Platinum producer Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) has appointed engineering, design and project management company COENG Consulting and Construction Engineers to provide ad hoc professional services at Amplats operations.
“A formal tender process was conducted, whereby a certain number of preferred service providers were selected to provide professional engineering services for Amplats for three years,” explains COENG mining operations manager Louis Labuschagne.
The ad hoc-based services mainly pertain to civil designs, design reviews and construction projects that may arise from expansion projects and community contribution projects.
Labuschagne explains that “the relationship between COENG and Amplats started about four years ago. At the time, we were primarily involved in the ‘stay in business’ space as project engineers carrying out front-end engineering. However, we have since managed to diversify our services into a balanced spread of capital and working cost projects”
COENG is involved in a feasibility study and design scope for the relocation of the shovel store at the Mogalakwena mine and recently completed the detailed electrical designs for the electrical distribution of Amandelbult’s condition-monitoring project, and that of the Mototolo Concentrator P101 condition-monitoring project.
“With regard to the feasibility study for the shovel store relocation, we were first tasked with a prefeasibility study, where economic value needed to be proven. Once proven, the actual feasibility in terms of designs, drawings and bill of quantities for the various engineering and architectural disciplines needed to be done,” he notes.
Labuschagne adds that some of the specific factors that require consideration for the relocation project are ground conditions, logistics layout, space requirements and constructability of the new layout.
Additional design factors include the safety aspects of the new layout with regard to traffic management, electrical supplies and loading.
“The shovel store needs to be relocated, owing to the expansion of mining activities. Currently, there are delays in machine uptime as a result of the long travelling times of technical personnel and components in breakdown conditions. Having stores closer to the running equipment will allow for quicker response times and reduced standing times, consequently resulting in increased loading capacity,” Labuschagne explains.
This particular feasibility project was started in 2019 and completed in 2020.
Meanwhile, its recently completed P101 condition-monitoring project involved the installation of vibration sensors on critical machinery; the sensors predict future failures and allow for more proactive maintenance strategies.
The company has an established footprint, with plans to expand into developing mining countries in Africa.