Tag Archives: Elandsfontein

Kropz introduces first ore to Elandsfontein phosphate processing plant

Kropz, an emerging Africa-focused phosphate developer, has introduced first ore to its plant at the Elandsfontein mine, in the Western Cape of South Africa in what it says is a major milestone.

Now that ore has been introduced to the plant, the team is ensuring all the front end circuits are balanced and running stably. The flotation circuits will then be commissioned and the reagents added in due course for the production of the first concentrate. Commissioning activities are expected to transition into full scale ramp-up of the mining and beneficiation plant over the coming six months.

Mining activities at Elandsfontein commenced in October 2021, and significant volumes of ore are available to support the commissioning ramp-up, according to the company.

Elandsfontein, 74% owned by Kropz, hosts South Africa’s second-largest phosphate deposit, according to the company.

Kropz purchased the Elandsfontein property in 2010, developing an open-pit mining operation and on-site processing facility with a production capacity of 1 Mt/y on site. Some $160 million has been invested in project development, mine, processing plant and construction of associated infrastructure. Rock phosphate from the open-pit mine will be stockpiled, before passing to the milling and classification circuit in the processing plant where it is prepared for flotation. Concentrate and tailings streams are thickened and filtered. The concentrate is then dried and stored for dispatch to port.

Kropz CEO, Mark Summers, said: “The introduction of ore to the processing plant reflects the successful culmination of the construction phase and signals the commencement of the next chapter in the company’s development. I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation for the tireless efforts of all of those involved in reaching this milestone safely and on time, despite the many challenges that the past two years have presented.”

Transnet has provided the company with a draft port access agreement to support the long-term export of Elandsfontein’s phosphate rock through the port of Saldanha. The contract is now being finalised between the parties. First phosphate rock ore exports from Elandsfontein are expected in the March quarter of 2022.

It is anticipated that the imported reagents required for the recovery of phosphate concentrate will be delivered this month, however, the supply chain situation remains a challenge, with the recent force majeure declared by Transnet Port Terminals in Cape Town on December 21, presenting further risk to the project, Kropz said. The company is investigating options to off-load containers at alternative ports and transport the commodities to the mine site by road to arrive in early January 2022.

Astec Industries looks to boost Africa and Middle East business with Aramine tie-up

Astec Industries, through its newly organised Africa and Middle East (AME) business unit, has announced a distribution partnership with France-based mining and underground solutions specialist Aramine.

This strategic alliance will enhance the supply, distribution and service of Astec mining, quarrying and materials handling equipment in numerous African countries, Astec said. This includes rock breaker systems, rock crushers, feeders, vibrating screens, conveyors, washing and classifying equipment for open-pit mines, alongside underground mining products and bulk material handling systems.

Aramine has been appointed as a dealer for Astec Material Solutions products in Mauritania, Mali, Senegal, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Benin, Togo, and Niger in West Africa, as well as in Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco in the Maghreb region.

Vinesh Surajlall, Director – Material Solutions at Astec AME (pictured), said: “The expansion of the Astec portfolio that will be distributed by Aramine is an important evolution in our commercial relations, as we collaborate in very active and demanding markets in West Africa and the Maghreb.

“With this partnership, we are developing a new customer proximity offer, combining expertise, services and quality products.”

Jaime Martel, Key Regional and Product Manager and Head of Distribution Partnerships at Aramine, says the new venture represents Astec’s confidence in Aramine. The two organisations have enjoyed a longstanding distribution partnership which previously encompassed only the BTI range of rock breaker and boom systems.

“The extension of our alliance, to cover the material solutions offering, will equip us further in meeting the needs of our customers in the regions,” he noted.

In addition to its recognised expertise and technical service, Aramine will leverage its networks of subsidiaries and partners in the regions, Astec said.

The recent group restructuring and the establishment of Astec Industries AME will deliver further benefits for Astec customers in the region, the company says.

“The move forms part of Astec Industries’ international expansion strategy, with regional sales organisations established to improve customer interaction and support for the complete range of Astec products,” Astec said. “Astec Industries AME is one of these regional sales organisations and will be responsible for business relationships in Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. The AME offices are based in Elandsfontein, Johannesburg, with regional sales managers positioned strategically within the region to support the business’s dealer network and customers.”

Surajlall concluded: “We look forward to contributing to the continued growth of our customers’ businesses through this enhanced structure, optimised product range and support structures throughout the Astec Industries organisations. This expanded partnership with Aramine represents an important opportunity to strengthen the presence of Astec Industries Inc in these significant territories.”