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Consulting Engineers News

SA company designs shaft hoisting infrastructure for Philippines gold mine

By: Dylan Slater     7th July 2017 Pretoria-based engineering firm Thuthukani Engineering has designed full service shaft hoisting infrastructure for Philippines-based gold miner Philsaga Mining Corporation, which is owned by Australian mining company Medusa Mining.  

Data-mining improves mine management  

By: Victor Moolman     7th July 2017 The new technologies being developed by multinational engineering and electronics company Bosch to help improve mine management are part of Mining 4.0 taking place at projects worldwide. 

Data-mining improves mine management
Bosch Africa region key account manager mining Landry Meya explains the technology available from the company. Camerawork: Victor Moolman.

Disruptive tech needed in local gold sector

     30th June 2017 Trends in gold production and processing have remained largely unchanged; however, the varying nature of future gold reserves will force change and, as such, the industry needs to be prepared to invest in and employ disruptive technology, says independent process industry consultant Santosh... 

Disruptive tech needed in local gold sector
SANTOSH GUNPATH To maintain its relevance to the global gold industry, South Africa has no option but to position itself as a gold technology sector

Implementation of hybrid renewable-diesel microgrids set to increase

By: Nadine James     30th June 2017 Mining houses’ use of microgrids and renewable energy to generate power and supplement diesel energy at isolated mining operations has been steadily increasing, says renewable-energy and microgrid consultant THEnergy. THEnergy founder and MD Dr Thomas Hillig notes that the company has been... 

Implementation of hybrid renewable-diesel microgrids set to increase
ENERGY EFFICIENT A growing confidence in renewables has ensured that the use of hybrid plants will increase

Local miners leverage existing infrastructure to extend operations

By: Nadine James     30th June 2017 As a result of financial constraints, South African gold miners are looking to exploit their existing infrastructure to mine licensed blocks adjacent to existing operations, says mining engineering consultancy Ukwazi Mining. Ukwazi underground engineer Hans Dippenaar notes that, in this way,... 

Local miners leverage existing infrastructure  to extend operations
REDUCE REUSE RETREAT Mines are attempting to reduce costs by using existing infrastructure to mine new blocks, while supplementing revenue by retreating tailings

Start of Elikhulu TSF construction imminent

By: Nadine James     30th June 2017 Mining services company Fraser Alexander will start construction of a tailings storage facility (TSF)  at the Evander gold mine, in Mpumalanga, next month, with completion of the TSF expected by December 2018. Last month, the company was awarded the tender for the construction of the TSF for the... 

Start of Elikhulu TSF  construction imminent
WADE LEAF Fraser Alexander is confident that DRA’s decision is owing to the company’s long-standing reputation for building tailings dams,

Association applying changes to expand representation

By: Simone Liedtke     23rd June 2017 Owing to it being approached by various other opencast mining and quarrying companies and bodies, private-sector producers’ association Aggregate and Sand Producers Association of Southern Africa (Aspasa) will from now on only be known as Aspasa as it has dropped the ‘aggregate and sand’ from its... 

Association applying changes to expand representation
SEVERE NEED There is a severe need for services to be delivered from a central and well-organised body to the opencast mining sector

Multidisciplinary mining company says market is challenging

By: Simone Liedtke     23rd June 2017 With the general depletion of natural sand reserves around South Africa, especially within large cities, multidisciplinary materials openpit mining company Afrimat has invested in sand producing plants – especially in Gauteng – to produce high-quality concrete sands to ensure higher concrete... 

Multidisciplinary mining company says market  is challenging
CHALLENGING CONDITIONS Overall, the construction materials sector remains relatively flat

Process-focused solution ups output

     23rd June 2017 North West sand and aggregate supplier CNC Crushers raised throughput by 45% at its Roadstone Shaft 5 crushing plant while simultaneously cutting back on maintenance, after implementing a full process-focused solution from industrial equipment supplier Weir Minerals Africa. 

Process-focused solution ups output
NEW TECHNOLOGY PAYS The installation of the Cavex hydrocyclone at CNC Crushers’ Stilfontein operation has resulted in increased production and reduced slimes to the tailings dam

Manica neither complex, capital demanding

     9th June 2017 The Manica gold project’s definitive feasibility study (DFS) results demonstrate a robust, simplistic project with an average gold grade of 2.62 g/t producing 215 293 oz over its seven-year life, says diversified miner Xtract Resources. In the DFS results announcement in February, Xtract... 

Manica neither complex, capital demanding
EXPLORING FUTURE PROSPECTS The three nearby prospects for further expansion in the Manica concession area, the Guy Fawkes, Boa Esperanza and Dot’s Luck deposits, all have declared resources

Tete steel project BFS near completion

By: Nadine James     9th June 2017 SRK Consulting South Africa, a firm of consulting engineers and scientists, has completed its share of work on the bankable feasibility study (BFS) for the Tete iron-ore mining and steelmaking project, in Mozambique. The BFS for the project, which is expected to start production in the first half... 

Tete steel project  BFS near completion
HENNIE THEART The Tete project has a Joint Ore Reserves Committee-compliant measured resource of 156-million tonnes, grading 36% iron-ore and 13.3% titanium dioxide

New mine design focused on realising business excellence

By: Robyn Wilkinson     9th June 2017 Johannesburg-based project management and engineering company Paradigm Project Management (PPM) will apply its “three halves” philosophy to design and develop diamond producer Stellar Diamonds’ Tongo-Tonguma project, in Sierra Leone. 

New mine design focused on realising business excellence
Photo by Duane Daws
RADICAL REVIEW NECESSARY With a diamond supply shortfall looming, exploration companies must employ innovative planning to obtain funding for new projects

Mines can use their vast amounts of data to lower costs – Rockwell Automation

By: Schalk Burger     2nd June 2017 The connected mine concept helps mines to lower costs by providing detailed, real-time control at all levels of operations, says industrial automation multinational Rockwell Automation sub-Saharan Africa MD Barry Elliot. The concept can be implemented in areas where mines have optimisation... 

Mines can use their vast amounts of data to lower costs – Rockwell Automation
BARRY ELLIOT The ability of personnel to leverage data is key to enabling a connected mine

Govt continues to encourage investment beyond diamonds

By: Simone Liedtke     26th May 2017 Botswana's mining industry will see steady value growth as government continues its efforts to diversify away from the diamond sector, encouraging foreign investment, particularly in coal projects, says industry analyst BMI Research, a Fitch Group company. 

Govt continues to encourage investment beyond diamonds
STEADY AS SHE GOES Government's efforts to develop Botswana’s coal mining sector are also expected to yield steady progress

Botswana to adopt Canadian model of sustainability

     26th May 2017 A Canadian model aimed at improving the sustainability of mining through environmental and community outreach practices is being introduced in Botswana, says mining networking platform African Mining Network (AMN) chairperson Yolanda Torrisi. 

Botswana to adopt Canadian model  of sustainability
CONTINUOUS ASSESSMENT TSM requires miners to continuously assess their mining practices and report them to the community

Valves training centre well received by industry

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     5th May 2017 Valves supplier AVK Southern Africa (AVK SA) strives to deliver high-quality, flawless and durable valves, and assist mining companies with the critical aspect of selecting the correct valve for high-quality water flow solutions, by providing training to mining industry players through its new... 

Valves training centre  well received by industry
VITAL COMPONENT It is critical that mines select the correct valves to suit their specifications for quality water-flow solutions

Mining consulting outlook stable to positive – consultancy

By: Nadine James     28th April 2017 The short-term outlook for the mining consulting industry is “stable to positive”, says SRK Consulting, a firm of consulting engineers and scientists. SRK partner and principal consultant Andrew van Zyl stresses that the South African economy is still in a transitional phase which – combined with... 

Mining consulting outlook stable to positive – consultancy
ANDREW VAN ZYL Increasingly complex deposits will require thorough and expert technical knowledge, increasing the need for mining consultants

Consulting engineering’s viability proportional to mining’s growth

By: Nadine James     28th April 2017 The consulting engineering industry’s sustainability and growth are largely dependent on and proportional to the mining industry’s sustainability and growth respectively, says industry body Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa). Cesa CEO Christopher Campbell notes that the success or decline... 

Consulting engineering’s viability proportional to mining’s growth
CHRISTOPHER CAMPBELL The current impasse between South Africa’s government and its mining industry needs to be resolved

Greater emphasis on ensuring sustainability

By: Nadine James     28th April 2017 Engineering expertise can be used to generate socioeconomic gains for mining companies, particularly in jurisdictions that are dependent on the finite business of mineral extraction, states global engineering and infrastructure advisory firm Aurecon, an adviser to the African mining sector.... 

Greater emphasis on  ensuring sustainability
ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION Engineering innovation could transform mining assets into new business opportunities

Internship to benefit more students

By: Nadine James     28th April 2017 Alberton-based wear solutions company Rio-Carb plans to expand its internship programme, aimed at preparing second-year engineering students for their careers, in the near future. With two students having completed the internship programme, launched last year, the Chromium Carbide (CrC) plate... 

Internship to benefit more students
SOUND INVESTMENT Promising students will be offered an opportunity for full-time employment at Rio-Carb upon successful completion of their studies

Collaboration key to build pipeline of opportunities on global scale

     28th April 2017 Québec-based carbon-capture technology developer CO2 Solutions president and CEO Evan Price expects its collaboration with global consulting and engineering firm Hatch to be central to the success of its Valorisation Carbone Québec (VCQ) project and instrumental in building the company’s... 

Collaboration key to build pipeline of opportunities on global scale
CLEAN TECH The Valorisation Carbone Québec project aims to demonstrate carbon dioxide capture and beneficial reuse at the large-scale industrial facilities of Québec’s main industries, namely manufacturing and mining

Durban-based plant delivered to Guyana mine

     28th April 2017 A $2.5-million project, facilitating, executing and unloading a shipment of assets for an 800 t/d modularised gold plant relocated from Durban, in South Africa, to Buck Hall, in Guyana, was concluded toward the end of last year by Canadian engineering, procurement and construction firm JDS Energy... 

Durban-based plant delivered to Guyana mine
HEAVY LOAD TO BEAR The majority of the mill assets totalled over 16 000 m3 and necessitated the chartering of a speciality heavy-lifter ship to accommodate all cargo as a single loa

Evaluation reaffirms decision to acquire gold assets

     28th April 2017 London investment company Opera Investments’ decision to acquire the Lubando and Imweru assets, in Tanzania, has been reaffirmed by an evaluation by South African consulting group Minxcon, which confirmed Lubando’s gold resource at 6.78-million tonnes, grading 1.10 g/t, containing 293 870 oz.... 

Evaluation reaffirms decision to acquire gold assets
GOLD STRUCK Lubando's evaluation demonstrated an increased mineral resource tonnage of 160% with gold content increasing by more than 42%

SRK rated among SA’s top five consulting engineering firms

By: Ilan Solomons     28th April 2017 Independent engineering and scientific consultancy SRK Consulting South Africa has been rated a top five company in South Africa’s consulting engineering, mining and infrastructure segment in the recent Top 500 Companies Awards. The awards survey over 3 000 businesses and honour those that excel... 

SRK rated among SA’s top five consulting engineering firms
VIS REDDY SRK Consulting South Africa is owned and managed by its staff and invests significantly in ‘fostering talent in a culture of excellence’

Consultancy offering miners ‘optimisation tools’

By: Ilan Solomons     28th April 2017 In the current climate of constrained capital, clients in the mining sector are seeking ways to maximise returns while minimising exposure to risk, particularly those companies which need to make strategic decisions on potential investments, says engineering company WorleyParsons CEO Denver... 

Consultancy offering miners ‘optimisation tools’
PROVIDING EFFECTIVE SOLUTIONS Advisian draws on WorleyParsons’ ‘deep domain expertise’ and experience in the mining sector to advise clients and then can partner with them to implement that advice

Optimisation tools up probability of success

     28th April 2017 In today’s world of constrained capital, engineering, procurement and construction consultant WorleyParsons notes that clients in the mining sector are seeking ways to improve returns while reducing their exposure to risk, particularly those companies who need to make strategic decisions on... 

Optimisation tools up probability of success
AIDING DEVELOPMENT Advisian acts as lenders’ independent technical and environmental adviser for nonrecourse project finance, export credit agency finance and structured trade commodity finance

Strategic mining alliance to clients’ benefit

     21st April 2017 Mine shaft sinking and mining services company Redpath Mining South Africa has entered into an alliance with multidisciplinary construction group Stefanutti Stocks, joining their complementary capabilities and services to enhance benefits to their clients.  

Strategic mining alliance  to clients’ benefit
SINGLE SOURCE Through the Redpath Mining and Stefanuti Stocks alliance, mining clients benefit from a single role-player taking responsibility for an entire project

New forum created to discuss exploration, mining, metals and minerals

By: Dylan Slater     21st April 2017 To continually develop, refine and extend the knowledge base regarding mining definitions and standards, vendor- and technology-neutral industry consortium The Open Group has established a forum in which exploration, mining, metals and minerals (EMMM) is discussed.  

Major contract secured for Guinea bauxite plant

     14th April 2017 A major contract, valued at about €100-million, has been secured by German integrated solutions provider to the global mining, bulk materials handling and minerals industries Tenova Takraf for the turnkey supply and installation of a bauxite handling plant in Guinea, West Africa. The plant, for... 

Major contract secured for Guinea bauxite plant
BAUXITE PLANT IN GUINEA The Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée plant is scheduled for commissioning in the second half of 2018

Codelco awards design contract for eighth phase of Talabre tailings expansion to SNC-Lavalin

By: Henry Lazenby     13th April 2017 TSX-listed engineering and construction group SNC-Lavalin has been awarded a contract by Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile (Codelco), one of the largest copper producers in the world, to provide detailed design services for the Talabre tailings expansion Phase VIII project, located in the... 

Firm says its ventilation solution will cut cost of ownership

By: Dylan Slater     7th April 2017 Ventilation systems provider TLT Actom is aiming its holistic Total Ventilation Solution at the domestic mining sector to provide its innovative ventilation fans as customised systems, which reduce cost of ownership and ensure working conditions are safe and that energy efficiency is enhanced.  

Firm says its  ventilation solution will cut cost  of ownership
GEARED FOR MINING The TLT Actom Total Ventilation Solution can be customised to deliver the required air at the required time

Mine mechanisation and automation accelerating in South Africa and globally, says Sandvik

By: Ilan Solomons     24th March 2017 The mechanisation and automation of mines in South Africa and globally is accelerating, with ancillary support services, such as information technology (IT), information transfer and data analysis, among others, taking on greater importance, says mining equipment and services provider Sandvik... 

Mine mechanisation and automation accelerating  in South Africa and globally, says Sandvik
SIMON ANDREWS Mining companies have realised that it is no longer good enough just to have high-tech equipment in operation at their projects

Major contract wins for Botswana office

     17th March 2017 Mining and engineering consultancy Hatch will use its diverse experience in coal mining unconventional oil and gas technology, power generation and industrial infrastructure to support national oil company Botswana Oil with regard to developing a coal-to-liquids (CTL) facility.  

Major contract wins  for Botswana office
STEPHEN STACEY Hatch’s new office in Gaborone was established to consolidate its presence in the Southern African region

A catalyst for innovation, Goldcorp pushes the envelope on technological advances

By: Henry Lazenby     11th March 2017 Canadian gold major Goldcorp is acting as a catalyst to bring innovation into the mining industry, an industry traditionally loathe to adopt new technologies that could ultimately improve the bottom line. As exemplified in its leading role in sponsoring the #DisruptMining competition during the... 

A catalyst for innovation, Goldcorp pushes the envelope on technological advances
Photo by Goldcorp
Goldcorp’s existing policies promote diversity in the work place

Water resources under increasing pressure, bad news for mining

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd March 2017 Global water resources are being placed under increasing pressure, driven by factors like climate change and population growth, and mines risk having ‘stranded assets’ that cannot be developed without water, despite concerted corporate action and technological improvements. 

Water resources under increasing pressure,  bad news for mining
CLEMENCE MCNULTY Water is becoming a critical constraint to mine and socioeconomic development

More contracts out to tender with commodity price upswing

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd March 2017 With commodities, such as gold and copper, showing positive growth, mining contracting and engineering company Redpath Mining Africa has noted an upswing in contracting work in the African mining sector. Redpath Mining Africa MD Ockert Douglas says this was also the sentiment held by others at... 

More contracts out to tender with commodity price upswing
ONE OF A KIND The Ghaghoo diamond mine incline sand tunnel project involved tunnelling a decline at a -8° inclination through 80-m-thick desert sand over 21 months

Proactive healthcare can yield a return on investment for miners

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd March 2017 Cost containment is one of the key drivers for mining companies in the current economic climate, causing medical and healthcare services to become reactive purchases, according to medical and healthcare service provider International SOS medical director Dr Charl van Loggerenberg, who spoke to... 

Proactive healthcare can yield a return on investment for miners
NOT GRUDGE PURCHASE There are tangible benefits in investing in a healthcare strategy

Renewables offer mines bottom line boost, stability

     3rd March 2017 juwi Renewable Energies MD Greg Austin says mining companies can achieve a 2% to 3% gross profit benefit as a result of energy cost savings, should they replace diesel or heavy fuel oil (HFO) with solar power in pure self-consumption mode. 

Renewables offer  mines bottom line  boost, stability
GREG AUSTIN Integrating solar photovoltaic into mine power supply systems makes good sense

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