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Project Management News

Miner confident of new licence

By: Cameron Mackay     27th March 2020 Local coal miner Canyon Coal has applied for a new water use licence (WUL), in terms of the National Water Act, to develop its De Wittekrans coal project. De Wittekrans has an environmental authorisation, a mining right and a WUL. The reserve will be mined using opencast and underground mining... 

Coal remains vital to energy mix

By: Cameron Mackay     27th March 2020 Despite increased regulatory pressure regarding the environmental impacts of its mining, storage and use in power generation, coal is still essential to the local energy mix, says engineering consultancy WSP power generation consultant Wayne Lindecke. “We are not naïve to the negative... 

Coal remains  vital to energy mix
WAYNE LINDECKE As a country, we’re evolving and trying to get our energy mix right, so we are dependent on coal and will still be for a while

Coal faces funding troubles

By: Cameron Mackay     27th March 2020 While demand for coal is still rising, there has been a local trend towards financing more sustainable and ‘green’ projects. Through public and shareholder pressure and aligning with global trends, local financial institutions are also reconsidering their approach towards funding new coal... 

Coal faces  funding troubles
Photo by Creamer Media
THE COAL STORY Currently, about 77% of the country’s electricity is generated from coal

New-generation loader set for South Africa

27th March 2020 Orders have already been placed by major South African coal miners for solutions provider Sandvik’s new LS312 flameproof underground loader. The first active units will start rolling off the local production line in the second quarter of this year, according to Sandvik Mining and Rock... 

New-generation loader set for South Africa
QUIETER & CLEANER Powered by the C7.1 mechanical engine, the new generation LS312 complies with Tier II emissions standards while ensuring quieter, and more efficient operation

Sector rich in opportunities, despite recent trends

27th March 2020 In South Africa, as well as globally, there has been a trend towards renewable energy sources and away from thermal coal. Empowered coal miner Seriti Resources CEO Mike Teke states that, as the company aims to become State-owned power utility Eskom’s largest coal supplier and also has hopes to... 

Sector rich in opportunities,  despite recent trends
AT BECK AND COAL Coal-fired power will continue to fundamentally underpin of the growth of the local economy for the foreseeable future

R2.8bn staff housing project continues apace

By: Halima Frost     27th March 2020 Platinum group metals mining company Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) has to date invested almost R1-billion, of a projected R2.8-billion, in the housing project devised for its staff, in line with its aspirational creed to engage in “More than Mining”. The intention with the housing project is... 

R2.8bn staff housing project continues apace
MORE THAN A HOUSE Royal Bafokeng Platinum continues to uplift its workers by affording them the opportunity to own their own homes

Stormwater, earthworks completed, company continues growth

By: Cameron Mackay     27th March 2020 Local bulk earthworks solutions provider Icon Group finalised the stormwater and civil infrastructure earthworks at the end of February this year for an expansion of coal miner Canyon Coal’s opencast Phalanndwa Colliery, which situated east of Delmas, in Mpumalanga. Icon’s work on the site is... 

 Stormwater, earthworks completed, company continues growth
A COAL NEW WORLD Involvement in this project has provided an ideal way for Icon to become more established in the local coal sector

Policy crucial to decarbonisation

By: Cameron Mackay     20th March 2020 The local mining industry, while dealing with challenges stemming from production decline over the past few years, is witnessing an evolving regulatory landscape, particularly with the development of an integrated carbon and air-quality regulatory framework. According to the Intergovernmental... 

Policy crucial to decarbonisation
SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGES The industry faces challenges to reduce emissions given associated financial implications, including the impact on capital and operational efficiency

Kangra awaits licence approvals

By: Cameron Mackay     20th March 2020 Local coal miner Kangra Coal is planning an extension to its Savmore/Maquasa coal mining operation, in Mpumalanga, with Kangra Coal environmental specialist Niketiwe Dlamini noting that the company is awaiting the approval and issuing of the necessary environmental licences. The miner is required... 

Kangra awaits licence approvals
NIKETIWE DLAMINI As a main contributor to our GDP and as an extractive industry, mining has environmental and community impacts, hence the importance of environmental impact assessments

Moves afoot to 'futureproof' South Africa's drones regulations

By: Donna Slater     20th March 2020 Regulations governing drones, officially referred to as remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), have been stagnant since July 2015, when the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) first introduced regulations to formalise the industry.  

Moves afoot to 'futureproof' South Africa's drones regulations

Policy review could improve investor confidence

By: Darren Parker     21st February 2020 Mining consulting firm The MSA Group is hoping that the review of Namibia’s Minerals (Prospecting and Mining) Act will enhance the country’s “friendliness” toward mining investors. The MSA Group principal consultant Mike Robertson says the 1992 legislation has been under review since 2018.... 

Policy review could improve investor confidence
DRIVING INVESTMENT Namibia’s reliable transport infrastructure, despite the remote nature of many sites of mineral interest, is attractive to investors

Copperbelt spells opportunity for firm 

By: Darren Parker     21st February 2020 Superior, modern exploration techniques have resulted in a surge of interest in the Kalahari Copperbelt in recent years, with the uptick in the 2019 year-end copper price spurring exploration activity. The Kalahari Copperbelt, which is regarded as one of the world’s most promising underexplored... 

Copperbelt spells opportunity for firm
BELT OF POTENTIAL The 1 000 km long Kalahari Copperbelt Is regarded as one of the world’s most promising underexplored copper provinces

Unified systems enable optimal analysis

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     21st February 2020 Mines typically use various disconnected systems, which creates silos or pockets of disparate information, necessitating that an employee manually collate and analyse the information to reach a conclusion – a time-consuming process that could last for weeks. This has resulted in mining companies’... 

Short-termism hinders project management

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     21st February 2020 Developing strategies is much easier than implementing them, which is why many strategies are never successfully implemented, says University of Pretoria (UP) Graduate School of Technology Management project management specialist Professor Herman Steyn. He adds that project portfolio management... 

Short-termism hinders project management
GET THE JOB DONE project portfolio management is an effective way of implementing company strategy through projects

Leaders must adapt to seize opportunities

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     21st February 2020 Africa’s status as a continent of abundant resources crucial to global development has prompted foreign investors to increase their presence in Africa to capitalise on growth opportunities, says Project Management South Africa (PMSA) director Robert Best, adding that project leaders need to focus... 

Leaders must adapt to seize opportunities
ROBERT BEST Project managers need to focus on a success-building mindset in the mining sector

Budget deficit reflects mining decline in DRC

By: Halima Frost     7th February 2020 Macroeconomic researcher Fitch Solutions expects that the Congolese budget deficit will widen from an estimated 0.7% of gross domestic product in 2019 to 1.1% in 2020, owing to declining revenues from the mining sector. The Congolese mining sector has a major bearing on government revenues,... 

Budget deficit reflects mining decline in DRC
DARK DAYS The mining industry in the Democratic Republic of Congo has experienced some dark times over the last few years

Gold paper released at global forum

By: Halima Frost     7th February 2020 The collaborative paper, titled Kibali Gold Mine sulphide concentrate treatment – understanding the pre-oxidation of sulphide concentrates, was presented by dual-listed miner Barrick Gold’s Kibali gold mine technical manager Dr Thamsanqa Mahlangu at the World Gold 2019 conference held in Perth,... 

Gold paper released  at global forum
RAMP UP The separators at Kibali will be ramped up to full sulphides in future

Land agreement in motion for cobalt producer

By: Halima Frost     7th February 2020 Katanga Mining, the Glencore subsidiary that operates in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has, as reported by Mining Weekly Online last month, reached an agreement to acquire land where it could build a new long-term tailings facility for its 75%-owned Kamoto Copper Company (KCC) operation.... 

Mechanical seal solution saves water at mine

By: Cameron Mackay     31st January 2020 Pump solutions provider Mechanical Rotating Solutions (MRS) contributed to a Limpopo-based platinum mine’s water-saving initiative towards the end of 2019 by replacing the existing pump gland packing with AESSEAL single cartridge seals.   The replacement project resulted from the mine’s... 

Mechanical seal solution saves water at mine
SEAL OF APPROVAL MRS can provide affordable seal conversion kits to upgrade seals or change the OEM equipment seal environment to improve seal life

Global pumps manufacturer brings training and expertise to SA

By: Cameron Mackay     31st January 2020 Pump manufacturer and independent maintenance specialist Sulzer is investing in its South African operations to ensure that it is well positioned to cover the needs of the mining sector locally and in Southern Africa. “Sulzer is continually investing in its personnel and facilities to enhance its... 

Global pumps manufacturer brings training and expertise to SA
HANDS-ON TRAINING Training can involve using a cut-away model to help explain the function of the internal components and how they interact

Minister publishes Draft Mine Community Resettlement Guidelines 2019

31st January 2020 Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe published the 2019 Draft Mine Community Resettlement Guidelines (Draft Resettlement Guidelines) for public comment on December 4. As the public comment period ran over the festive season, the closing date for submission of written... 

Khoemacau begins decline development

By: Darren Parker     24th January 2020 Development work is well under way at the Khoemacau copper and silver project in Botswana, with mining contractor Barminco beginning decline development for the new underground mine in Zone 5 this month. Early construction activities started in early 2019, with mine construction, development and... 

Khoemacau begins decline development
THE HOLE PICTURE The boxcuts are near completion, with decline development progressing well

Change management key to digital success

By: Darren Parker     24th January 2020 When investing in digitalisation and automation, change management is one of the key challenges that needs to be addressed globally, and not only in the African mining industry, says global engineering company Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology Southern Africa automation business line manager... 

Change management  key to digital success
AUTOMATION GENERATION Part of the change management required is the need to upskill and reskill personnel

Efficiency focus can ease demand on Eskom

By: Tracy Hancock     24th January 2020 Zest WEG, the South African subsidiary of Brazilian motor and controls manufacturer WEG, has engaged local entities as well as the Embassy of Brazil to hold a roundtable in South Africa on energy efficiency early this year to encourage industry to use and promote energy-efficient products. “We... 

Efficiency focus can  ease demand on Eskom
REDUCE DEMAND South Africa needs to address its power supply crisis by implementing more energy efficient solutions on an industrial level

Climate change to amplify challenges

By: Tracy Hancock     24th January 2020 Economists agree that climate change risks have, to date, been underestimated by industry in general, including mining, says consulting engineers and scientists SRK Consulting South Africa director and principal consultant Andrew van Zyl. Consequently, he expects that challenges associated with... 

Climate change to  amplify challenges
IN-COUNTRY ADVANTAGE With offices in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ghana, SRK can closely follow industry developments cited at Mining Indaba ‘on the ground’

Focus turns to water ice extraction as attempts to source minerals from space take back seat

By: Rebecca Campbell     29th November 2019 Incredible as it might seem, one can, without too much exaggeration, argue that the space mining sector has already gone through its first boom and bust cycle. Of course, it was, by the standards of the conventional mining industry, a tiny boom, and consequently a tiny bust (although no less... 

Focus turns to water ice extraction as attempts to source minerals from space take back seat

Consultants prioritise energy efficiency

By: Cameron Mackay     22nd November 2019 With the mining industry shifting towards more energy efficient processes, mining consulting and engineering services provider BBE is observing increased demand for developing and implementing energy efficiency in ventilation and cooling processes. “Ventilation, cooling and pumping are the major... 

Consultants prioritise energy efficiency
RICHARD GUNDERSEN Ventilation on-demand is becoming more topical. One can switch fans on or off, and align cooling to where the activity is happening in a mine

Fan range redesigned to meet industry needs

22nd November 2019 Global ventilation fans and systems manufacturer TLT-Turbo GmbH has announced the redesign of its Auxiliary and Booster fan range. The new designs engender efficiency and cost effectiveness in a versatile product range able to meet the ventilation requirements of the mining industry. Development... 

Fan range redesigned to meet industry needs
UNDERGROUND DEMAND TLT-Turbo has received orders from a South African gold mine, and for the Kamoa Copper project

Shaft maintenance integral to operations

By: Theresa Bhowan     15th November 2019 Mining solutions provider United Mining Services (UMS) suggests placing significant emphasis on the operational maintenance of a mine shaft, as this can ultimately optimise the functionality of the mine, negating the potential financial and time-based losses that occur when shafts are not... 

Shaft maintenance integral to operations
MAINTENANCE OPTIMISED United Mining Services aims for mining houses to save on capital costs and downtime when conducting maintenance on the shaft infrastructure

Shaft capping prevents illegal mining, improves ground safety

By: Theresa Bhowan     15th November 2019 Redundant mine shafts are becoming a growing risk for mining companies, owing to a sharp spike in illegal mining activities. 

Shaft capping prevents illegal mining, improves ground safety
COVER UP Shaft capping and sealing is undertaken to reinstate land to unrestricted use

Blockchain solutions available to African mining

By: Darren Parker     8th November 2019 Australian software developer Blockhead Technologies has partnered with South African mining technology provider Dwyka Mining Services to distribute the full suite of Blockhead software solutions to the resources sector across sub-Saharan Africa. The distribution agreement, announced last month... 

Blockchain solutions available to  African mining
JOSH HORNEMAN Africa is an attractive destination for new systems because it is much easier to create a new system for an as yet unserved client than to convert an existing one

Co-opting Canadian strategies to create investor awareness

By: Theresa Bhowan     8th November 2019 International commodities consultancy Core Consultants states that African mining jurisdictions can create investor awareness through initiatives that have been successfully carried out in Canada. 

Co-opting Canadian strategies to create investor awareness
Photo by Creamer Media
BE AWARE, BE VERY AWARE Investor awareness can be created in Africa through initiatives that have been successfully carried out in Canada

Digital transformation will benefit African mines

By: Theresa Bhowan     8th November 2019 Commodity pricing volatility and global demand variability are two profitability pressures mining companies, especially Africa-based mining companies, have to deal with. This creates a need for smarter and more efficient operations, which can be engineered through the application of leading-edge... 

Digital transformation will benefit African mines
TECH SAVVY Wabtec’s technologies can enable miners to optimise people, processes and technology

Consortium heading up alumina refinery project

1st November 2019 PT Borneo Alumina Indonesia, a subsidiary of State-owned enterprise PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium has appointed an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company Black & Veatch-led project management consortium (PMC) as a technical consultant to lead its alumina refinery project. The... 

Consortium heading up alumina refinery project
ON TRACK CONTRACT PT Borneo Alumina Indonesia appoints Black & Veatch as technical consultant for Indonesia's first alumina refinery

Compressor company caters well to shutdowns

By: Halima Frost     1st November 2019 With the mining sector accounting for about 30% of its business, generator and compressor rental company Rand-Air notes that it has proven its ability to mitigate some of the challenges that local mines face during scheduled and unscheduled shutdowns. Rand-Air supplies various equipment items to... 

Compressor company caters well to shutdowns
PRESSED FOR TIME Rand-Air's compressors are supplied to mines for unexpected shutdowns saving time and money

Digital platform improves zinc miner’s operations

By: Darren Parker     1st November 2019 Global engineering group Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology is commissioning a comprehensive data analytics and information management system called OptiMine for base metals miner Vedanta Zinc International’s Black Mountain Mining (BMM) operation, in the Northern Cape. The OptiMine platform will... 

Digital platform improves zinc miner’s operations
MOUNTAINS OF DATA The Black Mountain Mining operation will now be able integrate relevant operational and maintenance data into one source

Transformation in explosives sector yet to ignite

By: Cameron Mackay     18th October 2019 Economic transformation in the mining, drilling and blasting industry remains slow and requires greater engagement from critical roleplayers, such as government, who should encourage the industry to realise the benefits of transformation, says rock blasting and demolition company Master Blasters... 

Transformation in explosives sector  yet to ignite
TRANSFORMATION TROUBLES Despite legislation, emerging black-owned companies still struggle with access to larger mining projects, owing to a lack of resources, experience and support

Water-gel technology allows for customised blasting solutions

By: Cameron Mackay     18th October 2019 Global blasting solutions provider MAXAM’s premium bulk water-gel technology range of blends, referred to as RIOFLEX, has been well received by the South African market and will allow the company to build on its presence in the country for over 20 years, says MAXAM Southern Africa regional sales... 

Water-gel technology allows for customised blasting solutions
CONSTANT IMPROVEMENT MAXAM has been implementing continuous improvement programmes targeting cost reduction over the mine-to-mill process
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