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Consulting Engineers News

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... 

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... 

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.  

SA company designs shaft hoisting infrastructure  for Philippines gold mine
PHILIPPINES PROJECT The Philsaga Mining Corporation project is testimony to South African mining engineering capability

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

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