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Consulting Engineers News

Centenary milestone spurs ‘new dawn’ for genset specialist 

By: Mamaili Mamaila     14th February 2020 Global diesel and alternative fuel engines supplier Cummins celebrated its hundredth year in 2019, which Cummins South Africa application engineer Rodney Naidoo states has resulted in a “new dawn”, as the company embarks on a mission to find alternatives to fossil fuels to supply back-up power. 

NUM members allegedly being ‘held hostage’ at Rustenburg mine

By: Simone Liedtke     13th February 2020 The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) on Thursday voiced its concern that more than 100 of its members were allegedly “being held hostage” underground at the Lanxess chrome mine, in Rustenburg. According to a statement issued by the NUM, this was as a result of members of the National Union of... 

Drive package delivered to greenfield mine

7th February 2020 The last of nine units of a comprehensive drive package were successfully delivered to a major greenfield copper mining project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by drive and automation specialist SEW-Eurodrive. The five main 500 kW drives weighed 12 t each while the remaining four... 

Drive package delivered to greenfield mine
BIG FAN A cooling unit had to be installed to the drives because of the extreme temperatures they would encounter in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Cobalt demand drives illegal trade

By: Halima Frost     7th February 2020 Increased global demand for cobalt is spurring mining activity in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), specifically illegal and artisanal operations. The southern point of the DRC is reported to contain about two-thirds of the world’s natural cobalt reserves. 

Cobalt demand drives illegal trade
IN THE TRENCHES Dire living and working conditions found in the Democratic Republic of Congo drive the artisanal and illegal mining sector

Gold paper released at global forum

By: Halima Frost     7th February 2020 The collaborative paper, titled Kibali Gold Mine sulphide concentrate treatment – understanding the pre-oxidation of sulphide concentrates, was presented by dual-listed miner Barrick Gold’s Kibali gold mine technical manager Dr Thamsanqa Mahlangu at the World Gold 2019 conference held in Perth,... 

Gold paper released  at global forum
RAMP UP The separators at Kibali will be ramped up to full sulphides in future

Land agreement in motion for cobalt producer

By: Halima Frost     7th February 2020 Katanga Mining, the Glencore subsidiary that operates in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has, as reported by Mining Weekly Online last month, reached an agreement to acquire land where it could build a new long-term tailings facility for its 75%-owned Kamoto Copper Company (KCC) operation.... 

Global pumps manufacturer brings training and expertise to SA

By: Cameron Mackay     31st January 2020 Pump manufacturer and independent maintenance specialist Sulzer is investing in its South African operations to ensure that it is well positioned to cover the needs of the mining sector locally and in Southern Africa. “Sulzer is continually investing in its personnel and facilities to enhance its... 

Global pumps manufacturer brings training and expertise to SA
HANDS-ON TRAINING Training can involve using a cut-away model to help explain the function of the internal components and how they interact

Local company expands service offering as pumps service centre

31st January 2020 Mpumalanga-based mechanical engineering contractor Brimis Engineering has been accredited as a service centre for pumps manufacturer KSB Pumps and Valves in South Africa. The company received a certificate from KSB after a thorough inspection. The audit comprised a review of internal processes,... 

Local company expands service offering as pumps service centre
ANDILE NQANDELA Our capabilities as an end-to-end supply, fitment and maintenance organisation mean that we are ideally placed to be part of KSB SA’s service offering

Slurry pump’s enhanced wear resistance reduces TCO

31st January 2020 Pumping fluids with high solids concentrations is far more complicated than pumping water. To avoid sedimentation in the system, the correct pump size with appropriately dimensioned hoses and pipes must be selected, notes local Grindex pump distributor Integrated Pump Technology. Adding to the... 

Slurry pump’s enhanced wear resistance  reduces TCO
FOR TOUGH CONDITIONS The Grindex Bravo submersible slurry pump is proving its worth in slurry pumping applications, as the hydraulic components are made from Hard Iron

Pumps supplier aims to grow footprint of ‘technical excellence’

By: Cameron Mackay     31st January 2020 Industrial equipment supplier Verder Pumps South Africa is focused on expanding its footprint in Africa by growing its network of local facilities and distributor partners. “With a history of over 18 years on the continent, we have a proud tradition of technical excellence and being committed to... 

Celebrating 40 years of building local capacity

By: Tracy Hancock     24th January 2020 The establishment of motor and controls manufacturer WEG in a remote area of southern Brazil in 1961 prepared its South African subsidiary, Zest WEG Group, for its localisation journey. WEG has a history of benefiting from available local resources, developing local capacity and supply chains to... 

Celebrating 40 years of building local capacity
LOCAL INVESTMENT Zest WEG has spent R25-million on skills development over the past three years

Climate change to amplify challenges

By: Tracy Hancock     24th January 2020 Economists agree that climate change risks have, to date, been underestimated by industry in general, including mining, says consulting engineers and scientists SRK Consulting South Africa director and principal consultant Andrew van Zyl. Consequently, he expects that challenges associated with... 

Climate change to  amplify challenges
IN-COUNTRY ADVANTAGE With offices in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ghana, SRK can closely follow industry developments cited at Mining Indaba ‘on the ground’

Powerline relocation only major project left at Khanye

By: Tracy Hancock     13th December 2019 The relocation of an 88 kV powerline, which is traversing a future portion of one of the opencast pits and consequently sterilising a section of coal, is the only remaining project at the Khanye colliery. This project has been approved from an environmental and legal standpoint as part of the... 

Powerline relocation only major project left at Khanye
COAL CAPITAL The cost of the Khanye colliery’s establishment and construction equates to R600-million, which includes land acquisitions

Bright future for copper – consultancy

By: Mamaili Mamaila     6th December 2019 The copper sector’s current buoyancy can be attributed to improved prices and substantial demand from industrialised nations, such as China, says civil and structural engineering firm ADA Consulting Engineers director Paul Maitre. 

Bright future for  copper – consultancy
LARGE FACILITY In the DRC, ADA Consulting is involved in the building of a large facility on the road towards Kinsevere mine, for a mining equipment supplier operating in the copper mining sector

Kansanshi benefits from longer wear life

By: Mamaili Mamaila     6th December 2019 Kansanshi mine, located near Solwezi in Zambia.has significantly reduced costs and improved productivity by applying solutions provider Weir Minerals’ Linatex premium rubber lining solutions. The mine site's remoteness meant that transporting parts and replacement material to site was time... 

Kansanshi benefits  from longer wear life
RUBBER LINING Weir Minerals Africa also does rubber lining at the factory based in Alrode

Battery technology advances could create savings, environmental benefits

By: Mamaili Mamaila     29th November 2019 Further advances in battery technology are expected as new options come to market and new economies of scale are achieved, says independent consulting engineers and scientists SRK Consulting. 

Battery technology advances could create savings, environmental benefits
ANDREW VAN ZYL AND MARCIN WERTZ Advancements in battery technology are likely to create the potential to reduce costs and environmental impact while providing a disruptive force as price volatility persists

Holistic solutions crucial for mining sustainability – consultancy

By: Mamaili Mamaila     29th November 2019 Holistic solutions that consider closure, social, environmental and technical best practices will be important for the sustainability and longevity of the African mining industry, say independent consulting engineers and scientists SRK Consulting. 

Holistic solutions crucial for mining sustainability – consultancy
ENAURING BEST PRACTICE The integration of the various mining-related disciplines such as mine planning and geotechnical, to environmental and social – is key to ensuring best practice on any project

Tailings dam failures concerning

By: Mamaili Mamaila     29th November 2019 It is unacceptable that tailings dam failures are reported to be about ten times more frequent than water dams on a ratio basis, says geotechnical engineering company Geotheta CEO Ian Hammond, particularly in terms of loss of life, livelihood or environmental damage. 

Tailings dam  failures concerning
STRICTER FOCUS Professional engineers overseeing tailings facilities must account for more stringent, more severe and more appropriate factors in the design, monitoring, surveillance and closure aspects of the tailings storage facilities and their appurtenant structures

Mine health, safety awareness crucial for consultants

By: Mamaili Mamaila     29th November 2019 Owing to the mining industry having historically gained a reputation for being “inherently unsafe”, consulting engineers need to be more mindful of this aspect when working in the sector, says professional association Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa) CEO Christopher Campbell. 

Mine health, safety awareness crucial for consultants
CHRISTOPHER CAMPBELL As there is an explicit emphasis on zero harm in the mining sector, consulting engineers in mining have to conform to industry requirements

Mechanisation drives service offering

29th November 2019 Structural steel designers and fabricators Structa Group of companies manufactures and supplies a range of infrastructure-related products including water storage tanks and industrial process equipment. 

Consultants prioritise energy efficiency

By: Cameron Mackay     22nd November 2019 With the mining industry shifting towards more energy efficient processes, mining consulting and engineering services provider BBE is observing increased demand for developing and implementing energy efficiency in ventilation and cooling processes. “Ventilation, cooling and pumping are the major... 

Consultants prioritise energy efficiency
RICHARD GUNDERSEN Ventilation on-demand is becoming more topical. One can switch fans on or off, and align cooling to where the activity is happening in a mine

Industry keen on cleaner, fuel cell-based ventilation

By: Cameron Mackay     22nd November 2019 The local mining industry has shown keen interest in research center Hydrogen Infrastructure South Africa’s (HySA’s) offering of cleaner ventilation systems for underground mines, says HySA director Dmitri Bessarabov. He explains that this can be achieved by replacing diesel-powered underground... 

Industry keen on cleaner, fuel cell-based ventilation
CLEANER VENTILATION OPPORTUNITY Hydrogen Infrastructure South Africa produces and stores renewable energy on site and aims to integrate existing mini grids with batteries and fuel cells

Fan range redesigned to meet industry needs

22nd November 2019 Global ventilation fans and systems manufacturer TLT-Turbo GmbH has announced the redesign of its Auxiliary and Booster fan range. The new designs engender efficiency and cost effectiveness in a versatile product range able to meet the ventilation requirements of the mining industry. Development... 

Fan range redesigned to meet industry needs
UNDERGROUND DEMAND TLT-Turbo has received orders from a South African gold mine, and for the Kamoa Copper project

Shaft maintenance integral to operations

By: Theresa Bhowan     15th November 2019 Mining solutions provider United Mining Services (UMS) suggests placing significant emphasis on the operational maintenance of a mine shaft, as this can ultimately optimise the functionality of the mine, negating the potential financial and time-based losses that occur when shafts are not... 

Shaft maintenance integral to operations
MAINTENANCE OPTIMISED United Mining Services aims for mining houses to save on capital costs and downtime when conducting maintenance on the shaft infrastructure

Shaft capping prevents illegal mining, improves ground safety

By: Theresa Bhowan     15th November 2019 Redundant mine shafts are becoming a growing risk for mining companies, owing to a sharp spike in illegal mining activities. 

Shaft capping prevents illegal mining, improves ground safety
COVER UP Shaft capping and sealing is undertaken to reinstate land to unrestricted use

Co-opting Canadian strategies to create investor awareness

By: Theresa Bhowan     8th November 2019 International commodities consultancy Core Consultants states that African mining jurisdictions can create investor awareness through initiatives that have been successfully carried out in Canada. 

Co-opting Canadian strategies to create investor awareness
Photo by Creamer Media
BE AWARE, BE VERY AWARE Investor awareness can be created in Africa through initiatives that have been successfully carried out in Canada

Digital transformation will benefit African mines

By: Theresa Bhowan     8th November 2019 Commodity pricing volatility and global demand variability are two profitability pressures mining companies, especially Africa-based mining companies, have to deal with. This creates a need for smarter and more efficient operations, which can be engineered through the application of leading-edge... 

Digital transformation will benefit African mines
TECH SAVVY Wabtec’s technologies can enable miners to optimise people, processes and technology

Consortium heading up alumina refinery project

1st November 2019 PT Borneo Alumina Indonesia, a subsidiary of State-owned enterprise PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium has appointed an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company Black & Veatch-led project management consortium (PMC) as a technical consultant to lead its alumina refinery project. The... 

Consortium heading up alumina refinery project
ON TRACK CONTRACT PT Borneo Alumina Indonesia appoints Black & Veatch as technical consultant for Indonesia's first alumina refinery

Water-gel technology allows for customised blasting solutions

By: Cameron Mackay     18th October 2019 Global blasting solutions provider MAXAM’s premium bulk water-gel technology range of blends, referred to as RIOFLEX, has been well received by the South African market and will allow the company to build on its presence in the country for over 20 years, says MAXAM Southern Africa regional sales... 

Water-gel technology allows for customised blasting solutions
CONSTANT IMPROVEMENT MAXAM has been implementing continuous improvement programmes targeting cost reduction over the mine-to-mill process

Joburg Indaba sponsor looks forward to industry engagements

By: Mamaili Mamaila     27th September 2019 Independent consulting practice SRK Consulting is a networking sponsor at the 2019 Joburg Indaba. Organised by resources investment conferences company Resources 4 Africa, SRK partner and principal mining engineer Marcin Wertz says Joburg Indaba is a unique industry conference, with the direct... 

Joburg Indaba sponsor looks forward to industry engagements
FRANK CONVERSATIONS The Joburg Indaba is a place for frank and honest discussions on issues that are pertinent to the South African mining sector

Mining industry sunrise at even odds – consultant

By: Mamaili Mamaila     27th September 2019 Recent debates regarding the South African mining industry have centred on whether it is a sunrise or sunset industry. Local mining engineering consultancy Ukwazi business development director Spencer Eckstein comments that while the sun may rise on certain aspects of the sector, it may set on... 

Mining industry sunrise at even odds – consultant
SWIFT PROGRESSION There is now a need for projects to progress from exploration to production faster and, as a result, obtain funding quicker

US-China trade war may cause gold project surge

By: Mamaili Mamaila     27th September 2019 Although many commodities have remained flat over the past year, the resurgent gold price – mainly driven by uncertainty, owing to the US-China trade war – may result in more gold projects, given the favourable price environment, says project and engineering solutions provider Wood business... 

US-China trade war may  cause gold project surge
KUDAKWASHE MARAMBA The US-China trade war – may result in more gold projects, given the favourable price environment

First glimpse into Mining Indaba 2020 programme 

By: Martin Creamer     26th September 2019 The twenty-sixth Investing in African Mining Indaba – scheduled to take place in Cape Town from February 3 to 6 next year – will offer delegates new insight into issues facing Africa’s resources sector. “We’re building on the success of the 2019 Mining Indaba in terms of the high level of... 

First glimpse into Mining Indaba 2020 programme
Investing in African Mining Indaba.

Fuel cell export figures on the rise

By: Halima Frost     20th September 2019 Washington-based global advocacy organisation Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA) tells Mining Weekly that the US Department of Energy (DoE) reported a global increase in fuel cell exports, from 650 MW in 2017 to 800 MW in 2018. The information, compiled by international strategic... 

Fuel cell export  figures on the rise
ALL THE HYPE Mobile and stationary fuel cell exports are on the increase globally

Australian mine to be powered by renewables

30th August 2019 Sustainable gold miner Gold Fields’ Agnew gold mine, in Western Australia, will become one of Australia’s first mining operations to be predominantly powered by renewable and low-carbon energy. In June Gold Fields and global energy group EDL announced a A$112-million investment in the... 

Australian mine to be  powered by renewables
TRIFECTA The solution at the Agnew gold mine includes solar, wind and battery power which will maintain the mine

Electrical loggers reduce facilities’ energy costs

30th August 2019 One of the most significant costs at processing and industrial facilities is energy, says measurement tool supplier Comtest, local supplier of testing equipment manufacturer Fluke. While many managers view energy as an unavoidable expense, in reality it is a variable cost that can be monitored... 

Electrical loggers reduce facilities’ energy costs
LOGICAL The Fluke three-phase energy-loggers are a logical solution to identifying energy waste

Energy efficient pump launched for mines to reduce life-cycle costs

30th August 2019 Submersible motor pump manufacturer Pleuger Industries presented an energy-efficient synchronous motor with permanent magnet drive at this year’s Asia-Pacific’s International Mining Exhibition 2019 (AIMEX) held in Sydney, Australia, last month. The launch is in addition to highlighting the... 

Energy efficient pump launched for mines to reduce life-cycle costs
MAGNETIC The permanent magnet motor is suited to mine de-watering and is considerably more energy efficient

Gear units prove successful in mining industry

By: Halima Frost     30th August 2019 Since launching the X.e Series, an upgraded version of its X Series industrial gear drive unit, drive component manufacturer SEW-Eurodrive says the X.e Series has been well-accepted by the local mining industry. The revamped industrial gear units in the X.e Series offer between 15% and 20%... 

Gear units prove successful in  mining industry
TOP GEAR The revamped gear units have been welcomed into the industry with open arms
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