Mining Business Africa September/October 2022

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ESG-friendly alternatives to cyanide and reagents 3D Printing for component fabrication September - October Condition-based Inspections & Maintenance for mine haul roads Targeting Africa’s Mining Decision Makers
We manufacture Mill Liners for all applications RUBBER POLY STEELSTEEL GROWTH STEEL AFRICA PTY LTD ENQUIRY@GROWTHSTEEL.COM WWW.GROWTHSTEEL.COM GROW WITH US HEAD OFFICE +62 (0) 61 685 0206 TELEPHONE +27 104 926 563 MOBILE +27 82 0500 901 Quality Products We provide complete solutions to the mining industry globally. From wear resistant steel/rubber mill liners, fasteners, grinding media, crushers and more, all our products have undergone rapid and intense testing to ensure long-lasting quality. Our Difference Defines Us • High Supply Capacity • Acknowledged by the Indonesian Ministry of Trade for Outstanding Performance • World Leader in Service Excellence • International Standard, High-Quality Steel • World’s Best Practices • Custom Mill-Liners For Your Needs • Expertise from Dedicated Mill-Design Centres

Energy & Combustion Services



Editor’s Note

South Africa needs a predictable atmosphere

As this publication is headed to press, in South Africa, employees of Transnet, the country’s state-owned entity (SOE) that manages port infrastructure are on strike, and are unbending in their demands presented to management. The impact of the strike on the country’s economy has been devastating, as imports and exports have been halted. Predictably, mining companies have not been spared, with ore destined for overseas stuck and unable to receive components for equipment struck at ports. Mining executives are in a tight spot, bereft of options, hoping to see an end soon.

This coming at a time when the power blackouts – called load-shedding in power generation parlance – have been costing the country’s economy not less than a conservative estimate of twenty billion Rands a day (about a billion dollars, that’s not a small change). The situation can best be described as a doublewhammy, and that is being modest. Its real impact may be downplayed.

If one may recall, less than eighteen months ago, rampant looting disrupted the country’s domestic supply chain in July 2021. Aggravating matters was that this emerged when the COVID-19 pandemic had already wreaked havoc on the logistics and supply chain.

Worse still, the Transnet strike comes at a time when the logistics and supply chain sector had been recuperating. This is based on the bullish sentiments of some industry specialists.

The abovementioned events illustrate the unpredictability of the economic atmosphere in South Africa. The operations of industries that are the economic heartbeat are at the mercy of factors beyond their control. Sadly, a crisis in the country - not least on the ports - has ripple effects on the region.

Without doubt, an urgent mindset shift is needed. All parties with vested interests – mainly unions, industry and political bodies - need to look at the bigger picture and be on the same page in pertinent economic matters.

Art Director/Layout

and Marketing


Media Icon (Pty) Ltd makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the contents of its publications, but no warranty is made as to such accuracy and no responsibility will be borne by the publisher for the consequences of actions based on information so published. Further, opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Media Icon (Pty) Ltd.

24 38 02 CONTENTS September - October 2022
ESG-friendly alternatives to cyanide and reagents 3D Printing for component fabrication September October Condition-based Inspections & Maintenance for mine haul roads Targeting Africa’s Mining Decision Makers Editor Nick Barnes +27 10 055 3356 Web/Sub-Editors Jimmy Swira + 27 10 055 3356 Anita Anyango Contributing
Chantelle C. + 27 10 055 3356 Susan M. Sales
Winnie Sentabire +27 83 530 6832 | +27 10 055 3356 Angeline Ntobeng + 27 078 322 5938 + 27 010 055 3356
Precious Chirunga + 27 10 055 3356
Augustine Ombwa Arobia Creative Consultancy +254 772 187 334 Circulation/Sales + 27 10 055 3356 Published By Media Icon (Pty) Ltd TEAM Effective Haul Road Management Central to Safe and Productive Mining COVER STORY: PG06 Cover Image: Energy & Combustion Services Group (ECS) SmartRoadTM
has developed SmartRoadTM, a solution that allows for Condition-based Inspections, Monitoring, and Maintenance Management Information for Paved, Unpaved, and Mining Haul Road Networks.s 13

3D printing for the fabrication of intricate metal components & spare parts

Advanced Manufacturing Technology for Specific Applications and Situations

Aditiv Solutions recently launched their flagship metal 3D printer, the Hyrax, to outstanding critical acclaim at the 2022 Electra Mining exhibition. The innovation notched the award for “the most innovative new product“ and was lauded as “one of the most cost-efficient metal 3D printers on the market“. Encouraged by the response, the company is eager to meet the need of industry and to provide a powerful additional tool for the “manufacturing toolbox“ in South Africa and the region.

SouthAfrica has a strong and established manufacturing culture, but as recent developments indicate, there are specific applications and situations where traditional manufacturing may not suffice. Fascinatingly, this is where additive manufacturing (or 3D printing) is filling the void as an alternative advanced manufacturing technology.

Marius Vermeulen, the CEO of Aditiv Solutions, predicts that industries like petrochemicals, automotive, mining, medical, dental, oil and gas in South Africa and the region will benefit enormously from utilising the advantages of additive manufacturing. This follows a successful exhibition at the 2022 Electra Mining Africa, where its locally developed and produced Hyrax metal 3D printer won the award for the most innovative new product. The Hyrax metal 3D printer is currently hailed as “one of the most cost-efficient metal 3D printers on the market”.

Aditiv Solutions is upbeat about the increase in uptake for additive manufacturing technology in South Africa and the region. However, Vermeulen believes it is important that industries familiariase themselves with the rudiments of this groundbreaking technology to make informed decisions and reap the benefits. In a quest to raise awareness, he particularly draws attention to the following areas: additive manufacturing as an on-demand manufacturing

solution; additive manufacturing technology as a ‘powerful tool‘ in addition to the broader manufacturing box; the enormous advantages the technology is bringing to industries; and new opportunities that the technology is opening up.

Additive manufacturing as an ondemand manufacturing tool At the outset, to appreciate the niche of additive technology as advanced manufacturing technology for specific applications and situations’ better, it is imperative to analyse the shortcomings of “traditional manufacturing” in a modern manufacturing era.

While “Traditional manufacturing” serves the requirements of industry, there are several challenges that have highlighted certain shortcomings in recent years. Chiefly, these include locations far from the point of consumption, huge environmental impact, and exposure to global events beyond the control of producers.

• Far from point of consumption

In many industrial sectors, on-demand manufacturing is employed to reduce inventory and storage requirements. However, “Traditional Manufacturing” is still mainly characterised by centralised, large-scale production, often far from the point of consumption. This often affects delivery timelines and component availability.

Enormous environmental impact

Changes in regulations aimed at reducing climate change are obliging industries to comply with sound Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting requirements.

Increasingly, ‘Traditional Manufacturing’ is being challenged due to material wastage during the manufacturing process, as well as the enormous environmental impact of carbon emissions and packaging requirements of the supply chains. This is prompting industries to explore alternative methods.

• Global events

Several global events in the last decade (such as COVID, blockage of shipping routes, maritime piracy, and war efforts) have also been highlighting a certain fragility in supply chains with a tremendous increase in lead times and a shortage of many components.

This has affected the operations of industries that need the certainty of supply of components, laments Vermeulen. “For some major industries, such as the mining, transport and power generation industries, complicated supply chains have an even greater impact where operations are often in remote global locations. Transport costs (monetary and environmental) for spares and accessories are much higher in these locations and long lead times can have a detrimental impact on downtime. These facilities

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often keep tremendous stockpiles of spares at a substantial cost and work on a “replace-notrepair” policy.”

Powerful additional “tool” in the manufacturing “toolbox

Additive manufacturing has become a critical alternative manufacturing solution for local companies to compete in global markets. However, Vermeulen clarifies that it is not a replacement technology for traditional manufacturing, but rather a powerful additional “tool” in the manufacturing “toolbox”. “The technology poses significant advantages which often make it a preferred manufacturing technology for specific applications and situations. Due to the nature of the technology, it also allows for the manufacture of components that was previously not possible, opening up new business models in a wide range of industries.”

Enormous advantages

Metal 3D printing has proven to be a technology with very specific advantages over conventional manufacturing processes, mainly in the following areas:

• It allows for the manufacture of net/nearnet parts with very little material waste.

• The manufacture of highly complex geometries is possible, which inter alia allows for reducing the weight of parts, adding complex features to parts and also reducing the part count of assembled systems.

• The technology further allows for distributed manufacturing models supported by digital part libraries that enable companies to manufacture on-site and on demand.

• Another advantage over some conventional manufacturing technologies is the ability to manufacture parts without the need for tooling. This enables cost-efficient manufacturing of low-volume components and spare parts. This is especially true for older equipment where stores of tooling are required to support equipment that has not been in production for a long time. When a replacement part is needed on older equipment, lead times and costs are often high due to missing and/or damaged tooling.

Ideal for diverse applications

With metal additive manufacturing, it is possible to produce intricate parts directly from CAD data. This feature makes it a viable manufacturing solution for many industries. Particularly, additive manufacturing is especially suited to applications where:

• Custom or client-specific parts are required, such as the medical, dental and high-end sports goods industries;

• Low-volume production is required for example the manufacture of high-end or

specialised equipment;

• Distributed or on-site manufacturing is required to reduce stockpiles, eliminate tooling, allow for just-in-time manufacturing and reduce long and complicated supply chains;

• Spare parts are required for out-of-service components;

• The manufacturing of intricate parts is required such as the production of heat exchangers, impellers, nozzles, etc.;

• Advanced tooling is required for example the manufacture of tooling with advanced conformal cooling channels and

• Where weight-saving is critical, for example, in the manufacture of electric vehicles and aerospace parts.

Rapidly expanding niche

Due to these advantages, as you would have thought, the niche of the additive manufacturing industry is expanding rapidly today, especially in the field of producing metal components for final part production. Thus, it is not surprising that additive manufacturing has already transformed several industries, such as the medical and dental industries.

Limitations of accessing additive manufacturing

With these enormous advantages, additive manufacturing should be a tool of choice where low volumes are required. However, today, the prohibitive cost of additive manufacturing systems, and the subsequent high cost of AM-produced parts, are limiting the use of the technology mainly to so-called, high-value, lowvolume industries, such as the aerospace and medical industries.

Affordable machines options

Fortunately, metal 3d printing machines are becoming more affordable, driving down the cost of the process and allowing the technology to address the manufacturing requirements of a wider range of industries. By ensuring a more affordable solution, the possibilities arise for other industries to also capitalise on the advantages of AM for a range of applications

Aditiv solutions’ complete customised solution

Aditiv Solutions is aware that, while the emergence of additive manufacturing presents companies with unique solutions and new business cases, it can also be a challenge to effectively implement new technologies. Thus, given this situation, Vermeulen affirms that Aditiv Solutions has developed affordable metal 3D printing solutions that can be customised to meet their clients‘ specific needs. “We are a South African company with a focus on providing metal 3D printing solutions that address the needs of a wider range of industries, working closely with our clients to develop relevant solutions.”

A Pretoria-based outfit, Aditiv Solutions is vastly experienced in additive manufacturing, with some of the leading experts in South Africa in the development of high-end metal additive manufacturing machines. Its team has more than 20 years of experience in metal AM with a specific focus on the development of custom metal additive manufacturing equipment. The Hyrax, their flagship metal 3D printer is a proudly South African-developed and produced machine, aimed at supporting a wide range of industries.

Notable case studies

In the past five years, the application of 3D printing has been gaining traction in mainstream manufacturing.

The following are among numerous applications:

• 3D printing in mining is used to manufacture prototypes and equipment parts. OEMs such as FLSmidth, Caterpillar, Epiroc and Sandvik have adopted the technology for parts manufacture.

• Anglo-American has partnered with the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and US-based technology company, Ivaldi Group, to boost supply chain efficiencies.

• In 2019, Sandvik manufactured a 3D-printed diamond composite using an additive manufacturing process called stereolithography. It produced industrialgrade diamonds for drilling and cutting.

• Siemens used additive technology to manufacture spare parts for trains.

With the introduction of affordable technologies to the market, the scope of applications of 3D printing (additive manufacturing) is set to broaden.

Tel: +27727294581

Email: Building 17a, CSIR, Meiring Naude Rd, Pretoria, 0184

Mining Business Africa | September - October 2022 3

Crusher for underground mining Mobile crushing solutions are making their way underground

Mining companies that are mining underground are starting to see the potential benefits in using mobile crushers. But why? Metso Outotec expert, Julius Mäkelä, provides some insights into why mobile crushing solutions are becoming increasingly popular in underground applications.

equipment adds minimal risks to the operation as a whole, is always on the list of considerations.

Mobile crushing units are always preassembled and tested at the factory. This takes away any installation risks on site. It also gives the mine operators peace of mind knowing the mobile unit has been tested, it works and can be easily integrated into the given application.

Due to the flexibility of the machine, and ease of transportation, all service work can be performed above ground compared to stationary solutions underground. This also eliminates the need for an extra equipment underground because of the ability to move freely.

Role of automation and remote operations

Mobilecrushers continue to increase in popularity for the open-pit mine operators seeking to reduce haul traffic and lower life-cycle costs. But due to innovations, there is an increasing demand for them in underground applications too.

Now, underground mining operations are seeing mobile crushing solutions as a viable option

Advantages of mobile crushing solutions for underground applications

The main advantages are going to be the flexibility and adaptability of the solution.

Compared to stationary equipment, the mobile solution, being on wheels or track mounted with a compact design, allows ease of movement around the mine.

From a practical standpoint, the construction work, needed to develop underground mines, often involves track mounted equipment and tunnels creating ease of access to deliver equipment to the location.

If customers are looking to raise the base for the ore value, another advantage would be

being able to reprocess the material saves time and resources compared to having to transport outside of the mine to a refinery.

Also, mobile crushers are going to reduce the required haul trucks which allows greater control on dust, but also reduces the risks overall due to truck traffic going in and out of the mine.

Innovations for mobile crushing solutions

There are several innovations that boosted the mobile crushers to becoming a viable option underground. One area that is of particular interest is the modularity for very deep mines, where the access points are only through a mine shaft, usually a very tight space, but the equipment has to get down there.

Having solutions that can be dismantled into sections allows the equipment to be ’delivered’ to its destination and easily constructed due to the design.

Increasing safety for underground crushing

Safety is essential at any mine site, especially underground. There are plenty of safety measures to take and ensuring that the

Traditionally, mobile equipment has integrated automation. But bigger mining companies tend to require open platforms in which they can really see the code and have full control. When it comes to mobile crushing the trend is changing. Even bigger mining companies are starting to accept integrated automation, and this creates more opportunities to develop automation for mobile crushers.

So yes, automation is coming. And there are ideas already in the works involving loaders and crushers. In fact, there are already automated pulling machines and loaders, which are delivering benefits.

Future adoption of mobile crushing solutions

Over the next few years, the application of mobile crushing solutions is looking to increase and there will not be a stop as we go into the long-term future.

Primarily, it comes down to the flexibility. They can be used in many different applications – in tunnel construction, primary crushing for the main mine process, even at ground level for any work that is going on. So, taking it from underground to above ground is always an option.

Julius Makela is Vice President of Mid-sized and Mobile Crushers, Metso Outotec

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Industry Leading Equipment Warranty!!!

DONATI, an industrial crane and hoist OEM established in 1930, based in Northern Italy offers an industry leading warranty period on all Donati products. Whereas most competitors in the industrial crane industry offer a 12-month warranty from date of dispatch, Donati is so confident of the quality and reliability of their products that they offer a 36-month warranty on all of their product range.

The Donati product range comprises of:

• DMK Electric chain hoists 125kg – 4000kg capacity

• DRH Electric wire rope hoists – 800kg –50000kg capacity

• Jib crane range from 125kg to 10000kg – in both manual and power-driven variants

• DSC profiled light crane system from 125kg – 1000kg

• End carriages, wheel blocks and drive units for all mobile machinery applications ie. Transfer cars, etc.

Donati supplies their products to crane builders and material handling system integrators worldwide and is represented in Africa by Charco Cranes located in Benoni on the East Rand in Gauteng.

Charco Cranes was established in 2017 and is a registered LME with accredited LMI crane technicians for all crane and hoist installation and after sales support. Charco Cranes have been supplying Donati cranes and products into the South African and sub-Saharan markets and have a substantial reference and referral list at its disposal.

Contact the Charco Cranes team for efficient and friendly service, complimented by a reliable, high quality product range from Donati.

Contact details:

Office: +27 11 420 0394

Address: No. 2, Cnr Van Dyk and Glasgow Road, Lassiter Business Park, Industrial Sites, Benoni, South Africa

New equipment sales & support: Richard – +27 (0)66-498-6101

After sales service & support: Johan – +27 (0) 76-421-1142

CHARCO CRANES is a leading service provider for maintenance and product solutions for all major brands of overhead material handling equipment.

Donati supplies their products to crane builders and material handling system integrators worldwide and is represented in Africa by Charco Cranes located in Benoni on the East Rand in Gauteng. Tel: +27 11 420 0394


Mining Business Africa | September - October 2022 5
| Web:

Condition-based Inspections, Monitoring & Maintenance Management for Mining Haul Road Networks

Effective Haul Road Management Central to Safe and Productive Mining

Cost-effective and sustainable management of road functionality is critical to productive and safe mining operations. Yet ‘traditional’ methods fall short in enabling mining companies to meet this vital objective. Thus, to help to address this challenge effectively, Energy & Combustion Services Group (ECS) has developed SmartRoadTM , a solution that allows for Condition-based Inspections, Monitoring, and Maintenance Management Information for Paved, Unpaved, and Mining Haul Road Networks.


roads and infrastructure are critical components of mining production systems. The design, construction, and maintenance of roads impact heavily on safety, productivity, energy, and costs. Hence, management of road functionality plays a pivotal role in the total cost and safe operation of roads, as well as ensuring legal compliance.

In the current business operating environment where there is a sustained focus on improving safety, productivity, and energy efficiency, ensuring that equipment and people operate in good road conditions has become more important than ever before.

Mining operations can manage their haul roads effectively only if they are equipped with relevant and actionable information. That is why they need to use digital systems to support effective management of road functionality. However, it has been established that what are commonly regarded as ‘traditional’ road inspection and reporting methods, inherent

with limitations, fall short of enabling mining operations to meet this objective. Thus, this calls for modern digital methods that have been tried and tested in challenging conditions to be explored.

This is the sage advice of Dr Mark Rawlins Pr Eng, Executive Chairperson and Chief Engineer at Energy & Combustion Services Group (ECS), to mining companies through an interview with Mining Business Africa. The ECS Group has built a reputation in the provision of smart road condition monitoring solutions to organisations in mining and other sectors.

Mark recommends the adoption of digital systems, enhanced by Machine Learning and advanced analytics, for management of road functionality, like SmartRoadTM in particular. This is based on evidence of success obtained from different operational sites, substantiating that digital systems play a pivotal role in the total cost and safe operation of roads.

‘Traditional’ road inspection and reporting

The strong business case for the adoption of SmartRoadTM in effective management of roads becomes crystal clear when the challenges of ‘traditional’ inspection and reporting methods are examined. In this context, ‘traditional’ inspection and reporting methods include the following range of activities:

• A competent person driving on the roads making mental or written notes of road conditions and then giving written or verbal feedback to others;

• Taking photographs of road conditions or taking notes and then sending a report via WhatsApp or email;

• Dispatch controllers getting feedback from vehicle operators as they identify issues, mainly dusty or wet conditions; and

• Truck vibration monitoring systems reporting excessive vibration, but without any situational context on road condition, which still requires an inspection.

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Challenges of ‘traditional’ methods

Typically, mining operations have extensive road networks – both for heavy vehicle production and light vehicle traffic. Monitoring these road conditions becomes challenging with ‘traditional’ inspection methods. Mainly, using these methods becomes time and labour-intensive, and it is not easy – if at all – to report, review and schedule maintenance and repair.

• Time and labour-intensive

Usually, road condition inspection without an advanced and integrated digital platform is time and labour-intensive. Particularly, the key challenges with inspecting mining haul roads for functional condition assessment are related to frequency, completeness, and repeatability. Where frequency is how often the inspections can be done for the same section of road, completeness is the percentage of the total road network inspected in a period, and repeatability is how an inspector scores the road condition from one period to the next. Thus, unsurprisingly, for most mining operations, keeping road functional quality is difficult.

• No means of reporting, reviewing and scheduling

The other challenge with ‘traditional’ methods is that, once a defect has been identified, there is no effective means of reporting, reviewing, and scheduling maintenance and repair. Unfortunately, all manual systems will not provide geospatial images or visual location-based information for reporting and improved insight and transfer of information for maintenance scheduling. What is more, keeping track of maintenance or compliance-related workflows or job cards is cumbersome and errorprone.

Condition monitoring and predictive maintenance difficult

Because of the aforementioned challenges, mining operations find that applying the standard practice of condition monitoring and predictive maintenance on mining roads, as they do on their plant and machines, is difficult and mostly ineffective. This is because they need a readily accessible and complete history of road functional condition and repair.

Mark underlines the importance of accurate information to allow reliable condition and predictive maintenance of roads: “Road conditions can change rapidly due to weather changes, resulting in rain damaged or slippery roads or dusty conditions. So, being able to readily assess the condition of the roads before resuming production is important, and ensuring historical evidence of legal compliance is essential.”

Yet monitoring and maintaining road functionality and related infrastructure as required is unattainable with ‘traditional’ inspection and monitoring. In the long run, it greatly undermines mining operations. “Roads are costly to build and maintain and are the principal means for moving material around the mine. Considerable fuel or electrical energy is needed to move a heavy mining vehicle along a road. Thus, deterioration in road quality leads to additional energy costs and reduced productivity. Ultimately, the traditional approach to monitoring road conditions does not meet the needs of road ownership,” Mark states.

Effective road functional management

From the foregoing, long-term value and benefits, such as significant improvement in

safety and productivity, as well as reduced costs (fuel and tyres), can only be achieved with effective management of road quality. Conveniently, effective management of road functionality is attainable through the integration of monitoring and reporting of road conditions with the production, engineering, road construction and maintenance teams.

SmartRoadTM addresses shortcomings of ‘traditional’ methods

A modern digital road management platform, ECS’s SmartRoadTM has proved effective in the integration of key aspects of road management. It facilitates both a readily accessible and complete history of road functional and safety conditions and repair.

When deployed in challenging conditions that require road inspections and functional quality management, SmartRoadTM excels. This is thanks to features that directly address the shortcomings of traditional methods. These include SmartRoad ARIDTM (Autonomous Road Inspection Device) mobile units for autonomous visual and dynamic inspection of the roads, cloud databases for managing the data, and a user portal for managing the system, reviewing, and reporting on road conditions.

SmartRoad ARIDTM

Noteworthy is the pivotal role of SmartRoad ARIDTM . It performs autonomous road inspections, eliminating the specialist labour needed for inspection. In addition, many kilometres of a road can be inspected in a short time. In some applications, the ARIDTM unit is mounted to haul trucks and service vehicles with continuous safety and condition inspections.

Mining Business Africa | September - October 2022 7

The road inspections are supported by AI and Machine Learning algorithms with autonomous defect and condition assessment with visual and vibration data. This then enables repeatability in condition assessment for the entire road network. Job review, scheduling, assignment, and close-out are standard features of SmartRoadTM . There is also a feature that can navigate the maintenance team to a specified defect needing repair.

Moreover, SmartRoad ARIDTM enhances safety in three main areas.

SmartRoad ARIDTM is very handy in operations that limit the number of people on the production roads, and their time on the roads. Therefore, autonomous and rapid inspections ensure inspection safety.

Short-interval notifications and alerts are done for conditions that pose increased road use safety risks, for example, among others, dust, skidding resistance, and large rocks. The dust alerts are specifically helpful when ARIDTM units are mounted on haul trucks, where excess dust from other trucks can be detected and reported.

For safety monitoring, the inspection units can be used in low-light and night time operations. SmartRoadTM can also be used in applications for dust monitoring in specific mining locations (load and dump areas) and conveying or plant operations – where detected dust can trigger dust suppression systems or processes.

• Road performance Dashboards and portals

SmartRoadTM has road performance Dashboards and portals that enable easy identification of the problem areas via geospatially pinned information on maps of the roads. These Dashboards have powerful analytics and ways

of showing the road condition – from detailed defect information to overall condition and road quality via heat maps. This enables retrieval of the inspection records, analytics, and reports, with photographs, and services for digitally managing the corrective action workflows or escalations needed.

The Dashboards provide a complete history of the road inspections for all states, including acceptable and compliant conditions, together with unacceptable and non-compliant conditions. This enables trending of road performance and comparisons between periods. An important aspect of this history is the ability to review the road life performance and make design and construction changes over time. Also, the data can be used for reporting on road safety and legal compliance. Worth mentioning, the cloud-based reporting user interface and Dashboards are easily accessible via any web browser from desktop and mobile devices. Additionally, SmartRoadTM uses advanced Business Intelligence technologies for sharing of

data across platforms – including ERP systems and analysis tools such as Microsoft Excel and Power BI.

Convenient for a mine’s unique conditions

In addressing the client’s SmartRoadTM solution needs, ECS is cognizant of the fact that road conditions on different mines are unique, explains Mark. “Most mining haul roads are similar in that there are good practices defined for design, construction, and maintenance to achieve a road that is safe at the desired level of functionality. Uniqueness is mainly driven by traffic, tonnage moved, and adverse weather conditions – and how they relate to the mine geography and available road construction materials. Some roads can go weeks without needing maintenance, and others need short interval interventions.”

The convenience of SmartRoadTM is that it is set up to accommodate the specifics of each mine road network, with the setup of bespoke road maps and operational zones. SmartRoadTM reporting is layered in the detail, whereby the analysis is designed such that not only are the important information and trends reported, but it also allows for deep diving into the details when needed.

Massive benefits

All things considered, for mining companies, there are massive benefits to switching from their ‘conventional’ approach to road condition monitoring to SmartRoadTM . “Modernising road condition monitoring and management by exploiting advances in 4IR, IIoT, Machine Learning, and AI enables significant savings in energy usage and related carbon emissions, tyre consumption, and water usage. The emphasis of SmartRoad’s reporting is ensuring that complete and actionable information is provided to the right person at the right time. Ultimately, miners want safe and compliant roads with the least cost of ownership, and SmartRoadTM is a key enabler for this,” Mark concludes.

8 Mining Business Africa | September - October 2022

The SmartRoadTM platform is provided via a monthly subscription as a set of advanced technologies and services that includes:

• Autonomous inspection units –mounted onto a vehicle (temporary or permanent) and inspections are done to the defined schedules.

• Rugged mobile smartphones and

tablets with mounts for interaction with the inspection units and Dashboards. Ad-hoc inspections can also be done with smartphones.

• Cloud-based database for inspection records.

• Web browser access to the SmartRoadTM Dashboards and reporting infrastructure.

• Development of a digital road network

and naming system – localised to operational requirements.

• Training on the care and use of the systems and interpretation of the road condition.

• Support on technology adoption and work procedures (alternatively called the operating model)

• Knowledge Base on effective road management.


pulls out all the stops to see to it that the Solution works optimally at all times, with minimal downtime. ECS’s dedicated SmartRoadTM Team manages and supports the entire infrastructure, specialising in the operational support of the SmartRoadTM platform. Communication channels are set up at the start of the contract to ensure effective support to users.

The users do not concern themselves with the technical details and maintaining the services.

SmartRoadTM deploys Microsoft Azure infrastructure with high levels of availability of services. With the assurance of this backing, downtime to the system is the least of the client’s concerns.

In the physical ARIDTM units, the client has

confidence in using durable devices. The units have proven to be tough and reliable, with many hours of operation in harsh conditions, including permanent operation on production haul trucks. However, the client still needs to care for the units as they are measurement instruments containing all kinds of instruments and computers. Also, there needs to be a data network with internet access enabled.

Mining Business Africa | September - October 2022 9
For more info, contact us: SmartRoadTM offers a variety of benefits to our clients: We provide cost effective road ownership, maintenance, and safety solutions to reduce energy consumption and road function failures. A
dedicated team committed
to minimising downtime The Scope of SmartRoadTM solution Our focus on thinking clearly about our customers’ needs gives our business an edge – from a simple idea that leads to an opportunity, to a technique that provides new insight WEBSITE : TELEPHONE : +27 31 765 0443 E-MAIL : LINKEDIN : services-pty-ltd/

Ultraviolet & surface technology for disinfection in mines & related industries

Guaranteed Disinfection for a Healthy Workplace

Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) has been scientifically proven to be effective in eliminating the most stubborn pathogens in harsh working conditions. By adopting UVC as a disinfection technique, mining companies can forestall the challenges they experienced with containing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic caught mining companies unaware, exposing flaws in their approaches to disinfection, a cardinal practice in creating a healthy environment for employees.


country has legislation obligating mining companies to ensure that their employees work in a safe and secure operating environment. Pertaining to South Africa, the Mine Health and Safety Act (MHSA), under the ambit of the Department of Energy and Mineral Resources, and the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), under the Department of Labour, apply. These Acts call for the adoption of measures that minimise exposure to all known health and safety hazards.

Exposure to pathogens

One of the most prevalent health and safety risks in mining environments is exposure to pathogens that cause different ailments and diseases. Consequently, tried and tested measures to mitigate this risk must be firmly in place. Among a vast array of options at their disposal is Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) disinfection.

Nordland Lighting tells mining companies to consider using UVC as a disinfection method of

first resort in their operations. This is based on the evidence of success registered in different projects that the company has consulted for clientele using its clean air solution, NORDLAND UV Clean Air. Using this technique, the company has helped clients eliminate stubborn pathogens.

Advice to industry

Imparting advice to industry through Mining Business Africa, Nordland Lighting emphasises four points: the necessity of using effective

10 Mining Business Africa | September - October 2022 FEATURE

techniques, the need to prioritise effective disinfection, and the drawbacks of ‘traditional’ methods, over and above what makes UVC a perfect fit for the industry.

• The necessity of potent techniques

The necessity of using potent techniques becomes crystal clear considering that virulent pathogens lurk in different sources. Usually, as far as carrying out disinfection goes, unknown pathogens are the most difficult ones to contain. Generally, the common sources of pathogens include but are not limited to the following:

• People with infections also called carriers, which do not show symptoms but can carry the virus/bacteria from one person to another;

• Animals (Zoonotic infections);

• Plants;

• Plumbing systems, such as operational toilets and shower heads;

• Heating, Cooling, Industrial ventilation systems, vacuum cleaning, mopping, and air-conditioning systems;

• Resuspension of settled dust; and

• Outdoor air.

• Risks not to be underestimated

Sometimes there is an inclination in the mining sector to underestimate the extent of the risks that they face from pathogens that necessitate reliable disinfection. Even worse is a situation where worthwhile expenditure on disinfection is regarded as a grudge obligation rather than a necessity.

Noticeably, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has acted as a wake-up call to the industry. The pandemic has proved that the ramifications of lapses can go beyond the mere statistics of the fatalities affecting the bottom line.

“Let’s take the most recent Covid-19 pandemic as a baseline. It proved to be a massive risk to the industry, mines and the public in general. SARS-CoV-2 is an airborne virus that could have been disabled to reproduce by radiating a certain minimum amount of UVC energy into its nucleus. If every household, office, mine, waiting or holding area, warehouse, restaurant etcetera had a UVC air disinfection unit, the whole country might have been “safer” from the massive impact of Covid-19, possibly forestalling the loss of lives. Besides, intervention could have mitigated the amount of economical damage it did to the entire industry,

not sparing any industry,” notes Eben Ferreira, Nordland’s specialist in UV disinfection.

• ‘Traditional disinfection’ is not effective Truth be told, if mining companies are leaving no stone unturned in mitigating health and safety hazards in other areas, implementation of proper disinfection methods is the least of them. Nordland laments this situation. “Frankly speaking, proper disinfection methods are not being implemented, even today, in the mining industry. Yes, people are much more aware of the positive impact of hand washing since the pandemic, but hand washing alone is not a global solution to the problem,” says Ferreira.

Furthermore, fogger-based sanitization methods, which many industries have adopted, are not effective against airborne viruses and bacteria. They only work on surfaces which, in most cases are not always 100% covered.

• Proven in scientific papers and studies

Alternatively, Ferreira suggests that there is a need for airborne disinfection to deactivate the virus and bacteria at the core, stopping the reproduction and spread of said pathogens. And so far, there are fewer options, if any, better than UVC that can be used to perform this task.

Many scientific papers and studies have provided sufficient proof of the solution’s efficacy. Further research that has been completed demonstrates that the exact amount of energy needed to deactivate multiple different viruses and bacteria can be calculated.

In contrast with other known disinfection techniques, the potency of UVC is that it can be used in isolation since it will destroy any rogue pathogen that might exist in the isolated atmosphere.

Keen to replicate successes

From the foregoing, there is no doubt that UVC is the perfect solution to the prevalence of pathogens in mines and general industry. The UVC experts at Nordland Lighting’s head office in Johannesburg are on hand to find suitable solutions to their problems.

Recently, the company installed the UV units at a client, an organisation that is a big player in its niche industry. Several months later, there have not been reports of anyone falling sick.

The company is keen to replicate this success in mines and related industries wherever effective disinfection is needed.

12 Mining Business Africa | September - October 2022

Winders and Hoist Solutions for African Deep Mines

Cost-effective Multi-rope Rope-handling Equipment

Winder Controls‘ rope-handling equipment enables the installation, maintenance and replacement of four (4) Koepe head or tail ropes simultaneously on the production shaft Koepe winders.

First-time rope installation and subsequent rope changing is one of the most complex and hazardous tasks in the mine hoisting environment. Suitable aids are required to enable the complex procedures associated with multi-rope systems in deep mines to be carried out safely, correctly and with minimum downtime.

SIEMAG/Winder Controls friction winch (tensioner) and rope-handling equipment has been used and proven (since the middle of the twentieth century) in a significant number of installations worldwide. The extensive experience that has been gained over these years has led to the continuous refinement and improvement of our rope-handling equipment and has resulted in optimal designs that make use of proven rope-handling parameters, and place safety and ease of operation at the forefront of all of our rope-handling designs.

Winder Controls recently delivered a full multi-rope rope-handling equipment package for the winders at a diamond mine in Limpopo. This cost-effective rope-handling solution, tailored for the African market, was designed to ensure safe handling of large masses within a mine shaft, meeting both the Koepe and double/single drum winder wire rope-handling requirements.

The rope-handling equipment enables the installation, maintenance and replacement of four (4) Koepe head or tail ropes simultaneously

on the production shaft Koepe winders. The equipment consists of four (4) messenger winches, four (4) rope reeler winches, one (1) multi-rope friction winch and a variety of auxiliary equipment. All of this equipment is interchangeable for use on roping up and rope changing activities on the single and double drum winders. The equipment design and philosophy are compliant with all applicable SANS and IEC standards.

Historically, friction winches relied on a pinion-driven ring-gear which inherently introduced the significant weakness of a single-line failure possibility, i.e in the event of a failure of any part of the pinion gear or shaft arrangement, both drums would immediately experience total loss of control. An over-speed interlock would then be required to arrest the drums by applying the main brakes mounted on both drums.

Costly disc brakes complete with hydraulic controls were necessary on such designs and the risk of sudden acceleration of the system remains of concern. A further significant risk associated with this design is the inability of the winch to move under tension in the event of such a failure, possibly resulting in ropes and conveyances unable to be recovered from the mine shaft. The dual-redundancy design of the Winder Controls friction winch addresses this potential failure mode by utilizing two planetary gearboxes mounted within the drums. Each drum is driven by its own motor and interlinked by a coupling shaft such that the failure of any one component within the drive or mechanical system will not render the system inoperable.

Each gearbox is connected to the motor via a corner box and a flexible gear coupling. The gear coupling body serves as the mounting position for the disc of the thruster operated, spring-applied (fail-safe), high speed disc brake on each motor. Each of these brakes is capable of resisting 1.6 times the static holding torque that is generated due to the maximum combined design rope load and as a result large, highcapacity brakes acting directly on the drums are not required, making the equipment more cost effective, less complex and easier to maintain. The shaft coupling the two motors provides dual redundancy in the event of a failure of either

Mining Business Africa | September - October 2022 13 FEATURE

of the motors or drive systems and the motors and drives are sized such that the full load can continue to be driven in either direction using only one motor.

The four-rope friction winch can also operate in a ‘tensioning’ mode for tensioning of the ropes onto the double/single drum winders. This is achieved by the winder pulling the ‘winder rope’ through the friction winch, which now acts as a tensioning winch providing an easily configured tension setting to the rope. The innovative roller chain design enables the friction winch to provide a tensioning capability of 20 t per rope (total of 80 t) without relying on the back tension from the rope reeler for safety against rope slip. This provides additional safety for handling large masses within a mine shaft and allows for a less complex brake control system on the reelers. The winch further simplifies rope reeving during the rigging process, and the centralized control system allows all elements of the system to be

easily driven in either torque control or speed control mode during the various rope-handling processes.

When roping up the various winders, the ropes can be handled directly from the rope suppliers’ reels (as provided for storage/delivery) with these reels being easily fitted onto the rope reelers as a result of an innovative adjustment mechanism to accommodate various reel sizes. The reelers and messenger winches can be operated from local controls or remotely from the central control container. The trailer-mounted central control container houses all drives and electronics to safely maintain all electronic equipment at a regulated temperature within the container. An additional 3m container houses the driver’s console with a Human–Machine Interface (HMI) display.

The tensioner, reeler winches and messenger winches, each have local control electricals housed in IP54 panels. These panels

house supply distribution, remote IO, local hard-wired safety circuits and control circuits. This means that only one (1) supply cable, one (1) control and one (1) communication cable is required per winch to control the brakes, floodlights, ventilation fans, local control circuits and local safety circuits. A hard-wired safety circuit integrates the individual local safety circuits. This safety circuit is installed in the central control container along with the main low voltage supply distribution, Variable Speed Drives (VSD’s), and ventilation/cooling unit. The VSD’s incorporate active front ends enabling the system to be fully regenerative. The two tensioner motors each have their own active front end, DC bus and inverter, thus upholding the dual redundant drive and motor design. The reeler winches all share a common active front end and DC bus, as do the messenger winches. Operation and fault finding is aided by the HMI in the central control container and drivers cabin.

The HMI’s are full colour touch sensitive units and indicate all possible trips implemented on the safety circuit/circuits.

The HMI’s are also used for parameter adjustment for the individual operating modes of the equipment. Each mode (setup mode, reeving mode, tensioning mode, etc) has its own parameter blocks, making switching between modes fast and easy. Mode adjustment is done from the driver’s cabin with back lit push buttons. The central control container is fed from a minisub fed from the mine supplied 11kV supply.

The mini-sub is fully integrated in the system and can be closed and tripped from the central control container. This integration also allows for a door monitoring system that trips the incoming breaker when high fault level doors are opened.

The mini-sub is skid mounted and implements the same hard-wired safety circuit philosophy seen on the rest of the system. The final element of the rope handling equipment is the Rope Clamping and Lifting Device (CLD).

For more information on rope handling solutions to suit your specific requirements, contact:


1st Floor, Osborne Office Suites, 4 Osborne Lane, Bedfordview, South Africa, 2007 PO Box 3037, Bedfordview, South Africa, 2008 Tel. +27 11 383 9300


112 Tedstone Road, Wadeville, Ekurhuleni, South Africa, 1428

PO Box 3037, Bedfordview, South Africa, 2008 Tel. +27 11 824 4743

14 Mining Business Africa | September - October 2022 FEATURE

We offer our clients a comprehensive service including design, manufacturing, supply, installation, commissioning and site servicing of winders, winches, hoists, sheaves, rope-handling and related equipment.

Our single point of contact service provides seamless interfacing between all disciplines and covers all major equipment brands.




As an independent systems integrator for shaft hoisting systems, we have extensive systems engineering and project management experience. Our service includes planning, mechanical design and construction of winders and various systems. We satisfy clients' hoisting and general industrial requirements with custom-designed solutions.


We design, manufacture, install, commission, maintain and refurbish a variety of hydraulic systems for industrial and mining applications. A comprehensive range of specialist hydraulic products and related services is available. We offer our clients individually tailored solutions in compliance with applicable standards and regulations.


We provide full engineering, manufacture and supply of all electrical aspects for legacy as well as modern winders including drive, control and safety systems for all winder types and all rope handling equipment. Our products cover fully automated as well as manual control systems, brake control systems and cage and level-control systems and can be provided as retro-fit or new equipment. Our extensive systems integration experience enables us to incorporate electrical, mechanical and hydraulic equipment of all makes.

Our experienced, in-house Services Department personnel manage and execute the site work required to install and commission both new and refurbished winders as well as carry out site upgrades, emergency breakdown repairs and maintenance work. We also offer Level 1 dynamic braking and cage accelerometer inspections as well as annual inspections of hoisting systems.

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Wear condition monitoring

Asset reliability care (ARC) field dominated by WearCheck

“To ensure that the ARC team is always well versed in the very latest asset reliability care techniques, team members regularly undergo training, particularly on courses offered by the Mobius Institute - a worldwide provider of reliability improvement, condition monitoring, and precision maintenance education”.

in-place balancing and gear profiling - on both pinion and girth gears of large or small mills - to reduce premature failure due to incorrect gear tooth loading, spalding and incorrect pressures.”

Tailored condition monitoring services for plant and mining equipment are enhanced through the ARC division, using advanced methods such as structural resonance, transient analysis and motor current signature analysis, in-situ balancing, alignment and ultrasonic services. The ARC team also specialises in thermal monitoring of electrical equipment, reticulation and building wiring circuits.

Schutte firmly believes in the value of investing in the correct technology to optimise the returns of a managed condition base maintenance programme.

“The introduction of one such technology - infrared monitoring - has been shown to significantly reduce electrical maintenance costs by preventing catastrophic failures and unplanned down time caused by electrical and mechanical faults or unusual operating conditions.

Conditionmonitoring specialist company, WearCheck, has established itself as a leading figure in the asset reliability care (ARC) sector, serving as an all-in-one reliability solutions hub and backed by ISO accreditation.

For 30 years, the company specialised in tribology and the scientific analysis of used oil samples, expanding its service offering more than a decade ago to include a host of additional predictive maintenance monitoring techniques to cover all the facets of asset care.

Some of the ARC services offered by WearCheck include vibration, thermography, on-line remote monitoring diagnostics, alignment and balancing, as well as other specialised techniques such as motion amplification, ODS (operational deflection shape) and resonance tests using transient and impact analysis.

The value-added ARC services have not only been widely adopted by long-term tribology customers of WearCheck’s but have also brought in a whole new set of clients for the company.

Heading up the ARC division for the past ten years is Philip Schutte, who is widely experienced in specialist condition monitoring services, including implementation and optimisation of ARC programmes.

Says Schutte, “Our ARC programme, coupled with the oil analysis services, gives WearCheck customers the option of a truly 360° view of their assets, allowing maintenance teams to make informed plant maintenance decisions based on highly accurate, intelligent, advanced analysis in conjunction with reliable data. We have completely removed the guesswork in the maintenance game!

“Our specialised testing and innovative investigative technologies ensure that our customers’ assets reach their projected life expectancy and beyond, and plant availability is optimised. We also perform precision maintenance services such as laser-alignment,

“For example, an inefficient transformer cooling system can be costly to maintain –thermography can address this by identifying blockages in the cooling system, which must function properly to enable the transformer to maintain its ideal operating temperature. Inefficient heating or cooling systems use too much energy – a cost which can be reduced through effective thermographic monitoring,” he said.

Condition monitoring can identify malfunctions - such as faulty electrical connections, misalignment early detection of bearings and gear problems, blockages and leaks in the circulation systems - and thereby remove unnecessary extra costs from the maintenance budget.

Using known data of the machinery, such as normal operation, heat generation and vibration levels, technicians are able to pinpoint electrical, mechanical or flow-induced problems which may lead to premature or catastrophic machine failures.

Schutte explains, “Certified and experienced WearCheck technicians analyse variations in machine and equipment data such as intelligent vibration parameter profiles and stress

16 Mining Business Africa | September - October 2022 FEATURE
WearCheck’s asset reliability care (ARC) manager, Philip Schutte, believes the company’s comprehensive range of condition monitoring techniques means that customers have access to all services under one roof to ensure the optimisation of plant performance. WearCheck ARC technician, Peet Peacock, performs vibration analysis testing.

waveforms, and compare parameter profile trends against “baseline” trends such as PeakVue and specific frequency bands i.e., bearing, gear and electrical frequenciesalso known as frequency bands or parameter profiles - instead of variances in demodulation or envelope levels.

“Ongoing monitoring of these signatures or parameters can indicate problem areas in their very early stages, enabling planned action to be scheduled to avoid catastrophic breakdown or downtime.

Schutte asserts the importance of understanding why the variation in the data occurs, to prevent over-maintaining or unnecessary downtime of plant and equipment. ‘Our philosophy of reporting on each and every fault and the required action makes us a leader in this field.”

WearCheck’s leading ARC technicians have amassed 100+ years’ experience in conditionbased maintenance techniques as they process 10,000+ machines every month.

To ensure that the ARC team is always well versed in the very latest asset reliability care techniques, team members regularly undergo

Senior ARC technician at WearCheck, Louis Peacock, conducts motion video amplification testing on machinery at a water reticulation plant.

training, particularly on courses offered by the Mobius Institute - a worldwide provider of reliability improvement, condition monitoring, and precision maintenance education.

WearCheck is itself an accredited Mobius course provider in Africa, offering courses to customers and staff alike, and entrenching itself

as a firm champion of asset reliability care excellence.

Furthermore, WearCheck in South Africa interacts regularly with members of the International WearCheck Group (IWCG) – an international network of WearCheck companies from around the globe – to share insights and information on the latest global condition monitoring techniques.

In addition to ARC and oil analysis, WearCheck offers further services in the condition monitoring arena. These include transformer analysis, water analysis and the company’s advanced field services (AFS) division, which offers rope testing, technical compliance (TC) and non-destructive testing (NDT), among other techniques.

WearCheck operates an extensive network of 14 laboratories in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Ghana, DRC, Dubai and India, supported by regional offices in several other African countries. The company’s ARC services are available throughout its operational footprint.

Mining Business Africa | September - October 2022 17
WearCheck, Africa's leading condition monitoring company, is dedicated to saving money for you, our customers. We analyse data from condition monitoring and fluid analysis to schedule maintenance and avoid unexpected machine failure. Accurately predicting maintenance = saving you time and money. Condition Monitoring is at the heart of machine reliability Branches Botswana Ghana Mozambique Namibia Uganda Zambia Zimbabwe +267 311 6829 +233 20 896 8484 + 258 843 173 781 +264 81 129 6078 +256 78 529 6994 +260 212 210 161 +263 24 244 6369 + 27 31 700 5460 South Africa (Head Office) Scan for brochure Testing and Analysis | Lubricant-Enabled Reliability | Asset Reliability Care C M Y CM MY CY CMY K WCk Advert AMB 180mmx130mm June 22 Print.pdf 1 2022/06/29 2:55 PM

Real Time Smart Technologies & Engineered Solutions for Mine Safety & Risk Mitigation

Real-Time Monitoring and Data in Mining: Saving time, cost, and lives

Probe IMT’s new technologies deliver secure and out-of-the-box solutions, from uptime and remote monitoring right to drill guidance solutions for a more efficient and accurate exploration of operations.

As the mining sector faces increasing ESG pressures and other challenges, advanced digitally enabled solutions have become an essential part of solving energy, resource, and environmental challenges, while enhancing productivity and safety. “Covid-19 disrupted operations across the globe. The mining sector is using the opportunity not just to recover, but to transform the way it operates,” says Gert Roselt, CEO of the Probe Mining Group. “Accurate data and an integrated view of operations is a critical part of this process.”

Probe IMT has seen a strong uptake of digital solutions incorporating real-time monitoring. Roselt says sensor-based asset management systems have become the integrated mining solution provider’s most popular product, including a suite of real-time monitoring products and solutions from local brand M3SH and leading global brand WABTEC

Probe IMT installs and maintains the sensors systems to produce the right data for IT systems, ensuring system availability is 98% and above, so that the real-time information is accurate to

facilitate decision-making. “The right information translates into huge cost savings in a mine environment. For example, a M3SH sensor on a machine picks up air quality, and decisions can be made to increase or reduce fan speed, saving power and securing carbon tax rebates. Sensors monitor where people are, so that lights can be on only when needed. Diesel generators can be run only when necessary.”

Intelligent systems combine technology, people, and processes to enable feedback loops that inform decision-making, explains Roselt.

18 Mining Business Africa | September - October 2022 FEATURE
The team at Probe IMT, ready to serve needs of mining companies

FleetPRO Collision Avoidance & Proximity Detection

FleetPRO provides advanced proximity detection and collision avoidance for both surface and underground mining. One system for all mining conditions and vehicle types — less parts, easy to install, redeploy and maintain. The core system includes a touch-screen display, connected to transponders mounted to the exterior of vehicles or equipment. Transponders include built-in antennas and super high frequency radio wave sensors that work together to establish a peer-to-peer, multi-hop vehicle signaling system. Drivers and machine-operators gain a 360-degree snapshot view of safety zones, time to impact readings and additional safety information through on screen icons showing in-range tracked objects and road safety warnings.

P50 Multi-gas Monitor

On par with sophisticated laboratory equipment, the P50 is a fixed-installation area monitor, that accurately measures and track climatic conditions and up to four hazardous gasses selected. Sensing technology, alarm algorithms and a signal rule decision system allow for early detection and false alarm discrimination. Realtime sensor reading onscreen and via SCADA. Easy to operate with no onsite sensor calibration needed.

S50 Smoke and Early Fire Detector Alarm

Designed for harsh working conditions and industrial work areas, the S50 is an advanced smoke and early fire detection alarm that includes false alarm discrimination. Multiple sensors and sensor types – Metal-Oxide Semiconductor (MOS) and electro-chemical multi-gas sensors – work together to monitor the environment for early fire signatures. Real-time air sampling readings via SCADA includes: Smoke, Sulphur Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, Carbon Dioxide, VOC’s and Air Quality Index.

D52 Dust Monitor

Specifically designed for harsh, hazardous, dust-intense work environments, the D52 makes dust monitoring easier, quicker, and more accurate than before to count and measure particulate matter below 10 micrometers (airborne pollutants that can cause respiratory illness). Data readings include time weighted average (TWA) and particulate measured for 1μm, 2.5μm and 10um.

(0) 86 111

245 Albert Amon Road, Millennium Business Park, Meadowdale, Ext. 7 National: +27
3507 I Web:

“Our products and solutions are enablers of smart mobility, advanced power, and energy management across all types of systems. They are at the heart of next-generation devices and communication infrastructures that play a key role in helping our customers grasp opportunities and solve resource and environmental challenges.”

Roselt says new technologies deliver secure and out-of-the-box solutions, including uptime and remote monitoring right through to drill guidance solutions for a more efficient and accurate exploration of operations. Mining is moving more towards efficient underground mining, with a focus on extracting a specific ore while limiting environmental damage. Drill guidance solutions enable mines to get to the core product faster. “Essentially, we are making traditional equipment smarter with technology. You can have sensors on every type of asset in a mine, including people!”

Probe IMT’s sensor-based offerings further include Operation Level 9 collision avoidance systems (CAS). The CAS suite Probe IMT offers is a sophisticated and adaptable system that provides 360-degree situational awareness of objects in proximity to a heavy vehicle during stationary, slow speed and high-speed operations to reduce the risk of vehicle to vehicle, vehicle to infrastructure, vehicle to personnel and vehicle to environment interactions. “Collision avoidance technology is now very focused on Level 9 technology, where the vehicle automatically takes evasive action where needed. Our systems are fully enabled for Level 9.”

The design and manufacture of safety solutions, renewable energy, industrial solutions, auto electrical field services, air, power, and other specialised solutions also form part of

the company’s wide-ranging offering for the mining industry. With access to the full suite of Probenergy products through the Probe Group, Probe IMT is also focused on making worldclass renewable energy solutions accessible in Southern Africa, helping mining and industrial users need to revolutionise their energy sources.

As a solution provider in a rapidly evolving space, Probe IMT is known for becoming an integral part of client businesses. “We are selling a full solution, not just a product, and this requires constant maintenance and on-site support from expert teams as a fully integrated management solution,” says Roselt. “Our best feature is our knowledgeable team, who used

these uncertain times as a catalyst for change and delivering solutions at the intersection of multiple megatrends. As early adopters of technology, we continue to drive and enable digital transformation efforts in the industry, ensuring our clients have the tools and data to tackle future challenges.”

Probe Integrated Mining Technologies exhibited their integrated solutions for productivity and safety at Electra Mining Africa, which took place at the Johannesburg Expo Centre, between September 5 to 9, 2022, at P12 on the Promenade.

20 Mining Business Africa | September - October 2022
Support from Probe IMT is available on-site

Smarter Ways to Reduce Vehicle-toPerson Collisions through smartdetect

Mine safety has come a long way over the last few decades with procedures and processes put in place to protect the welfare of personnel, and to protect the impact on the mine. However, mining accidents still occur, and for individuals working on the surface or underground of a mining site, a collision between vehicles, personnel, and infrastructure, can often have a catastrophic outcome.

With all the hazards a mine site possesses, a technological solution seemed imperative.

Regardless of the level of training or years on the job an operator has, collisions still occur because of these risks, which can factor into mining vehicle collisions. All too often, accidents occur because of limited visibility due to the size and design of mining vehicles, lack of situational awareness and, in underground environments, operating machinery in confined spaces.

Reducing the number of on-site accidents in a mine is crucial; ensuring that personnel remain safe in both in underground and surface settings is necessary. To this end, mines are looking at adding increasing layers of intelligence to their vehicles in an effort avoid collisions. There is a wide range of technologies used in the prediction and prevention of collisions, such as

radio frequency identification technology (RFID) and Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communications. Newer technologies, such as Vehicle-toEverything (V2X) allow for communication between vehicles, personnel, and infrastructure using either cellular radio or short-range radio communications.

The smartdetect system from Becker Mining Systems leverages V2X and GPS to provide vehicle operators with a map-based 360-degree view of their surroundings. smartdetect enables vehicles to talk to each other to share vital information about their activities that allow. This information is used to determine whether a collision is likely. When an imminent collision is detected, the systems provide visual and audible alerts, enabling operators to move their vehicle from harm’s way, thus avoiding any potential accidents or near-misses. The smartdetect system supports the addition of cameras to add another layer of situational awareness to the operator.

By using V2X on the surface in smartdetect enabled vehicles, and personnel tags, the operator is alerted to the precise location of multiple people and vehicles through GPS technology in real-time, providing fast

feedback to the drivers, and in the case of unresponsiveness from the vehicle operator, smartdetect has automated speed reduction through CAN bus technology, preventing injuries to mine personnel as well as damage to mining vehicles and other equipment thus meeting the requirements of the Earth Moving Equipment Safety Round Table (EMESRT) Level 9 (Intervention Controls).

With its full range of attachments, the smartdetect system from Becker Mining Systems has been designed to offer vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-person, and vehicle-to-structure detection solution in one comprehensive and robust package, allowing for upgrades, and simple system modifications, based on the needs of the customer.

Becker Mining Systems designs every system to ensure high-quality and reliable products for every type of environment and application. The robust components of smartdetect are designed to provide system longevity in the harshest environments.

To learn more about the smartdetect system from Becker Mining Systems, contact

Mining Business Africa | September - October 2022 21 FEATURE

Wear Parts and Mill Liners for African Mining Operations

Extending Wear Life, Increasing Availability

COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns have resulted in disruptions to the global supply of components and equipment. Recognising this concern, Growth Steel assures its existing and potential clientele in the Global mining sector that it is well-placed to meet the demand for wear parts and lining for their grinding and mineral processing equipment. As mining companies are ramping up production to take advantage of high commodity prices, mining companies need high equipment availability.

“Increased Performance, Availability and Lower Maintenance Costs” is the aspiration of every plant engineer in companies involved in the grinding and processing of minerals. But in reality, attaining this goal is not a given. More often than not, downtime to equipment due to component failure is encountered, and unfortunately, when least expected. In most instances, this is down to lapses during the procurement processes.

Because of this, Growth Steel tells mining companies that procurement of essential products like wear parts and mill liners should be based on informed decisions. Growth Steel urges companies to partner with suppliers that have built a rich track record of consistently providing reliable solutions. “At the outset, a mining company has to establish whether or not the identified supplier can furnish them with a solution that can guarantee long spells of uptime of equipment. This is important as, unfortunately, some organisations supply products and leave

clients to their own devices when it comes to services and technical support,” explains Chris Muller, Head of Technical Sales at Growth Steel Africa.

Muller affirms that Growth goes to great lengths to find solutions to complex challenges in wear parts and mill liners, recognising the impact of downtime on productivity in a mill circuit. “We are well-placed to answer to any call from a client, well-resourced with the necessary expertise and relevant technology,” he pronounces, referencing the organisation’s turnkey solution that delivers a wide range of products, constant innovation, devotion to excellence, and global footprint and production capacity.

Wide range of products

Employing the latest in simulation software and manufacturing techniques, Growth Steel produces a wide range of high-quality liners and

wear parts for grinding equipment components. Its products are specifically designed to extend equipment wear life, increasing availability for production. Particularly worth mentioning is that there is “no one-size-fits-all” as every design is bespoke to a particular client’s application needs. Liner development is done in close cooperation with the plant personnel, and a tailored solution will be implemented to compliment the mill performance and availability.

High-quality liners

Growth Steel’s lining products are made of rubber and steel to cater for the diverse requirements of mining companies. Muller specifies that this is in recognition of the complementary functions of steel and rubber liners. “We understand how each of these types of products (steel and rubber liners) works best for specific mill applications and how your business can benefit from them.”

22 Mining Business Africa | September - October 2022
Poly-steel, otherwise known as “composite” liners, combines the best properties of rubber and steel in one product

Relining a mill at Lumwana Copper Mine in Zambia • Rubber mill liners

Remarkably, Growth Steel Africa has replicated the know-how honed over the years in designing and manufacturing steel lining in rubber lining. In the manufacture of rubber mill liners, it utilises uniquely developed polymer compounds.

Muller demonstrates the process of delivering the correct rubber liner to the client involves: “First of all, to settle on a material grade for the most ideal for a task, we first determine where a milling application requires impact toughness, abrasion resistance or balance. Then, a decision is reached on the chemistry and microstructure properties to be produced within the quality liners.”

Growth Steel utilises its best-equipped laboratory for testing and developing differentiated rubber compounds to suit clients’ specific operational requirements.

All components for our composite liners are manufactured in-house. The tracks are sourced from the worlds best aluminium suppliers to guarantee overall quality and uniformity.

Generally, Growth Steel offers a full range of both rubber and steel liners for application in the following milling circuit equipment: SAG Mills, AG Mills, Primary and Secondary Ball Mills, Regrind Mills and Scrubber Mills.

• Wear parts for grinding mills

The delivery of relevant excellent wear parts is another field where Growth Steel has excelled, establishing itself as one of the world’s preferred suppliers, underscored by the use of unique products and a wide range of products.

Poly-steel, otherwise known as “composite” liners, combining the best properties of rubber and steel in one product, is used to create the most wear-resistant and high-performance components. Lighter than full steel, poly-steel

is faster and safer to install while contributing to higher productivity.

Moreover, Growth Steel offers the client a wide range of steel inserts, from chromemoly and white iron inserts to commercially proven high-wear and abrasion-resistant steel plating. Each of its casting designs can include multiple casting profiles, face angles and weights specifically tailored to suit your grinding conditions.

Comprehensive turnkey solution

Having observed the impact of unreliable suppliers on equipment availability for years, Growth Steel recognises the value of the convenience of accessing everything under one roof. And so, it offers a comprehensive turnkey solution that involves design, manufacturing, as well as sustained support with continuous consultations to achieve the optimal satisfaction

Uncompromising devotion to excellence

Muller acknowledges that with different products flooding the market, sometimes clients might find it difficult to discern quality from mediocre products. However, the quality of Growth Steel’s products speaks for itself in terms of durability and cost-effectiveness, he states. “What makes our products stand out is an uncompromising devotion to excellence in all product development, practices and procedures, following ISO standards. The culture of service excellence is entrenched in our processes.”

Constant innovation, product relevance

Growth Steel owes its longevity in a highly competitive market to constantly keeping pace with industry requirements and adapting

its solutions correspondingly, says Muller. “Customer needs are changing in accordance to the demands the operating environment places on their respective businesses. The main objectives are cost containment, increasing safety, reducing the environmental impact of their operations, and improving efficiency. Thus, we are constantly seeking ways to meet these through innovative products, services and solutions.”

Global footprint and adequate capacity

In the current environment, due to the covid-19 pandemic, the supply chain has been disrupted, causing costly downtime to equipment. But Muller says that, through drawing on its capacity and global footprint, Growth Steel has forestalled this challenge, guaranteeing the certainty of supply.

Growth Steel Africa is part of Growth Steel Group, an established world leader in service excellence for the design and manufacture of mineral processing wear solutions that was established in 1989. Growth Steel has a manufacturing capacity of up to 65,000 tons of mill liners a year for mining industries.

What is more, headquartered in MedanNorth Sumatra, Indonesia, Growth has branches located strategically worldwide in Perth, Brisbane, South Africa, Ghana, Peru, Chile and China.

All in all, for mining companies looking for a reliable provider of wear protection solutions for grinding mills, Muller recommends clients to look no further than Growth Steel: “For relevant experience and expertise in mill lining you can count on us.”

Mining Business Africa | September - October 2022 23

Electrolysers for onsite hydrogen fuel production for retrofitted haul trucks

Adequate hydrogen Production, successful fleet conversion

The success of the project to successfully retrofit hydrogen-fuelled mining trucks hinges on a reliable water electrolyser generating hydrogen in the required quantity and quality.

Ever since its launch, Anglo American’s prototype mine haul truck, which is powered by a combination of a 2MW hybrid power system (hydrogen fuel cell and a battery pack), has been showered by superlatives from awestruck analysts. Some have referenced it as an inspiration to industries that consume fossil fuels that are keen and committed to achieving carbon neutrality.

But is it not human nature to be charmed by a pristine finished product and overlook the vital cogs it constitutes?

Amid fascination with the “groundbreaking” vehicle, it is important to appreciate the critical components on which the success of the retrofitted vehicle hinges. For one thing, the vehicle needs a guarantee of a steady supply of hydrogen.

Consequently, to cater for this need, Anglo American devised nuGen™ Zero Emission Haulage Solution (ZEHS), a fully

integrated green hydrogen system, consisting of production, fuelling and haulage system of hydrogen on-site. The pilot project utilises reliable technologies. One of the most prominent is the water electrolyser used to produce required volumes of hydrogen on-site. In the process of electrolysis, electricity splits water

into hydrogen and oxygen.

Bearing in mind the significance of electrolysis, informed decisions have to be made when choosing suitable equipment for a project. This is because there are different kinds and brands of electrolysers.

Currently, two options of electrolysers enjoy wide usage in commercial-scale hydrogen production on industrial sitesalkaline electrolysers and proton membrane exchange. The latter is commonly used in contemporary industrial projects.

Nonetheless, as experienced with other mining equipment, not every electrolyser may live to its billing or perform to the desired levels. Additionally, there are situations where a quality product may be used in the wrong application, and there is no prize for guessing that the outcome is less than expected.

It does not have to be overstated that mining companies need to be well-versed

24 Mining Business Africa | September - October 2022 FEATURE
The 2MW hydrogen-battery hybrid truck generates more power than its diesel predecessor and is capable of carrying a 290-tonne payload (Image: Anglo American)

in the specifications of electrolysers for their projects. The scale of a project, which could be small to large-scale production, determines the kind of electrolyser to be deployed. Typically, capacity volumes of hydrogen are produced per hour (Nm3) on a desired level of purity (for instance, 99.9%) depending on the footprint.

Boxes ticked

Generally, the Anglo-American pilot project ticks important boxes of what can be branded ‘the industry’s model for a smooth energy transition from diesel to clean energy’. This is owing to the right decisions made in the choice of products to perform processes like electrolysis.

Envisaged gains based on data

Anglo-American has done its homework relying on data on the envisaged gains from the project, once complete. For instance, a conventional truck of 290 tonnes would use around 3 000 litres of diesel per day, generating about 8 t of carbon dioxide. Haul trucks account for 80% of diesel emissions at Anglo-American. Once 40 trucks are successfully retrofitted at Mogalakwena Platinum mine, Anglo American intends to replicate the concept in its mining operations globally. Anglo-American has a fleet of 400 trucks globally.

The following are key elements needed to successfully develop, scale up and deploy hydrogen-fuelled vehicles:

• 1.2MWh battery pack - as the haul truck system uses multiple fuel cells that deliver up to 800kW of power, combining to deliver a total of 2MW of power.

• ·A software solution to safely manage power and energy between the fuel cells, batteries, and vehicle drive train.

• Power management and battery systems for energy recovery as the haul trucks travel downhill through

regenerative braking.

• A hydrogen production, storage, and refuelling complex that incorporates the largest electrolyser in Africa and a solar plant to support the operation of the haul truck.

Typically, hydrogen enters the fuel cell from the tank and mixes with oxygen to form water. Platinum catalyses the chemical reaction which generates electricity used to power the motors that drive the wheels. The only emission from the vehicle is water vapour.

In the November/December 2022 Edition Nel Hydrogen will demonstrate how their electrolyser has helped Anglo American in the onsite production of hydrogen for retrofitted haul vehicles.

Mining Business Africa | September - October 2022 25 MBA Half Page Horizontal Ad - Water Footprint.indd 1 2/11/22 5:06 PM
What is needed to deploy a retrofitted vehicle?

Mineral Processing - “Dry stack“ tailings production

Unlocking Relevant Filtered Tailings Solutions

During the past ten years, Filtaquip has successfully provided solutions for many South African Clients‘ complex filtered tailings dewatering needs. Now the team of Engineers are eager to replicate their success in similar projects in Africa.

equipment are capable of testing a range of different types of technologies and methods of filtration. By doing this, we can determine which technology will work the best and obtain the correct parameters for the sizing and specification of the full-scale filtration plant. We also offer different plant layouts and services from which the Client can choose to meet their specific needs.” Filtaquip’s services range from test work and design through to project management, civils, structural, electrical, piping, installation, commissioning, spares supply and aftermarket support. Additionally, the Company has a call-out crew should there be any problems on the Client‘s site with its equipment.

Project financing (BOOMT)


changes to regulations on tailings management have compelled mining and mineral processing companies to invest in reliable techniques. Sufficiently equipped with the necessary wherewithal, Filtaquip can offer the best possible filtration solution to potential Clientele in Africa.

Specialist in solid/liquid separation equipment

Filtaquip is a specialist in solid/liquid separation equipment and solutions and offers thickening, filtration, flocculation, electrowinning, tankage, and pumping solutions to mining and mineral processing companies. Dry stack tailings production (filtered dry tailings) is one of the areas where Filtaquip’s expertise has helped Clients solve tailings problems. The company has over ten years of experience in supplying, operating and maintaining it‘s Filter Presses on tailings applications for the Client.

Typically, tailings are considered to be a waste material with zero value and some can be difficult to filter effectively to produce a filter cake that can be conveyed and stacked. Filtaquip offers a minimalistic, low-cost solution in a small and simplistic package which is tailor-made for each tailings application.

Designed in-house, the equipment is tailored to meet specific requirements and standards that overcome the harsh environment associated with filtered tailings applications. Filtaquip supplies complete filtration plants (often on an LSTK basis) for tailings dewatering, including civils, support structures and Filter Presses c/w

all ancillaries including tanks, pumps, conveyors, electricals and piping.

Tailored turnkey approach

Mindful that every project is unique, Filtaquip employs a tailored turnkey approach to ensure that the Client is supplied with the suitable solution needed. This spans from inception all the way through to services rendered beyond commissioning.

Filtaquip’s Sales & Process Manager, Malcolm Thomas, outlined the array of services the company offers: “We offer on and off-site testing and our lab scale & pilot scale filtration

Depending on the scope of the Client’s turnkey requirements, Filtaquip has flexible project financing options for filtration plants. The financing package is determined by the location, size, and scope of the project. Filtaquip can offer a Build, Own, Operate, Maintain and Transfer (BOOMT) Contract to the Client. The benefit of this approach is that the Client can, in this way, finance the filtration plant over, say 5 years. This makes the plant affordable should the Client not have the funds available immediately for direct purchase.

Furthermore, Filtaquip offers Operate and Maintain (O&M) Contracts whereby it supplies a crew to operate the plant full-time and perform maintenance as needed. The Client then pays a monthly variable fee based on the tonnes filtered.

Filtaquip’s equipment stands out Capitalising on the increasing demand for filtration equipment in different industries, new Suppliers are entering the market. This scenario is good for end-users as they have diverse product brands to choose from. But on the flip side, as cases repeatedly indicate, the Client can get a raw deal in the form of a product that does not live up to expectations.

However, Filtaquip guarantees potential Clientele that, distinctively, its Filter Presses stand out from similar products on the market. This is based on several factors:

Filtaquip’s Filter Presses are distinctively made for local conditions (that is African mining) and contemporary filtration requirements. Besides, the Company is involved in product design, manufacturing, as well as operation and maintenance. “We don’t import our Filter Presses like almost all our Competitors. We

26 Mining Business Africa | September - October 2022
Filtaquip supplies complete filtration plants (often on an LSTK basis) for tailings dewatering, including civils, support structures and Filter Presses Filtaquip can produce a filter cake with the Client’s desired cake moisture content.

design and manufacture Filter Presses based on our ten years of operating experience in the industry. Most Filter Press manufacturers don’t operate their Filter Presses and therefore don’t understand the challenges faced with their equipment.”

The company’s Filter Presses require less ancillary equipment, footprint, and services on-site to achieve the Clients’ required moisture content of the filter cake. Ultimately, this results in several benefits, mainly: a reduced CAPEX and OPEX, simplified maintenance and reduces staff compliment. The rule of thumb is fewer pieces of equipment results in less chance of breakdowns.

Filtaquip’s Filter Presses have a reputation as one of the fastest clearing Filter Presses on the market. This reduces the size of the Filter Press, which reduces the required footprint and CAPEX.

In most filtered tailings applications, by using high-pressure technology which feeds the slurry into the Filter Press at a much higher pressure (about double) compared to its competitors, Filtaquip can produce a filter cake with the Client’s desired cake moisture content. This eliminates the need for supplementary equipment such as air compressors and “membrane squeeze” systems, which is an expensive commodity to add to a plant.

Last but not least, the company uses components that are easily sourced around the world which makes sourcing of spares an easy task.

The rigorous quality assurance process

Mining companies need assurance about the quality of the Filter Presses they use for their respective applications. Cognisant of this, Filtaquip is devoted to follow rigorous steps to ensure that the equipment meets the expected quality standards, mainly due to:

• Partnerships with the leading international brands to ensure that only the best components are being supplied for its Filter Presses;

• The design of every Filter Press is signed off by a Pr. Engineer, prior to commencement of fabrication;

• Using its fabrication facility to ensure complete control over the

quality and fabrication time; and

• All its equipment is supplied with a quality data pack that meets the requirements of the highest standards.

Keeping pace with trends

While it is unflinching in dedication to quality, Filtaquip is aware that Client expectations in terms of product performance are changing at an unprecedented rate. Accordingly, it ensures that it is constantly abreast of recent trends.

Regularly, Filtaquip uses Client feedback to improve on its designs, which are trialled and perfected on its own installations, before offering them into the marketplace. It also attends exhibitions around the world, as well as performs market research to ensure that it keeps up with the latest technology and innovations.

As the rollout of mining projects increases in Africa in response to the increase in global commodity prices, the team at Filtaquip are eager to provide relevant, reliable and cost-effective filtration solutions in tailings production, which have numerous benefits including: recovering water for re-use in the plant immediately, recovering a greater volume of water as less water is lost to evaporation & seepage, a reduction in the volume of tailings to dispose of, quicker approval of tailings disposal permits, reduced tailings disposal land area (compared to a wet TSF) and ultimately having a safer tailings operation.

Filtaquip’s know-how solves a complex problem


Marketing Manager, Paul Bland, outlined that Filtaquip has solved complex filtration challenges for Clients in the mining sector. It is always receiving glowing testimonies on the performance of its equipment in the production of filtered tailings mining projects. One of the most outstanding feats was when a Client required the production of 250 dry tons per hour of solids, in the form of a filter cake which was dry enough to be conveyed.

At the end of 2016, this Client, one of the biggest global mining companies approached Filtaquip, regarding their Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) that was nearing its maximum capacity at one of their South African coal washing plants. The Client would have been unable to continue running the wash plant without increasing the capacity of their TSF. Unfortunately, increasing the capacity of the existing TSF proved to be costly and uneconomical.

The request was to find a permanent solution to their tailings dewatering problem that “will fit into a small footprint and that will also recover the water for re-use in the plant immediately. After dewatering the tailings slurry, the discard must be easy to convey and to be “dry” stackable”.

Filtaquip was awarded the project and it supplied some of the largest Filter Presses currently in South Africa. In the end, the Company was able to prove to the Client that its technology can provide a perfect solution in the following ways:

• High feed pressure resulted in shorter cycle times, leading to higher throughput on a single unit, resulting in less capital equipment required. Test work indicated that cake moisture of 19% - 22% by volume could be achieved consistently through using a high feed pressure system, producing filter cakes that would be easy to handle and be “dry” stackable (these filter cakes became conveyable from below 30% cake moisture).

• The wash plant was able to continue operating.

• Less than 1% of the plant tailings are reporting to the wet TSF.

• The Filter Press plant was considered to be the perfect solution to the Clients tailings problem. High feed pressure technology resulted in the required cake moistures, reduced cycle times, and reduced CAPEX, OPEX and footprint.

The filtration plant has been operational since 2017.

Mining Business Africa | September - October 2022 27 Mining Business Africa_202209.indd 1 2022/09/21 16:05:45

Yellow metal procurement for mining projects

Filling the gap

Disruption in the global supply chain of equipment and critical spare parts has caught mining companies unawares, heightening the risk of halting operations, at the extreme. This is a situation which could result in huge revenue too. Thankfully, second-hand yellow metal procurement has turned out to be a lifeline for mining companies.

Contrary to initial expectations, there have been delays in the delivery of new equipment and spare parts orders from overseas-based OEMs to mining companies in Africa. Reports indicate that this has not spared industries in other regions.

To a large extent, this is due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the War in Ukraine. As a result of these two events, mining companies have had to contend with a double whammy. The former has resulted in delays in the delivery of equipment orders due to disruptions in factories during

hard lockdowns. On the other hand, the latter has brought about high oil prices, causing the escalation of shipping costs and the attendant equipment price inflation.

Conrad Smith, the Managing Director of MHS Equipment & Rental, has been observing these trends with a vested interest, specifically their effect on seller and buyer attitudes (mindset). He spells out that - sufficiently equipped - the company is relishing opportunities that have opened up in the equipment supply and demand gap, both direct sales and rental options.

28 Mining Business Africa | September - October 2022
MHS Equipment is well-resourced to source and supply equipment like his dump truck as as and when needed to the client.

Mindset shift

The mindset shift is evident in two areas: the shift to convenient alternatives and the growing preference for retaining old equipment for disposal.

The astronomic hike in the purchase price of new equipment from main brands like Caterpillar has compelled mining companies and contractors to rethink their procurement strategies. Second-hand yellow metal equipment is turning out to be a cost-effective convenient alternative as mining companies are aiming at forestalling downtime and sustaining the productivity momentum. Thus far, Smith indicates that there has been an increase in enquiries on lower-hour equipment from both mining houses and contractors alike.

Usually, mining companies like disposing of and upgrading equipment, but now they are holding on dearly to their inventory, Smith states. “Interestingly enough, the larger mining houses are also looking to hang on to their older equipment and even buy older used equipment which would normally be made redundant. They then rebuild the same front to back at a fraction of new replacement value.”

Sufficiently equipped

Tapping into its extensive experience, MHS deems the challenge as an opportunity to rise to the occasion and fill the supply and demand gap for many contractors and mining houses located all over the world. With an extensive international supplier and end-user client base, which has been built over the past 25 years, the company is sufficiently equipped to meet clientele’s needs timely. “Often the long lead times are just not an

option, and this is where we come in. In some cases, we can supply new from other territories, but in most, we supply close to new as possible. Our experienced team handle the entire process from start to finish- procurement, shipping, marine insurance, clearing and forwarding to delivery and commissioning on site,” assures Smith.

Uptake in the rental business

The equipment demand and supply crunch has also occasioned a marked uptick in uptake in demand for equipment rental services. Actually,

avenue even during the pre-pandemic era, when the global equipment supply was ‘normal’, Smith elaborates. “Over the past few years, there have been several larger contractors that have unfortunately closed. Currently, only five maybe six larger mining contractors are operating in South Africa, which has opened the door for smaller players.“

Through flexible rental options, MHS is committed to empowering selected smaller Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) groups and communities that work for the large mining Houses. The company assists these small teams with equipment, training and expertise that

Mining Business Africa | September - October 2022 29

guarantee great ‘up-times’ for the sites. “There are various models which we offer from normal dry rate rental (no operators) through to a Rent to Own model (with MHS support) This model is especially attractive and supported by the bluechip mining houses, assisting them to empower local communities without any disruptions to their operations.”

Reducing exposure to risks Africa has emerged as the new growth frontier for yellow equipment suppliers. But security and safety risks due to political instability, civil war, as well as poor governance, persist. Fortunately, being a local business with years of experience, MHS has forged partnerships that reduce the exposure of its clients to these risks as much as possible.

Bullish about business prospects

Overall, Conrad is enthused at the confidence clientele have in MHS Equipment & Rental and is bullish about prospects for participating in more transactions. “We have seen many of the Australian and European companies operating in Africa prefer to make use of a local player with experience on the ground such as MHS. I am proud to say we have emerged as a go-to company when it comes to yellow metal equipment procurement.”

Engaging expertise in asset disposal

In this atmosphere, mining companies have become obsessed with cutting costs. To some degree, this could be reasonable, as they are aiming to stay afloat by offsetting rising operating costs. They are continuously searching for different ways that can help them meet this objective. And one option that is being adopted is the in-sourcing of services, instead of outsourcing to an organisation well-versed in the field.

Unfortunately, based on what MHS Equipment has gathered, more often than not, this approach backfires as organisations get less value from their equipment. Generally, when mining companies decide to carry out the disposal of assets in-house, there are two areas mining companies overlook. In most cases, they don’t have an extensive database of buyers on the equipment and, even in situations they do, they may not have the capacity to deal with the buyers effectively.

Short of capacity, mining companies then elect to take the easy way out of unreserved auctions. Sadly, they only realise belatedly that it is very expensive.

“Through unreserved auctions, sales attract an 8 to10% fee for the sale, plus a 10% buyer’s commission, that’s close to 20% before factoring in any marketing costs. The buyers take this 20%, plus the cost to relocate the equipment into consideration when bidding,” Smith laments.

Fortunately, most companies are becoming aware of the downsides of inhouse asset disposal and are engaging the expertise of MHS. “Mining companies have realised that the equipment is specialised. As we know models which sell well into a territory or the region, we do assure the sellers of the best possible returns at all times,” Smith explains.

30 Mining Business Africa | September - October 2022
Tel: +27 11 466 9293 | +27 82 781 9481 | Your procurement and disposal specialists. Offering a turnkey solution to mine or site closures. We specialise in handling the entire disposal process, from the inventory inspection, valuations and marketing to the sales and delivery process, which entails getting topreturns for your assets, handling all dismantling,land and ocean freight, as well as marine insurance. Use our extensive international client base exposure to ensure the best possible returns for your assets.

Proximity Detection System for Scraper Winches

Enhancing safety around scraper winches

To mitigate risks and address limitations of traditional safety measures in areas around scraper winches in the hard rock mining environment, Mernok Elektronik has devised a proximity detection solution (PDS). So far, initial tests illustrate the efficacy of the PDS in enhancing safety in different scenarios. The core of the system is built on Mernok Elektronik‘s low-frequency proximity detection technology, which is well-suited for this application, due to the high level of repeatability and good rock penetration.

rigging components. Consequently, personnel who are poorly positioned do not always have the time to activate the emergency stop function of the signalling system in time. Due to the low visibility and the length of the scraper paths, the winch operator could be completely unaware of dangerous situations unfolding along the scraper path.

Further challenges regard accountability and access control. Although the governing regulations require the winch operators to be trained, certified, and appointed, access control remains a challenge, and access keys can easily end up in the hands of untrained personnel.

The area near equipment is always a safety risk to personnel in hard rock mining environments, as accidents can result in serious injuries and fatalities. All the more challenging is that, in most cases, the equipment is in confined spaces. Because of this, mining houses should pull out all the stops to adopt techniques that can help them effectively mitigate potential safety risks. And the area near scraper winches is not an exception.

The Risks and hazards associated with scraper winch systems

Most of the conventional hard-rock mining methods used in South Africa rely on scraper winches to move ore from the blasting face to an ore pass, where it can fall through to haulage levels. The amount of tension applied to the winch ropes and the violent movement of the scraper bucket means that a high level of risk is associated with scraping operations.

These risks are compounded by the low visibility and the confined space typical of the environments where the winches are used. In some cases, the scraper path is even used as the primary walkway into the workplace, so the winch starting unexpectedly while there are people in the gulley is a real concern.

Signalling systems

To mitigate some of the risks, the Mine Health and Safety Act has mandated the use of

signalling systems to complement existing controls on all scraper winch installations. These systems allow personnel to signal instructions to the winch operator from any point along the scraper path, or to stop the scraper winch in case of emergencies. Typically, these systems rely on “bell wires” running parallel to the scraper path. Red and green lights and audible sirens typically accompany the bell wire, warning nearby pedestrians and providing a form of traffic control for personnel working in the area.

Challenges of signalling systems

Although the signalling systems are a step in the right direction, there are still challenges which need to be addressed to further mitigate the risks associated with scraping operations.

The signalling system only provides feedback to the winch operator when a person next to the gulley is pulling on the bell wire. This means that the team leader – or whoever is signalling instructions to the winch operator – needs to position themselves close to the scraper path. Additionally, people who find themselves in a potentially dangerous situation will need to pull on the nearest bell wire for a few seconds to activate the emergency stop functionality of the signalling system.

Unfortunately, many incidents are caused by unexpected movement of the scraper bucket or the sudden failure of the scraper ropes and

Mernok Elektronik’s proximity detection technology

To mitigate risks and address limitations of traditional safety measures around scraper winches, Mernok Elektronik has devised a proximity detection solution. The proximity detection solution for scraper winches consists of the Titan Commander HMI110, a humanmachine interface and the Titan range of peripheral devices which are connected to the Commander HMI110 via a Controller Area Network (CAN) bus. The core of the PDS system is built on Mernok Elektronik‘s reliable low-frequency proximity detection technology, which is well-suited for this application – due to the high level of repeatability and good rock penetration.

The Commander HMI110 is the interface between the operator and the PDS system, providing visual and audible feedback to the winch operator. The Commander HMI110 is also designed to complement existing controls, by enforcing pre-use checklists and tests, monitoring the system health, and providing a means of digitalised access control, datalogging, and integration to existing signalling systems.

The PulseLink100 is the primary peripheral device used in scraper winch operations. It is designed to drive a low-frequency magnetic field

32 Mining Business Africa | September - October 2022 FEATURE

around a flexible cable antenna – the PulseFlex. These cable antennas are routed along the sides of the scraper path and the return path of the scraper ropes, to ensure coverage of all no-go areas.

The scope of capabilities and features

The interaction between the PDS system and nearby pedestrians is facilitated through the Titan Pulse130 cap-lamp tag. The Pulse130 is also cross-compatible with Mernok Elektronik’s range of rail-bound PDS, trackless machine PDS and tracking solutions – enabling a single-tag solution across entire operations.

The field formed around the PulseFlex (which can be up to 40m in length) enables Mernok Elektronik’s pedestrian cap-lamp tag (the Pulse130) to warn pedestrians when they enter dangerous areas. The PulseFlex sections are plug-and-play, and the system can be extended and moved with the scraper path as the face advances.

The system is designed to be fail-to-safe. Neighbouring sections will constantly monitor one another’s LF and RF capabilities, so any hardware failures can be detected automatically – forcing the operator or a technician to take remedial action before operation can resume.

The Pulse130 cap-lamp tag also responds to the LF fields over sub-GHz RF, notifying the Commander HMI110 that the person is in proximity to the scraper installation. The Commander HMI110 will determine if a person is within configurable warning or critical zones depending on the magnetic field strength and unique field identifier detected by the Pulse130. The operator will be warned whenever personnel are detected in warning zones, and the winch will be stopped if a person ever enters the critical zones while the winch is running.

Winch operators need to log into the system with a valid license card and/or a built-in fingerprint reader. The PDS system also requires that the winch operator pairs their cap-lamp tag before the winch can be started. This pairing process, which is seamlessly integrated into the Commander HMI110’s pre-use procedure,

ensures that the position of the operator can be monitored during operation, and that only appointed personnel can start and operate the winch.

The Commander HMI110 is compatible with the Titan Handheld, a third-generation handheld device, capable of sending instructions to the winch operator. By using the handheld device, the team leader can position themselves safely, while also being able to send instructions, get feedback on the system state, or trigger emergency stops.

Additionally, the Commander HMI110 continuously logs all system events, such as signalled instructions and PDS interactions. The integration of this data with Mernok Elektronik’s reporting service (Command Suite) enables the client to identify high-risk installations and make informed decisions regarding operational processes, utilisation, and operator behaviour.

Hardware integration simplifies installation and maintenance

By integrating with the existing signalling systems on a functional and hardware level, the peripheral devices can be fitted to the enclosures of the signalling system devices. This minimises the need for additional hardware, and by utilising the established distribution channels of the signalling system OEMs, installation, and maintenance of the PDS system is simplified. If the client chooses to make use of Command

Suite, they can receive customised reports on the health of systems across the site and thereby identify installations which are accounting for an abnormal amount of hardware failures.

Testing shows suitability of technology

Although the project is still in the initial stages of the roll-out, Mernok Elektronik has been able to apply proven technology and over a decade of experience gained in the RBE and trackless machine applications to the refinement of the scraper-winch solution. Initial testing has also been promising and integration with various signalling system OEMs has allowed Mernok Elektronik to evaluate the suitability of the technology extensively in operational environments.

Mernok Elektronik has also been working with the University of Pretoria and the Mandela Mining Precinct for close to a year to determine industry requirements and ensure the alignment of our development with the needs of the industry’s stakeholders. This project has aided in establishing a holistic approach to the incorporation of the PDS solution into existing industry processes. Furthermore, continuous engagement with existing clients in the platinum and gold sectors ensures that the product is not only effective in terms of a PDS solution, but also incorporates existing controls as defined by their standard operating procedures (SOPs). This engagement also creates an opportunity to refine the product in terms of the end-user requirements and develop an efficient action plan for the management of change within the workplace.

Confidence in the solution

Naturally, the roll-out of a new system is always met with challenges, but the team at Mernok Elektronik are collaborating closely with existing clients. Based on progress so far, they are confident the system will play a significant role in improving the safety of the employees working in conventional hard-rock mines throughout South Africa.

Mining Business Africa | September - October 2022 33

Real-time vibration analysis and monitoring systems for vibrating equipment

Specialist care and supervision leads to increased equipment reliability

“Maximising uptime and minimising downtime” is a mantra in the discipline of equipment maintenance in contemporary mining, particularly for mineral processing operations. But ask any plant engineer and his maintenance team, though greatly desired, realising this can be a tall order. To help mining companies manage this challenge in vibrating equipment, Vibramech, being southern Africa’s leader in the supply of vibrating screens and feeders, recommends Vibrasure®, an online and remote conditioning monitoring system.

Miningcompanies are going all-out to capitalise on the favourable atmosphere of record-high commodity prices. Consequently, vibrating equipment are pushed to its limits and often overexerted, rendering it prone to more frequent breakdowns (downtime). And so, the reliability and consistent production capabilities of vibrating screens and feeders, are exceptionally important. This is where Vibrasure® can play a critical role, as the data collected thus far with the use of Vibrasure®, indicates improved equipment dependability (uptime).

Vibrasure® gives the plant engineer and his maintenance team access to continuous monitoring in order to detect, diagnose and analyse early failure signs and, accordingly, to ensure that maintenance is carried out prior to any critical failure.

The particular operational parameters of vibrating equipment that Vibrasure® monitors on a 24/7 basis, includes: Vibration Frequency, Amplitude, Angle of Motion and Temperature. This information is essential for ConditionBased Maintenance (CBM), which will eliminate costly, unscheduled downtime and unexpected breakdowns. CBM should form art of any mineral processing maintenance plan as it will improve dependability, by early detection of signs of failure and allowing for preventative repairs. Vibrasure® provides added insurance to maintain optimal machine performance.

Use of most advanced technologies: Amin Jami (Mechanical Engineer), who is responsible for Vibrasure® at Vibramech, acknowledges that there is an increasing number of online monitoring systems out there in the market. But what makes Vibrasure® particularly fit for purpose, in the continuous monitoring of vibrating equipment performance,

36 Mining Business Africa | September - October 2022 FEATURE

is that it uses the most advanced technologies.

“The 3D motion of the screen body is constantly monitored by dedicated structural sensors, along with the bearing condition of the drive system by dedicated bearing sensors. So, Vibramech can provide a reliable source of information about the health of its equipment.”, adding that all sensors are IP69K rated, with long-life integral batteries that can withstand the harshest of conditions.

Cloud-based data management:

The data collected by Vibrasure® informs key decisions concerning maintenance.

Hence, there should be utmost integrity and convenience not only in the way it is gathered, but also stored and retrieved. Aware of this, Jami states, that Vibrasure® offers cloud-based data management services linking the physical and digital world. “We offer a variety of network options, including WiFi and cellular, to ensure that your data reaches the client’s databases or servers securely.”

In real-time, Vibramech and/or its clients can receive, as required, notifications on vibration patterns and inter alia bearing temperatures via

email, mobile phone messaging or PLC. The values can be trended over time and can be utilised to optimise the performance of vibrating equipment. This approach eliminates unplanned downtime events due to normally unnoticed detrimental operational issues. As an added option though Vibrasure®, the client may be able to rest assured that Vibramech’s engineers are readily on hand to pick up any deviations in equipment performance.

Vibrasure® as an equipment quality assurance tool: Vibrasure® is not only used to carry out 3D vibration analysis and operational performance of equipment, but also on all equipment before release, as part of the quality assurance programme. Analysis of equipment is used as a benchmark for the life of the equipment, ensuring that all vibrating equipment is built to perform within strict dynamic parameters.

From its base of operations in Johannesburg, South Africa, Vibramech manufactures its custom designed robust equipment which is proven to deliver many years of reliable service. Please visit Vibramech’s new website at www. for an overview on how Vibramech could assist with your current and future mineral processing requirements.

Mining Business Africa | September - October 2022 37

ESG-friendly alternatives to cyanide and reagents

The future is now

For centuries, cyanide has been considered the ‘go-to’ reagent for various mineral processes. As calls mount for the mining industry to become more responsive from an ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) perspective, it’s time for companies to consider less hazardous solutions.

This is no easy task, explains Bernard Oostendorp (Technical Manager) of Axis House, a supplier and manufacturer of reagents to the mining industry. “For one thing, it requires a change of mindset –cyanide salts have been used for so long they are an entrenched part of the industry. There’s a reason for this: the material is outstandingly effective at leaching gold from ore, and it’s just as effective when applied as a zinc depressant in lead-zinc flotation circuits.”

The challenge, then, lies in finding an alternative that achieves similar results; but is safe to use when it comes to the transportation, handling and disposal of effluent – a task which has occupied much of Axis House’s efforts for the past three years.

These endeavours have proved fruitful, reports Oostendorp, with Axis House identifying three products that can be applied as alternatives to cyanide: D20-M3, Revadep 150 and Revadep 226. “Take D20-M3 for example: we have tested its abilities as a gold leaching agent at various operations, and found that it consistently compares favourably against sodium cyanide,” Oostendorp says. Importantly, however, it contains only 10-14% cyanide, which means that cyanide levels in effluent are reduced to 30% of the levels achieved with cyanide, making it easier to treat and dispose of. This has earned the product a ‘low hazard’ ranking.

Revadep150 and Revadep 226, that are used for zinc depression in polymetallic flotation, have delivered similarly impressive results. Both products are cyanide free and effective even at half the dose of cyanide, when used with the traditional zinc sulphate co-depressant. As a further benefit, the lower dosage and improved zinc depression translate into better reactivation of zinc minerals in the downstream zinc circuit.

Moving the industry forward Oostendorp reveals that all three products have been well received by products following laboratory testing. “We are now at a point where we can conduct plant trials,” he informs. These are set to take place during the remainder of the year. “We are extremely pleased to be able to prove that there are products out there that negate the need for cyanide. In the case of D20-M3, cyanide levels are well below 2050ppm in effluent (the point at which effluent is considered safe for discharge), while the use of Revadep 150 and Revadep 226 entirely removes the use of cyanide from the zinc depression process – directly in contrast with the trend towards rising cyanide and effluent levels, which increase annually.”

What makes these products different, Oostendorp continues, is that they are efficient throughout the process. “There is no disputing the efficiency of cyanide – so, instead of trying to create a product that does its job more effectively, we focused on products that improve efficiencies, because this removes the

38 Mining Business Africa | September - October 2022
Axis House is laying the foundation for more effective operations, including ESG-friendly alternatives to cyanide and reagents developed for greater selectivity. All reagent development starts at the Axis House laboratory

need to treat effluent. Residual cyanide levels are consistently low: in the case of D20-M3, this figure stands at below 30%, a drastic improvement on the residue left by sodium cyanide, while the Revadep products leave zero cyanide residue.

A commitment to research and development

Oostendorp explains that Revadep 150 and Revadep 226 represent the culmination of several years’ work. The company had already developed a range of depressants, including depressants for sulphide minerals, and spent several years honing its understanding of reagents which are able to depress and float various sulphides before introducing these products, which are based on the chemistry types of preceding products. Revadep 150 and Revadep 226 are able to act as depressants when introduced in typical lead circuits operating at a pH level between 8 and 9. Plus, because their molecular weights are higher than that of sodium cyanide, we find that a lower dose can be used.

Oostendorp admits that the development of these products has taken a significant investment in time and research. “All our reagent development starts at the Axis House laboratory, where we evaluate the individual performance of all products as well as their performance in conjunction with other reagents.” Further tests are conducted to understand the full extent of the product’s applicability, especially when working with a specific ore or mineral type. “We test parameters such as optimum dosage, dosage point and process pH to ensure that the product is successful at plant scale,” Oostendorp says.

He adds that because specialised collectors are developed to be mineral specific, lower dosages can be applied without compromising

grade and recovery – in fact, in most cases, these are improved. This stands in stark contrast to the commodity type collectors which are traditionally used in sulphide flotation, like xanthates. Once a specialised collector has been identified, Axis House follows a similar process to develop frothers and depressants which are able to improve the separation of valuable from gangue minerals.

Finally, after extensive laboratory testing, the product is approved for full scale application. At this point, the Axis House technical team meet onsite to apply the product at the client’s site. “These steps are critical to ensure that the product is successful when applied at full scale, but they also provide an opportunity for the technical team to gain more understanding about how the newly developed products should be applied to ensure optimal efficiency.”

Customisation: the ultimate answer to client needs

Axis House’s thorough process is rooted in the company’s understanding that every client is unique, and that each faces unique problems. “These problems are always the point of departure when developing a product,” Oostendorp explains. “Imagine, for instance, a client is experiencing low recoveries and high reagent consumption. We’d first look at why this is happening. Once we have the answer to this question, we can start to develop and implement our own reagent solution; a process which entails detailed laboratory test work followed by plant trials – all backed by the onsite support of our technical team.” Once the product has been commercialised, Axis House continues to visit the client’s site regularly in order to see if there are any possible areas for improvement. “Our approach is rooted in partnership: we believe in working alongside our clients to help them achieve their goals.”

This partnership sees Axis House working closely with clients to gain insight into their processes – important, because a lack of knowledge in this area may impact on the reagent’s ultimate performance. “We try to mitigate the risk of underperformance through thorough testing,” Oostendorp says, referring back to the many tests that products undergo before application at the client’s site – including trials under various conditions, to help the organisation understand how the product affects the process. When the time for plant trials arrives, Axis House’s technical team is accompanied by a group of experienced metallurgists, resulting in a lower probabilityof underperformance. “We find that engaging our technical team is very helpful for clients, because the team understands how changes to certain parameters will affect the performance of the product, and what corresponding changes need to be made.” A stringent quality control process is also critical to ensure that products meet technical standards, and is a further safeguard against potential under performance.

The philosophy in action

Oostendorp cites the example of Axis House’s recent work with a zinc processing plant to demonstrate the company’s holistic approach. “During our first plant visit, our metallurgical team identified multiple areas for improvement: for example, the xanthate collector in use was not very selective, and consequently allowed the build up of high levels of sulphide gangue in the concentrate, causing crud formation on the concentrate thickener. This lowered the quality of the overflow water, which was reused in the plant.”

Axis House’s solution? “After we tested the company’s ore, we introduced a collector which was highly selective towards the zinc minerals to be recovered. This collector was effective at

Mining Business Africa | September - October 2022 39
At Axis House, a stringent quality control process is also critical to ensure that products meet technical standards.

half the dosage of xanthate previously used, while the improved selectivity lowered the gangue reporting to the concentrate – and so the thickener efficiency improved, too.” Axis House also developed a specialised frother, which was customised onsiteand had a positive impact on both consumption and the flotation circuit, helping to boost selectivity, culminating in overall improved performance for the entire plant.

Axis House further helped the plant reduce

cyanide levels in the entire process by replacing the cyanide depressant previously in use with Redvedep 226. With cyanide levels now reduced to zero, overflow water from the tailings thickener could be reused, while process waste could be disposed to the tailing dam without further treatment. The company also identified a more effective flocculant, that yields clearer thickener and faster settling rates.

Axis house continues to conduct test work

and site optimisation, to allow for changes to the mine’s ore type and feed mineralogy. By addressing these problems one at a time, we were able to help the plant increase overall process efficiency.

Looking forward: The power of specialisation

This case study highlights the many advantages of specialised products. “Remember that specialised reagents are usually developed to be mineral specific, and are highly selective towards the minerals in question. Traditional commodity type reagents can produce acceptable performance, but specialised reagents carry far more benefits, from improved selectivity to better recovery rates, increased grade and low hazards. What’s more, specialised reagents also address the issue of declining feed grade experienced through the life of the mine, making the processing of these ores more profitable. If you were to conduct an overall economic evaluation of the entire process you’d find that specialised reagents return better results.”

The world is changing and the emphasis on ESG responsibilities is growing by the day.

“There has never been a better time to review your processes and find alternatives that are not only kinder to the environment and the communities you serve, but that also have a positive impact on your processes,” Oostendorp concludes.

Johannesburg: +27 11 463 4888 | | Cape Town: +27 21 790 0481 FEATURE
Axis House’s products undergo many tests before application at the client’s site, including trials under various conditions

Pumps for harsh mining environments

Pumps for Prudence Paramount in pump selection

One of the factors determining the success of a mining project is the selection of suitable equipment. Wrong decisions can result in downtime to critical processes resulting in huge losses of revenue. Hence, prudence is paramount in procuring pumps for different applications.

That’s why I had recommended the other one previously.”

The finance was sardonic. “Hmmm. Is that so? I hope it will last an eternity?”

Eventually, he gave in nonetheless, only after being told that all pump downtime has halted

all processes and the mine was losing potential revenue by the minute.

In the end, the finance department spent more money on repairing a pump, more than the cost of a new high-quality relevant pump that had been dismissed. Then barely a month later, the pump failed. And this time, with no lease of life, it was pronounced a write-off. Belatedly, that was when the finance department recommended the purchase of a pump they had initially dismissed.

Ultimately, the ill-informed decision cost the mine more: the unnecessary cost of a pump that had been written off, besides more being incurred in repair, the irretrievable cost of revenue during occasions of downtime, and to add insult to injury, purchasing another pump.



mining companies are confronted with a situation where the high price of energy may offset envisaged bumper revenue from high mineral commodity prices. Thus, adopting cost containment measures to remain sustainable businesses is the most convenient tool at their disposal.

Change to the approach in equipment procurement is one of the ways mines may use to realise their cost-containment objectives. Sometimes, the obsession to adhere to this can have unintended consequences. This arises where the price is regarded as the sole factor that informs procurement decisions.

One engineer at a junior mining company related to this author about his experience recently. He approached the company’s accountant with a request for the purchase of a pump ideal for abrasive slurries. The price was higher than the previous pump model that was purchased for wastewater at a water treatment plant.

The accountant wondered why the company should pay more. “How much will it cost us? Aren’t there cheaper options?”

The engineer desperately staked his case. “But the cheaper options are not ideal for the task.”

As tight-fisted as the engineer had expected, the accountant responded, “Who will pay for that? I am afraid. We don’t have the luxury of spending that much.”

Cowing in, the engineer reluctantly accepted the cheaper option and settled for the equipment that in the words of the accountant that “can do the job for the moment”.

Three weeks later, the pump stalled while production was at its peak, and the engineer went back to the finance guy to ask for money to repair the pump.

The accountant wonders why they have to spend more on the new pump. “It may not have been maintained properly?”

“Remember that model of pumps is meant for wastewater treatment plants not and handling abrasive slurries and acid water drainage.

The moral of the engineer’s account is the significance of getting a correct pump for an application from the get-g only after prudent pump selection. Clearly, pump failure as a result of poor procurement decisions has huge ramifications. A few minutes of scheduled downtime to conduct maintenance on a site may be permissible, if necessary, sometimes to fix one or two things. But when it happens frequently, it adds up to hours of downtime and cumulatively, considering that on each occasion thousands of dollars are lost in production, it could be hundreds of thousands or millions in a month. This can be a loss of revenue on the balance sheet.

Proper planning and execution

Currently, there is a lot of hype about the high cost of mineral commodities and the huge revenue mining companies stand to get. But the reality is that there are no easy pickings. There is a need for proper planning and execution to get the proverbial pot of gold that is huge, and using suitable equipment is central.

Mining Business Africa | September - October 2022 41 FEATURE


Hybrid wet drums for heavy media recovery of magnetite or ferrosilicon

Enhanced Recovery, High Availability in Wet Drum Separation

Thanks to an innovative design and quality of construction materials used, the revolutionary new Eriez® Wet Drum Separators guarantee enhanced continuous recovery of iron (magnetite) or ferrosilicon in heavy media circuits. Minimal need for maintenance and component replacement ensure that hybrid wet drums are always available when needed for duty at all times.

The timing of Eriez’ launch of new hybrid wet drum separators could not have been more perfect. There has been a long spell of generally high commodity prices - a trend that analysts predict will be sustained at least in the short to medium term. And so, to earn more revenue, mining companies, especially iron producers, are in urgent need of suitable equipment to improve ore recovery.

Answering to the need

With the launch of New Eriez® Hybrid Wet Drum Separators, Eriez has answered the need for suitable equipment for enhanced magnetic recovery of iron ore and ferrosilicon. In a brief to industry, Eriez Director of Minerals and Materials Processing, Jose Marin, recommends Hybrid Wet Drum Separators as equipment that meets the industry’s need for improved efficiency and availability at all times.

Innovative design and quality materials for construction

The innovative design and the choice of quality materials for construction are aimed at maximising magnetite recovery (clean magnetite concentrate) in the heavy media circuit, over and above reducing maintenance costs. Besides, it can easily be retrofitted, eliminating additional expenses.

• Efficiency and availability

The full-width overflow allows the wet drums to be self-levelling. Hence, there is no need for adjusting tailings spigots to match the flow of the separator feed. Moreover, the wet drums incorporate a variety of features for straightforward operation, including a synchronous cog belt or direct drives, greaseable bearings (during operation) and an oversized feed box.

The wet drums also have agitating magnetic elements. The alternating polarity of agitating elements assists in releasing entrapped nonmagnetic materials to attain maximum recovery and profitability.

Approximately two-thirds of the magnetic

element in the Hybrid Wet Drum Separator is constructed with rare earth magnets. The remainder consists of a transition section onto a ceramic element.

This advanced design allows these stronger drums to properly discharge magnetite or ferrosilicon onto the concentrate launder without flow interference. The result is that it delivers 60% higher gauss in the separating zone when compared to the industry standard 950 gauss interpole magnetic circuit.

Mill feed is typically upgraded to 65+ per cent magnetic iron using a series of wet drum magnetic separators. However, the number of

magnetic separation stages required to upgrade the ore is dependent on the magnetite content and the liberation characteristics of the ore.

Marin demonstrates to mining and mineral processing companies how the Hybrid Wet Drum Separator addresses the pertinent industry need for enhanced recovery: “The typical recovery of magnetite in a heavy media plant using traditional technology is expected at +99.%, while the anticipated recovery utilising a Hybrid Wet Drum Separator is close to 99.99%.”

• High availability

Eriez Wet Drum Magnetic Separators for iron ore are engineered and fabricated to ensure a high level of availability for the continuous treatment of coarse-milled ore. This has been achieved in several ways, mainly:

• The tank and drum are fabricated from heavy gauge stainless steel with wear plates in impact areas.

• Wear areas are protected with hot vulcanized rubber.

• The drum utilizes heavy–duty spherical roller bearings with a B–10 life of 100,000+ hours for iron ore upgrading.

• The drive system utilises a Mill and Chemical Duty motor coupled to a shaftmounted gear reducer complete with Taconite Seals.

Easy retrofitting

Another feature worth noting about wet drum hybrid separators is that their layout allows for easy retrofitting. The hybrid drum, coupled with the self-levelling tank, maintains the current layout of a standard widely known 950 gauss wet drum separator. Thus, the adaptability of the layout enables the upgrading of existing 36- and 48-inch diameter wet drums to the Hybrid Wet Drum Separator. Most importantly, the layout eliminates the additional cost of altering the existing tank or drive.

Success in field results

It is only natural that clients, especially in the mining industry, are circumspect about adopting

42 Mining Business Africa | September - October 2022

new machinery or upgrades of existing ones. However, with its track record in delivering reliability and low-cost technology, there is no doubt about the efficiency of the new state-ofthe-art hybrid wet drum separators.

The global leader in separation technologies

Established in 1942, Eriez is a global leader in separation technologies. Our commitment to innovation has positioned us as a driving market force in several key technology areas, including magnetic separation, flotation, metal detection and material handling equipment. The company’s 900+ employees are dedicated to providing trusted technical solutions to the mining, food, recycling, packaging, aggregate and other processing industries. Headquartered in Erie, Pennsylvania, USA, Eriez designs, manufactures, and markets on six continents through 12 wholly-owned international subsidiaries and an extensive sales representative network.

Field results gathered from iron ore concentration projects worldwide underline the superiority of wet drum separators. Among recent successes worth highlighting is deployment at an iron concentrator. Increased

Guaranteed Benefits of Hybrid Wet Drum Separators


a nutshell, the new Eriez® Hybrid Wet Drum Separators guarantees the client the following:

• Strongest, most effective magnetic elements in the industry

• Stainless steel encapsulated magnetic element

• One-piece stainless steel drum shell

• Abrasion–resistant aluminium or stainlesssteel end flanges

• Double–row, self–aligning ball and/or roller bearings easily accessible

• Accurate drum positioning at factory eliminates field adjustments

• Modular tank for easy installation

• Full-width overflow weirs

• High-volume input

• Low initial cost

• Now available with high-energy rare earth magnets.

recovery of magnetite in the rougher stage prompted the client to recommend the replacement of more than 20 48-inch diameter rougher units.

Tank Benefits


offers two standard tank styles: selflevelling counter-rotation and the countercurrent tank styles. The counter-rotation tank style is preferred for cobber, rougher and heavy media applications. In the counter-rotation tank style, the drum rotates against the slurry flow which offers the highest recovery possible.

The counter-current tank style is widely recognized as the most effective cleaner and finisher tank for iron ore concentration. Wet drums with counter-current tank styles are mostly double or triple concentrators. The magnetic preconcentrate of the primary drum is repulped and re-processed on the secondary drum and so forth. Counter-current tanks are associated with the highest level of concentration.

Concurrent tank styles are still available for certain applications. The drum rotation in the concurrent tank style is in the same direction as the slurry flow. This tank is still available for certain special project involving coarse ore.

Greater RecoveryBetter Grade


Elements & Tanks

Mining Business Africa | September - October 2022 43 Optimize Your Roughing, Cleaning & Scavenging
Eriez Magnetic
• Hybrid Rare Earth-Ceramic elements produce greater recovery in cobbing and roughing stages • Cleaning and finishing magnetic elements improve selective separation | 814.835.6000
with Eriez Deep Field 3,500 Gauss Magnetic Wet Drums Eriez_WetDrum_HalfPg_MMAfrica9_22.qxp_Layout 1 9/29/22 3:02 PM Page 1
Advertiser’s index Aditiv Solutions ......................................................................02 Axis House Pty Ltd ................................................................40 Becker Mining Systems AG .............................................OBC Charco Cranes .......................................................................05 Energy & Combustion Services Group ...............................09 Eriez ........................................................................................43 Filtaquip Pty Ltd .....................................................................27 Growth Steel Africa .............................................................IFC KSB Pumps and Valves (Pty) Ltd .........................................44 Mernok Elektronik Pty Ltd ....................................................34 MHS Plant Equipment ...........................................................31 Nel Hydrogen .........................................................................25 Norland lighting ......................................................................11 PDAC ....................................................................................IBC Probe IMT Group ...................................................................19 Vibramech Pty Ltd .................................................................36 Wearcheck ..............................................................................17 Winders Controls ...................................................................15 Mining Business Africa (MBA) is Pan-African bi-monthly publication that focuses on latest developments in mining and allied industries in Africa. The publication covers the scope of critical activities from pit to port – mineral exploration (prospecting), mine planning and development, extraction, mineral processing, storage transportation, as well as beneficiation. Mining Business Africa provides the desired mileage for companies looking to promote their products and services to a specific niche clientele in the African Mining Sector. Subscribers are located or at least involved in projects in South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana and Nigeria. MBA is published by Media Icon, a company manned by personnel with a combined experience of 30 years in the publishing space. TO ADVERTISE | CALL: + 27 10 055 3356 | Email:
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