Sishen ultrahigh dense-media separation project, South Africa – update

28th July 2023 By: Sheila Barradas - Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor

Sishen ultrahigh dense-media separation project, South Africa – update

Photo by: Kumba Iron Ore

Name of the Project
Sishen ultrahigh dense-media separation (UHDMS) project.

Northern Cape, South Africa.

Project Owner/s
Anglo American subsidiary Kumba Iron Ore.

Project Description
The UHDMS project will maximise product quality and extend the life-of-mine (LoM) to 2039. The technology will allow for the processing of c-grade material previously classified as waste.

UHDMS is a specialised technology that has been locally developed. The project makes it possible for Kumba to increase the densities in the Sishen plant and DMS plant by a difference of between 3.6 and 4.2.

This will enable Kumba to improve beneficiation so that it can upgrade its premium product from 18 % to 50 % a year.

Further, because the company can lower the cutoff grade, it can introduce about 130-million tonnes of reserves into its portfolio, which extends the LoM.

Potential Job Creation
About 53% of the population of the area is either directly or indirectly employed by the mine.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The project plan is being reviewed.

Capital Expenditure
The project plan is being reviewed.

Planned Start/End Date
The project plan is being reviewed

Latest Developments
Kumba reports in its interim results for the six months ended June 30, 2023, that it has significantly progressed detailed design work on UHDMS technology to improve its premium product offering at Sishen.

The UHDMS project is under review and an update will be provided at the end of the year.

Kumba maintains that the UHDMS technology represents a significant value-creation opportunity for the company and will play an essential role in its transitioning to a low-carbon future. The value of the UHDMS technology includes the ability to lower the cutoff grade, increase product quality and extend the life-of-asset at Sishen, the company has said.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
Not stated. 

Contact Details for Project Information
Kumba Iron Ore investor relations, Penny Himlok, tel +27 12 622 8324 or email
Kumba Iron Ore media relations, Sinah Phochana, tel +27 12 683 7019 or email