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Consulting Engineers News

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... 

Materials handling software enhanced

By: Dylan Slater     20th October 2017 New haulage functionality for underground mine operators will be built into the upcoming version of Australia-headquartered consulting and technology company Deswik’s software – Deswik.Suite.  

Gamsberg zinc project a thumbs up for South Africa amid investment slowdown

By: Mia Breytenbach     20th October 2017 Amid low levels of capital project activities in South Africa, the $400-million Gamsberg zinc and lead project, in the Northern Cape, has become the largest mining project under execution in the country. “Commentators have noted that this significant investment in the South African mining... 

Gamsberg zinc project a thumbs up for South Africa amid investment slowdown

CoAL settles major liabilities, transitions into coal producer in 'extremely positive year'

By: Mia Breytenbach     13th October 2017 Following an “extremely positive and transformational year” in which South Africa-focused Coal of Africa Limited (CoAL) achieved significant milestones, such as settling significant liabilities and transitioning into a coal producer with the acquisition of the cash-generative Uitkomst colliery,... 

Hybrid solar systems punted as the way forward for sub-Saharan Africa mines

By: Dylan Slater     13th October 2017 Factors such as limited and unreliable energy transmission and distribution grids, across many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, have created a dependency among large industrial and mining houses on diesel and heavy fuel oil (HFO) to provide a reliable energy supply, says renewable-energy... 

Hybrid solar systems punted  as the way forward for  sub-Saharan Africa mines
DEGRUSSA PLANT The off-grid hybrid power plant at the DeGrussa copper/gold mine, in western Australia features a solar PV plant, lithium-ion battery facility and a diesel power station

Investor appetite for mining projects can be whetted by accurate project scopes – DRA

By: Schalk Burger     10th October 2017 To attract investment, it has become necessary for organisations to complete projects under budget and well ahead of schedule, diversified engineering multinational DRA Global CEO Wray Carvelas says. While investment appetite seems to be returning to the mining sector as investors look to unlock... 

Civil society bodies resisting plan for a coal mine in Mpumalanga

By: Mia Breytenbach     6th October 2017 A coalition of eight civil society and community organisations, represented by the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER), which is resisting a proposed coal mine inside a declared protected environment and strategic water source area in Mpumalanga, has stepped up its resistance with further legal... 

Civil society bodies resisting plan for a coal mine in Mpumalanga
Photo by Victor Moolman
CONTESTED COMMODITY Various legal proceedings are under way to oppose the proposed 15-year Yzermyn underground coal mine

Gigantic SA-made ore scrubber destined for Sierra Leone mineral sands mine

By: Mia Breytenbach     29th September 2017 Mechanical process equipment and solutions provider MechProTech has completed the manufacturing of one of its largest pieces of mining process equipment – the multimillion-rand, Titan 3596 mineral ore scrubber – which will be delivered to a mineral sands mine in Sierra Leone. MechProTech focuses... 

Gigantic SA-made ore scrubber destined for Sierra Leone mineral sands mine
Photo by Duane Daws
SIZABLE PROCESSING Titan 3596 mineral ore scrubber is used to wash and break up alluvial gravels, clay and sand

Mining-focused drone data service company gets Ghana licence

By: Dylan Slater     29th September 2017 Drone data service provider Rocketmine has received the first commercial remotely piloted aircraft system operating certificate (ROC) in Ghana.  

Platinum-group metals producer aiming to increase fuel cell demand

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd September 2017 To increase demand in the fuel cell (FC) industry, platinum group metals producer Impala Platinum (Implats) aims to take its Impala Platinum Refinery off the State-owned power utility Eskom grid and power the refinery using FC technology, with commercial operation of its first phase aimed to... 

Platinum-group metals producer aiming to increase fuel cell demand
FAHMIDA SMITH The development of the 8 MW fuel cell is an exciting development in Implats’ move towards a carbon-neutral fuel source at its refinery

Minerals processing business bullish about future, despite industry challenges

By: Nica Schreuder     22nd September 2017 Based on substantial growth over the past 12 years, mining and industrial services provider Fraser Alexander’s minerals processing business intends to double its revenue within the next three to five years, says Fraser Alexander minerals processing GM Jaco Scholtz. “We are particularly proud of... 

Minerals processing business bullish about future, despite industry challenges
ALL ENCOMPASSING Fraser Alexander is able to service clients across the coal washing and processing value chain

Companies find use for abandoned underground coal mines

By: Nica Schreuder     22nd September 2017 Forsaken underground coal mines are increasingly being reopened using opencast mining methods, according to independent mining advisory group Ukwazi senior mining engineer Adriaan Strydom, who tells Mining Weekly that this practice is effectively enabled through increased mechanisation. While an... 

Companies find use for abandoned underground coal mines
Photo by Bloomberg
SECOND CHANCE The trend of returning to underground mines and turning them into opencast mines is a cost-effective alternative to exploration

Real-time analysis aids coal mining efficiency

     22nd September 2017 To avoid incorrect plant control decisions and plant inefficiencies, technologies that measure mining process streams must be implemented directly and in real time. Australia-based bulk materials monitoring company Scantech uses real-time analysis technologies to measure conveyed bulk materials... 

Real-time analysis aids coal mining efficiency
REAL-TIME EFFICIENCY The COALSCAN 9500X is installed on the conveyor and only takes up one metre of belt space

Rail company unlocking coal export potential

     22nd September 2017 According to South African rail, port and pipeline company Transnet, increasing rail capacity in South Africa is critical for unlocking coal export opportunities, both for neighbouring African countries and for the domestic market. The rail utility discussed its approach to increasing rail... 

Rail company unlocking coal export potential
PROPOSED PROJECT To relieve pressure on the Ermelo–Richards Bay line, Transnet Freight Rail is currently considering the SwaziLink Project, which will divert general freight away from the key coal export line

Technological advances aim to improve sustainability

By: Nica Schreuder     22nd September 2017 Owing to the possible presence of hazardous methane gas during coal mining, it is common practice to monitor methane levels at operational mining sections. As such, mining monitoring systems company Monitech’s Hazardous Area Control System was introduced to coal mining fifteen years ago and it... 

Technological advances aim to improve sustainability
CUSTOMISED PROJECTS Every Exxaro project is customised, owing to possible environmental constraints

Fuel cell opportunity to save platinum mining

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd September 2017 With platinum being one of the most effective and durable catalysts in proton exchange membrane fuel cell technology (PEMFC), fuel cell and electrolyser technology developer Isondo Precious Metals (IPM) CEO Vinay Somera believes that this presents an opportunity for the South African platinum... 

Fuel cell opportunity to save platinum mining
Photo by Duane Daws
VINAY SOMERA The drive to zero emissions also represent the “single biggest opportunity” for the industry

Platinum mining to play role in emerging sector

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd September 2017 With there being a global increase in demand for all fuel cells, with low temperature platinum bearing fuel cells seeing the largest increase in market pull, independent analysis and advisory firm 4th Energy Wave CEO Dr Kerry-Ann Adamson believes that this creates an increasing opportunity for... 

Platinum mining to play role in emerging sector
Photo by SFC
INCREASED ADOPTION Trends and demands for an increasing availability of fuel cells are leading to increased adoption

Hazardous area control system for coal mining

By: Nica Schreuder     22nd September 2017 Owing to the possible presence of hazardous methane gas during coal mining, it is common practice to monitor methane levels at operational mining sections. As such, mining monitoring systems company Monitech’s Hazardous Area Control System was introduced to coal mining fifteen years ago and it... 

Hazardous area control system  for coal mining
METHANE MITIGATION Monitech’s Hazardous Area Control Systems promotes safety and the importance of monitoring mining activities

800 000 t copper output by year-end conservative estimate

By: Simone Liedtke     15th September 2017 Copper production in Zambia will reach just more than 800 000 t by the end of this year as the country is taking steps to regain its position as Africa’s leading copper producer, according to Zambia Chamber of Mines (CoM) initiative Mining for Zambia (MFZ). “This is a conservative estimate,... 

800 000 t copper output by year-end conservative estimate
DRAWING DOLLARS $12.4-billion was invested in new mining ventures in Zambia from 2000 to 2014 by just six mining companies
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