it has comminution products and screens, Weir been shown that naMinerals Africa tive gold particles in ores treated by like spiral or centrifugal concentration HPGRs are not flattened, in contrast to are more efficient with an improved gold what occurs in ball mills. This is a result of recovery. In sulphide ore beneficiation, the typical grinding conditions of an HPGR. HPGRs can selectively increase liberation. As a consequence, separation processes

“The Enduron range places emphasis on enhancing mining productivity and safety.”

The generation of micro cracks in or along the mineral grain surfaces assists in liberating the locked minerals ahead of gravity concentration, classification, or flotation.

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Dedicated delivery New ROM grinding mill for Katanga Mining Glencore’s purchase of FLSmidth’s new 23 foot grinding mill for the Katanga Mining operation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) speaks well of the reputation of this technology.


ATANGA MINING OPERATES a large-scale copper/cobalt project with substantial high-grade mineral reserves and integrated metallurgical operations. The new grinding mill will be delivered ex-works together with associated equipment. It is likely to be commissioned in the third quarter of 2014 at the mine’s copper KCC concentrator plant. The new equipment will be commissioned into an existing milling plant at the Katanga concentrator, in which multiple AG and ball mills already operate. Terence Osborn, minerals capital sales and marketing manager at FLSmidth, says the new grinding mill will boost plant reliability and enable production throughput predictability. “It has been well proven to be high-quality and reliable equipment, and we have a growing relationship with this client,” Osborn says.

In addition, Katanga Mining will implement FLSmidth’s proprietary Process Expert System (PXP) advanced process control mill optimisation package. This high-level process control solution is proven to simultaneously reduce cost and improve product quality. “The mill is running in closed circuit with hydrocyclones and we’ve developed software that takes the milling plant operation into account holistically,” Osborn says. “Having expert knowledge of mill circuits, we’re in an ideal position to ensure that the whole system runs in a well-balanced and optimal manner, harnessing PXP to achieve a consistent throughput. “Achieving consistency is particularly important at this operation, since test work data indicates that the ore from this project will be variable from a hardness perspective and this always makes mill circuit control more challenging. The best way to maximise plant productivity is to maximise stability. By running the plant as consistently as possible, the mine will achieve a better quality downstream product.” FLSmidth will provide expert supervision during installation and commissioning, and is currently discussing the appropriate spares requirement.

TOP A 34 x 18 inch gear-driven SAG mill and a 23 x 32 inch ball mill supplied to a mine by FLSmidth LEFT A 26 x 38-6 inch gearless ball mill supplied to a mine by FLSmidth

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Biggest order to date for perforated plates FLSmidth recently completed its biggest order to date for perforated plate supplied under its Meshcape Screen Media product line. The perforations, ordered by DB Thermal, involved punching oval apertures through 12 mm thick boiler plate and are a component of cooling fins in the cooling towers at Eskom’s Kusile coal-fired power station in Mpumalanga. This is the first time the company has supplied these products into the power generation sector. FLSmidth’s Meshcape Screen Media product line comprises screening media products, woven wire mesh, woven wire screens, wire conveyor belts, wedge wire, perforated material, modular polyurethane systems and polyurethane products. Ian Hewat, sales manager for industrial screen media at FLSmidth, says he believes the company is the only one in South Africa capable of manufacturing perforations to DB Thermal’s specifications. “The tonnage required to punch the apertures through such thick plate is extremely high, but we were able to accommodate this request using our existing 160  t 4-axis CNC perforating press,” he comments. DB Thermal placed the order with the company in 2008 for a total of 6 500 perforated plates in three different sizes – 3  125.5 x 460  mm, 3  125.5 x 450  mm and 3  048.5 x 429  mm – and deliveries were made on a


weekly basis in keeping with the customer’s roll-out plan, with completion of the order in June 2013. In addition, the company was requested by Tubular Holdings, a subcontractor to DB Thermal on the Kusile project, to supply 1 920 woven wire screens to protect the fans in the air-cooling condensers. This order comprised two different screen sizes with 70 mm apertures. The order was placed in 2010 and is being supplied on a staggered basis until early 2014. Quality control and scheduling for both orders was critical and dedicated project teams have been deployed to ensure the two orders meets with the customer’s specifications and roll-out plans. “We will continue to develop new materials both to meet customer requirements and to introduce product advancements, in keeping with our commitment to reduce the total cost of ownership to our customers,” says Hewat. “Last year, in conjunction with the Scaw Metals Group, we launched a new wire specifically for screening in the quarrying and mining  sectors. ”

LEFT DB Thermal plates stacked and ready to go LEFT Johannes Mlambo, supervisor of the Medium Weave Department at FLSmidth, monitoring production of Tubular screen

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Geology solution independent Iterative design process Fantastic graphics performance

Interactive scheduling with EPS Visualize, Animate with EPS Viz SpatialDBTM Exchange-Ready

The new Mine2-4D combines with EPS to form a complete mine planning and scheduling system that delivers cost and performance improvements like no other solution. Along with MineRP’s Spatial Database, Mine2-4D delivers unrivalled data management and integration capabilities.



N 1899, Olive Schreiner, author of The Story of an African Farm, described the mining town of Johannesburg as: “I am slowly being confirmed in my opinion that Johannesburg is hell. Every man living for himself, every man fighting for gold, gold, gold and trampling down everything that stands in his way.” Marikana highlights how, for some, this interpretation of the industry, which accounts for about 18% of South Africa’s GDP and creates employment for about one million people, hasn’t changed much in over 100 years. It’s not always for want of trying, however. Increasingly, many mining companies in South Africa are grappling with the paternalistic ‘Randlord model’ they inherited, one which thrives on disempowerment and, if anything, discourages partnership building. Examples of successful community-mine, labour-mine, mine-government and minemine relationships from the rest of Africa have highlighted the benefits of such cooperation. Closer to home, the community-shareholder model adopted by the Royal Bafokeng stands as testament to the fact that old-school mining models can be successfully adapted to ensure greater value and long-term sustainability. The 2013 Mining Indaba in Cape Town certainly plugged into this focus on sustainable development and partnership building. Both were strong themes in South Africa-optimist and Anglo American CEO designate Mark Cutifani’s keynote speech, as well as that by Gold Field’s former chair Mamphela Ramphele. Cutifani noted that: “Our job is to support society and if we aren’t providing societies with long-term solutions to the challenges and problems they have, then our businesses, by definition, aren’t sustainable.” Ramphele commented: “The Marikana tragedy and other violent incidents of the past year are symptomatic of conflicts over scarce resources in our social relationships.” With the events at Marikana still hanging over us, this shift in thinking is both welcome and imperative, and goes beyond the notion of a ‘social licence’ as we know it. While the Marikana Commission has focused media attention on the tragic clash between striking workers and the police, it


A case for partnerships It is almost impossible to divorce the powerful history of mining from the South African story. From the diamond fields of Kimberley to the discovery of gold on the Witwatersrand in 1886, the Randlords’ focus on cheap, unskilled labour in the 1900s to the tragic events at Marikana in 2012, the legacy of South Africa’s mineral wealth has often been characterised by polarised and inward-looking agendas. If Marikana can yield one lesson, it is around the need to foster genuine social partnerships in the mining industry.

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must be remembered that the first ripple of this tsunami was a labour dispute. Critically, in the absence of open dialogue and committed partnerships, a number of other agendas were able to latch onto the strike and gain traction by fuelling existing dissatisfactions and highlighting the chasm between management and mine workers. As both Cutifani and Ramphele’s comments at the Mining Indaba showed, the industry responded by rapidly shifting the discussion beyond the granting of community ‘permission’ to miners and into the realm of concrete partnerships. Community goodwill in the form of a ‘social licence’ may be seen as something that can be taken away, but formalised social partnerships go beyond that and begin to talk about social value and the ongoing nature of mutually dependent relationships. Partnerships, by their very nature, suggest a journey, a process and a marriage of sorts – something you have to work on, nurture and keep in good repair.

What do these partnerships mean? While it’s encouraging for leading players in the industry to stand up and voice a united call for cooperation and partnership building, the reality is more complicated. Because of this complexity, regulatory requirements have, invariably, come into play – both in the South African and African context. While such controls certainly have a place in this discussion and have pushed consultation onto the agenda, they represent just one thread in a complex tapestry, which taken in isolation will inevitably have a one-dimensional impact. Globally, relationships of this depth are few and far between, so there are great opportunities for development. What is needed is a strategic vision by both industry and government, one which sets ambitious targets. Whether the ultimate ideal is reached will prove less important than the sustainable journey. It will also require mining companies to lay out and unearth all the


relationships they must manage as this more complicated framework of cooperation takes shape. These include relationships with labour, communities, regulators, government, fellow miners, NGOs and lobby groups. Furthermore, they are impacted by overlapping relationships between labour and communities, government and labour, government and communities, etc. The real deal-breaker is the relationship between mining companies and their investors and shareholders. Mamphela Without shareholder buyin, the whole partnership house of cards will come tumbling down. The mine-shareholder partnership is, therefore, key to the ultimate success of this model in industry, because without shareholders looking beyond the effect on short-term profits, the value of wider partnerships cannot be fully explored.

unrest in that country. While labour unrest has heavily impacted other mines in the region, Sierra Rutile has been able to build on long-held and solid relationships with the community in its area, which date back to the mine’s establishment in the 1970s. Un-

“The Marikana tragedy is symptomatic of conflicts over scarce resources in our social relationships.”

Partnerships in practice There are, of course, global examples of mining companies getting this aspect of their partnership network right. Switzerland-based Pala Investments is a case in point. The company, which operates Sierra Rutile in Sierra Leone, is very conscious of sustainability, reputation and the associated risks. Pala has taken the decision to move beyond local compliance, both to build lasting relationships with local communities and to show government that the company wishes to be a serious player in the nation’s development. Pala’s investors have, therefore, embarked on the path of ensuring that the Sierra Leone operations meet international standards, for the ultimate benefit of the sector, the affected communities and the country. This forward-thinking approach has also proved wise in the context of industry

Ramphele, former chair, Gold Field derpinning this cooperation is the community’s realisation that the mine is a vehicle for other benefits and, as such, is an important part of their economic development. In both Mali and Cameroon, mining companies are starting to work closely with government and, specifically in Cameroon, companies are looking to build regulatory capacity and skills. Such moves are clearly mutually beneficial to mining and government, and ultimately to the economy as a whole. In South Africa, many companies are looking beyond traditional BEE projects to the development of community trusts, which will offer greater advantages to communities. This speaks to the development agenda of South Africa’s 2030 National Development Plan and, in some cases, these partnerships include a number of neighbouring mines coming together to cooperate and create a cumulative impact in an area, rather than operating in isolation.

Profits, people, planet? As a new faith in cooperation moves into the mining sector it asks questions of business allegiances and corporate imperatives. In a sense, it is probably more desirable for

companies to build social relationships in high-return, high-risk environments where shareholders can afford to benefit surrounding communities. But if companies are operating in high-risk, low-return environments – like we are in South Africa at the moment – then it’s a lot harder to make that business case. And, behind the good intentions, profits will continue to drive mining operations. Companies, communities, government and lobby groups will all come to this mining ‘marriage’ with different agendas and strategies. All the players need to recognise their strategic agendas and understand the motivations of others around the table. Irrespective of the differences there will be points of convergence and those must be the starting point for a longterm coming together. Proper stakeholder analysis, steering clear of expedient relationships that could undermine other partnerships, empowering the right liaison channels within mining companies and building trust are all key to meaningful engagement. The question that underpins this debate is whether the events at Lonmin’s platinum mine would have happened if such solid partnerships and relationships were already in place in August 2012. Of course, hindsight is 20/20 and one can only wonder if a forum of community leaders, workers, company representatives and government would have prevented so many agendas latching onto an already explosive situation. If the views of main players like Ramphele and Cutifani are anything to go by, then the industry itself has recognised that it simply cannot go it alone. The critical question is how it approaches these partnerships and if it is prepared to be a key partner, rather than the main player.

This article was compiled by SRK Consulting South Africa

Tim Hart, corporate consultant

Vassie Maharaj, associate partner and principal consultant Darryll Kilian, partner and principal environmental consultant

Donald Gibson, partner

Briony Liber, associate partner and principal consultant

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INDEX TO ADVERTISERS 3rd Global H & S Forum in Mining




Abeco Tanks


Joy Global


ALS Group


Junior Mining & Exploration

Atlas Copco






7 11 OFC

Bearings International


Loesche SA


Bell Equipment Co SA








Booyco Electronics


Resources for Africa

Caldas Engineering


Derrick Corporation

Roymec Technologies


Ruukki Metals


Southern African Coal Processing Society (SACPS)


SBS Water Systems

75 OBC

SEW Eurodrive Stefanutti Stocks Mining Services



Tanzania Mining Indaba


Mineral Resource Development




Multotec Group




Digby Wells & Associates (South Africa)


Nalco Africa




EHL Consulting Engineers






Osborn Engineered Products

Vermeer Equipment Suppliers




Pilot Crushtec


Veyance Technologies SA




PJ Tech




Hansen Transmissions


Polypipe Building Products


Voith Grindex


HPE Africa




Weir Minerals




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Inside MIning September 2013  

The September 2013 edition of Inside Mining