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Consulting Engineers News

German companies to display digital solutions for Zambian mines

By: Simone Liedtke     15th September 2017 Nonprofit organisation, the Southern African-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is aiming to invite more German companies to Zambia to display digital solutions for mining and Industry 4.0, following the success of its German-Zambian Business Forum. SA-German Chamber Lusaka office head... 

Reopening of mines to stabilise employment, improve tax revenues

By: Simone Liedtke     15th September 2017 Zambia Chamber of Mines, and its initiative Mining for Zambia (MFZ), is enthusiastic about the reopening of mining operations in Zambia, which it says will not only result in increased copper production but also translate into stabilised employment levels in the country and improved tax revenues... 

Reopening of mines to stabilise employment, improve tax revenues
CONTRIBUTION TO DEVELOPMENT The mining sector contributes to Zambia’s socioeconomic development through the creation of jobs and new business opportunities

Kalumbila facility will service global mining industry

     15th September 2017 By the first quarter of 2018,  a building site in Kalumbila, in North-Western province, in  Zambia, will be transformed into a $40-million manufacturing facility that will produce high-quality mill-balls for mines in Zambia, neighbouring countries and the world market, says Zambia Chamber of... 

Kalumbila facility will service global mining industry
TANGIBLE EXCITEMENT There’s a tangible feeling of excitement in the air at Kalumbila with the coming of the ME Elecmetal plant

Industrial solutions provider aiming to benefit Zambia’s mines

By: Simone Liedtke     15th September 2017 Industrial solutions provider RTS Africa Engineering (RTS) states that air compressors used in the mining industry – including in Zambia – are, for the most part, well-proven, reliable pieces of equipment that can operate for years with relatively little maintenance. 

Industrial solutions provider aiming to benefit Zambia’s mines
EFFECTIVE SUPPLY The use of a spin filter is a truly effective means of feeding clean air at ambient temperatures

Solutions provider helping Zambia tackle mining challenges

By: Simone Liedtke     15th September 2017 The mining and mineral processing sectors present some of the most challenging production environments, as the large-scale operations are often located in harsh, remote areas, explains technical solutions provider BMG.  

Solutions provider  helping Zambia tackle mining challenges
LONG-TERM SUSTAINABILITY To ensure the long-term sustainability of a mine, it is essential to always keep operating costs down

Specialist helps Zambian mines save on maintenance costs

     15th September 2017 More and more mines in Zambia are seeing the benefits and the profitable returns of investing in condition monitoring, with a direct positive impact on productivity and machine availability, and reduced maintenance costs, enthuses condition-monitoring specialist WearCheck. 

Specialist helps Zambian mines save  on maintenance costs
NEIL ROBINSON Customers are able to see for themselves the savings on the bottom line that are attributable to condition monitoring

Simulation software helps improve pump system efficiency

By: Victor Moolman     15th September 2017 The Pumpsim pumping simulation software package uses three-dimensional (3D) models that identify the location of weak points in pumps systems and where greater pressure is required to improve efficiency, explains consulting services Chasm Consulting Australia director Craig Stewart. 

Simulation software helps improve pump system efficiency
Photo by Victor Moolman
ACCURATE MODELING Pumpsim enables mining companies can build a network of pipes, channels, pumps, tanks, valves and sprays to simulate flows and pressures of liquids, slurries and many other fluids

Establishing connectivity, visibility critical to economic growth

By: Simone Liedtke     15th September 2017 The mining sector remains crucial to the economic growth of many African countries, including copper-dependent Zambia, and, as such, it is important that foreign mining companies operating in these countries can improve the performance of their mining assets to ensure their continued economic... 

Establishing connectivity, visibility critical to economic growth
STEPHEN DU PREEZ Mines will be transitioning from manual to autonomous operations, with a higher reliance on digitalisation

Regulatory overhaul expected to improve water use licensing turnaround

By: Ilan Solomons     15th September 2017 Analysts are hopeful that recent regulations promulgated by the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) will assist in overcoming the long delays in securing water use licence authorisations (WULAs) and allow more streamlined implementation of projects. WULAs are required by a range of water... 

Regulatory overhaul expected to improve water use licensing turnaround
Photo by Duane Daws
ENCOURAGING DEVELOPMENTS The new regulations are a positive step that aligns the timelines for WULAs with the application for an environmental authorisation

Company’s solutions address minerals processing inefficiencies

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th September 2017 To address water contamination in the minerals processing sector, processing specialist Multotec is installing its CleanTeQ ion-exchange system, which is designed for the removal of soluble elements from process water, at operations in Oman and soon in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  

Company’s solutions  address minerals  processing inefficiencies
MINERALS RECLAMATION Multotec's ion-exchange system can also be used to recover valuable minerals from effluent streams at mineral processing plants

Humidity, moisture sensors see growth

     8th September 2017 The need for optimal safety, high yield and combustion value to ensure process integrity is spurring double-digit growth and adoption of humidity and moisture sensors in various industries, including the mining and minerals processing industry, states market research company Frost & Sullivan.  

Mineral processing plants prioritising cybersecurity

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th September 2017 Infrastructure solutions company BT says minerals processing companies are starting to prioritise efforts against cyberattacks on process control solutions. BT Asia, Middle East and Africa head of energy and research Stephen du Preez, tells Mining Weekly that a targeted attack can cripple or even... 

Mineral processing plants prioritising cybersecurity
Photo by Bloomberg
HELD AT RANSOM A proper cybersecurity strategy can address this risk and block, for example, ransomware from gaining access to computers that run the process control software

Poor market conditions lead to diversification

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th September 2017 Owing to tough ferrochrome and ferromanganese market conditions globally, process and engineering service provider Metix has had to widen its focus beyond ferrous metals and target the processing of other commodities.  

Industry challenges encourage new tech developments

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th September 2017 Automation technology for minerals processing has become an indispensable element of productivity, owing to the role it plays in improving quality, reducing cost and labour intensity, as well as decreasing energy and raw material consumption, says integrated solutions provider Takraf Africa,... 

Industry challenges encourage new  tech developments
BREAKING THROUGH Junior miners prefer semimobile equipment, such as the Bradford Breaker, owing to its low capital cost and ease of transport

Rapid drying oven offers faster minerals processing

     1st September 2017 Industrial solutions company thyssenkrupp’s Infra-Red (IR) rapid drying oven has significantly improved turnaround times for minerals processing operations specialist Minopex, owing to the oven’s fast-drying capability. Since installation, Minopex has reported great satisfaction with the IR oven.... 

Rapid drying oven offers faster minerals processing
HEAT RETENTION The oven does not lose heat, even with the door open

Heavy industries equipment supplier adapts to stay relevant

By: Nica Schreuder     1st September 2017 Botswana’s decision to diversify its economy away from diamond mining towards coal resources and base metal beneficiation should prompt businesses to adapt to service the changing needs of the market to remain relevant, emphasises global supplier and manufacturer of special mobile equipment for... 

Heavy industries equipment supplier adapts to stay relevant
SAFETY SOLUTION Hencon Vactech’s Robot Mole is designed to clean hard-to-reach or potentially dangerous areas

Challenges delay miner’s housing project

By: Nadine James     1st September 2017 The Gabonewe Housing Estate Development project, located near the town of Ledig in the North West province, has been delayed by various challenges, including cost constraints and stakeholder integration, says South African platinum group metals miner Wesizwe Platinum. Wesizwe’s Sustainable... 

Challenges delay miner’s housing project
PERSISTENT PROGRESS The development of the Bakubung platinum mine and its housing estate continue, despite economic challenges

Despite high upfront costs, technology investments yield long-term savings – BMI

By: Mia Breytenbach     1st September 2017 With metals and mining companies increasingly investing in technology that will help reduce their carbon footprints, owing to the global drive to lower carbon emissions, meaningful efforts to improve environmental standards in the extractive industries require significant upfront costs, according... 

Despite high upfront costs, technology investments yield  long-term savings – BMI
LONG-TERM BENEFIT BMI expexts long-term cost savings to benefit companies that are ahead of the curve when it comes to prioritising green strategies

Debate on land rehab for future farming comes to the fore as mine closures increase

By: Dylan Slater     1st September 2017 As the mining industry winds down from the supercycle, thereby also coming under increasingly constrained budgets as markets tighten up and commodity prices fall, more mines are closing and, subsequently, the need for their rehabilitation is coming to the fore.  

Debate on land rehab for future farming comes to the fore as mine closures increase

‘Key milestone’ for Platreef project

     25th August 2017 The completion of the definitive feasibility study (DFS) for the first phase of production at platinum group metals (PGMs) miner Ivanhoe Mines’ Platreef project, on the northern limb of South Africa’s Bushveld Igneous Complex, is another key milestone in Ivanhoe’s planned transformation of the... 

‘Key milestone’ for Platreef project
GREAT EXPECTATIONS Platreef is expected to produce a suite of vital metals, of which many are essential to sustain the urbanising planet

Gamsberg project to retore Vedanta’s zinc output to 300 000 t/y from mid-2018

By: Mia Breytenbach     25th August 2017 Diversified miner Vedanta Resources subsidiary Zinc International has committed more than 80% of the $400-million capital expenditure (capex) for the first phase of the Gamsberg zinc project, in the Northern Cape. The first phase of the project is expected to have a mine life of 13 years,... 

Gamsberg project to retore Vedanta’s zinc output  to 300 000 t/y from mid-2018
Photo by Duane Daws
PROGRESSING WELL More than 25-million tonnes of the estimated 65-million to 70-million tonnes of waste rock have been excavated at the Gamsberg project

Mines realise commercial, social gains of off-grid power

By: Robyn Wilkinson     25th August 2017 Mining companies in Africa are beginning to realise the full potential of standalone power solutions as they strive to improve operational efficiencies and meet the social obligations governing their ventures in emerging economies, says engineering consultant WSP Africa power director Dinesh Buldoo. 

Mines realise commercial, social gains of off-grid power
Photo by Bloomberg
REMOTE CHALLENGES As mining companies expand their mining activities into ever-more remote locations in Africa, access to basic services, such as power, becomes more challenging

Elegen

     25th August 2017 Edenvale-based original-equipment manufacturer Elegen has grown to be one of Africa’s largest generator manufacturer and suppliers, and has complemented its power-generation offering with the launch of its mobile pneumatic light-emitting diode (LED) lighting tower. This lighting tower has been... 

Elegen

WorleyParsons developing black enterprises 

By: Martin Creamer     21st August 2017 Project delivery and engineering consultancy WorleyParsons RSA is answering South Africa’s call for broader economic participation and transformation. The local company, which is part of the Australian Securities Exchange-listed WorleyParsons engineering group that serves the resources and energy... 

WorleyParsons developing black enterprises
WorleyParsons RSA CEO Denver Dreyer interviewed by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Photographs: Duane Daws. Video: Darlene Creamer

New tech combination to solve communication lag

By: Simone Liedtke     18th August 2017 Mines of the future will have fewer people and a higher level of automation, but to be successful, Australia-based mining system designer and manufacturer Nautitech GM Alex Lester says mines will need reliable communications as well as visibility of underground operations. 

New tech combination to solve communication lag
SURFACE ACCESS The Wingman technology allows mines to configure, monitor and diagnose all underground equipment from a computer on the surface

Progress at Botswana copper project

     18th August 2017 Investor in strategic natural resource opportunities Metal Tiger has received all sample assays from previous infill /extensional drilling at its T3 copper/silver project, in Botswana, and is making good progress with its prefeasibility study (PFS) which is on track for completion in the fourth... 

Progress at Botswana copper project
Photo by Bloomberg
INVESTIGATION PENDING The market and smelter investigation for the T3 project has been put on hold until production and concentrate specification is available

Technology set to unleash mining innovation – Anglo’s O’Neill

By: Martin Creamer     16th August 2017 In the next ten years, technology is set to unleash a wave of mining innovation, with the sweet spot centred on changing the thinking around orebodies and processing plants rather than much-spoken-about automation. “Our focus has changed from hunting technologies to hunting value,” Anglo American... 

Technology set to unleash mining innovation – Anglo’s O’Neill
Anglo American technical director Tony O’Neill

Mining to continue to support valves industry

By: Nica Schreuder     11th August 2017 Mining will remain the primary long-term source of revenue for the valves industry on the African continent, says valves and actuator technology manufacturer and supplier AR Controls director Julien Van Niekerk. He is confident that, with the cyclical nature of commodities, prices will improve... 

Mining to continue to  support valves industry
WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND Commodity prices are expected to improve and give rise to a massive mineral-processing plant expansion across Africa

Gamsberg zinc project on course for first production in mid-2018

By: Mia Breytenbach     11th August 2017 Diversified miner Vedanta Resources' Gamsberg zinc project, in the Northern Cape, remains on track for first production in mid-2018. Prestart activities and waste stripping at the project have progressed well, with the completion of the north access ramp – a critical milestone and part of the... 

Gamsberg zinc project on course for first production in mid-2018
ON TRACK Vedanta has excavated more than 22.5-million tonnes of waste rock while orders for the integrated process plant, water and power and mining activities have been placed

Continued reciprocal trade between S Africa, Australia predicted

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th August 2017 Despite the current economic climate in South Africa and the global downturn in mining owing to low commodity prices, South Africa and Australia will continue to build their reciprocal trade relationship, says law firm ENSafrica.  

Continued reciprocal trade between S Africa, Australia predicted
LLOYD CHRISTIE There has been a 10% yearly average increase in trade between South Africa and Australia in the past five years

Tech trade between Australia, S Africa can be mutually beneficial

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th August 2017 Owing to the global mining downturn, lower commodity prices are forcing manufacturers and suppliers to expand into international markets to take advantage of more supply opportunities, a wider demand base and favourable exchange rates. 

Tech trade between Australia,  S Africa can be mutually beneficial
INTERNATIONAL PROSPECTS SSG Consulting says South African mining goods and services suppliers need to enter new markets through distribution deals or establishing international offices to remain competitive

Local valves company employs competitive strategy

By: Nica Schreuder     11th August 2017 Over the past two years, the African valves market has experienced trying conditions when dealing with the mining industry; however, the business environment is now slowly recovering as a result of improved commodity prices, South African valves industry manufacturer AR Controls director Julien... 

Local valves company  employs competitive strategy
JULIEN VAN NIEKERK AR Controls has invested heavily in IncoValve & Controls to stimulate new product development

Employee diversity fosters innovation, creativity

By: Nica Schreuder     4th August 2017 Global engineering consultancy Aurecon geotechnical engineer Dr Gabrielle Wojtowitz advocates for cross-gender, -cultural and -border teams in the workplace, as this stimulates diverse thinking and creativity. Within her role at Aurecon, Wojtowitz works within the built environment space as well... 

Employee diversity fosters innovation, creativity
GABRIELLE WOJTOWITZ Aurecon is exposing young women to the subjects of science, technology, economics and mathematics to increase the number of women in the mining industry

Virtual reality experience aids mine design analysis

By: Nadine James     4th August 2017 Virtual reality (VR) provides an immersive experience which makes it easier for project managers to make decisions on and improve project designs, and to undertake other activities that ensure the effective implementation of their strategies, believes the University of Pretoria's (UP’s)... 

Virtual reality experience aids mine design analysis
ACTUAL BENEFITS Aside from improving the decision-making process, virtual reality ensures that risky incidents are reduced

Mines continue to drive sustainable value creation

By: Simone Liedtke     28th July 2017 The African mining industry is increasingly focusing on generating as much value as possible from mining projects to benefit all mining stakeholders and strengthen its position as a sustainable contributor to the continent’s economies, says consulting engineer Aurecon resources client director... 

Mines continue  to drive sustainable value creation
ASSMANG KHUMANI Community-benefiting projects are associated with mining company Assmang’s Khumani iron-ore mine, located in the Northern Cape, South Africa

Top trends impacting on mining come under the spotlight

By: David Oliveira     28th July 2017 During project delivery and engineering consultancy WorleyParsons’ Supplier Grow Conference earlier this month in Johannesburg advisory firm Deloitte Africa energy and resource leader Andrew Lane discussed ten trends currently impacting the global mining industry. The first trend highlighted was... 

Top trends impacting on mining come under the spotlight
Photo by Duane Daws
ANDREW LANE The mining industry is realising that it operates in an ecosystem where it is dependent on governments for regulatory access and to communities for physical access

Pockets of potential bode well for future

By: Nica Schreuder     14th July 2017 The expected turning point in the African mining sector has not yet occurred, owing to continued soft economic growth in emerging economies allied to uneven global economic recoveries, divergent monetary policies and significant geopolitical/social issues, which continue to create further... 

Pockets of potential bode well for future
PIONEERING TECHNOLOGY The boiler emission abatement plant at platinum miner Impala Platinum’s refinery, in Springs is believed to be the first of its kind in Africa

Advanced diagnostics, IIoT to unlock valuable mining data – Endress & Hauser

By: Schalk Burger     7th July 2017 Using the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and advanced diagnostics systems that draw new data from sensors in mines can provide deeper insight into operations and improve control, says industrial automation multinational Endress & Hauser Group mining industry manager Jenish Gheewala. Data is... 

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