Wet-processing equipment company CDE South Africa is targeting iron-ore and gold mining operations with low-grade ore and tailings dumps, as it believes this is where potential for growth lies in South Africa.
“In the iron-ore space, we have had a lot of success in beneficiating low-grade waste stores. We are introducing the benefits of wet processing to the mining sector in South Africa as there is value to unlock from that waste.
“The decision-making process in mining is long and we really only started driving this strategy in South Africa only this year. We expect business opportunities to be realised only next year,” CDE head of mining Adam Holland tells Mining Weekly.
CDE South Africa hosted its SSA Mining Conference 2019 at Namakwari Lodge, in Kathu, the iron-ore capital of the Northern Cape, on September 17.
The theme of the conference – modular wet processing solutions for a sustainable future in mining – is apt in the current South African mining environment, which Holland describes as depressed, owing to the country’s current economic climate.
As a result, CDE South Africa has to be “innovative and target our customers carefully”, he says.
The one-day event, supported by Northern Ireland’s regional economic development agency Invest Northern Ireland (Invest NI), explored new wet processing technologies that enable mining companies to futureproof operations and increase value.
Delegates heard from industry experts, including Holland, CDE South Africa business development managers Willem du Plooy and Wayne Warren, and Invest NI sub-Saharan Africa regional manager Urginia Mhbala, who addressed topics that covered increasing revenue from mining waste, optimising efficiency through modular wet processing and enhancing return on investment.
Delegates also had the opportunity to take a virtual tour of CDE plants.
“Our modular approach is attractive to operations that need to move their processing plant from one location to another. Many clients like this flexibility, as well as the superior-quality product produced by our equipment, compared with that of our competitors,” Holland notes.
“We also design the process, so that our processing equipment produces material according to each client’s requirements.”
Further distinguishing CDE’s equipment from competitor products is the reduced maintenance factor, owing to the quality of its construction. CDE’s patented Infinity screen range is included in the design of a lot of its equipment and, according to the company, is “built to last”.
“Galvanising [which prevents premature rust and corrosion] is not an option; it’s the Infinity standard and it ensures the longest working life for your Infinity screen,” says Holland.
With its equipment designed to operate in mining conditions worldwide, he adds that CDE equipment deployed in Africa has been operating “very well”.
“We have tackled more challenging environments in South Australia, where our plants process abrasive haematite. If we can get our equipment to operate effectively in that environment, we can cope with most things in South Africa,” Holland explains.
CDE first supplied its EvoWash fine- material washing and classification plant, its signature product, to sub-Saharan Africa in 2005. Since then, the company set up a local office three years ago to provide sales and after-sales services for sub-Saharan Africa, with CDE planning to grow this team in future.
In 2018, CDE and Johannesburg-based minerals processing solutions provider Consulmet set up an agreement to collaborate on projects in the sub-Saharan African diamond mining industry. CDE has already sold equipment to a mining operation in Botswana, with further projects nearing completion.
Consulmet is offering CDE’s technology on various potential projects as part of its wider engineering, procurement and construction offering, whereby CDE’s R-Series primary scalping screens, AggMax modular logwasher or EvoWash technologies have been incorporated into Consulmet’s diamond beneficiating plants.
“We are quite excited about this relationship, which has been developing during this year.
There are targets over the next three years that I am confident we will meet. The future is bright for CDE in sub-Saharan Africa,” says Holland.