TLT-Turbo Africa has been awarded the contract for the supply and installation of a turnkey solution for underground ventilation and fumes extraction at the Ivanhoe Mines’ majority-owned Kamoa-Kakula copper project, some 25 km outside of Kolwezi in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The contract was awarded by Kamoa Copper SA, which forms part of the project, a joint venture between Ivanhoe, Zijin Mining Group and the Government of the DRC.
TLT-Turbo Africa is designing, manufacturing and supplying a Bifurcated Axial Flow Fan Station for the extraction of mine fumes as well as auxiliary and booster fans for Kamoa’s underground operation, it said. The company will also oversee the installation of the fans and provide assistance with commissioning. The project is the first of many of strategic importance within the Sub Saharan Africa region that the company is involved in, TLT-Turbo said.
The contract was secured in October, with commissioning due to begin in July. TLT-Turbo Africa was appointed by DRA Projects, which is handling engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) on the project, the company said.
Kamoa Copper SA will develop the new copper mine, which is expected to yield an estimated 6 Mt/y in its first phase alone. The Kakula deposit has been independently ranked as the world’s largest, undeveloped, high-yield, high-grade copper discovery, according to DRA, with a resource measuring 174 Mt at an average grade of 5.62% Cu.
According to TLT-Turbo’s Madeleine Pretorius, the project presents unique challenges from a logistical point of view. The site is remote, and it involves multiple border crossings and often poor road conditions. “This means complicated logistic solutions. TLT-Turbo has the benefit of a broad suite of options to minimise the need for abnormal or complex loads,” she said.
The TLT-Turbo Africa offering and approach positions them as a preferred supplier for ventilation solutions in challenging locations, according to Pretorius. “We provide an energy-efficient solution where power costs are high, and availability can be erratic. Our product is designed for long-term reliability and durability, with simple maintenance requirements and minimal downtime, which is critical for our remote clients.”
Mike van Oerle, Sales Manager at TLT-Turbo Africa, said the company’s approach will provide several benefits to Kamoa’s operations. This includes standardised equipment designed for simple installation and maintenance, which means TLT-Turbo’s fans can be maintained by the client on site, without the need for costly expert inspections. “TLT-Turbo is providing highly-efficient products to meet Kamoa’s interim ventilation and power requirements, with flexibility for future redeployment at an alternative ventilation position.”
Both van Oerle and Pretorius assert TLT-Turbo Africa’s delivery of the scope of work on this specific project speaks to the company’s wider capabilities and expertise. The collaboration with DRA has paved the way for excellence in service delivery, according to them. Pretorius said: “Working with an experienced EPCM company, such as DRA, our project team is able to draw on their unparalleled knowledge of the Sub Saharan African mining environment. Both teams work together to provide solutions that address the challenges experienced by our customers.”
Oerle concluded: “Our ability to understand our customers’ requirements led to a cost-effective solution, focusing on total cost of ownership. Combining this solution with an experienced projects execution team, means that we can ensure Kamoa receives high-quality products and on-time delivery.”