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Merger enables engineering firm to weather tough market conditions

By: Nadine James 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... 

Macmahon wins Telfer mining contract

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Australian gold miner Newcrest Mining has awarded a mining contract at its Telfer mine, in Western Australia, to project house Macmahon Holdings. Newcrest in September decided to retain ownership of the Telfer openpit mine, but took the decision to move to contract mining in an effort to save costs. 

Excelsior awards mining contract

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Gold developer Excelsior Gold has awarded an openpit mining contract to Hampton Transport Services at its Kalgoorlie North project, in Western Australia. Openpit mining was expected to start on November 16, with initial tonnes expected from the Castlereagh and Jackorite openpits, which along with... 

Mining contractor refocuses on after sales service offering

By: Nadine James Environmental opencast mining contractor DynaD has renewed its focus on its after-sales services, partly owing to slow growth and development in a lacklustre coal sector, says DynaD drill and blasting director Chris Bester. “Nothing much happened in the coal industry in the past year,” he says,... 

Mining contractor refocuses on after sales service offering
DK DRILL RIG DynaD service offering includes refurbishing the DK drill rig range

Caterpillar restructuring to see more than 10 000 retrenchments by 2016

By: Henry Lazenby US-based heavy machinery and mining equipment manufacturer Caterpillar will retrench more than 10 000 employees by the end of 2016 as part of a significant restructuring and cost reduction plan, designed to lower operating costs by about $1.5-billion a year, once fully implemented. Starting later... 

Caterpillar restructuring to see more than 10 000 retrenchments by 2016

M&R holds line on resources-focused strategy despite commodity meltdown

By: Terence Creamer Engineering and construction group Murray & Roberts (M&R) says it has no intention of shifting its strategy away from the international natural resources market, notwithstanding the prevailing weak climate for commodities and a bleak immediate outlook. Speaking to investors on Thursday, CEO Henry... 

M&R holds line on resources-focused strategy despite commodity meltdown

Lack of projects, mining pressures challenging equipment suppliers

By: Mia Breytenbach The “absolute dearth” of exciting, new mining projects, paired with the concern that South Africa is no longer a favoured destination for new mining projects are some of the greatest challenges facing equipment suppliers, states heavy equipment manufacturer Bell Equipment Sales Africa (Besa)... 

Lack of projects, mining pressures challenging equipment suppliers
Photo by Bloomberg
DECLINING SALES As large-scale projects are significantly limited, it is difficult for companies supplying equipment to the mining and construction sectors

Sentula narrows FY loss

By: Creamer Media Reporter Mining services provider Sentula Mining on Wednesday reported a marginal improvement in its headline loss a share to 41.3c for the financial year ended March 31, compared with a loss of 43.7c in the 2014 financial year. Its basic loss a share narrowed from 91.8c in 2014 to 50.5c in the year under... 

Macmahon flags multimillion-dollar writedown

By: Mariaan Webb Mining contractor Macmahon Holdings on Monday announced that it expected to impair the carrying value of equipment and inventory held on June 30, 2015, by between $95-million and $125-million. This impairment would be in addition to the $130-million recorded in the company’s half-year financial... 

Contract mining, outsourcing industry increasingly competitive

By: Bruce Montiea The contract mining and outsourcing industry is becoming increasingly ruthless, as big construction companies compete with smaller companies for contracts, says mining, construction and general plant hire company West Rand Plant Hire (WRPH). WRPH assistant plant manager Riaan Botes notes that... 

Finding good quality contractors a significant challenge

By: Bruce Montiea Among the many challenges facing the South African mining industry, such as strikes, skills retention and load-shedding, the challenge of employing and managing contractors seems to be significant, says contractor compliance management solutions company ComplyWorks MD Nicolai Massyn. He notes... 

Finding good quality contractors  a significant challenge
Photo by Bloomberg
PREPARING TO BLAST Finding quality contractors is among the biggest challenges for miners

Miners turn to contractors during tough times

By: Bruce Montiea Amid commodity-price pressure and high extraction costs, mining companies are looking to mining contractors for solutions to reduce costs, says surface mining company MCC Contract Mining CEO Justin Colling. He says, as a result, contracting companies have been forced to reassess their operating... 

Miners turn to contractors during tough times
CAPITAL EQUIPMENT Mining contractors are in a position to decrease of increase the volume of their equipment according to need

More miners seeking contractor support for short-term planning

By: Bruce Montiea An increased number of mining companies are seeking support from contractors for short-term tactical planning, as opposed to only long-term, strategic and life-of-mine planning, says opencast and underground mining consultant Sound Mining. However, Sound Mining director Vaughn Duke warns against... 

More miners seeking contractor support for short-term planning
Photo by Bloomberg
PLANNING A MINE An increased number of mining companies are seeking support from contractors for short-term tactical planning

Company to optimise gold mine’s water treatment plant

Water management company Veolia has been appointed to optimise, operate and maintain the water treatment plant of gold major AngloGold Ashanti’s Iduapriem gold mine in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem municipality of the western region of Ghana, over the next two years. “This contract that will be handled by... 

Eqstra not selling contract mining business – yet

By: Irma Venter Eqstra Holdings was going to reduce its exposure to contract mining, but it was not yet ready to sell the troubled business, said CEO Walter Hill on Tuesday. He said Eqstra would not sell its contract mining business in a “depressed market”. He said it would be prudent to first make the business... 

Eqstra not selling contract mining business – yet
Photo by Duane Daws
Walter Hill

Downer wins Fortescue work

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Iron-ore major Fortescue Metals has awarded project house Downer Edi a A$720-million mining contract at Christmas Creek mine, in Western Australia. Downer is currently employed as the mining services contractor at the Christmas Creek 1 mine, while Macmahon Holdings performs mining services at... 

Company increases African network through indaba

By: Sashnee Moodley Oil condition monitoring company WearCheck, a member of Setpoint Group, hopes to increase its network on the African continent and reach a new market of mining customers, MD Neil Robinson tells Mining Weekly. The company will exhibit at this year’s Investing in African Mining Indaba, which is... 

Company increases African network through indaba
LAB WearCheck also aims to showcase its interest in wind testing, a deviation from its usual mining-related activities

Local construction company secures contract in Ghana

By: Pimani Baloyi South Africa-based privately-owned and managed structural steel, mechanical, electrical, instrumentation, piping and platework (SMEIPP) construction company Redis Construction Afrika, which will exhibit at the 2015 Investing in African Mining Indaba, in November announced that it had been awarded... 

SA mine fatality at all-time low, sets positive outlook for 2015

By: Natasha Odendaal South Africa may be gaining traction on its ambitions of “zero harm” within the mining sector, with indications that the number of recorded fatalities in 2014 had reached a record low with the unofficial count at 84. In the run-up to the release, at the end of January, of the latest Department of... 

SA mine fatality at all-time low, sets positive outlook for 2015

Underground mining platform most active shaft sinker outside China

With 22 active shaft projects under way globally, construction and engineering group Murray & Roberts’ underground mining platform is ranked the most active shaft sinking group in the world, outside of China, says Murray & Roberts Cementation business development executive Allan Widlake. The... 

Sandvik Mining supplies drills for contract miner Aveng Moolmans’ Nkomati site

By: Henry Lazenby Global mining equipment and services provider Sandvik Mining has recently provided one of Africa’s largest contract miners Aveng Moolmans with five diesel-powered drill rigs for use on the Nkomati nickel mine, in the northeast of South Africa, near Machadodorp in Mpumalanga. Speaking to Mining... 

Maintenance specialist upbeat about 2014 contract renewals

By: Mariaan Webb Outsourced plant operations and maintenance specialist Minopex, a member of the DRA Group, has been awarded three contract renewals in 2014, which MD Gerhard Hendriksz says is indicative of the value-add service that the company offers. 

Safety training prevents injuries, downtime

In response to the high incidences of workplace injuries, mining services company Group R Mining & Exploration runs training courses and safe work procedures workshops to assist its clients in empowering their workers to prevent workplace injuries, says company director Hein van Staden. “A... 

Safety training prevents injuries, downtime
Photo by Bloomberg
PAYING ATTENTION Group R Mining & Exploration offers training courses and safe work procedures that are in line with its clients’ safe working structures

New technology assisting Canadian miners 

By: Ilan Solomons Global contractor and engineering firm Redpath says its battery-powered mechanised raise-climber system and Wi-Fi communications for shaft sinking system, introduced to the Canadian mining industry in January, have been well received, as they improve mine safety and simplify mining operations.... 

New technology assisting Canadian miners
MECHANISED RAISE CLIMBER Redpath’s battery-powered raise climber uses lithium-ion batteries to propel the electric drive

Troubled contract mining division eats into Eqstra profit

By: Irma Venter Eqstra’s Contract Mining and Plant Rental division served as a heavy drag on the company’s results for the year ended June 30, released on Tuesday. Group revenue increased by 9.8%, to R10-billion, compared with the previous financial year, while operating profit dropped by 9.6%, to R938-million. 

Troubled contract mining division eats into Eqstra profit
Photo by Duane Daws
Walter Hill

Ausdrill slashes profit forecast

By: Mariaan Webb Australian mining contractor Ausdrill has slashed its profit forecast for the 2014 financial year, which ends this month, as the performance of its African Underground Mining Services (AUMS) business disappoints. The company, which owns 50% of AUMS, said on Monday that it expected to report a net... 

Weighbridge solution installed at Mpumalanga coal mine

By: David Oliveira Software development company Dariel Solutions is installing its Weigh Bridge Connectivity (WBX) goods-delivered and goods-received system at a diversified mining major’s coal operations, in Mpumalanga, says Dariel Solutions executive director Greg Vercellotti. Dariel Solutions secured the... 

Weighbridge solution  installed at Mpumalanga coal mine
Photo by Orange Ink
GREG VERCELLOTTI We have come a long way in terms of weighbridge automation

Equipment supplier aims to secure new contracts

By: David Oliveira South Africa-based equipment supplier Schwalbe Import and Export is in negotiations with two Africa-based mining companies to secure contracts in July, after a tumultuous 2013, Schwalbe MD Jonathan Betsalel tells Mining Weekly. “Last year was a difficult year in the mining industry and Schwalbe... 

Platinum strike threatens contractor longevity

By: David Oliveira Mining contractors could be forced to close shop as a result of force majeure being declared at the strike-affected operations of platinum majors Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin. “Many of the general mining contractors survive on a month-to-month basis and the effects of... 

Platinum strike threatens contractor longevity
Photo by Bloomberg
PROTRACTED STRIKE, CONTRACTOR PLIGHT Mining companies are more likely to drop the axe on contractors than their permanent labour force

Training institute to upskill Northern Cape mineworkers

By: David Oliveira Black-owned private artisan training academy the Artisan Training Institute (ATI) has been awarded a contract by a South Africa-based diversified mining major to conduct training programmes at the facility for the next ten years. “The mining house is investing about R180-million in the... 

Turbulent SA mining industry challenging for contractors

By: David Oliveira Local hospitality services and facilities management company Tsebo Outsourcing Group has been affected by the recent platinum sector strike, which started in January this year, Tsebo CEO Clive Smith tells Mining Weekly. “Strikes, by their very nature, have a negative impact on the revenues and... 

Data management is a critical concern

Managing data has become a critical concern in the minerals exploration community, according to a global survey report published by software developer Geosoft in November. The report found that there was a growing need for effective data management in the minerals exploration community to attract... 

Supply chain services showcased at Wampex

By: Pimani Baloyi Africa-focused supply chain administration solutions provider Sherwood International will showcase its solutions at this year’s West African Mining and Power Exhibition (Wampex) to be held at the Accra International Conference Centre, in Ghana, from May 28 to 30, says new business development GM... 

Supply chain services showcased at Wampex
Photo by Duane Daws
SUPPLY-CHAIN MANAGEMENT Sherwood International is identifying West Africa-based business partners

Shaft-sinking specialist awarded work at platinum mine

Additional shaft-sinking work was awarded early this year to international shaft sinking and underground construction group Shaft Sinkers by platinum producer Lonmin for work at its existing Karee 3 upper group two (UG2) project in Marikana, Rustenburg, in the North West. The Karee No 3 shaft UG2... 

Construction of grinding plant under way in Ghana

Construction is under way on a new grinding media plant that promises to significantly increase South African steel products manufacturer Scaw Metals’ grinding media capacity on the African continent, the company tells Mining Weekly. The media plant, which is being constructed in Tema, Ghana, is... 

Resources Minister on Ghana’s Minerals and Mining Act

By: Carina Borralho Promulgated in 2006, Ghana’s Minerals and Mining Act is aimed at highlighting the country’s mining sector as attractive to investors, while at the same time ensuring that government takes a fair share in revenues that accrue from mining operations, said Ghana Lands and Natural Resources Minister... 

Aus contractor has much to offer African mining industry

By: Ilan Solomons As an Australian company, underground hard-rock mining contractor Barminco believes it has the right skills, new technology and knowledge of the mining industry and its operations to benefit the African mining industry, says Barminco business development executive GM Daniel Archer. Speaking to... 

Aus contractor has much  to offer African mining  industry
Photo by Centamin
SUKARI GOLD MINE Barminco is responsible for all underground developments at Centamin’s Sukari gold mine, in Egypt

M&R’s international businesses underpin current and future growth prospects

By: Terence Creamer JSE-listed Murray & Roberts (M&R), a company synonymous with the South African construction industry, is increasingly deriving the bulk of its earnings from offshore operations, while its future fortunes are also increasingly tied to non-South African prospects, especially in the global natural... 

M&R’s international businesses underpin current and future growth prospects
Photo by Duane Daws
Murray & Roberts CEO Henry Laas
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