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Opencast Quarries News

Illegal mining brazenness a significant concern to legitimate industry 

By: Donna Slater     29th June 2022 Minerals Council South Africa legal deputy head Mxolisi Ngubane says that, although the prevalence of illegal mining is not new, the brazenness and evolving nature at which operations are taking place, is becoming increasingly concerning to the wider mining industry and especially to miners in... 

ESG provides profitable returns from smart capital allocation – analyst

By: Martin Creamer     15th June 2022 Environmental, social and governance (ESG) frameworks not only help businesses and the communities in which they operate but can also generate positive returns as mining companies reduce operating expenses and receive favourable investor interest and cheaper finance. When it comes to ESG, the... 

Picture supplied.
Nedbank mining equity analyst Arnold van Graan.

Quarrying under pressure, owing to lack of road builds

By: Tracy Hancock     10th June 2022 A lack of genuine infrastructure development over the past ten years has reduced demand for aggregates, placing significant pressure on local quarries, says construction materials supplier AfriSam. The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the issue, which is epitomised by the lack of road... 

An image of two AfriSam employees inspecting some of the processed product
STICKLER FOR STANDARDS All AfriSam products meet the SANS 50197 requirements and are made in facilities that are ISO9001 accredited

Aggregate prices to rise with fuel price

By: Tracy Hancock     10th June 2022 The rising cost of fuel in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine conflict is placing increased pressure on South Africa’s quarries, which are at pains to limit the impact on the price of their aggregates. “Aggregates are low-value commodities with comparatively low profit margins. Therefore, rising fuel... 

THE FUEL EFFECT
Quarries can no longer absorb rising operational and transport costs, which will directly impact on the cost of mining per ton
THE FUEL EFFECT Quarries can no longer absorb rising operational and transport costs, which will directly impact on the cost of mining per ton

Association tackling quarry safety with handbook

By: Tracy Hancock     10th June 2022 Trackless mobile machines and vehicles, unfortunately, remain a major cause of accidents on mines, says surface mining association Aspasa director Nico Pienaar. Earlier this year, Aspasa published its Driver’s Handbook under its Best Practices Guidelines series. 

An image of a Bell excavator at a quarry
SAFETY MAKES CENTS Employees will always have a vested interest in ensuring the economic sustainability of their employer, as that directly impacts on their livelihood

Increased efficiency cuts carbon, advances net-zero path, research finds  

By: Martin Creamer     8th June 2022 Like all other key industries, mining is having to advance along a net-zero path as part of the global decarbonisation drive. Gone are the days when innovation and financial improvement can be sold on their own without a carbon advantage. (Also watch attached Creamer Media video.) 

Creamer Media screenshot.
Rocsole CEO Mika Tienhaara interviewed by Mining Weekly's Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Brikor breaks ground at new Nigel-based Grootfontein mine

By: Donna Slater     2nd June 2022 Building and construction materials manufacturer and supplier Brikor broke ground at its Grootfontein mine, in Nigel, Gauteng. The mine is adjacent to the company’s fully-owned Ilangabi coal mine.  

Renewed interest in drill observed

27th May 2022 Global engineering company Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology has noted a renewed interest in its Sandvik DD422i, the next-generation mining jumbo with a range of automatic drilling functions, from tier one mining contractors operating at high-production mines in South Africa, Botswana and... 

A large red underground mining automatic drilling rig supplied by Sandvik which is being taken up by the Southern African market again
AUTOMATIC CHOICE The renewed interest in Sandvik's DD422i automatic drill is owing to African mines consistently turning to modern technologies to run more efficient operations

South Africa must reform its regulatory environment, make itself investor-friendly – simple  

By: Martin Creamer     26th May 2022 South Africa must reform its regulatory environment and make itself investor-friendly – simple. That is the straight-forward view of Dr Mathews Phosa, who was speaking to Mining Weekly in his capacity as the non-executive vice-chairperson of the high-flying Jubilee Metals Group plc, a London Aim-... 

Picture supplied
Jubilee's Dr Mathews Phosa interviewed by Mining Weekly's Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Hydrogen can be stored in existing fossil fuel infrastructure for years, world webinar hears  

By: Martin Creamer     26th May 2022 Hydrogen can be stored in existing fossil fuel infrastructure for years if need be, giving it the potential to become a universal energy carrier in the same way as oil is now but without the environmental impact, World Hydrogen Leaders webinar heard this week. Allowing hydrogen to make use of... 

Picture provided.
Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies strategy and implementation head Dr Andreas Lehmann.

Platinum-boosted South African hydrogen electrolyser leaps ahead   

By: Martin Creamer     25th May 2022 The proof-of-concept of the platinum group metals-boosted advanced alkaline electrolyser – the AAE ­– has been successfully completed by Hydrox Holdings of Randburg in a pioneering achievement that offers the potential for South Africa to enter the fray as world demand for hydrogen electrolysers... 

Creamer Media photographer.
Hydrox CEO Corrie de Jager interviewed by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer.

Dwyka gets its clients hands on technology to showcase capability

By: Donna Slater     24th May 2022 In its endeavours to “make tech tangible”, mining technology company Dwyka Mining Services hosted a mining technology showcase on May 18 to get clients and potential future clients physical hands-on technology to help them understand its capability and potential. Dwyka MD Jamie van Schoor says... 

An image of a drone and operator
Dwyka Mining Services MD Jamie van Schoor with a DJI Matrice drone and Hovermap payload at Dwyka's Midrand offices

Metso Outotec launches new padded truck body  

By: Darren Parker     23rd May 2022 Industrial technology company Metso Outotec has launched its new truck body, which is a one-piece, lightweight, hybrid truck bowl that combines the benefits of high-strength steel and rubber. It was designed to lower hauling costs, in addition to offering a safer working environment and... 

First Quantum approves $1.35bn capex for Kansanshi expansion, Enterprise projects

By: Darren Parker     9th May 2022 TSX-listed First Quantum Minerals’ board of directors has given the go-ahead for the immediate roll-out of two projects in Zambia – the S3 expansion at its Kansanshi copper/gold mine, as well as the roll-out of the Enterprise nickel project. “First Quantum has been working constructively with the... 

opencast mining at one of First Quantum's operations

Machinery maintenance key to mitigating downtime

By: Nadine Ramdass     6th May 2022 Machine downtime – particularly for drill rigs – significantly impacts on the opencast mining industry, with the loss in productivity caused by scheduled and unscheduled downtime resulting in significant revenue losses for mining companies. Therefore, companies must prioritise the mitigation and... 

An image of a drill rig at work
DRILL RIG AT WORK ROS assists clients in returning to production and minimising risk

Supplier triples fleet as rains plague mines

6th May 2022 Flooding of openpit mines and quarries has become widespread following intense and unseasonal rainfall in many parts of South Africa recently, demanding added dewatering capacity. Dewatering pump specialist Integrated Pump Rental MD Lee Vine says that the rains have had a dire effect on many... 

Sorting tech unlocks value from tainted material

6th May 2022 Lithium mines often face the challenge of basalt contamination. The Mt Cattlin openpit lithium concentrate, or spodumene, mine uses a two-stage crushing system followed by dense medium separation (DMS) gravity recovery as the primary spodumene concentration process. Owing to basalt’s high density... 

An image of Galaxy Resources process enhancement coordinator Scott Green
SCOTT GREEN The TOMRA PRO Secondary Laser has exceeded Galaxy Resources' expectation

Pre-owned equipment demand spikes

By: Nadine Ramdass     6th May 2022 The Covid-19 pandemic, and its related impacts, has caused severe delays for mining companies procuring new opencast mining machinery. As a result, mines and related contractors have turned to purchasing pre-owned equipment. Since the beginning of the pandemic, mining contractors have experienced... 

An image of EarthCon Equipment's CAT 769D
BRIDGING THE GAP Mines have turned to pre-owned machinery as pandemic-related impacts delay new machinery procuremen

Company adds to its diversified product offering

6th May 2022 Leading openpit mining company Afrimat – a producer of industrial minerals, bulk commodities and construction materials – in December made an acquisition in the phosphate and rare earth minerals space. Afrimat acquired mining and fertiliser company Glenover Phosphate for a total purchase... 

Proactive measures ensure targets are reached

By: Nadine Ramdass     6th May 2022 Coal mining company Canyon Coal ensures that its Khanye Colliery, in Bronkhorstspruit, Gauteng, follows a proactive approach to managing and mitigating the impacts of potential challenges. Implementing precautionary measures has enabled the colliery to continuously mine and process 200 000 t a... 

An image of mining operations at the Khanye Colliery
COAL TO GROW The coal industry significantly contributes to the local economy

World Coal Association favours just energy transition to net zero future  

By: Martin Creamer     5th May 2022 The World Coal Association, and its member companies, are in favour of a just transition to a net zero future, World Coal Association chairperson July Ndlovu said on Thursday. In his keynote address to the Southern African Coal Conference, Ndlovu emphasised the sincerity of the association’s... 

Creamer Media photograph
Photo by Creamer Media
World Coal Association chairperson July Ndlovu

Centamin reports 89% y/y increase in capex

By: Darren Parker     20th April 2022 LSE- and TSX-listed gold producer Centamin reported total capital expenditure (capex) for the first quarter ending March 31 of $71.4-million, reflecting an 89% increase year-on-year. In a quarterly report released on April 20, the company said significant investment had been made in key capital... 

A photo of one of the Sukari open pits

President Ramaphosa to deliver keynote address at Mining Indaba 2022

By: Martin Creamer     20th April 2022 President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver a keynote address at the 2022 Investing in African Mining Indaba, which takes place in Cape Town from May 9 to 12. The attendance of Ramaphosa, who will speak on Tuesday, May 10, signals the continued importance of mining to the South African economy as a... 

Picture supplied.
President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Green finance taxonomy to help investors make green project decisions – law firm 

By: Martin Creamer     5th April 2022 South Africa’s first green finance taxonomy will help investors and financial institutions make more informed decisions on ‘green’ projects, say Webber Wentzel’s Patrick Heron and Joon Chong. Heron and Chong describe the taxonomy, launched by National Treasury last Friday, as an official... 

Pictures supplied
Patrick Heron (left) and Joon Chong.

First coal cut at Kangra underground extension

By: Darren Parker     11th February 2022 Coal mining company Kangra – a subsidiary of mining investment group Menar – started mining first coal from its new underground Udumo adit on February 9. The new adit, which was previously known as Twyfelhoek, was renamed Udumo – which means “honour” in isiZulu – to better reflect the spirit and... 

A photo of Kangra GM Pierre Louw in the Udumo adit
Photo by Creamer Media
Kangra GM Pierre Louw

Directors face potential liability for climate change risks – Webber Wentzel 

By: Martin Creamer     8th February 2022 Directors face potential liability if they fail to carry out their fiduciary duties to curb climate change risks and do not make complete disclosures about climate-related risks, Webber Wentzel partner Merlita Kennedy and associate Tobia Serongoane stated on Tuesday. In a release to Mining... 

Creamer Media montage
Webber Wentzel associate Tobia Serongoane (left) and partner Merlita Kennedy.

New colliery construction planned for early 2022

By: Darren Parker     10th December 2021 Pending offtake negotiations, construction of coal mining company Canyon Coal’s new Bekezela Colliery and its facilities is planned to start in the first quarter of next year. Canyon Coal holding company Menar projects head Gerhard Cronje tells Mining Weekly that the construction of the colliery... 

A photo of an excavator’s bucket resting on the ground in a colliery
BREAKING NEW GROUND Canyon Coal is moving ahead with the development of its coal resources

Name change for new colliery

By: Darren Parker     10th December 2021 One of coal mining company Canyon Coal’s – a subsidiary of investment company Menar –  new collieries has changed its name from De Wittekrans to Gugulethu ahead of the start of construction. The new name means “our value” or “our pride” in Nguni languages. “The purpose of the name change was to... 

A photo of a track in the mud of a colliery left by a large mining machine
ON TRACK Canyon Coal has several potential coal projects on the cards at various stages of development and approval

Dog-like robot launched in South Africa to automate hard-to-reach mining environments 

By: Donna Slater     19th November 2021 Mining technology integration partner Dwyka Mining Services this week launched US-based robotics developer Boston Dynamics’ quadruped robot, known as Spot, in South Africa, targeting specifically a variety of mining applications. Dwyka MD Jamie van Schoor says Spot can be used in the mining... 

An image of Boston Dyanamics' Spot Enterprise with charging and data-offloading station
Spot Enterprise with charging and data-offloading station

Health, safety training increases productivity

By: Theresa Bhowan-Rajah     5th November 2021 Mining training company Prisma Training Solutions ensures that its customers can realise a return on investment by increasing productivity and efficiency through training. The company states that this is vital for all mining operations. Each mine and mining method offers unique risks. 

a head and shoulders shot of Prisma Training Solutions MD Jacques Farmer
JACQUES FARMER Just because mining takes place on the surface, does not mean there are fewer health and safety riska

Explosives company achieves world-class rating

By: Halima Frost     29th October 2021 Mining explosives and blasting technology supplier BME, a member of diversified chemicals group Omnia, tells Mining Weekly it has achieved a record-low recordable case rate of 0.05% in the blasting sector for the last financial year. A recordable case rate is a well-established measure of safety... 

A yellow blasting mechanism linked to a cell phone being held in a hand, used to incorporate new technologies when blasting at mines
BLOWING UP The use of technology in applications such as blasting at mines has seen an increase in safety and blast accuracy

Illegal sand mines continue to profit

By: Claire O'Reilly     22nd October 2021 Statistics released by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) inaccurately reflect the volume of illegal mining operations in South Africa, says mining industry body Aspasa (formerly Aggregate and Sand Producers of Southern Africa).  

Image of sand blowing of the back of an open truck at a mine
DIRTY DEALINGS Illegal sand and aggregate mining threatens the financial sustainability of legal operations

Market responds well to high-pressure pumps

By: Claire O'Reilly     22nd October 2021 High-head pumps are the workhorses of many fluid control systems, and their role can often be mission-critical in dewatering applications in construction and mining, where the control and removal of surface water is a primary safety concern, says industrial equipment manufacturer Atlas Copco... 

A picture of a centrifugal pump used in mining
High Head PAC H108 A centrifugal pump used for water transfer in the oil and gas sector, quarrying and surface mining, as well as construction and municipal applications

Lightning protection requires careful consideration as digitalisation of mining expands 

By: Donna Slater     30th September 2021 With the increased use of electronic and digital systems in modern mines comes the issue of lightning protection, which Wits Mining Institute's Professor Ian Jandrell suggests can be addressed in unique and simple ways, stemming from careful consideration and clear understanding. He gave a... 

Association applauds upcoming event

By: Halima Frost     24th September 2021 Surface mining industry association Aspasa (previously known as Aggregate and Sand Producers Association of Southern Africa) applauds the conference concept and the efforts of the organisers of the upcoming Joburg Indaba, Aspasa director Nico Pienaar tells Mining Weekly. “The companies being... 

An opencast operation with product pouring onto a pile
PILING ON? Aspasa believes that increased focus on smaller opencast operations should be added to the scope for future events

New valve manufactured for tailings pipelines

By: Halima Frost     24th September 2021 Although South African company Dynamic Fluid Control (DFC) has only soft launched its new slurry knife gate high-pressure valve, the SKG-HP, it has been well received by clients. The clients intend to use the valve in highly corrosive applications such as moving tailings from a processing plant... 

An image of a large blue high pressure valve used in tailings pipelines strung from a hoist
TAILINGS CONTROL The movement of tailings to a tailings dam can be facilitated through a pipeline with robust valves such as the DFC SKG-HP valve

Real-time ore analysis set for African market

By: Halima Frost     27th August 2021 Digital mining solutions provider MineSense is establishing offices in Africa and Europe to introduce its real-time ore analysis technologies to the African Copperbelt by the fourth quarter. “Once we have successfully introduced the technology to the upper Africa region, we intend on filtering... 

An image of a large red tracked front loader at the mine face with bucket full of ore ready to be graded by a ShovelSense system
Caption: GRADE EXPECTATIONS The new ShovelSense ore grading technology is expected to reach African shores before the end of the year

Partnership formed to teach rural women excavator operating skills 

By: Donna Slater     19th August 2021 As part of efforts to uplift women during Women’s Month, South Africa-focused platinum developer Nkwe Platinum and multinational gold and copper explorer and developer Zijin Mining Group, have partnered with heavy machinery manufacturer Sany Southern Africa, to provide an entry-level excavator... 

A Sany excavator
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
An excavator instructor supervises one of the women undergoing excavator operating training at Sany's Boksburg depot
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