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Ferrous Metals
Prefabricated buildings erected for iron-ore clients
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22nd July 2011
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Manufacturer of prefabricated buildings Fabricated Steel Manufacturing (FSM) is providing additional buildings to provide temporary accommodation for workers at a mine expansion project for iron-ore miner Kumba Iron Ore in the Northern Cape.

“The R25-million contract was awarded in November last year to expand the camp from a capacity of 600 residents to about 1 600 residents. About 95% of the project is complete, with the final completion date the end of July,” says FSM director Felix Clemens.

FSM also supplied the initial temporary camp and phase one of the camp expansion project for Kumba’s Sishen mine. The camp was designed for about 600 residents, which was then expanded to 1 200 residents using mostly temporary mobile accommodation units.

The company has also supplied most of the operational buildings to iron-ore miner Assmang’s Khumani mine, situated about 25 km from the Sishen mine.

“The Khumani project has been ongoing since 2007, when we supplied the initial buildings for the mine development. Between 2009 and this year, we supplied further buildings for various phases of the expansion project. The last buildings in the current scope of the contract should be completed by the end of July.

“Further, FSM initially supplied rented tem- porary accommodation for 1 500 workers for the mine development in 2007 and again, from 2009, for the expansion project. In total, the various projects for the Khumani mine since 2007 have exceeded R80-million,” says Clemens.

For both clients, FSM’s project scope includes the manufacturing, delivery and erection of prefabricated buildings. This includes concrete slabs but excludes connections to services. All the internal reticulation is supplied and installed by FSM. The clients are only required to supply stable, engineered platforms for the buildings.

“We have provided another contractor with temporary accommodation for the upgrading and maintenance of the Sishen–Saldanha ore rail line, which is the primary transport route for the export of iron-ore from the Northern Cape mines,” he says.

Meanwhile, the company reports that it has to deal with significant challenges, such as severe time constraints, as completing the labour camp is a prerequisite to bringing in new contractors to start on the development or expansion of a mine.

To deal with the challenges, FSM’s large fac- tory production capacity is capable of rapidly supplying prefabricated buildings, and the com- pany has dedicated construction teams and sub- contractors to quickly put up the buildings.

“The process is also labour intensive, so we are able to assist the local communities by hiring unskilled labour at the project location. We have a proud history of transferring skills to these employees, some of whom have now moved with FSM to various sites around the country. Some employees who started on the Assmang project moved with FSM to the Medupi power station project, in Lephalale, and are now back in Sishen on the Kumba project,” explains Clemens.

Further, FSM notes that there is a move towards expanding production capacity in the iron-ore industry.

Edited by: Henry Lazenby


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