OCP & Worley’s JESA awarded contract to help Mauritania’s iron ore miner SNIM overhaul Guelb I plant

Created in 2010, Morocco-based JESA is jointly owned by phosphate mining major OCP and engineering house Worley, which acquired its stake when it bought Jacobs’ Energy, Chemicals & Resources division in 2019. As one of the largest engineering firms in Africa and Morocco, JESA covers mining, industry, urban development and infrastructure, and has just been awarded a PMC contract with Mauritania’s iron ore mining giant SNIM (Société Nationale Industrielle et Minière) for technical assistance & the supervision of the rehabilitation and modernisation of the Guelb 1 processing plant in Zouerate.

As part of this two-year contract, JESA will ensure the following project management and support missions: supporting SNIM on contractors bid evaluation, technical review of detail engineering as well as construction and commissioning of the project.

Both haematite and magnetite ore are processed by SNIM before being sent to customers. All the magnetite ore is crushed by primary crushers to 300 mm with a total capacity of 6,500 t/h. The crushed ore is stored in a storage area, then picked up by bucketwheels to supply the enrichment plants. At the Guelb plants, magnetite ore is enriched from 37% to 66% using mainly dry processes in the form of low-intensity magnetic separators. Oxidised ores (upper layers of the deposit), meanwhile, are wet-processed using gravimetric separation. Before obtaining the concentrate, the ore is crushed to 1.6 mm through primary crushing and grinding. The Guelb 1 plant was launched in 1984 and has a capacity of approximately 3,500 t/h. Following over 30 years of service, SNIM has identified the necessity to “rehabilitate and modernise” the plant. The more modern 2,500 t/h Guelb 2 plant was opened in 2015 and additionally utilises an HPGR.

Elsewhere, haematite ore also undergoes mechanical processing (crushing, screening and blending) in Zouerate at three plants: TO14, M’Haoudat and Rouessa. The product’s grain gradation is reduced to 90 mm before it is transported to Nouadhibou by train. Tertiary and quaternary crushing, which takes place at the Nouadhibou plant, produces 6-30 mm and 0-6mm fractions.