Having initially focused on servicing the coal mining industry, screening and vibrating equipment solutions and services provider Aury Africa has diversified to offer its value-adding services to the heavy minerals market in South Africa.
The company can also service the broader African heavy minerals sector with services such as its screening and vibrating equip- ment solutions and services, including radio-frequency identification (RFID) audit inspection solutions, says Aury Africa MD Sydney Parkhouse.
“Heavy minerals producers require high-quality screening and vibrating equipment solutions, which are supported by rapid turnaround times and expert technical backup. This is where Aury Africa stands to play a key role in the sector, and we look forward to taking up all the opportunities that arise in the sector throughout 2019,” states Parkhouse.
The company launched its continuous slot screen panels, which are appropriate for the heavy minerals market, this year. Installation of the 305 mm continuous slot polyurethane panels is simple and they are suitable for applications on vibrating screens. The panels offer increased wear life for improved productivity and are available in aperture sizes for specific requirements.
Parkhouse highlights that there are opportunities for the company in heavy minerals because of the limited downstream value chain of heavy mineral sands in South Africa.
“The bulk of the country’s production is exported in raw state or with minimal beneficiation. It is generally accepted that to maxi- mise the benefit from the country’s mineral resources, government needs to introduce initiatives aimed at increasing the country’s technological capacity to improve the production of value-added minerals,” he states.
He emphasises Aury Africa’s offering of RFID to the mining sector. The company developed an RFID audit and inspection solution with its technical partner, customised enterprise mobility solutions provider Thembekile Asset Management Solutions.
The solution was formally introduced last year August and is ideal for mining applications. RFID cloud software enables companies to develop an asset register of its equipment, capture standard descriptions for asset categories and view inspection dates and times, as well as the personnel who perform inspections.
RFID technology can be used for the inspection of plant equipment, such as mining machines, pumps, valves and pipes, among others. Most pieces of equipment that require regular inspection and maintenance would benefit from the use of RFID technology, says Parkhouse.
He states that Aury Africa aims to partner with key players in the processing industry and will represent Aury Africa’s mother company, construction engineering company Dadi Engineering Development Group, in South Africa to provide a high-quality range of products and services to the mining sector, including the heavy minerals market.
“We are in discussions with heavy minerals miners about using our solutions offerings and will update the market once the outcomes of these discussions have borne fruit,” states Parkhouse.
The company will also develop the applications of its Telligent Dry Separator dry sorting system, which is generally being used for the dry separating of coal, in the heavy minerals industry. This will be done by testing samples from several functioning mines, he says.
Parkhouse identifies the zircon market as a promising one for the company, and the heavy minerals industry more generally.
Australia is the largest zircon producer, as it accounts for 35% of global output, while South Africa accounts for 28%. An expected increase in the construction of nuclear plants, resulting in an increase in demand for zircon products, which are used to manufacture control rods in nuclear reactors, is also expected to play a role.
“The market for downstream value- addition in South Africa is small, with only a handful of companies beneficiating zircon, but this bodes well for the sector going forward,” concludes Parkhouse.