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Consulting Engineers News

Bakubung Koepe rope-up procedure successfully completed

By: Victor Moolman     19th January 2018 South Africa’s first locally designed and built mobile rope-handling system, engineered for installing both head and tail ropes onto a four-rope Koepe friction winder, was successfully used at Wesizwe Platinum’s Bakubung mine in the North West. The system was designed and manufactured by the Tech... 

Canadian junior mining company makes progress in Northern Cape

     15th December 2017 Canadian junior mining company Tango Mining has made progress at its Oena diamond project, based in the Northern Cape in South Africa, appointing diamond recovery company Bluedust 7 as its mining contractor, which it announced in October. The contract will take place for a 60-month period, during... 

Canadian junior mining company makes progress in Northern Cape
EXPLORATION ACTIVITIES The Oena diamond mine will see the mining of alluvial diamonds over a 60-month period

Initial mining programme expected to start next year

     15th December 2017 Marine and land-based mining company Diamond Fields International has reaffirmed its commitment to its Namibian operations, announcing at the start of November an initial mining programme for its ML111 licence in offshore Namibia in 2018.  The initial mining programme for the licence area will... 

Initial mining programme expected to start next year
YO TOIVO The vessel is designed to provide efficient and effective mining of diamonds on the seafloor

Lesotho mine delivers another high-value diamond

     15th December 2017 Global diamond producer Gem Diamonds’ Letšeng diamond mine in Lesotho yielded a high-quality 202 ct Type IIa-D colour, the seventh diamond over 100 ct to be recovered this year. The announcement marks the seventh diamond of over 100 ct to be recovered in 2017 from Letšeng. The mine, it is... 

Lesotho mine delivers  another high-value diamond
PICTURE PERFECT The Letšeng mine, located in Lesotho, which is claimed ot be the highest dollar-per-carat kimberlite diamond mine in the world

Underground mine plans for Karowe moving forward

     15th December 2017 The results of a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) announced by diamond miner Lucara Diamonds in November demonstrate the potential economic viability for the development of an underground mine at Karowe, in Botswana. The development of the underground mine is planned after the completion of... 

Underground mine plans for Karowe moving forward
KAROWE OPENPIT The Karowe mine located in Botswana has valuable resources located underground

South African equipment company supplies iron-ore giant

     8th December 2017 South Africa-based process equipment sales and supply company MIP Process Technologies has landed a contract to supply equipment to global iron-ore giant Ehya Sepahan, which has operations in the Middle East, most notably Iran. Ehya Sepahan CEO Hadi Golzar and technical and planning manager... 

South African equipment company supplies iron-ore giant
Photo by Duane Daws
STEEL COMMITMENTS Half of Ehya Sepahan’s iron-ore is consumed by the steelmaking industry

Environmental permit bodes well for project financing

     8th December 2017 Iron-ore explorer and developer Zanaga Iron Ore Company (ZIOC) expects the environmental permit for its iron-ore project from the Republic of Congo’s ministry of environment to help attract finance to enable the valuable resource to be brought into production. A joint venture with natural... 

Ireland-based Connemara Mining to advance exploration on key gold, zinc prospects

By: Mia Breytenbach     8th December 2017 Irish gold and zinc explorer Connemara Mining aims to further advance exploration activities on key gold and zinc prospects, following the successful execution of several drilling programmes at these projects, Connemara Mining CEO Patrick Cullen tells Mining Weekly. Connemara currently holds... 

Ireland-based Connemara Mining to advance exploration  on key gold, zinc prospects
EXPLORATION DRIVE Active exploration programmes on Connemara Mining’s gold projects at Inishowen, in Donegal, are under way, while drilling on the Wicklow/Wexford project has started

Company continues ramp-up of new iron-ore asset

By: Natasha Odendaal     8th December 2017 Industrial minerals, commodities and construction materials group Afrimat has successfully recommissioned its recently acquired iron-ore play, with full production on track for March 2018. The acquisition of the distressed small iron-ore mine, Diro, in the Northern Cape, had marked a new phase... 

Company continues ramp-up of new  iron-ore asset
DIRO MINE Afrmat invested R300-million into the Diro iron-ore mine in the Northern Cape

Kibaran to build battery-grade graphite producing pilot plant

By: Mia Breytenbach     5th December 2017 Following the successful completion of a feasibility study on downstream processing of graphite from its Epanko graphite project in Tanzania, ASX-listed Kibaran Resources will establish a pilot plant in Germany that will be expanded to commercial scale for the supply of  premium battery graphite... 

Ventilation and cooling in mines often work against nature

By: Simone Liedtke     24th November 2017 Mining requires a robust constitution as mines often work against nature, descending deep underground, where temperatures can rise to between 60º and 70º at the rock face, explains heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) company Johnson Controls GM Neil Cameron. 

Ventilation and cooling in mines often work against nature
YD CENTRIFUGAL CHILLER The chiller ranges in capacity from 5 300 kW to 21 100 kW

Company offers mine to market solutions

     24th November 2017 Combining concept-to-completion expertise with design and major project delivery capabilities for the minerals and metals sector, from bulk commodities to rare earths, professional services provider WorleyParsons offers its customers complete mine-to-market solutions from inception to... 

Company offers mine  to market solutions
MULTIDISCIPLIANRY APPROACH WorleyParsons takes a multidisciplinary approach, with teams comprising experts to identify challenges early and produce tailored strategies that mitigate risks

Consulting industry evolves despite current challenges

By: Marleny Arnoldi     24th November 2017 As mines have reduced their in-house technical capacity to deal with cost constraints in the economic downturn, the role of consulting engineers in the mining industry has evolved in the past decade, with their specialist skills being applied more broadly, says firm of consulting engineers and... 

Consulting industry evolves despite current challenges
VIS REDDY The involvement of consultants in operational work on mines tends to detract from the more specialised focus that consultants should have

Latest industry survey holds out promise but challenges persist

By: Marleny Arnoldi     24th November 2017 China’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth has flatlined, stagnating at 6.7% for 2016 and 2017. However, India’s GDP has increased from 6.8% to 7.2% for the same period, which bodes well for the offtake of South Africa’s commodities market.  

Latest industry survey holds out promise but challenges persist
CHRIS CAMPBELL Consulting Engineers South Africa has seen a higher percentage of member companies’ turnover allocated to the procurement of products and services from black-owned companies

Increasing demand for variable-speed drives

By: Simone Liedtke     24th November 2017 Following the successful commissioning of two MoviDrive B ventilation and air conditioning variable-speed drives (VSDs) at an underground mine in the North-West, in South Africa, drive engineering specialist SEW-Eurodrive South Africa will commission an additional four of its MoviDrive B drives... 

Increasing demand for variable-speed drives
DISTINGUISHED DRIVE The purpose-built LTP-B Eco HVAC drive can be set for different parameters such as fan or pump control

Relays assist with cable-theft detection

By: Simone Liedtke     24th November 2017 Mining system solutions supplier Becker Mining South Africa’s Proloc and ProBeck electronic protection and control relays have been designed for motor protection, as well as cable-theft detection, in diverse industries, including ventilation and cooling applications in mining and quarrying. 

Relays assist with  cable-theft detection
PROTECT AND SERVE The Proloc and ProBeck relays are programmed to detect cable theft by identifying a change in electrical impedance of a cable

Capabilities expanded to meet demand

By: Marleny Arnoldi     24th November 2017 Over the last few years, mineral testwork provider Maelgwyn Mineral Services Africa’s laboratory capabilities have expanded in accordance with industry demand.  

New tin player aiming to achieve steady-state production at Namibian project within 12 months 

By: Mia Breytenbach     24th November 2017 Diversified mineral development company Bushveld Minerals’ tin platform AfriTin Mining, which has assets in Namibia and South Africa, will focus on becoming “The Africa tin champion” by bringing its flagship Uis tin project, in Namibia, to commercial production, says AfriTin Mining CEO Anthony... 

New tin player aiming to achieve steady-state production at Namibian project within 12 months
Afritin Mining CEO Anthony Viljoen discusses newly- Aim-listed Afriting Mining and its strategies.

Lemur appoints owner’s engineer, technical advisers for Imaloto BFS

By: Mia Breytenbach     17th November 2017 Aim-listed Bushveld Minerals’ Lemur Resources subsidiary, which is developing an integrated thermal coal mining and independent power producer asset in Madagascar, has appointed an owner’s engineer and technical advisers for  the bankable feasibility study (BFS) for the Imaloto power project.... 

Consultancy looks to reduce cost of complying with new regulations

By: Nadine James     17th November 2017 Mining consultancy The MSA Group is liaising with various industry players including mining companies, insurers, law and auditing firms to establish a consistent approach to assessing and reviewing mine closure liability. They believe that this collaboration will result in greater understanding... 

Consultancy looks to reduce cost of complying with new regulations
RECLAIMED BY NATURE The new, stricter regulations are likely owing to the Department of Mineral Resources being responsible for the rehabilitation close to 6 000 abandoned mines

Collaboration with engineering firm yields nigh-R100m cost saving for Harmony

By: Mia Breytenbach     17th November 2017 JSE-listed Harmony Gold has partnered with Pretoria-based engineering company ETA Operations (ETA), formerly known as HVAC International, to improve the operational efficiency of Harmony’s deep-level gold mines in South Africa, subsequently resulting in significant cost savings. The operational... 

Collaboration with engineering firm yields nigh-R100m cost saving for Harmony
Photo by Harmony Gold
IMPROVING EFFICIENCY ETA Operations aided Harmony Gold in maintaining previously-implemented electricity cost savings projects that yielded significant results

Afritin targets Africa tin champion title, Namibia project upscaled to commercial production 

By: Mia Breytenbach     14th November 2017 Following the demerger of Afritin Mining from Aim-listed Bushveld Minerals – and its subsequent listing as the only pure - play tin platform on the Aim last week – the company, which has assets in Namibia and South Africa, will focus on becoming “The Africa tin champion” by bringing its flagship... 

Afritin targets Africa tin champion title, Namibia project upscaled to commercial production
Afritin Mining CEO Anthony Viljoen discusses newly- Aim-listed Afritin Mining and its strategies. Video and Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

New merger boosts offering for Africa’s mining industry

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     10th November 2017 Multinational consulting, engineering and project management firm Amec Foster Wheeler has merged with industrial facilities specialist Wood Group to form a new company – Wood – that will specialise in the delivery of project, engineering and technical services in the energy and industrial... 

New merger boosts offering for Africa’s mining industry
DRAWING ON PAST SUCCESSES Amec Foster Wheeler has enjoyed a favourable experience in the African mining industry thus far, drawing on project successes from various projects

Miners urged to take heed of Natural Capital Protocol framework

By: Ilan Solomons     10th November 2017 The recently released Natural Capital Protocol promises to give business a new appreciation of the ecosystem services on which they rely, states independent engineering and scientific consultancy SRK Consulting. The protocol was developed by a global multi-stakeholder group representing business,... 

Miners urged to take heed of Natural Capital Protocol framework
Photo by SRK Consulting
PAUL JORGENSEN Sustainability practices in mining are increasingly being incorporated into these value chain approaches to risk management

Positive signs for African miners with transparent regulations

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     10th November 2017 While the African mining industry is in a downturn, countries that boast favourable mining regulations will capitalise once the industry improves, says global engineering, project and technical services firm Wood Mining & Minerals EMEA business development director Trevor Anderson. Wood is a... 

Positive signs for African miners with transparent regulations
Photo by Bloomberg
SPECIALITY COMMODITIES Over the past 12 to 18 months, there has been a much larger focus on commodities such as lithium and graphite

Low capital cost key to continuous improvement

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd November 2017 Delivering well-executed projects at a low capital cost is key to continuous improvement within the local and global mining industry, and Sandton-based process and engineering service provider Metix attributes its ongoing success to its ability to do so for large projects on an engineering,... 

Low capital cost key to continuous improvement
INDUSTRY UPLIFTMENT The efficient delivery of a safely executed and on-time project is key to the upliftment of the industry

Project management facility designed to enhance every plant

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd November 2017 Technical solutions supplier BMG’s specialist solutions services for the mining sector encompass a complete project management facility, in Johannesburg, which is designed to improve operational efficiencies of every plant, states BMG contracts and projects GM André Smith. 

Project management facility designed to  enhance every plant
ADDITIONAL OFFERING BMG also offers extensive customer training on site at mining operations or at its upgraded premises

Technology to shift project relations from adversarial to cooperative 

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd November 2017 Fluctuating global commodity demand and prices, as well as escalating geopolitical risks are causing concern among asset owners and investors, and is resulting in capital projects either being postponed or cancelled in the South African mining industry, states specialist business and project... 

Technology to shift  project relations from  adversarial to cooperative
Specialist business and project management consultancy SSG Consulting strategy and business development GM Jacques Marais discusses the company’s KEY360 mobile application. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Lionel da Silva.

Turnkey solutions provided for gold mine in East Asia

     3rd November 2017 Gauteng-based mining equipment manufacturer Tech Edge Group recently supplied winches, winders and a range of ancillary products and services for a new service shaft at a gold mine in East Asia. This, the company notes, was carried out in collaboration with consultants from Australia and South... 

Turnkey solutions provided  for gold mine in East Asia
FULL TURNKEY SOLUTION Tech Edge Group offered a full turnkey solution service that included high-level design

Mechanised mining produces indirect jobs, uptake increasing

By: Victor Moolman     3rd November 2017 Despite the popular belief that the proliferation of mechanised mines in the African mining industry will lead to job losses, mechanised mining does generate new employment  opportunities, although indirectly through the maintenance, logistics, spare parts transportation, fuel requirements and... 

Mechanised mining produces  indirect jobs, uptake increasing
AUTOMATED SYSTEMS Sandvik is increasing its focus on automated mining equipment

Scarce funding necessitates effective project management

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd November 2017 The South African mining industry is not a sunset industry, but will continue its decline until there is a significant change in the relationship between industry stakeholders, such as government, labour and mining companies, states Paradigm Project Management (PPM) director Jeremy Clarke. 

Scarce funding necessitates  effective project management
Photo by Duane Daws
JEREMY CLARKE A common belief is that money should not be spent on project management

Drill series evolved to increase cost effectiveness and productivity

By: Nica Schreuder     27th October 2017 Intelligence platforms have been added to Sweden-headquartered engineering company Sandvik Mining and Technology’s Ranger series of drills to allow for automation, data connectivity and improved drilling processes, increasing productivity for customers. An example of this integration and the... 

Drill series evolved to  increase cost effectiveness and productivity
DEVELOPED ON DEMAND The DX900i is Sandvik's latest answer to the evolving technological needs of the surface mining industry

Miners need to focus on long-term economic benefits

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th October 2017 To alter the cheaper-cost mindset miners sometimes adopt in trying economic times, explosives technical services company R.A. McClure president Robert McClure recommends focusing on long-term downstream gains and valuable technological investments.  

Miners need to focus on long-term economic benefits
Photo by Bloomberg
LEARNING CURVE R.A. McClure presents courses that are suitable for individuals involved in blasting operations such as drillers, blasters, managers and operators

Conference cornerstone of geophysics industry

By: Nadine James     20th October 2017 The fifteenth biennial South African Geophysical Association (SAGA) conference and exhibition has become a cornerstone of the geophysics industry within the African region, says SAGA conference committee chairperson Reece van Buren. “No other event caters for our science quite like this one and... 

Conference cornerstone  of geophysics industry
A FORMATION OF GEOPHYSICISTS This year’s South African Geophysical Association conference and exhibition included 32 exhibitors, 15 sponsors, 19 keynote speakers, 218 delegates and about 30 geophysics students

Rise in DRC exploration activity expected

     20th October 2017 With the improvements in the copper price, mining interest will soon be returning to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), says mining consultancy SRK Consulting country manager Susa Maleba.   “In fact, for explorers wanting to initiate drilling programmes, time is running out,” says Maleba.... 

Rise in DRC exploration activity expected
EXTENDING LIFE The sulphide resources underlying the oxide resources at Kinsevere have the potential to extend the mine life to 2033

General uptick in West Africa mining as commodity prices improve

By: Ilan Solomons     20th October 2017 There have been a number of recent positive developments in West Africa’s mining industry, such as in Mali, where two new mines are scheduled to be commissioned by the end of this year. This is according to engineering and scientific consultancy SRK Consulting Ghana country manager John Kwofie,... 

General uptick in West Africa mining as commodity prices improve
Photo by SRK Consulting
JOHN KWOFIE SRK has been engaged in aspects of iron-ore projects in Cameroon, bauxite in Guinea and diamonds in Sierra Leone and Guinea in recent years

ECSA renews Wits School of Mining accreditation

By: Dylan Slater     20th October 2017 The accreditation of University of the Witwatersrand’s (Wits) School of Mining Engineering has been renewed for another five-year cycle by the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA).  

ECSA renews Wits School of Mining accreditation
CUTHBERT MUSINGWINI Renewal of the Wits School of Mining Engineering’s ECSA accreditation illustrates the high standard of the school’s standard

South Africa spending less than its peers on mining research and development

By: Mia Breytenbach     20th October 2017 While South Africa had increased its investment in mining research and development (R&D) since 2014, the country’s investment was still below that of its peers, delegates heard during a panel discussion on ‘Technological Innovation and Advancements in the Mining Industry’ at the Joburg Indaba... 

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