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Consulting Engineers News

Limpopo miner chooses rope-based conveyor system to overcome topographical challenges

By: Dylan Slater     23rd September 2016 Limpopo-based platinum mine Booysendal Platinum – a subsidiary of platinum group metals producer Northam Platinum – recently accessed the Booysendal South ore deposit as part of its expansion of mining capacity at the Booysendal concession, which required it to employ an alternative conveyor... 

Consultant promotes technology over subsidies to ensure sustainability

By: Nadine James     16th September 2016 Coal mining companies need to embrace the technological revolution if they are to overcome current challenges, including lower commodity prices, rising labour costs and increased regulatory pressures, says commodity and industrial consulting firm Bryanston Resources. According to Bryanston... 

Consultant promotes technology over subsidies  to ensure sustainability
LORENZO TENCATI It is technology, not government subsidies, that will add value to the South African mining industry

South African coal industry needs to pursue mechanisation

By: Nadine James     16th September 2016 South African coal industry stakeholders need to pursue mechanisation if the industry is serious about streamlining operations and improving efficiencies, stresses international market research company BMI Research.  BMI commodities analyst Mitchell Hugers states that the benefits of... 

South African coal industry  needs to pursue mechanisation
USURPER Mozambique's coal prospects are attracting significant foreign investment and its coal sector may outstrip South Africa's in the near future

Waste coal gasification could offer alternative power generation source  

By: Nadine James     16th September 2016 To facilitate the gasification of low-grade fine waste coal that is discarded as a by-product of coal processing, State-owned mineral research council Mintek is developing the concept of direct current (dc) arc plasma gasification, intending to produce a synthesis gas (syngas) that could be used... 

Waste coal gasification could offer alternative power generation source
Photo by Victor Moolman
WASTE NOT WANT NOT The amount of waste coal accumulated by South African coal mines over the past 35 years is about two-billion tons

$900m engineering, procurement contract for copper smelter awarded

     2nd September 2016 Engineering, procurement and construction management and consultation company Chiyoda Singapore, a subsidiary of integrated engineering company Chiyoda Corporation, has been awarded a $900-million offshore engineering and procurement contract for mining and processing company PT Freeport... 

$900m engineering, procurement contract for copper smelter awarded
Photo by Bloomberg
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER Chiyoda was awarded a contract by PT Freeport Indonesia its wealth of construction experience in copper smelter related facilities

Gangama dry mine aiming for steady state production

     2nd September 2016 Steady-state operation at the Gangama dry mine plant was expected to be achieved within four months, mineral sands company Sierra Rutile reported in June. Plant commissioning of the Sierra Leone-based Gangama dry mine project and the handover from mining project manager DRA Projects to owner... 

Drones offer significant benefits for mine surveying and analysis

By: Dylan Slater     26th August 2016 The remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) industry is growing at a staggering rate and such systems are increasingly being taken up by mining companies as a tool to manage their assets, operations and land.  

Drones offer significant benefits for mine surveying and analysis
Photo by Dylan Slater
AERIAL OPPORTUNITY Remotely piloted aircraft systems open the doors to numerous opportunities for the mining industry

SA urged to grasp opportunities afforded by platinum and gold resurgence, rising coal exports

By: Dylan Slater     26th August 2016 According to consulting engineers and scientists SRK Consulting South Africa, the fact there are signs of resurgence in platinum, a stronger gold price and growing coal exports to India should be triggers for South Africa’s mining leadership to grasp the opportunities it missed in the last... 

SA urged to grasp opportunities afforded by platinum and gold resurgence, rising coal exports
MARCIN WERTZ Strong leadership is vital to ensure the next mining upturn can be capitalised upon

Mining code aimed at helping countries attract investment launched

By: Dylan Slater     19th August 2016 Towards the end of July, the World Initiative of Mining Lawyers (WIOML) launched a mining code that is aimed at guiding countries in attracting investment while securing fair benefits from mineral exploitation within their borders.  

Omnia asks TSX-V to deny or reprice Nordex going-private placement

By: Henry Lazenby     12th August 2016 Johannesburg-based Omnia Holdings has submitted a letter to the TSX-V asking it to consider denying or repricing a proposed change-of-control transaction through which Société Anonyme d’Explosifs et de Produits Chimiques (EPC) intends to take Canadian firm Nordex Explosives private. According to... 

Wits mining school in push to improve teaching, learning effectiveness

By: Dylan Slater     12th August 2016 One of Johannesburg-based University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) School of Mining Engineering’s primary strategic initiatives, in its endeavour to become a top mining school in the world, is to improve teaching and learning effectiveness.  

Wits mining school eyeing increased research output as it seeks to be among top 100 varsities by 2022

By: Dylan Slater     5th August 2016 The Johannesburg-based University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) School of Mining Engineering plans to increase normalised research output as a primary strategic initiative in its quest to join the top 100 universities in the world by 2022.  

Omnia raises bid for Nordex

By: Natasha Odendaal     4th August 2016 Shareholders of Canadian firm Nordex Explosives have one month to accept a now-formal fully funded, all-cash inflated takeover bid by JSE-listed Omnia Group. Omnia this week, through its mining division BME, raised the stakes with an offer of C$0.22 per Nordex share, taking the deal to... 

Industry growth in hands of junior explorers

By: Kimberley Smuts     29th July 2016 Diamond exploration enquiries received by mining industry consultancy The MSA Group from small players in Botswana, Lesotho and the Free State have increased considerably since May this year. This includes greenfield kimberlite indicator mineral testing, alluvial diamond mineral resource... 

Industry growth in hands of  junior explorers
NEED FOR NEW PROJECTS The diamond industry urgently needs to find new mines, as the supply-demand gap will widen from 2019 onwards and, consequently, drive price increases

Kudos for mine ventilation engineers

By: Dylan Slater     29th July 2016 Engineers from industrial fan manufacturer MechCal received awards for fan development, from the Mine Ventilation Society of South Africa (MVSSA), during its seventy-second annual general meeting (AGM) on April 20.  

Iron-ore market likely to stay in oversupply

By: Robyn Wilkinson     22nd July 2016 Despite China’s commitment to reducing its crude steel production capacity, the iron-ore market remains oversupplied and this is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future, says engineering consultant Core Consultants CEO Lara Smith. 

Product reduces unplanned downtime, machinery replacement

By: Kimberley Smuts     22nd July 2016 Australian-listed speciality chemicals development company Alexium International has made significant inroads into the resins, films and polymers industry, owing to its newly commercialised environment-friendly flame-retardant (FR) treatment Alexiflam, which is well suited to the mining industry.... 

Product reduces unplanned  downtime, machinery replacement
UNPLANNED DOWNTIME DIVERTED One of Alexiflam's largest applications in the mining sector comprises polymers used to protect the circuit board wiring in machinery against fire

Finns unveil acid mine water solution targeted at South African mining sector

By: Dylan Slater     15th July 2016 A new solution to treat acid mine drainage (AMD), targeting the South African mining industry, was launched on July 5, in Johannesburg, as a viable and cost effective solution to remove metals and sulphates from contaminated mine water.  

Construction of tailings storage facilities at Tharisa platinum mine to be completed in six months 

By: Dylan Slater     8th July 2016 Mine development and construction company Fraser Alexander has concluded a contract for platinum group metals (PGM) miner Tharisa Minerals to install and commission a tailings storage facility at its Tharisa mine.  

Construction of tailings storage facilities at Tharisa platinum mine to be completed in six months
Fraser Alexander CEO Velile Nhlapo tells Mining Weekly about the company’s latest tailings contract

Ncondezi contractor, financing yet to be finalised

By: Victor Moolman     8th July 2016 Construction of the Ncondezi Power Company (NPC) coal-fired power plant and the Ncondezi coal mine, in the Tete province of Mozambique, is expected to start in the second half of 2017, once power developer Ncondezi Energy has finalised an engineering, procurement and construction contractor and... 

Ncondezi contractor, financing yet to  be finalised
THERMAL COAL Coal mined at the Ncondezi openpit coal mine will be used to power the new Ncondezi power plant

Altura signs native title agreement for Pilgangoora lithium project

By: Mia Breytenbach     7th July 2016 ASX-listed lithium developer Altura Mining has agreed to the terms of a native title agreement (NTA) with the Njamal People, the traditional owners of the land at Altura’s 100%-owned Pilgangoora lithium project, in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The signing of the NTA was the final... 

Some services firms report business revival as several commodity prices rise

By: Henry Lazenby     6th July 2016 Certain mining services providers have reported increased interest from customers on both the investor and mining side, saying the slight recovery for many major commodities so far this year had translated into improved business. “Yes, there’s definite improvement in our business, especially... 

Some services firms report business revival as several commodity prices rise

Incremental mine development key for gold sector

By: Simon Sonnekus     24th June 2016 In the face of global capital constraints, gold mining companies have been forced to look into alternative options for the development of mines. The gold mining industry is known traditionally for larger-sized operations that require the establishment of a large reserve base as well as large... 

Incremental mine development key for gold sector
Photo by Bloomberg
GROWTH The steady gold price has been a bright light in an otherwise deflated commodities market

Skills compatibility, dual-skilled labour enhance agreements  

By: Sebastian Whyle     17th June 2016 The mine maintenance industry is facing a significant skills shortage, exacerbated by commodity price instability, industrial conveyor maintenance service provider ELB Conveyor Maintenance director Sharmlin Govender tells Mining Weekly. 

Skills compatibility, dual-skilled labour enhance agreements
ELB Conveyor Maintenance Director Sharmlin Govender talks on the state of the industry and the company's biggest achievements. Camerawork: Nichols Boyd. Editing: Lionel da Silva.

Cutting corners to cost mines in long run

By: Sebastian Whyle     17th June 2016 Many sites are trying to cut costs by moving away from using original-equipment manufacturer (OEM) spares and components when undertaking maintenance, says technologies, products and engineering services provider Tenova TAKRAF Africa aftermarket GM Paul Davies.  

Cutting corners to cost mines in long run
INCREASED NEED With the rapid uptake of mechanisation and automation in the mining industry, greater emphasis has been placed on the need for maintenance in the last 20 years

Essential maintenance supplied despite budget cuts by mines

By: Sebastian Whyle     17th June 2016 Rope access service and equipment provider Skyriders is, to a large extent, immune to the current commodities price slump, as inspection and maintenance is an essential part of keeping sites operational, notes marketing manager Mike Zinn. 

Essential maintenance supplied despite  budget cuts by mines
MAINTENANCE REMAINS KEY Although maintenance budgets are being trimmed to survive the current tough global economic climate, maintenance is vital at active mining operations

Upgrading, broadening industry services to facilitate growth

By: Sascha Solomons     10th June 2016 With better prospects for the pumps industry, owing to the favourable exchange rate, the Southern African Pump Systems Development Association (Sapsda) is encouraging its members to take advantage of export opportunities during this time, Sapsda treasurer Holly Smith emphasises. “There are vast... 

Upgrading, broadening  industry services to  facilitate growth
COMBINED STRENGTH Sapsda training courses combine the expertise of individuals working in the pumps industry

German company develops four machines for blind-shaft construction, enlargement

By: Dylan Slater     3rd June 2016 German mechanised tunnelling engineering company Herrenknecht AG has developed a range of four shaft boring machines for the safe and rapid construction of blind shafts or shaft enlargements to a depth of 2 000 m.  

German company develops four machines  for blind-shaft construction, enlargement
JANSEN PROJECT Herrenknecht’s Shaft Boring Roadheader in use at BHP Billiton’s Jansen project in Canada

Importance of fire-safe conveyers emphasised

By: Kimberley Smuts     27th May 2016 Fire is a pervasive threat to conveyor belt systems at mines and can cause substantial damage to the conveyed material, electromechanical components of the conveyor system and the belt if the necessary fire-protection systems are not in place. This can result in costly damage and downtime,... 

Importance of fire-safe conveyers emphasised
FIRE-DETECTION ESSENTIAL ASP Fire designs, installs and maintains a range of fire-detection and -suppression equipment to suit customer needs

Enviro assessments for Delmas colliery pollution control dams project under way

By: David Oliveira     20th May 2016 Specialist assessments required for the draft environmental impact report (DEIR) for the proposed extension and remediation of the discard dump and two pollution control dams at the North Shaft section of local coal mining and beneficiation company Kuyasa Mining’s Delmas coal mine is currently... 

New solution simplifies water-use licence application, renewal processes

By: Dylan Slater     20th May 2016 Global consulting engineers and scientists SRK Consulting have prepared a manageable system and training programme, which is designed to simplify the process of aligning personnel responsible for implementing and renewing a mining water use licence (WUL)  

New solution simplifies water-use licence application, renewal processes
JACKY BURKE Mines must conduct routine inspections and aquatic assessments, applying corrective actions where necessary

SRK Consulting: 40 years on

By: David Oliveira     20th May 2016 Global engineering consultancy SRK Consulting launched its fortieth anniversary book – SRK: 40 years in the deep end – during this year’s Investing in African Mining Indaba, which took place in February at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. The book covers SRK’s journey from its... 

SRK Consulting:  40 years on
Photo by Duane Daws
IN THE DEEP END The book covers SRK’s journey from its formation in Johannesburg, South Africa, by Oskar Steffen, Andy Robertson and Hendrik Kirsten in 1974 to its global presence today

Ukwazi

     20th May 2016 Independent mining adviser Ukwazi strongly believes in following transparent and compliant mine planning processes by applying specialist teams that are focused on specific mining methods and commodities. “We follow outcome-driven project management principles and supply specialist technical... 

Ukwazi

Adequate environmental management systems boost health, safety

By: Victor Moolman     13th May 2016 An effective environmental management system (EMS) has to reduce the possible environmental damage caused by and the overall cost of a mine, as well as ensure that workers are safe and healthy, says mining industry consultant The MSA Group. 

Adequate environmental  management systems  boost health, safety
ROBIN BOLTON Water, air and noise pollution, the loss of resources through spills or leaks, along with accidents and the impact on surrounding communities, are repercussions of not identifying risks timeously

Feasibility study starts on phosphate JV

By: Mia Breytenbach     6th May 2016 ASX-listed exploration and development company Minbos Resources last month started work with joint venture (JV) partner Petril on the bankable feasibility study (BFS) work programmes for the high-margin, high-grade phosphate Cabinda project, in Angola. The 391.3-million-ton project, with an... 

Feasibility study starts on phosphate JV
Photo by Bloomberg
HIGH PROSPECT The high-margin, high-grade phosphate Cabinda project, in Angola is an estimated 391.3-million-ton project, with an estimated ten-year mine life

Optimisation process determines risk versus reward

By: Kimberley Smuts     6th May 2016 The use of multiparametric block models, which contain more than just geological data, to analyse the risks associated with the mining process, allow more informed business decisions to be made on the basis of risk and exposure to that risk. This is according to The MSA Group mine optimisation... 

Optimisation process determines risk  versus reward
Photo by Bloomberg
OPENPIT RISKS PREDETERMINED When working an openpit resource, The MSA Group uses an optimisation process to determine the net present value generated from a particular geological resource

Client-centric approach on cards for advisory service

By: Sascha Solomons     22nd April 2016 Global engineering consultant Aurecon intends to add renewed focus to its advisory service by 2017, particularly on supply chain and asset management, by providing a more customer-centric offering for the struggling mining industry. “Our strategy is to live in our clients’ operations to better... 

Client-centric approach on cards for advisory service
Photo by Bloomberg
PARTNERSHIPS END IN TOTAL SOLUTIONS A client-centric apprach brings out the best results

Course offered to sharpen understanding of Fidic contracts

     22nd April 2016 The International Federation of Consulting Engineers (Fidic) deems contractual relationships between parties beneficial as this addresses the risks between contractors and employees. As such, the federation is offering a two-day course designed to offer a complete up-to-date review of the... 

Course offered to  sharpen understanding of Fidic contracts
Photo by Bloomberg
CONTENTS OF CONTRACTS Understanding minimises risks between contractors and employees
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