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Consulting Engineers News

Bulk air coolers improving efficiencies and working conditions

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     20th November 2020 Thermal engineering solutions provider Industrial Water Cooling (IWC) recently supplied a field-erected bulk air cooler for a mine site in Burkina Faso, in addition, supplying the associated condenser cooling towers for the associated refrigeration plant. Further to this, several cooling towers... 

Company designs, constructs ventilation and cooling systems for mines  

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     20th November 2020 Specialist mine refrigeration and ventilation consultancy group Bluhm Burton Engineering (BBE) is fully committed to the underground mining project for De Beers’ Venetia diamond mine, in Limpopo. The consulting and projects divisions of BBE are both involved in the project, with the former... 

Company designs, constructs ventilation and cooling systems for mines
Bluhm Burton Engineering’s joint head of projects Richard Gundersen and CEO Wynand Marx discuss the company’s recent mining ventilation and cooling projects and give an overview of the sector.

Strides taken to improve environmental, community impact

20th November 2020 Worley Parsons mineral processing technology and expert solutions VP Mervyn Stevens states that the mining industry has taken big strides to improve its impact on both nearby communities, and the world. He explains that this has seen targets set around renewable energy, automation and zero... 

Demand for reliable monitoring systems on the rise

By: Halima Frost     20th November 2020 The demand for early-warning systems for tailings facilities and/or dams has increased exponentially, subsequent to the Vale incident, suggests geotechnical civil and mining instrumentation company Terra Monitoring operations director Robin Schmidt. Therefore, the company – a member of... 

Demand for reliable monitoring systems on the rise
IN DEMAND The raise in demand for reliable detection systems aimed at tailing facilities has grown over the last few years owing to devastating faliures

Technology helps companies weather storm

By: Cameron Mackay     13th November 2020 Multinational consulting engineers SRK Consulting director Andrew van Zyl stresses that technology, through the efficiencies it enables, is an important tool for retaining jobs in mining. The sector has been in a long period of decline, and technology is an opportunity to arrest that decline by... 

Technology helps companies weather storm
ANDREW VAN ZYL AND MARCIN WERTZ SRK’s in-country expertise has provided many advantages, particularly in instances when cross-border travel has been restricted

High demand for tailings consulting exceeds local capacity

By: Cameron Mackay     13th November 2020 Engineering consultant Knight Piésold is focused on providing technical advice for many local tailings dam facilities, says Knight Piésold technical director for mining services Africa Andrew Copeland. This increase in demand for tailings dam-related consulting can be attributed to several... 

High demand for tailings consulting exceeds local capacity
SWIMMING WITH THE CURRENT Owing to Knight Piésold’s dam engineering experience, the company can work with mines in remote areas, particularly in the DRC, to provide hydropower

Improvements in rock engineering reduce accidents

6th November 2020 Rock-related accidents have reduced significantly in recent decades, owing to incremental improvements in rock engineering practice, says independent consulting firm of engineers and scientists SRK Consulting chairperson William Joughin. He states that the company’s contribution in this field... 

Panel calls for more junior mining, exploration in SADC region  

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd November 2020 While many of the countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region continue to face various challenges, a panel at this year’s virtual Junior Mining Indaba found that Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) continue to perform well. As an example, Caledonia Mining... 

Licence management software to be aligned with South African law

By: Darren Parker     30th October 2020 Geological services company Minrom Consulting plans to expand the capacity of its new exploration and mining licensing management software (LMS) system to become fully aligned with South African legislation, although a completion date has not yet been confirmed. The LMS system currently complies... 

Licence management software to be aligned with South African law
OSCAR VAN ANTWERPEN Minrom Consulting would expand its licensing management software services to incorporate the national licensing database system if it were made open to all

New tool launched for mining project management

By: Darren Parker     30th October 2020 Industry consortium Construction Industry Institute (CII), based in the US, has launched a project definition rating index (PDRI) tool for mining projects, which was showcased during a CII-hosted webinar last month. The PDRI tool was originally going to be revealed and demonstrated during the... 

New tool launched for mining project management
IMPROVING THE ODDS Only 2.5% of mining projects globally are considered successful

Legal collaboration critical in mining project management

By: Darren Parker     30th October 2020 In-depth specialist legal expertise and analyses are often not adequately considered or invested in at the outset of mining projects, which inevitably lead to delays and project cost overruns, says Inmiso Consulting director Robert Botha. “Often the operational personnel simply want to get on... 

Legal collaboration critical in mining  project management
ROBERT BOTHA The legal team ought to be seen as a critical contributor to the strategic side of project planning

Phased approach key for digital twin adoption

By: Mamaili Mamaila     23rd October 2020 It is important that the creation of a digital twin be conducted in stages, with every stage building on the previous one, drone survey and inspection specialist Rocketmine business development manager Devon Hasenbroek tells Mining Weekly. A digital twin is a digital replica of an operation that... 

Phased approach key  for digital twin adoption
HIGH PRECISION Setting up a digital twin in mining operations starts with a really accurate high-resolution three-dimensional model of the mine or asset in question

Nigeria incentivises new mining investment

By: Halima Frost     9th October 2020 Nigerian Mines and Steel Development Minister Olamilekan Adagbite highlighted the incentives being offered to investors in Nigeria’s mining sector during a webinar on Driving Investment in the Nigerian Mining Industry in a Pandemic Situation, held in August. Government intends to reignite... 

Nigeria incentivises new  mining investment
GOING FOR GOLD Nigeria's government looks to reignite flames under the mining investment banner to draw attention to its vast mineral and metal resources

Grande Côte operation achieves ‘excellent’ results

9th October 2020 Multinational mining and metallurgy company Eramet 2020 half-year results, released on July 29, noted that its Grande Côte Operation (GCO) built on the “excellent operating performance” of 2019, producing 371 000 t  of mineral sands over the period. Notably, GCO is the largest single dredge... 

Grande Côte operation achieves ‘excellent’ results
NOT SCRAPING THE BOTTOM The dredging operation at Eramet's Grande Côte operation reported an excellent operating performance for the first half of 2020

Study paves way for engaging artisanal miners

By: Halima Frost     9th October 2020 Environmental consulting firm Digby Wells Environmental Mali country manager Mamadou Dembele says a dearth of opportunities drives the artisanal mining sector in Mali, and in West Africa. He tells Mining Weekly that a study conducted in June 2019 in the region by Digby Wells Environmental, which... 

Study paves way for engaging artisanal miners
LEGITIMATE OPPORTUNITY While considered illegitimate trade, artisanal mining space is well organised and financially fruitful

Processing plant progressing well amid slowdown

By: Halima Frost     9th October 2020 Despite Covid-19 having an adverse effect on the greenfield development of a mine and metallurgical plant, in Sierra Leone, local consulting firm METC Engineering director Dr Steve Cathey says the project is progressing well. He explains that construction on the Tongo diamond project – located in... 

Processing plant progressing well  amid slowdown
DIAMOND DECLINE The decline on the Tongo diamond project is progressing well as is the fabrication of the diamond processing plant

Freight forwarder growing reach in West Africa

By: Halima Frost     9th October 2020 Following the successful logistics for a mine in Sierra Leone, deugro, a highly-specialized expert in freight forwarding and an independent company of the deugro group,  intends to further expand its offering in West Africa. “We are excited and look forward to engaging with more clients in this... 

Freight forwarder growing reach in West Africa
IVAN DE SOUZA & SUNELL VAN DER WALT Senior members of deugro's sales and business development team unpack the company's sucess in west Africa

Company notes West African mining potential  

By: Halima Frost     9th October 2020 West Africa holds notable mining potential, with exploration and mining consulting services provider The MSA Group principal consultant Mike Robertson noting the company’s short- to medium-term goal of expanding further into the jurisdiction. “MSA sees West Africa as an increasingly appealing... 

Company notes West African mining potential
MSA Group principal consultant Mike Robertson discusses the company’s investment in West Africa and the challenges faced in doing so.

Components provider launches ‘improved’ chain range

By: Mamaili Mamaila     2nd October 2020 Engineering components provider BMG’s power transmission division has launched the new Tsubaki Titan chain series, which offers “significant improvements” in wear-life in demanding applications. 

Components provider launches ‘improved’ chain range
INCORPORATED FEATURES The Tsubaki Titan chain’s use of seamless bushes incorporate lube grooves

Worley assists surface miners’ transition to underground operations

25th September 2020 As openpit mines reach their economic end of life, mine owners are considering the viability of transitioning their opencast mining operations to underground, says global engineering firm Worley. Using its deep-level mining expertise in South Africa, Worley assists mine owners around the world in... 

Worley assists surface miners’ transition to underground operations
ROBERT HULL Worley's South African operation is recognised for its deep-level shaft experience, and has experience across most commodities

Coal giant empowers through education

18th September 2020 In 2019, JSE-listed diversified miner Exxaro invested a total of R224-million in job-related bursaries and scholarships.  As a company that has “empowerment at its core”, Exxaro’s purpose, values and investment are geared toward youth development with the aim of nurturing future leaders. 

Coal giant empowers through education
EMPLOYEE EMPOWERMENT Exxaro strives too empower its workers through education opportunities

WCA considers post-Covid-19 trials

18th September 2020 The World Coal Association (WCA), having recognised the challenges in developing recovery pathways post Covid-19, welcomed the emphasis in the International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) ‘Special Report on Sustainable Recovery’, which looks at boosting economic growth, creating new jobs, and building... 

WCA considers post-Covid-19 trials
JULY NDLOVU & MICHELLE MANOOK Coal has been an essential resource for multiple economies throughout the Covid-19 pandemic

Study demonstrates longwall viability for Sasol 

By: Halima Frost     18th September 2020 Despite the challenges wrought by lockdown restrictions, mining and engineering consulting firm Mindset Mining Consultants has successfully completed a comprehensive longwall mining feasibility study for chemicals and energy company Sasol Mining. Sasol Mining sought ways of optimising its coal... 

Study demonstrates longwall viability for Sasol
Mindset Mining Consultants MD Alan Gissing and senior mining engineer Ronnie van Eeden discuss a recently completed longwall mining feasibility study conducted for energy and chemicals company Sasol. Camerawork: Darlene Creamer. Editing: Darlene Creamer. Recorded: 30.07.2020

Accommodation for Aus SoP mine on track

28th August 2020 Work on the Beyondie sulphate of potash (SoP) project’s non-process infrastructure, which includes 60 additional rooms for construction accommodation, has continued apace, notes a press release by ASX-listed exploration and development company Kalium Lakes. The Beyondie SoP project initially... 

Accommodation for  Aus SoP mine on track
NO POT LUCK A Beyondie SoP bankable feasibility study was completed prior to the company’s board approving full development of the project

Logistics company branches out

By: Cameron Mackay     28th August 2020 Local logistics services supplier Mixcorp is including renewable-energy technology suited to the mining industry in the scope of its research and development (R&D) department to add renewables-related logistical services to its offering. Mixcorp special scientific adviser Dr Godfrey Gandawa... 

Logistics company  branches out
DR GODFREY GANDAWA We are in the process of setting up operations in Zambia and the DRC, working with mines that are considering investing in renewable energy technologies

Foundry company ensuring safe platinum smelting

By: Tracy Hancock     21st August 2020 Foundry and engineering company Thos Begbie expects to finalise production of the Phase B coolers for platinum producer Anglo American Platinum’s (Amplats’) Anglo Converter Plant (ACP) in Rustenburg, in the North West, by November this year. This will ensure the interchangeability with the... 

Foundry company ensuring safe platinum smelting
TIMEOUS TURNAROUND Thos Begbie is ensuring the interchangeability of furnace components at the Anglo Converter Plant in Rustenburg

Electra Mining Africa 2020 going digital with Connect – and it’s free of charge 

By: Martin Creamer     20th August 2020 The Electra Mining Africa Connect week will enable exhibitors to promote their products and services free of charge alongside industry-related informative webinars, media activations and product showcase opportunities from September 7 to 11. For the first time in 48 years, Electra Mining Africa... 

Electra Mining Africa 2020 going digital with Connect – and it’s free of charge
Specialised Exhibitions MD Gary Corin outlines Electra Mining Africa 2020 Connect plans to Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Tech-based solutions enable inspections amid restrictions

14th August 2020 Mineral processing experts from research institute Sustainable Minerals Institute’s (SMI’s) Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre (JKMRC) have embraced technology to maintain site engagement and delivery of research outcomes to mineral processing plants amid Covid-19 restrictions. 

Tech-based solutions enable inspections  amid restrictions
VIEW FROM AFAR Rather than having a representative attend the site Glencore nominated an on-site representative to ensure they had the information required to perform the survey

Analyser distributor aims for local brand recognition

By: Cameron Mackay     31st July 2020 Analysing and non-destructive testing equipment supplier GammaTec is the exclusive distributor of the handheld X-Ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF) and laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) analysers, produced by handheld analyser provider SciAps, in non-Francophone African countries as of... 

Analyser distributor aims for local brand recognition
MAKING BOULDER PREDICTIONS The portable XRF unit is designed for core analysis to define the mineral content and elements in a sample, or applications requiring high-volume manual testing

Sacred site destruction demonstrates industry's need to improve corporate citizenship

By: Mamaili Mamaila     24th July 2020 Diversified miner Rio Tinto's destruction of a 46 000-year-old sacred Aboriginal site in the Juukan Gorge in the Pilbara – which occurred in last month following a misunderstanding during the extension of the Brockman 4 iron-ore mine – demonstrates the adverse environmental and cultural impact... 

Sacred site destruction demonstrates industry's need to improve corporate citizenship
Photo by Reuters
IN THE SPOTLIGHT Devastation left in the wake of a tailings dam burst owned by Vale and BHP Billiton in Mariana, Brazil

Africa’s iron-ore sector largely unexplored – consultant

By: Mamaili Mamaila     24th July 2020 Mining projects in Africa, particularly those in the iron-ore sector, require deep pockets, lengthy feasibility studies and complementary infrastructure assets, such as efficient logistics channels, to get products from mine to markets. 

Africa’s iron-ore sector largely unexplored – consultant
Photo by Kumba Iron Ore
LOCAL IS LEKKER China imports some of its iron-ore for its steel manufacturing and construction industries from producers in the Northern Cape, such as Kumba Iron Ore

Positive mining developments halted by Covid-19

By: Tracy Hancock     17th July 2020 Before the Covid-19 outbreak, major mining companies indicated that, for the first time in many years, government and the mining industry were having meaningful dialogue that could realise positive outcomes, says diversified infrastructure and services construction company Concor Construction CEO... 

Positive mining developments halted by Covid-19
COLLABORATION EXPECTATION A more collaborative approach regarding the development of mining infrastructure is expected in future, as well as more involvement by the State

Moma to move 7 000 t plant along newly built road

By: Tracy Hancock     17th July 2020 The construction of a purpose-built, 23-km-long, 66-m-wide road for the relocation of wet concentrator plant (WCP) B and its dredge at the Moma titanium minerals mine, on the north-east coast of Mozambique, is on track to be completed in the third quarter of this year, says Ireland-headquartered... 

Moma to move 7 000 t plant along newly built road
THE ROAD AHEAD The road for the relocation of wet concentrator plant at Moma has a weight-bearing capacity of 8.4 t/m2

Mines focus on existing assets

By: Tracy Hancock     10th July 2020 Few of the capital projects planned for the development of new African mines will go ahead this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant uncertainty, says project management, engineering and consulting company Wood’s mining and minerals business development manager for Europe, the... 

Mines focus on existing assets
GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY Wood has received requests from Ghana’s gold mines, owing to the high gold price

Mining without Covid-19 safeguards harmful to communities

By: Tracy Hancock     10th July 2020 Keeping mining operations Covid-19-free is crucial because all mine personnel return to different communities, which can extend the spread of the infectious disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 over long distances, says global design firm Stantec global mining business line leader Jon Treen. “Several... 

Mining without Covid-19 safeguards harmful  to communities
SAFETY MATTERS Masks make up and important part of personal protective equipment in the age of Covid-19

Coronal capping design being completed for Namibian mine

By: Tracy Hancock     10th July 2020 Rope access specialist Skyriders is preparing to install a new coronal capping, with its design in the process of being finalised, for two smokestacks at a mine in Namibia. The company secured the contract earlier this year, having had previous experience with this client in 2018 when it... 

Coronal capping design being completed for Namibian mine
TIME’S UP The coronal capping structures for two smokestacks had reached the end of their service life, and it was deemed necessary to replace them

Metso Outotec can drive industries towards responsible use of natural resources

By: Marleny Arnoldi     1st July 2020 Metso Minerals, a subsidiary of global industrial company Metso, has officially merged with Finnish-listed technology company Outotec. The merger has formed a leading process technology, equipment and services company serving the minerals, metals and aggregates industries. The combined company... 

Nature of mining thwarts pandemic response

By: Mamaili Mamaila     26th June 2020 As almost all of South Africa’s gold mines are underground operations, the lockdown essentially brought this sector to a halt for some time, says independent consulting firm of engineers and scientists SRK Consulting. 

Nature of mining thwarts pandemic response
MARCIN WERTZ While some work can be done remotely, and meetings can be held online, the lack of access to site has hampered some projects
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