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Consulting Engineers News

Tough times call for cost-saving measures

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd March 2017 Mining in South Africa is tougher and costlier than ever, with investment flowing out of the country, instead of into the industry, says transport, industrial and heating fuel provider Shell South Africa commercial lubricants business-to-business marketing manager Tendani Ndwamise. 

ELB, ENFI team up to advance joint interests in rest of Africa

By: Ilan Solomons     3rd March 2017 South African engineered solutions provider ELB Engineering Services and Chinese engineering company ENFI Engineering Corporation have signed a strategic partnership agreement to tackle mineral and metal process projects and associated infrastructure projects in sub-Saharan Africa. At a private... 

ELB, ENFI team up to advance joint interests  in rest of Africa
MAKING IT OFFICIAL ELB CE Dr Stephen Meijers and ENFI VP Wei Jiaming signing partnership agreement to formalise companies’ long standing working relationship

Amplats chrome plant contractor looks to local community first for skills

By: Dylan Slater     3rd March 2017 Local skills and expertise played a key role in helping to develop a marginalised community during the development and construction of platinum miner Anglo American Platinum’s (Amplats’) new chrome recovery plant, according to project engineering, procurement and construction company Logiman.  

Amplats chrome plant contractor looks to local community first for skills
Photo by Duane Daws
CHROME RECOVERY PLANT Design and construction of Amplats’ new chrome recovery plant involved extensive input from the local community

Delivering integrated power solutions for African projects

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     24th February 2017 Integrated energy solutions provider Zest Energy, a member of the Zest WEG group, is set to hand over a power generation solution for Syrah Resources’ Balama graphite mine, in Mozambique, at the end of April. This flagship project – the company’s largest power plant in terms of power output –... 

Delivering integrated  power solutions for African projects
POWER PROJECT Zest Energy successfully delivered a mobile substation solution to the Kamoa-Kakula mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Convention aims to bridge communication gap

By: Simone Liedtke     17th February 2017 As a continually evolving industry that operates globally, sometimes the biggest difficulty for the mining industry is getting the right people together in one place to discuss their challenges and find ways to address and, ultimately, overcome them, says Prospectors and Developers Association of... 

Convention aims to bridge communication gap
EIGHTY-FIFTH CONVENTION Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada's 2017 convention will feature more than 400 exhibitors at the investors exchange and 500 at the trade show

Localised conveyor belt supply to boost operational efficiencies

By: Simone Liedtke     17th February 2017 Over the past three to four years, metal prices have dropped precipitously and North American mining operators have been forced to implement more operational efficiencies, states conveyor belt vulcaniser product provider Shaw Almex CEO Tim Shaw. 

Localised conveyor belt supply to boost operational efficiencies
CONVEYOR BELT SOLUTION Many operators have turned to offshore conveyor belt suppliers, resulting in premature product failures and unreliable supply

Modest growth forecast for US iron-ore demand

By: Simone Liedtke     17th February 2017 Advisory and consultancy firm the AME group forecasts modest growth in US iron-ore demand over the next three to five years, based on a recovering domestic economy. 

Rehabilitation plan important for proper project management

By: Victor Moolman     17th February 2017 Rehabilitation should be included and budgeted for in a project’s initial mine plan to ensure proper project management over the entire mine life cycle, says nonprofit organisation Land Rehabilitation Society of South Africa (LaRSSA) president Raina Hattingh. 

Rehabilitation plan important for proper project management
Photo by Victor Moolman
OFTEN NEGLEGTED Unfortunately, the need for including rehabilitation components early on in mine plans is often neglected in South Africa

Digitisation of project management imperative for project success

By: Victor Moolman     17th February 2017 Business management consultant SSG Consulting will continue to focus on project management and execution as its core business this year, with the intent of increasing its drive to further improve operational throughput of organisations and projects by 30% to 50%, despite the challenges facing the... 

Digitisation of project management imperative for project success
Photo by Duane Daws
MINE UPGRADES The adoption of big data, cloud, business intelligence, artificial intelligence, mobile technology and the digitisation of business will be the primary driver of successful organisations over the next five years

Specialist aims to step up offering at Kibali

By: Simone Liedtke     10th February 2017 Condition-monitoring specialist WearCheck hopes to discuss with the engineering management team whether there is an opportunity to roll out its reliability services at the developing Kibali gold mine, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where it opened its eleventh laboratory last year. 

Specialist aims to step up offering at Kibali

Collaboration, inclusiveness among key themes at 2017 Mining Indaba

By: Ilan Solomons     9th February 2017 There are signs of hope for recovery in some commodities, owing to recent price improvement, which has lent a more upbeat tone to this year’s Investing in African Mining Indaba, in Cape Town. However, South Africa has some “sobering lessons” for African countries, which have yet to fully launch... 

Collaboration, inclusiveness among key themes at 2017 Mining Indaba
SRK Consulting partner and principal consultant Andrew van Zyl

Technology advancement improves project efficiencies, says WorleyParsons

By: Ilan Solomons     7th February 2017 As engineering company WorleyParsons’ global centre of excellence for mining, WorleyParsons RSA expends a substantial amount of energy and resources on developing advanced solutions for its customers that will increase accuracy and efficiency while reducing risk. The project delivery and... 

African company one of biggest underground mining contractors

By: Martin Creamer     2nd February 2017 The predominantly Africa-based Murray & Roberts Cementation has served the mining industry for more than a century. Along with Cementation Canada, Cementation USA and RUC Cementation Australia, the Murray & Roberts Underground Mining Platform ranks among the biggest underground mining contracting... 

African company one of biggest underground mining contractors
Photo by Duane Daws
VENETIA MODEL What the Venetia underground diamond mine will look like when complete

Indaba attendance expected to improve in line with investment climate

By: Nadine James     27th January 2017 The cyclical nature of mining continues to be reflected in the attendance figures of the yearly Investing in African Mining Indaba, which is expected to attract greater numbers in 2017, indicating an improvement in economic conditions and the mining investment environment, says event organiser... 

Indaba attendance expected to  improve in line with investment climate
HIGH PROFILE EVENT Twenty-four African Ministers, 30 investor company speakers and 35 mining company speakers will be in attendance at the 2017 event

Mining Indaba helps suppliers become more adaptable

By: Robyn Wilkinson     27th January 2017 Mining industry suppliers and service providers need to react quickly to the industry’s changing needs during periods of volatile commodity prices, and attending the 2017 Investing in African Mining Indaba is critical to facilitate strategic management in this regard, says mining products and... 

Mining Indaba helps suppliers become  more adaptable
JANNIE DE JONGE There is no better place than Mining Indaba for accessing information about the macroeconomic factors affecting the mining industry

Mining companies to reap benefits from productivity partnerships

By: Robyn Wilkinson     27th January 2017 Minerals and cement industry equipment and services supplier FLSmidth is establishing itself as a productivity partner in the African mining sector in light of mining companies’ focus on improving existing projects amid difficult economic conditions. 

Mining companies to reap benefits from productivity partnerships
TERENCE OSBORN Mining Indaba provides an opportunity for new strategic initiatives to emerge through discussions

New technology introduced at Mining Indaba

By: Robyn Wilkinson     27th January 2017 Engineering company WorleyParsons RSA will use the 2017 Investing in African Mining Indaba, which it describes as an ideal platform for showcasing and progressing ideas pertinent to Africa’s mining industry, to discuss its new five-dimensional (5D) project design platform technology with key... 

New technology  introduced at  Mining Indaba
IMPROVED PROJECT PLANNING WorleyParsons RSA’s integrated design project platform provides a visual five-dimensional design scope that incorporates schedule and cost

Fluor clinches engineering contract for Eritrean potash project

By: David Oliveira     27th January 2017 Global engineering and construction company Fluor announced earlier this month that it had secured a front-end engineering, design and optimisation contract from ASX-listed potash producer Danakali for its Colluli potash project, in Eritrea. Following a competitive tendering process, initiated... 

Crippled Zimbabwe the leading African lithium producer

By: Kimberley Smuts     20th January 2017 Zimbabwe, a country which is facing a food security disaster, high levels of unemployment, skilled and semiskilled emigration and a cash-starved economy, having issued its own bond notes in November to solve its liquidity crisis, is leading Africa in lithium production. Bikita, a district in... 

Crippled Zimbabwe  the leading African lithium producer
DEMAND TO INCREASE The battery market accounts for about 36% of lithium demand and is expected to grow to 73% by 2025

Gold miner and varsity form R&D partnership

By: Dylan Slater     16th December 2016 The signing of a memorandum of understanding to form a partnership between gold tailings retreatment company DRDGold and the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering is one of first steps in the uptake of in-sourcing research and development (R&D)... 

Gold miner and varsity form R&D partnership
SHAKE IT OFF The signing of the memorandum of understanding cements efforts to capitalise on youthful research and development to enhance gold mining industry

Bulk of Cullinan C-Cut Phase 1 nears completion

By: Robyn Wilkinson     16th December 2016 Mining services company Murray & Roberts Cementation will complete its contract at diamond miner Petra Diamonds’ Gauteng-based Cullinan mine this month, concluding the largest portion of the R4-billion Phase 1 expansion project that will initially extend the diamond mine’s life span by about 15 year 

Bulk of Cullinan C-Cut Phase 1 nears completion
DELICATE OPERATION Detailed planning was undertaken to deepen the shafts at the Cullinan C-Cut project without disrupting the existing infrastructure and operations

Desalination helps South32’s KZN aluminium smelter beat water woes

By: David Oliveira     9th December 2016 To ensure sustainable operations in drought sticken Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal, diversified miner South32 has invested R74-million in a seawater desalination plant that uses membrane technology to produce cooling process water for its Hillside aluminium smelter. The diversified miner appointed... 

Desalination helps South32’s KZN aluminium smelter beat water woes

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

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

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... 

Aus company grows share in DRC project
KALONGWE ORE Kalongwe hosts a near-surface resource of 302 000 t copper and 42 000 t cobalt as predominantly oxide ore

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

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

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

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

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... 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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