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Consulting Engineers News

Pandemic highlights new supply chain priorities

12th March 2021 Despite the severe disruption of the global movement of goods during the early stages of Covid-19, most countries and companies were able to introduce mechanisms to allow for activity to resume, notes independent consulting firm of engineers and scientists SRK Consulting principal consultant Lisl... 

Mines anywhere, everywhere can go green – Hydrogen Optimized 

By: Martin Creamer     8th March 2021 Owing to the ubiquity of the world’s sun and the wind, all mines have the opportunity to generate their own green electricity no matter where they are located in the world, Hydrogen Optimized CEO Andrew T Stuart emphasised during last week’s Fasken online panel discussion on hydrogen. In this... 

Fasken panel that discussed hydrogen.
Photo by Creamer Media
Fasken panel that discussed hydrogen.

Specialised valves business established

5th March 2021 Consumable products distributor Engineering Solutions Group (ESG), which is part of Invicta Holdings, has established a new company – Abrasive Flow Solutions (AFS) – that specialises in the design and manufacture of slurry related valves. “ESG’s strategy to further expand its fluid technology... 

EXTENSVE SUPPLY
Through BMG’s broad branch and distributor network, industry has easy access to a comprehensive portfolio of locally manufactured and imported valves
EXTENSVE SUPPLY Through BMG’s broad branch and distributor network, industry has easy access to a comprehensive portfolio of locally manufactured and imported valves

Improved valve design, helps mine save water

By: Cameron Mackay     5th March 2021 Local valve supplier Ultra Control Valves (UCV) is manufacturing a valve based on the Valvtron Titan design and has incorporated improvements to make “one of the most abrasive-resistant valves currently available”, says UCV managing member Peter Telle. He explains that local valves company Natal... 

GOING WITH THE FLOW
UCV supplies a range of ratio-reducing valves, which reduce pressure in a ratio between upstream and downstream pressures
GOING WITH THE FLOW UCV supplies a range of ratio-reducing valves, which reduce pressure in a ratio between upstream and downstream pressures

Support needed for black owned downstream players

By: Cameron Mackay     5th March 2021 Black-owned businesses and industrialists in the local mining valves industry need better domestic coordination and support to protect them, while black industrialists who want to own and manage such businesses should be encouraged, says valves manufacturer Dynamic Fluid Control (DFC) CEO Tumi... 

RF PINCH VALVE
The RF pinch valve has a rubber sleeve with proprietary technology that includes a tube fold design
RF PINCH VALVE The RF pinch valve has a rubber sleeve with proprietary technology that includes a tube fold design

Gold sales are up, but production is declining

By: Halima Frost     26th February 2021 In its ‘2020 Facts and Figures’ pocketbook, published last month, Minerals Council South Africa notes that despite a total increase in gold sales of 2% South Africa’s gold production figures decreased by 13.7%. The Minerals Council attributes this to “structurally weak fundamentals underpinning... 

SHINY PROSPECTS
The increased price of gold has detracted attention from the decrease in production figures
SHINY PROSPECTS The increased price of gold has detracted attention from the decrease in production figures

Positive results after gold remains resilient

By: Halima Frost     26th February 2021 The worth and resilience of gold has been proven, yet again, with midtier gold producer Pan African Resources reporting very strong results for the financial year ended in June 30, 2020 (FY20), and reasserting its aim to be debt free during 2021. Pan African Resources investor relations head... 

Global gold event taking place in SA

26th February 2021 The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM) has announced that, together with the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum and the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, it will be hosting the World Gold 2021 conference in August. The conference will be... 

GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY
SAIMM will be co hosting this years World Gold 21 event in August
GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY SAIMM will be co hosting this years World Gold 21 event in August

Webinar highlights aims for artisanal gold project

By: Halima Frost     26th February 2021 Zahabu Safi project deputy chief of party Lazarre Potier highlighted the three key objectives of the project during a webinar held last month on ‘Exploring gold potential in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)’, which was aimed at drawing attention to the gold prospects of a country renowned... 

SETTING THE BAR
The Zahabu Safi project intends to build on recent successes achieved by donor-funded initiatives to export responsibly-produced gold to jewellery buyers globally
SETTING THE BAR The Zahabu Safi project intends to build on recent successes achieved by donor-funded initiatives to export responsibly-produced gold to jewellery buyers globally

Digital tech advances project management

By: Theresa Bhowan-Rajah     19th February 2021 Since the development and application of critical chain methods, no real new project management techniques have been developed, but information, digital and design technologies have accelerated. This has resulted in improved application of existing project management methodologies, says tertiary... 

GIEL BEKKER
In the mining sector, we have already witnessed the application of digital twins, but this tool is still new with many lessons still to be learned
GIEL BEKKER In the mining sector, we have already witnessed the application of digital twins, but this tool is still new with many lessons still to be learned

Uranium industry awaits price increase

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     19th February 2021 Despite the prolonged period of low uranium prices, wrought by the Fukushima tsunami and the subsequent oversupply caused by the shutdowns of nuclear power plants, the Namibian uranium sector, unlike those in other countries, has not stagnated, states Namibian Uranium Institute executive director... 

SAFETY FIRST
Radiation Safety Working Group inspecting final product transport at the Husab Mine
SAFETY FIRST Radiation Safety Working Group inspecting final product transport at the Husab Mine

Concentrator plant at platinum mine under way

By: Darren Parker     19th February 2021 Engineering, design and project management company COENG is overseeing the engineering design, procurement and construction management of a three-million-tonne-a-year concentrator plan at platinum mining company Wesizwe Platinum’s Bakubung platinum mine, in the North West. Phase 1 of the project,... 

Improved tailings disposal could reduce water use

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     19th February 2021 Namibia is a water-scarce country in most areas; therefore, minimising water consumption in ore processing is a focus area, especially for tailings disposal, which can account for over 50% of all new/fresh water used in processing, states engineering and environmental consulting firm Knight... 

FOR THE BETTER OF IT
The company assist several mining clients with water and waste management design for greenfield operations, as well as expansion plans for existing mines
FOR THE BETTER OF IT The company assist several mining clients with water and waste management design for greenfield operations, as well as expansion plans for existing mines

‘Green’ trend an opportunity for mining

12th February 2021 Africa’s minerals sector should “seize the opportunities presented by the global transition towards green energy”, experts noted during a virtual webinar on the future of mining in Africa, post-Covid-19. One opportunity lies in growing global demand for lithium, which is used in batteries for... 

LIKING LITHIUM
Lithium holds great potential for Africa's mineral sector and the global energy sector
LIKING LITHIUM Lithium holds great potential for Africa's mineral sector and the global energy sector

Positive progress at ‘mine of the future’

By: Halima Frost     12th February 2021 Global automation company ABB says operators at the Sustainable Underground Mining (SUM) future mine project, have been able to make use of new remote technological systems implemented by the company since September 2020. The SUM project aims to establish a new world standard for sustainable... 

SUM IT UP
The Sustainable Underground Mining future mine project sums up the aspirations of the mining sector in regards to sustainable mining
SUM IT UP The Sustainable Underground Mining future mine project sums up the aspirations of the mining sector in regards to sustainable mining

Technology presents opportunities for company, industry

By: Mamaili Mamaila     29th January 2021 While it will always be important for people in the mining sector to interact regularly in a forum where they seek new business opportunities, the Covid-19 pandemic has shown that virtual events can replace many aspects of physical conferences that representatives were accustomed to attending. 

MARCIN WERTZ
As a conference that focuses on business networking, the Mining Indaba is certainly compromised by being limited to a virtual format
MARCIN WERTZ As a conference that focuses on business networking, the Mining Indaba is certainly compromised by being limited to a virtual format

Industry expected to shoulder heavy responsibility

By: Mamaili Mamaila     29th January 2021 Much is expected of pioneer industries, such as mining, which often have to establish themselves and operate in environments that are less than ideal, lacking, for instance, in energy and transport infrastructure, local expertise and reliable supply chains, says independent consulting firm of... 

ANDREW VAN ZYL 
The African mining sector will, similar to other regions, face uncertainty around supply and demand dynamics
ANDREW VAN ZYL The African mining sector will, similar to other regions, face uncertainty around supply and demand dynamics

Company services Zambian smelters remotely, eyes expansion

By: Cameron Mackay     19th January 2021 Local foundry company Thos Begbie opened a workshop in Solwezi, Zambia, in March last year to supply and service copper smelters in the region more efficiently; however, the impact of Covid-19 has forced the company to close its workshop indefinitely. “There has been a drastic decrease in... 

ALEX NHLAPO
As the demand for copper increases, pressure is placed on the smelters and refineries to increase their production output
ALEX NHLAPO As the demand for copper increases, pressure is placed on the smelters and refineries to increase their production output

Pandemic heightens compliance awareness

By: Halima Frost     15th January 2021 KBC Health & Safety has identified positives that arose during the Covid-19 pandemic, including a heightened awareness of the need for up-to-date safety, health and environmental (SHE) accreditation. “Having conducted SHE and International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) assessments for... 

The capacity of classes for each course has been reduced, yet classes are offered more frequently
The capacity of classes for each course has been reduced, yet classes are offered more frequently

Remote health and safety audits gaining traction

By: Halima Frost     15th January 2021 The unprecedented impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has fast-tracked technologies and methodologies across all sectors, especially those pertaining to mining health and safety regulations and compliance, accredited certifications provider JC Auditors compliance specialist Oliver Naidoo tells Mining... 

Proactive second half for coal giant

By: Halima Frost     11th December 2020 Diversified miner Exxaro, one of South Africa’s leading coal and coking coal producers, tells Mining Weekly that three of its five coal investment projects started production in the second half of this year. The projects include the Grootegeluk 6 expansion project, the Leeuwpan life expansion... 

GOOD LUCK 
The Grootegeluk mine has proven its mettle being Exxaro's most prominent mines
GOOD LUCK The Grootegeluk mine has proven its mettle being Exxaro's most prominent mines

Company involved in plant construction for DRC mine

By: Cameron Mackay     4th December 2020 Local consulting firm Metallurgical Engineering Technology and Construction (METC) was approached in 2017 to provide detailed engineering and equipment supply for the Mutoshi copper mine, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). METC director Steve Cathey states that the main objective was... 

STEVE CATHEY 
We aim to become the go-to engineering team to solve the challenges around transitional ores that many copper producing mining houses are currently facing
STEVE CATHEY We aim to become the go-to engineering team to solve the challenges around transitional ores that many copper producing mining houses are currently facing

Procurement boosts local economy

By: Theresa Bhowan-Rajah     27th November 2020 With low economic growth and high unemployment, South Africa’s economy is under intense pressure. Management consultancy Kearney’s research indicates that particularly mining and mining-related industries could improve the country’s economic outlook. Government has challenged the mining industry... 

FRANCOIS SANTOS 
Capturing and sustaining a competitive advantage will require embracing a shared value agenda
FRANCOIS SANTOS Capturing and sustaining a competitive advantage will require embracing a shared value agenda

Consulting engineers boost project portfolio

By: Theresa Bhowan-Rajah     27th November 2020 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... 

LOUIS LABUSCHAGNE 
The relationship between COENG and Amplats started about four years ago
LOUIS LABUSCHAGNE The relationship between COENG and Amplats started about four years ago

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... 

COOLER CONDITIONS
Bulk air coolers reduce the working temperatures inside a mine, consequently enabling mineworkers to operate in better conditions and allowing for improved efficiencies
COOLER CONDITIONS Bulk air coolers reduce the working temperatures inside a mine, consequently enabling mineworkers to operate in better conditions and allowing for improved efficiencies

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... 

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
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... 

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
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... 

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
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... 

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
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... 

IMPROVING THE ODDS
Only 2.5% of mining projects globally are considered successful
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... 

ROBERT BOTHA
The legal team ought to be seen as a critical contributor to the strategic side of project planning
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... 

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
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... 

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
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... 

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