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Consulting Engineers News

Surge enables analytics company to go on Africa offensive

By: Simon Sonnekus     11th March 2016 The 400% growth rate of Witbank-based coal analysis company Umzamo Analytical Services (UAS) last year has prompted the company to broaden its reach into Africa despite the current challenging mining market. According to UAS CEO Audrey Ndlovu, this sudden surge in business is attributed to the... 

Turnaround strategies should be collaborative to unlock value

     11th March 2016 Gauteng-based mine planning and engineering consultancy group Ukwazi maintains that its opencast coal mining turnaround strategy unlocks value by combining the interrelated processes that exist on a mine. “As commodity prices are at an all time low and markets are under pressure, we believe a... 

Turnaround strategies should be collaborative to unlock value
TEAM EFFORT Ukwazi’s mining turnaround strategy is based on an integrated and transparent process that aligns the objectives of all those involved to collaboratively execute the mine plan

Turner & Townsend supporting ongoing rehab of asbestos mine sites

By: Mia Breytenbach     11th March 2016 Global programme and construction consultancy Turner & Townsend has completed project work and provided quantity surveying (QS) expertise for the rehabilitation of four old asbestos mine sites, which form part of a significant programme by the South African government to close and rehabilitate... 

Turner & Townsend supporting ongoing rehab of asbestos mine sites
REMEDIAL PROGRAMME Turner & Townsend is involved in project work for another five asbestos mine sites and has prepared tenders for an additional three sites

Delegates weigh up value of event

By: Kimberley Smuts     4th March 2016 In the current climate, participants at this year’s Investing in African Mining Indaba carefully balanced the investment they made in participating in the event with the value they derived from attending, say independent, international consulting engineers and scientists SRK Consulting. SRK South... 

Delegates weigh  up value of event
PROSPECTS PONDERED Delegates of this year's Investing in African Mining Indaba were looking for insights into how long the commodity downturn was likely to last

Hackathon fast-tracks development

By: Kimberley Smuts     4th March 2016 Technology implementation costs time and money – two critical resources that the mining sector currently requires to reinvent itself, says Anglo American Technology and Innovation head Jeannette McGill. “The Unearthed hackathon is the perfect platform to fast-track innovation and short-circuit... 

Hackathon fast-tracks development
PIETER HOLTZHAUSEN Team Middebosch took top honours for its visualisation of offshore diamond mining analytics for diamond miner De Beers

Large pinch valves supplied to Namibian uranium mine

By: Dylan Slater     4th March 2016 Pinch valves from Benoni-based valves and pumps company Flowrox South Africa (SA) are being used at Namibia-based uranium producer Swakop Uranium’s Husab mine.  

Large pinch valves supplied to Namibian uranium mine
HUSAB SHIPMENT Flowrox delivered 550-mm-diameter pinch valves to the Husab uranium mine, in Namibia

Focus on improving gold processing

By: Lynne Jackson     26th February 2016 South African State-owned research and development organisation Mintek is trying to advance gold processing amid the weak market to reduce the cost involved in extracting the yellow metal and aid struggling mining companies.   

Focus on improving gold processing
Photo by Bloomberg
SAME OLD SAME OLD The gold industry has been using the same processing methods for decades, with very little development taking place

Renewed interest in coal could expand Botswana’s mining revenue

By: Nadine James     19th February 2016 The Botswanan government is expected to dedicate more resources to the development of its coal sector to diversify its mining revenue and meet its energy imperatives, says mining consultancy Core Consultants MD Lara Smith. This is attributed to a decreased global demand for diamonds – Botswana’s... 

Renewed interest in coal could expand Botswana’s mining revenue
Photo by Duane Daws
UNTAPPED POTENTIAL Botswana has the second largest coal reserves in Africa, but only one operational coal mine, the Morupule mine in eastern Botswana

Hybrid power solution aimed at African mining industry

By: Dylan Slater     12th February 2016 Contrary to popular belief, a power solution incorporating renewable-energy solutions and diesel generators does exist and has been developed particularly for the mining industry, especially miners operating in regions with high average solar-peak yields, says renewable-energy solutions company... 

Hybrid power  solution aimed at African mining industry
SOLAR POSSIBILITIES South Africa has lots of solar photovoltaic potential with high average peak yields of sunlight

Looking back at Dr Robbie Robinson  

By: Creamer Media Reporter      29th January 2016 Mining Weekly editor Martin Creamer talks to senior deputy editor Tracy Hancock about the legacy left behind by chemical engineer Dr Robbie Robinson, who died at 86. Dr Robinson was often featured on Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly Online. 

Looking back at Dr Robbie Robinson
Looking back at Dr Robbie Robinson

Agreement improves mining training opportunities for British Columbians

By: Henry Lazenby     27th January 2016 The British Columbia Centre of Training Excellence in Mining (CTEM) on Tuesday launched a pilot project that will offer students the opportunity to complete up to a full year of the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) mineral exploration and mining technology diploma at four new... 

Flexible, leaner service approach vital for African mining projects

By: Mia Breytenbach     22nd January 2016 Companies need to focus on becoming leaner and challenging the status quo when providing mining- and mineral-related services in Africa in the current global economic climate during which there has been a slump in commodity prices, engineering company WorleyParsons cautions. “The provision of... 

Industry must avoid procrastination

By: Kimberley Smuts     22nd January 2016 SRK, a firm of consulting engineers and scientists, stresses the need for miners to look beyond the despair of the current commodities slump and start planning their next projects without delay. 

Industry must avoid procrastination
ROGER DIXON Africa’s growing population and its demand for commodities and energy is a positive underlying factor that will promote future economic growth as soon as global conditions improve

Merger enables engineering firm to weather tough market conditions

By: Nadine James     22nd January 2016 Metallurgical engineering company MDM Engineering has kept its head above water and has been able to secure new contracts despite the depressed market conditions in the mining industry, MDM executive director and founder George Bennett tells Mining Weekly. He attributes the company’s... 

Merger enables engineering firm to  weather tough market conditions
GEORGE BENNETT MDM Engineering is in the process of completing three projects in South Africa

Flowsheet selection paying off in pilot phase

By: Nadine James     15th January 2016 ASX-listed development company Peak Resources – which has started piloting beneficiation at its Tanzania-based Ngualla pilot plant – is so far “well-pleased” with its flowsheet selection, which allows for lower operating costs and the potential improvement of the leach recovery process, says MD... 

Flowsheet selection  paying off in pilot phase
DARREN TOWNSEND Peak Resources intend to conclude the bankable feasibility study for is Tanzanian rare-earths project by the end of the year

SA mining consultant to remodel copper resources in Congo

By: Dylan Stewart     4th December 2015 Specialist mining consultant The MSA Group is assisting mining major Glencore in re-modelling its mineral resource and geological models for Katanga Mining’s Kamoto Copper Company’s large-scale copper and cobalt mine complex in the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  

SA mining consultant to remodel copper resources in Congo
STILL A FUTURE Despite operational suspension at Katanga and cutbacks at Mopani, Glencore is showing commitment to its copper mines in Central Africa

Geology dept emphasises continued use of services in tough market

By: Dylan Slater     27th November 2015 The consistent and continual grading of orebodies can help guarantee a mine’s sustainability in a sector that is facing low commodity prices, says State-owned council for mineral technology Mintek mineralogy manager Nosiphiwo Nyamane.  

Geology dept emphasises continued use of services in tough market
NEW AQUISITION The mineralogy department of Mintek recently acquired a Bruker D8 Advance X-ray diffraction instrument

Laboratory solutions provider expands despite commodity price slump

By: Dylan Slater     27th November 2015 Laboratory solutions provider Tramecon is extending its service offering and warehouse capacity, in line with increased demand from the mining industry and despite the current industry slump brought on by the downturn in commodity prices.  

Laboratory solutions provider expands despite commodity price slump
NEW BLENDER Tramecon acquired a new 1 t blender enabling it to process larger amounts of reference material batches

Plan under way to prevent equipment failure, ensure reliable analytics

By: Dylan Slater     27th November 2015 State-owned council for mineral technology Mintek is implementing a five-year “grand plan” to replace existing equipment in its Analytical Services Division, in Randburg, thereby mitigating the risks of breakdowns and unavailability.  

Plan under way to prevent equipment failure, ensure reliable analytics
ANALYTICAL INSTRUMENT Mintek’s Analytical Services Division’s new inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry instrument, similar to this one, will be commissioned at the end of January

Benefits of electronic detonation being realised

     20th November 2015 Electronic detonators are fast becoming an integral part of effective mining processes across the world, says electronic initiation system designer DetNet marketing director Johann Smit. “[The benefits of] electronic blast [initiation] are being recognised worldwide,” he says, adding that using... 

Benefits of electronic detonation being realised
EASY TO USE The DigiShot Plus is an easy-to-use electronic initiating system primarily for use in surface blasting applications

Blast design system aids risk management

     20th November 2015 Using mining software, hardware and services provider Maptek’s blast design and management system, BlastLogic, mines can pre-empt blast-related risk and productivity issues through the instantaneous sharing and visualisation of operational data. “BlastLogic accelerates the process of creating and... 

Blast design system aids risk management
INTELLIGENT SOLUTION With BlastLogic, superior blast performance is achieved through fusing distinct data sets associated with mine planning, drill guidance, field surveys, load design parameters and post-blast evaluation to create a more intelligent blast design

Innovation needed to reduce blasting costs

     20th November 2015 Blasting and mining companies should collaborate to find ways of performing blasts efficiently, says commercial explosives supplier AEL Indonesia technical manager Carlos Paz, noting that blasting projects should also be approached more innovatively to drive cost reductions. He adds that... 

Innovation needed to reduce blasting costs
BLASTING OPTIMALLY Electronic detonators play an important role in performing blasts in an efficient and cost effective way

Mechanised support solution enhances safety

By: Bruce Montiea     30th October 2015 Safety in the mining industry has to be the number one priority if South Africa is to be a world-class and globally competitive destination for mining investment, says underground safety support manufacturer M and J Mining shareholder Kuseni Dlamini. “Safety is and always will be critical in... 

Mechanised support  solution enhances safety
STRENGTH IN NUMBERS Last year’s mining industry strikes turned out to be a major cornerstone in the development of M and J Mining

Mining sector looking to automation to increase profits

By: Bruce Montiea     30th October 2015 Automation is becoming one of the leading focus points to increase profits in the mining sector, says automated robotic solutions company Robotic Innovations (RI) co-owner Marlyn Mostert. She says industrial robots can enable mines to run more efficiently and safely, as they are designed to... 

Mining sector looking to  automation to increase profits
DEPENDABLE Industrial robots can enable mines to run more efficiently and safely

Mining solutions provider promotes fog cannon

By: Nadine James     23rd October 2015 Environmental mining solutions provider FlowCentric Mining Technologies’ Rhino Evaporator dual-purpose fog cannon can suppress dust and also enhances the natural evaporation process by fracturing water into smaller size droplets. Owing to the high concentrations of dissolved heavy metals and... 

Mining solutions provider promotes fog cannon
RHINO EVAPORATOR. The dual purpose fog cannon is more cost effective than water treatment and works faster than evaporation ponds.

Hybrid power plant reduces mine’s operational costs

By: Nadine James     23rd October 2015 Energy solutions provider Cronimet Mining Power Solutions’ first megawatt-scale, solar-diesel hybrid power plant, at the Cronimet Chrome South Africa Thabazimbi openpit chromium mine, in Limpopo, has significantly reduced the mine’s diesel consumption, allowing for more effective energy... 

Hybrid power plant reduces  mine’s operational costs
HYBRID SOLAR-DIESEL POWER PLANT. Photovoltaic systems are easily integrated into existing diesel generated power supply sytems

Mine orders two additional chillers as it reaches 1 700 m depth

By: Dylan Slater     16th October 2015 Limpopo-based copper miner Palabora Mining Company (PMC) acquired two additional 3 500 kW York CYK compound centrifugal chillers in December 2014 from diversified technology company Johnson Controls Building Efficiency.  

Mine orders two  additional chillers as it reaches 1 700 m depth
CHILLER COMMISSIONING TEAM The team responsible for commissioning of the chillers

Swedish ventilation software company eyes local market

By: Dylan Slater     16th October 2015 Sweden-based automation and control hardware and software solutions company Gefa System is aiming to collaborate with an underground-mining company in South Africa to pilot its ventilation systems software.  

Swedish ventilation software company eyes local market
VENTILATION CONTROL Arctic Vent Control is suitable for use in the harsh African mining environment, which is characterised by hot, dry and dusty conditions

Conveyor belt downtime can harm bottom line

By: Bruce Montiea     2nd October 2015 Conveyor belt downtime is often taken lightly by belt experts, shift bosses and foremen, despite the potential harm it can cause to a company’s production and bottom line, says mining consultation, conveyor belts and underground machinery maintenance company Dazoforce Mining and Construction CEO... 

Conveyor belt downtime can harm bottom line
MAINTENANCE STRATEGIES Dazoforce developed a three-volume series of conveyor belt maintenance reference books

Miners advised to protect conveyors against lightning

By: Bruce Montiea     2nd October 2015 Mining conveyors are prone to being struck by lightning, owing to the vast area they cover, says earthing systems, lightning, surge and overvoltage protection specialist Advanced Lightning Protection financial manager Lee-Anne Chapman. Chapman explains a lightning bolt as “basically a large... 

Miners advised to  protect conveyors  against lightning
FORCE OF NATURE Lightning is an unpredictable force of nature, which is a constant danger to structure, electronic equipment and human life

Ivanhoe awards DRA feasibility study contract for Platreef

By: Natalie Greve     30th September 2015 Multidisciplinary engineering group DRA has been awarded the contract to undertake a feasibility study (FS) on TSX-listed Ivanhoe Mines subsidiary Ivanplats’ Platreef platinum-group metals, gold, nickel and copper project, in the Bushveld Complex. The award of the feasibility study followed DRA’s... 

Heavy lifting and logistics company aims for mining market

By: Dylan Slater     25th September 2015 Global heavy-lifting, heavy-haulage and logistics company Mammoet is aiming to break into the mining industry with its comprehensive logistics offering, coupled with its traditional heavy-lifting and ability to move heavy equipment, says local branch Mammoet Southern Africa (SA). 

Heavy lifting and logistics  company aims for mining market
INTACT HAULAGE Mammoet is able to transport intact dragline machines using its self-propelled modular transport units

Apprenticeships key to pumps industry growth

By: Nadine James     11th September 2015 Pumps are a niche market – the only way for the industry to develop and compete internationally is, therefore,  to provide training and safeguard skills, says Southern African Pump Systems Development Association (Sapsda) chairperson Gareth Langton. He recommends that pumps companies should offer... 

Apprenticeships key to pumps industry growth
GARETH LANGTON The Sapsda chair believes that while the pumps industry is stable, training apprentices is the future

South African pumps association restored

     11th September 2015 After much consideration and identification of the significant needs within the  South African pump industry, six key member companies have decided to reactivate the South African Pumps Manufacturers Association (Sapma). The six companies, namely KSB, Grundfos, SPP Pumps, Franklin, Sulzer and... 

South African pumps  association restored
Photo by Duane Daws
LORRAINE SMART In business in general, experience is lost owing to retirements, emigration or other staff changes within the companies or industries

Water technology provider opens ECape branch

     11th September 2015 Global water technology provider Xylem earlier this month opened a new facility in Port Elizabeth extending the company’s service offering to its customer base in the Eastern Cape. This move is in line with Xylem’s commitment to provide world-class pump and water solutions to customers within... 

Water technology provider opens ECape branch
LOWARA E-NSC PUMP One of the products available at the new Xylem branch in Port Elizabeth

Zambia sustains investment appeal, but requires fiscal stability and certainty

By: Mia Breytenbach     11th September 2015 Zambia remains an attractive mining investment destination, says mining consultancy The MSA Group, pointing out that in the ‘Fraser Institute Annual Survey of Mining Companies: 2014 Investment Attractiveness Index for Africa’ report, Zambia ranked third, behind Namibia and Botswana. This ranking... 

Zambia sustains investment appeal, but requires fiscal stability and certainty
ACTIVE ROLE The MSA Group has been involved in exploration company Intrepid Mining’s Kitumba project since 2006

Preheater technology makes smelting projects efficient

By: Bruce Montiea     4th September 2015 The shortage of electricity supply in South Africa and the associated increase in electricity prices have resulted in a severe downturn in the country's furnace industry, with many smelting projects being put on hold, says high-capacity furnace and smelting plant company Tenova Pyromet sales and... 

Preheater technology makes  smelting projects efficient
EFFICIENT ENERGY USE Multiple Preheater Technology directly addresses mines’ needs to reduce their electricity consumption

Mines advised to place new focus on innovation and technology

     28th August 2015 The mining industry is “far behind” in terms of using technology and innovation to deal with industry-related challenges such as dropping ore grades, high-energy costs and lack of reliable energy supply, says bespoke mining enterprise software engineering solutions developer Stone Three Mining... 

Mines advised to place new focus  on innovation and technology
FROTH SENSOR Stone Three Mining Solutions optimises mineral processing plants through machine vision based smart sensor technology

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