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Consulting Engineers News

Joint forces to benefit from African mining services

22nd April 2016 Mechanised underground hard rock mining specialists Pybar Mining Services has signed an agreement with Mauritius-based drilling services company Capital Drilling to comarket underground hard rock mining services in Africa. Under the three-year agreement, Pybar will use Capital Drilling's... 

Mining industry stands a chance through risk mitigation

22nd April 2016 Integrated engineering projects company DRA Group CEO Paul Thomson notes that to mitigate risks for investors and mining companies, he recommends investment in consulting engineers with experience, pedigree and a good track record, which will save mining companies thousands in execution. “Mining... 

Mining industry stands  a chance through risk  mitigation
Photo by Bloomberg
RISK MITIGATION Everyone suffers when a mine or project fail to be built

Refined methodology to ensure faster and more efficient delivery

22nd April 2016 Outsourced operation and maintenance (O&M) specialist Minopex South Africa, a member of global multidisciplinary engineering firm DRA, believes that 2016 will be a year of diversification for the company in terms of the commodities mined by projects it will be servicing. As a specialist in the... 

Refined methodology to ensure faster and more  efficient delivery
Photo by Bloomberg
PROJECT METHODOLOGY DELIVERY Ensuring to deliver a faster service

Pipe manufacturer advocates plastic over concrete

By: Sascha Solomons     22nd April 2016 Consulting engineers and their clients should focus on long-term sustainability rather than short-term profitability, says high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe manufacturer Sinvac Piping MD Kobus van Dyk. “In South Africa, traditional concrete piping systems and manholes are being prescribed by... 

Pipe manufacturer advocates plastic over concrete
PLASTIC PIPING MORE SUSTAINABLE HDPE piping has a longer life span in comparison to concrete piping

New drill rig alignment tool drastically slashes rig set-up time

By: Dylan Slater     22nd April 2016 Australia-based mining technology firm Minnovare’s drill rig alignment tool, the Azimuth Alinger, is delivering “unprecedented” efficiency to the underground drilling process by substantially reducing rig set-up time, the company claims.  

Enhancing technical ‘excellence’ with new technology

22nd April 2016 Taking a bullish stance on commodity markets, global consulting engineers and scientists SRK Consulting are building on their solid performance through the current slump – fostering their discovery- driven culture through embracing technology and “youthful energy”. The company, having celebrated... 

Enhancing technical ‘excellence’ with new technology
Photo by Duane Daws
MENTORING MAJOR DRIVE On-the-job training for the youth turns qualifications into valuable skills

West African chamber to launch at Ghana mining event

8th April 2016 The newly formed West African Chamber of Mines (Wacom), which comprises chief executives from the chambers of mines in Ghana, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Burkina Faso, will be officially launched at the twelfth West African Mining & Power Exhibition (Wampex) in June. 

West African chamber to launch at Ghana mining event
LOCATION LOCATION The West African Mining & Power Exhibition serves as a valuable platform for networking between key industry players

Local company completes Namibian uranium project

By: Dylan Slater     8th April 2016 Vanderbijlpark-based medium- to heavy-engineering company Turnmill Proquip Engineering completed its scope of work for a contract to fabricate the adsorption and elution columns for uranium miner Swakop Uranium’s Husab project, in Namibia.  

Local company completes Namibian uranium project
HUSAB PROJECT Turnmill Proquip Engineering was responsible for fabricating adsorption and elution columns for the ion exchange plant at the Husab project, in Namibia

Grade quality should determine investment in uranium

1st April 2016 As so many uranium projects have closed or performed poorly, before starting any uranium venture, the economic fundamentals need to be ensured and, most importantly, the required uranium grade needs to be in place, stresses global energy and resource specialist Venmyn Deloitte MD Andy Clay. The... 

Grade quality should determine investment in uranium
Photo by Duane Daws
ANDY CLAY ANDY CLAY Resources are being oversold and, for specialist minerals, such as uranium, it is all about grade

Despite industry dip, uranium shows potential

By: Sascha Solomons     1st April 2016 Gold and uranium have some traction in the market, regardless of the general commodities slump currently draining the profits of the mining industry, metallurgical engineering company MDM Engineering business development director George Bennett tells Mining Weekly. He says that, globally, the... 

Despite industry dip, uranium shows potential
HUSAB IN NAMIBIA One of MDM Engineerings core aspects is successfully developing clients' projects

Mali gold mine to use SA cooling solution

By: Simon Sonnekus     1st April 2016 Mine ventilation, refrigeration and air-cooling installations provider BBE projects has secured a $16-million order for two mine cooling systems at a deep-level gold mine, in Mali. “The addition of the cooling systems will enhance safety at the mine by improving the underground working... 

Mali gold mine to use  SA cooling solution
RICHARD GUNDERSEN Gundersen notes that the selection of lightweight building materials for the shell of the air coolers, leads to saving costs and speeding up construction.

Shaft solutions to address commodities crunch

By: Simon Sonnekus     1st April 2016 Some of the most exciting opportunities are in deep-level mining, says Hatch Goba associate and Africa, Europe and the Middle East mining director Kevin Seyfried. The scarcity of capital, lower operating costs and the reaffirmation of safety by mining companies have prompted multinational... 

Shaft solutions to address commodities crunch
DIGITAL MINING TECH Hatch Goba has highlighted an increase in mechanised mining and the subsequent need for such solutions

10 t hybrid locomotive to be completed in April

By: Nadine James     25th March 2016 Pretoria-based mining machinery and equipment supplier CMTI Consulting is scheduled to complete its 10 t diesel, lithium-ion hybrid locomotive by the end of next month, says MD Dr Danie Burger, adding that the company aims to supply South Africa’s “frail” underground rail networks. The project,... 

Production flow system helping mines to improve productivity, employee engagement

By: Schalk Burger     18th March 2016 A theory of constraints (ToC) production flow system, which is a leadership intervention, is helping mines to improve their productivity and employee engagement, says mining consultancy StratFlow director Hendrik Lourens. McKinsey and Deloitte studies in the past year have shown that mining... 

Production flow system helping mines to improve productivity,  employee engagement
HENDRIK LOURENS Complex and complicated mining management must be approached in a suitable way, and many factors ensure that management actions taken are not suitably complex or complicated

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... 

Surge enables analytics company to go on Africa offensive
AUDREY NDLOVU Umzamo Analytical Services has become synonymous with providing uncompromised, accurate, analytical results

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... 

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

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

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... 

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

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

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

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

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