Multidisciplinary engineering service provider TDS Projects Construction has secured an integrated construction project, which has significantly boosted the company’s order book and the demand for construction services in the local mining sector.
In June, TDS was awarded two distinct, but integrated projects at coal and heavy minerals mining company Exxaro’s Matla coal mine, in Kriel, Mpumalanga.
The project contract entails development and infrastructure for Mine 2 and Mine 3. For infrastructure development, TDS will provide full turnkey infrastructure services, which includes design, procurement, fabrication, installation, construction and commissioning, says TDS Projects Construction MD Hennie Coetzee.
“This will be for two decline roadways linking the mine’s current coal seam 4 works with the coal seam 2 reserve, three vertical ventilation shafts, an incline conveyor and transfer chutes, as well as the extension of the current trunk conveyor and electrical, service water and return water infrastructure.”
For the mine development portion of this project, TDS has entered into a joint venture with mining company Newrak Mining. The scope of work for the mine development includes tunnel drilling and blasting, the mucking and hauling of inter-seam material, drilling, blasting, the mucking and hauling of coal to develop the initial run-around, roof support provision, the guniting of walls and roof incline sections, as well as maintaining free issue equipment, says TDS Projects Construction operations director Willie Pieters.
The project is expected to start in September this year, with first blast on the Matla mine site for Mine 3 for the mining development phase. Infrastructure development will start later in the same month. Completion of the infrastructure development or the entire project is estimated for August 2019. Work on Mine 2 is expected to start in mid-2019.
Pieters adds that TDS sister companies, consulting engineers Thuthukani Engineering Solutions and steel manufacturers SFS Steel Fabrication, will also provide services for the projects to form part of TDS’ total solution offering.
Coetzee emphasises that this project speaks to TDS’ advantageous market position: “We are field-proven and our record of excellence in delivery speaks for itself. We have thus been positioned in recent years as a preferred service provider to the local mining industry.”
Over the past three years, in a declining market, TDS continues to note growing demand for its services. “We find that the industry remains highly competitive,” says Coetzee.
Firms that focus on delivering value to clients, along with a more innovative approach, will fare better than others in the current climate, with “definite demand for firms that offer complete, turn-key services”, he adds.
Coetzee says TDS continues to secure new business and maintains upward growth that assists in positioning it as one of the country’s most capable mining construction firms. TDS Projects Construction is also involved in infrastructure development for diamond mining group Petra Diamonds’ Finsch diamond mine, in the Northern Cape, and in the construction of a pipeline for the Nkomati nickel mine, in Mpumalanga.
Pieters adds that there remains significant opportunity to grow in the industry. “We believe that, with the recent changes at government level, such as the change in Presidency, there is more optimism in the industry than there has been in the past. “However, legislation in the mining industry is creating several stumbling blocks for mines and service providers.”
Coetzee tells Mining Weekly that, although the company is tendering for numerous turnkey engineering, design, fabrication, installation and construction projects locally, it is also pursuing projects in sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on Botswana and further north, in Ghana, owing to increasing mining construction opportunities.