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Consulting Engineers News

Aus company grows share in DRC project

     2nd December 2016 ASX-listed minerals company Regal Resources has entered into an unconditional agreement with joint venture partner, Democratic Republic of Congo- (DRC-) registered La Generale Industrielle et Commerciale au Congo (GICC), to acquire from it additional shares in Kalongwe copper project’s holding... 

Institutional challenges overshadow mineralisation

By: Nadine James     2nd December 2016 Prevailing institutional challenges facing Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will continue to hinder copper mining in the region if not addressed in a timely and satisfactory manner, says mining and business consultancy Core Africa, a division of Core Consultants. Core Africa... 

Institutional challenges overshadow mineralisation
CASTING LONG SHADOWS Socioeconomic problems continue to adversely influence mining development in the Copperbelt region

Iron-ore consumption dependent on population and economic development

By: Kimberley Smuts     2nd December 2016 The biggest potential for growth in the iron-ore industry lies with countries in the ‘Next 20’, which refers to the 20 growing non-Bric bloc developing economies, including Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Mexico, Philippines, and several sub-Saharan African nations, including Nigeria, Ethiopia,... 

Iron-ore consumption dependent on population and economic development
Photo by Anglo American
INDUSTRY REQUIREMENTS REMAIN Lack of infrastructure remains the biggest hindrance to growth in African iron-ore projects

Kamoa-Kakula PEA to be completed by year-end

     2nd December 2016 Canadian miner Ivanhoe Mines subsidiary Kamoa Copper SA has retained Australian consultancy OreWin to prepare a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for the development of the Kakula deposit in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The PEA is expected to be completed before the end of the... 

Kamoa-Kakula PEA to be completed by year-end
GOOD TIDINGS Ivanhoe reported excellent metallurgical results from tests conducted on drill core samples from the Kakula discovery

South African iron-ore industry remains weak

By: Kimberley Smuts     2nd December 2016 Stagnating growth in China and low domestic demand continue to pressure the iron-ore mining industry in South Africa, which needs a coordinated approach by government and the private sector to attract investment, states privately-owned consultancy Core Consultants. Political uncertainty and... 

South African iron-ore industry remains weak
LARA SMITH It is not clear if the commodity super cycle will return in the near or medium term, but there are signs of improvement and some acquisition activity

Drone solution offers built-in compliance features

By: Simone Liedtke     25th November 2016 Mining companies need to be able to track their daily operations and have full visibility of their sites in real time without having to worry about putting in place time-consuming administrative systems to comply with the complex regulatory regimen for commercial drones, says commercial drone... 

Drone solution offers  built-in compliance features
REAL-TIME VIEW By accelerating a previously manual process, we are giving quarry operators real-time visibility across their sites

Interest in diamond exploration testing persists

By: Simone Liedtke     25th November 2016 Mining industry consultancy The MSA Group says the significant increase in cost-estimate requests it has received for diamond exploration testing this year is continuing. 

Interest in diamond exploration testing persists
HELPFUL HAND MSA advises its clients on how to cost-effectively approach their project to make an informed decision on a project’s viability before embarking on more expensive bulk sampling

R10-million laboratory commissioned in DRC

By: Simone Liedtke     25th November 2016 Turnkey laboratory solutions provider Tramecon has commissioned the R10-million Kinsenda laboratory, a project headed by midtier mining group Metorex, near the border town of Kasumbalesa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). 

R10-million laboratory commissioned in DRC
CONTAINERISED SOLUTION The Kinsenda laboratory project involved the design, supply, installation and commissioning of a containerised laboratory facility

S Africa behind global curve

By: Victor Moolman     11th November 2016 South Africa is behind the global curve when it comes to the integration of mine closure and rehabilitation in the mining life cycle with the historical approach of mining companies being to focus predominantly on driving production, state consulting engineers and scientists SRK Consulting. 

S Africa behind global curve
ABANDONED MINE A typical extraction at an abandoned and derelict asbestos mine

Toolbox to guide mine closure, rehabilitation

By: Victor Moolman     11th November 2016 The rehabilitation toolbox for the closure and rehabilitation of mining operations being developed by engineering and infrastructure advisory services company Aurecon aims to enable a mine’s management to plan effectively for and mitigate the environmental and community impact of a shuttered... 

Foreign demand still drives African mining

By: Sascha Solomons     4th November 2016 Africa’s mining and quarrying activities continue to be characterised by export-oriented activities and, as a result, the mining sector of this mineral-rich continent is driven primarily by the commodities appetite of the world’s largest economies. “While this is great for mining States in Africa... 

Foreign demand still drives African mining
JACQUES ERASMUS To become globally competitive, emerging economies in Africa are looking to leverage the latest technological advancements

Investment in mineral-rich Africa continues despite challenges

By: Sascha Solomons     4th November 2016 It remains possible to realise potential growth opportunities in the African mining industry despite the challenges of local economic constraints, volatile commodity prices, corruption and regulatory uncertainty, says international law firm Hogan Lovells. Hogan Lovells mining and natural... 

Investment in mineral-rich Africa continues  despite challenges
POTENTIAL IN THE MINING INDUSTRY Despite challenges for the African mining market, those in the industry continue to undertake significant capital investments

Investors focused on funding future base metals exploration

By: Robyn Wilkinson     4th November 2016 There is an increasing investment trend involving near-surface, easily mined base metal oxide deposits in Africa that can generate early cash flow amid current commodity prices to fund further exploration of the deposit at a later stage, advances specialist consultant to the mining industry The... 

Investors focused on  funding future base  metals exploration
SHORT-TERM FOCUS Oxidised near-surface deposits, such as high-grade secondary copper mineralisation in the oxide zone of Zambian copper deposits, are drawing investor interest

Zambian project achieves one-million lost-time injury-free work hours

By: Sascha Solomons     4th November 2016 Mining and exploration company Group R Mining & Exploration Zambia achieved one-million man hours without a lost-time injury (LTI), at its Synclinorium shaft expansion project on behalf of owner Zambian-registered copper miner Mopani Copper Mines. Group R is the operating partner of... 

Zambian project achieves one-million lost-time  injury-free work hours
SYNCLINORIUM SHAFT EXPANSION The project involves the construction of a 7-m-diameter main shaft and a 6-m-diameter ventilation shaft to depths of 1 277 m and 1 167 m respectively

Energy sector trade show launch a ‘success’ – organiser

By: Simone Liedtke     28th October 2016 The inaugural PowerEx trade show, held last month alongside the biennial Electra Mining Africa at the Johannesburg Expo Centre, in Nasrec, has been declared a success by the show’s organiser, Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery. 

Energy sector trade show launch a  ‘success’ – organiser
Photo by Duane Daws
GROWTH OPPORTUNITY There is excellent opportunity for growth going into PowerEx 2018, with not all floor space in Hall 9 dedicated to this year's show

Mines turn to off-grid power amid low commodity prices, revenue

By: Simone Liedtke     28th October 2016 More companies are considering the use of an independent power producer (IPP) to meet their mines’ energy needs, as many projects are under pressure to achieve capital savings to weather the current operating environment comprising low commodity prices and diminished revenue streams. 

Mines turn to off-grid power amid low commodity prices, revenue
TRADITIONAL ANSWER Off-grid mines have typically bought and operated their own diesel or heavy fuel oil power generating facilities, as security of energy supply is an important factor in the mining industry

South Africa’s chrome industry well placed to ‘grow and prosper’

By: Nadine James     21st October 2016 South Africa’s relatively easy to mine chromium reserves, combined with the current deficit in the chromium market as well as the expected increase in global stainless steel consumption, has ensured that the country’s chrome sector has every opportunity to grow and prosper, says the International... 

Dispatch technology reduces time of scheduled delays

     21st October 2016 Activity Dispatch, the latest advancement in dispatching technology from mining systems manufacturer Wenco Mining Systems can help mines reduce wasted time by eliminating the unnecessary time spent on shift change, meal breaks and other short pauses in production. The technology loads these... 

Dispatch technology  reduces time of  scheduled delays
VEHICLE PARKING The Active Dispatch system ensures that trucks arrive at the right time to be used by operators

Equipment supplier adapts to meet industry needs

By: Victor Moolman     21st October 2016 Mining equipment supplier Tenova Takraf Africa is offering junior miners in the surface mining industry a tailor-made package that will help new mining operations produce State-owned power utility Eskom-grade coal. 

Equipment supplier adapts to meet  industry needs
BRADFORD BREAKER The coal breaker has and its support structure have been designed for easy relocation to a new mining area

New collision awareness system eliminates nuisance alerts

     21st October 2016 US-headquartered mine management solutions provider Modular Mining Systems has launched its fourth-generation collision awareness system (CAS), which is available as a standalone system or can be integrated with Modular’s Dispatch fleet management system. 

New collision awareness system eliminates nuisance alerts
Photo by Bloomberg
COLLISION WARNING The collision awareness system from Modular aims to improve awareness of potential vehicle interactions

PTM to advance Waterberg PGM project to feasibility, construction decision stage

By: Mia Breytenbach     20th October 2016 Having received positive results from an independent prefeasibility study (PFS) on the Waterberg platinum group metals (PGM) project, in Limpopo, TSX- and NYSE-listed Platinum Group Metals (PTM) plans to advance the project to the completion of a feasibility study (FS) and a construction... 

Benefits of spin filters emphasised

By: Sascha Solomons     14th October 2016 With the South African mining industry facing the prevailing costs and uncertainties in the labour market that it does, industrial technology and solutions specialist RTS Africa Engineering says its spin filters offer an ideal solution by reducing dependence on maintenance personnel. “Not only... 

Benefits of spin  filters emphasised
IAN FRASER Dust can be a major problem in the mining sector, notably in working spaces and control rooms

Further drilling planned for Boto, preparing for exploitation permit

     14th October 2016 Canadian gold miner Iamgold Corporation expects to start further drilling at its wholly-owned Boto gold project in eastern Senegal in November, once the rainy season ends, says Iamgold senior VP Craig MacDougall. The additional drilling will follow a drilling programme that confirmed the presence... 

Further drilling planned for Boto, preparing for exploitation permit
GOING FOR GOLD Iamgold has two Malian gold operations, as well as an exploration project in Senegal. The Senegal-Mali region is known for its gold deposits

Global decrease in exploration activity

     14th October 2016 Lower commodity prices, market instability, reduced investment and increased environmental awareness, have been cited as reasons for the global decrease in exploration activity by scientific agency for natural sciences the US Geological Survey (USGS). The agency released its yearly report on... 

Global decrease in exploration activity
EXPLORATION EMPHASIS Global exploration activity last year predominantly comprised of gold and copper exploration

Gold tailings retreatment an attractive proposition in current environment

By: Mia Breytenbach     14th October 2016 The strong performance of the rand gold price, increasingly lower gold grades mined in deeper underground mining operations, as well as costlier labour resources and electricity, are underscoring the attractiveness and accelerating the traction of local gold tailings retreatment operations,... 

Gold tailings retreatment an attractive proposition in current environment

Malawi starts geological mapping programme

     14th October 2016 Malawi has signed an agreement with a consortium of geological survey organisations for a countrywide Geological Mapping and Mineral Assessment Project (Gemmap) to assist in the growth of the minerals sector by providing detailed references for mineral exploration and mine planning. The... 

Malawi starts geological mapping programme
HIDDEN GEMS? In its efforts to boost mineral exploration and mining revenue, the Angolan government has launched a mapping project to discover untapped mineral reserves

Technological innovation will drive new exploration strategies  

By: Nadine James     14th October 2016 Increased innovation in analytical instrumentation and unmanned aerial vehicle, or drone, technology will further enhance the means and cost of exploration, thereby enabling the development of new exploration strategies, says mining consultancy The MSA Group. Oxford University and University of... 

Technological innovation will drive new exploration strategies
A NEED FOR INNOVATION New technologies could reduce the cost of greenfield exploration, which would hopefully result in an increase in activity which has been declining for several years

Energy now one of top three risks facing mining and metals sector

By: David Oliveira     7th October 2016 Engineering and science consultancy SRK Consulting held its 360° Mining Perspective earlier this month in Johannesburg, where some of the company’s leading engineers and scientists discussed some of the challenges facing the global mining industry. One of the most significant challenges facing... 

Focus on plant maintenance presents new design opportunities

     7th October 2016 With challenging economic conditions causing many South African chrome producers to ramp down their furnace operations and shift their focus to maintaining their plants and equipment as best as possible within their financial constraints, high-capacity furnace specialist Tenova Pyromet has seen... 

Focus on plant maintenance presents new design opportunities
INCREASED EFFICIENCY, DECREASED COSTS The multiple preheater reduces electrical power consumption and increases the carbon content of the furnace gas in the smelting process

Graphite projects gaining ground

     7th October 2016 Independent, confirmatory testwork with respect to the marketability of Chilalo has been completed at Australian resource company Graphex Mining’s Chilalo graphite project in south-east Tanzania, for which Australian mining project development consultant Battery Limits completed the... 

Graphite projects gaining ground
REPUTATIONAL STRENGTH Battery Limits's work to accelerate the development of Chilalo in Tanzania is in line with its rapidly growing reputation in graphite and other energy-related commodities

Thickener upgrade under way in Tanzania, demand growing in Africa

     7th October 2016 Mineral processing equipment specialist Tenova Takraf Africa is currently upgrading a thickener at a gold mine in Tanzania, with the scope covering the complete under solution, which includes new rakes, torque tube, centre cage and thickener drive.  

Thickener upgrade under way in Tanzania, demand growing in Africa
TANZANIAN ACTIVITY Three Tenova Delkor thickeners are installed at a gold mine in Tanzania

Commodity downturn could be coming to an end – SRK Consulting

By: David Oliveira     30th September 2016 Despite the pervasive commodity price slump negatively affecting the global mining industry, there are signs that the industry is moving towards improvement, delegates heard at the SRK Consulting 360° Mining perspective seminar, which took place in Johannesburg earlier this month. SRK Cardiff... 

Studies seek ways to prevent falls-of-ground accidents at mines

By: Ilan Solomons     30th September 2016 A series of implementation projects were carried out between 2012 and 2015 by global engineering consultancy SRK through the Safety in Mines Research Advisory Committee with funds from the Mine Health and Safety Council (MSHC) with the aim of imparting a risk-based support design methodology to... 

Studies seek ways to prevent falls-of-ground accidents at mines
ASSESSING RISK The risk-based support design method is intended to address fall-of-ground-related risks in narrow tabular underground mines

Ontario govt awards Boart Longyear C$1.37m to improve safety, reduce costs

By: Henry Lazenby     28th September 2016 Multinational drilling equipment and services provider Boart Longyear has received an award of C$1.37-million from the Ontario government to help improve safety at mineral exploration drilling sites and the efficiency of drilling systems technology. The Salt Lake City, Utah-headquartered company... 

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
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