Tag Archives: Guinea

Surface-mining opportunities lie in market-related commodities

Johannesburg-based mining equipment distributor Vermeer Equipment Suppliers is starting to focus on certain market-related commodities and associated open-cast mines to market its surface excavation machines, says Mining and Pipeline Sales Segment Manager, Gareth Cramond.

The machines are being used in Africa at, among others, China Molybdenum’s Tenke Fungurume copper and cobalt mine, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and exploration and mining services company Société Minière de Boké’s bauxite mines, in Guinea. In South Africa, the machines are being used at diversified miner Exxaro Resources’ Grootegeluk open-cast coal mine, in Limpopo.

Cramond says Vermeer wants to pursue other commodities that will be in demand within the next few years. He notes that the company is approaching mining companies that are mining certain market-related commodities.

The Vermeer surface excavation machine provides users with consistent material size, eliminating the need for primary crushers and increasing efficiencies of loaders and haul trucks. No permits for blasting are required either, the company says. This mining method also facilitates selective mining and selective loading, allowing for the ore to be more easily separated from waste.

Other advantages include access to areas of open-cast mines where drilling and blasting cannot be carried out because of physical or permit limitations, as well as a reduction in noise, dust and vibration, compared with drilling and blasting operations. The machine can mine at a maximum incline up to 30º.

Vermeer Equipment Suppliers MD, Frank Beerthuis, notes that this capability enables the machine to start mining directly after vegetation has been cleared, even on hills and slopes.

“Further, the equipment can remove overburden and, once the orebodies are exposed, mining can continue,” he says. “With drill and blast, a lot of mobilisation and demobilisation of equipment is needed to get to the orebody.”

Cramond argues that there are opportunities to use surface mining technology, such as Vermeer’s surface excavation machines, on existing mines that have “essentially mined themselves out” using traditional mining methods.

“If a mine has drilled and blasted to a certain depth and there is a certain span of their mine site for which they cannot use traditional methods, but there is enough of a commodity that makes it viable to further extend the life span of the mine, surface mining technology may be a unique consideration for them,” he explains.

Further, Vermeer has identified opportunities at greenfield mines in sub-Saharan Africa.

Cramond says that when a miner starts up a greenfield mine and can eliminate the primary crushing process to get the material into the market much quicker, surface mining becomes a viable option if it falls within the capability ranges of the surface mining technology that is going to be used.

Implementing surface excavation machines at greenfield mines can save time and may reduce the initial capital investment, as well as generate revenue much faster than traditional methods, he adds.

“The infrastructure is considerably less expensive to buy and is installed quicker than the construction of a large primary crushing plant, for example,” he says.

The quick start-up of the machines can enable existing mines to take advantage of spiking market prices, Cramond comments.

Implementing surface excavation machines at greenfield mines can save time and may reduce the initial capital investment, as well as generate revenue much faster than traditional methods, Gareth Cramond says

Tools and analysis

Vermeer says it has the tools and data to estimate how the surface excavation machines can perform at a mine. The estimation uses actual data from a mine operation to provide a more realistic estimate of how Vermeer’s technology may benefit a mine.

The company can carry out field testing using a point load tester to test material on site. If the material is within a range deemed acceptable, further testing will be required.

Moreover, Vermeer has its own dedicated rock laboratory in the US, to which interested mines’ rock samples are sent to determine production rates and cost of production of the company’s surface excavation machines in the client’s specific application. These samples are then subjected to various tests and the data is provided for the mine.

Cramond highlights that, even though there are numerous rock laboratories available, Vermeer orientates its rock-testing towards the capabilities of its machines, which enables the company to gain detailed information on the samples and the potential of job sites and compare these afterwards with real life production rates of the equipment. The company uses its in-house developed production calculator to formulate operational costs and production rates on a particular mine site.

If it has been determined that Vermeer’s surface excavation machines are suited to a mine’s operations, the client is given the option to either trial the equipment or visit a mine where the company’s equipment is being used in a similar application.

When trialing the equipment, Vermeer conducts a complete efficiency analysis of the mine and provides this data for the client. Trialing can take from two weeks to three months.

“The future of mining lies in using innovative techniques and three-dimensional digital technology-based methods,” Cramond concludes.

TAKRAF X-TREME sizers go the distance at Guinea bauxite mine

Three TAKRAF X-TREME class sizers supplied to a large bauxite mining operation in Guinea are, the OEM says, fully delivering on their promise of exceptional reliability and wear behaviour.

Commissioned in late 2018, the sizers had, as of the end of February 2021, crushed more than 27 Mt of bauxite ore and were still operating with their original set of wear parts.

The sizers were supplied as part of an important production expansion project at the mine. This project, awarded in late 2016 to TAKRAF as an EPC contract, encompassed a comprehensive wagon unloading, crushing and conveying system.

The TAKRAF sizers included within the overall system comprised one 3,600 t/h primary TCS-X 14.35 located in the pit beneath the wagon tippler; and two 1,800 t/h secondary TCS-X 08.30 located in the crushing building.

Both the primary and the secondary sizers are from TAKRAF’s X-TREME class sizer range. This range was developed to provide extended reliability and availability through a heavy-duty drivetrain, robust shaft and bearing assemblies, and the use of advanced wear resistant materials.

Ease of maintenance is another advantage of the TAKRAF sizer, with the primary sizer installed on site featuring a bolted tooth system to enable easy and quick replacement when sufficient wear has been experienced, the company says.

Conor Mitchell, TAKRAF Product Manager – Roll Crushers, said: “The combination of high reliability and long lifetime of wear parts means significantly higher machine uptime and that ends up translating into increased productivity for this bauxite operation. These performance levels reinforce that our X-TREME class sizer line provides maximum reliability and availability in difficult conditions, which is something the market has been calling for quite some time.”

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.”

Multotec provides Guinea bauxite verification with sampling equipment

Multotec Process Equipment’s high-precision sampling equipment has found a home in Guinea, with bauxite producers in the West African country using the South Africa-based company’s tools to verify the quality of mined material before it is shipped overseas.

The company has recently provided two tariff sampling plants to a major bauxite producer in the country, including what is possibly one of the largest hammer samplers in the world, it said.

One of the plants is located at the bauxite mining operation itself, while the other is at the export facility where the high-grade bauxite is loaded onto ships.

According to Willem Slabbert, Sampling and Magnetics Specialist at Multotec Process Equipment, the samplers serve a vital role in representatively measuring the quality of the material mined and then exported, as well as its physical characteristics.

“At the mine, the sampling plant gives the mining company and their third-party mining contractor a scientific basis on which to check compliance with their contractual requirements,” Slabbert says.

“Similarly, the plant at the export facility assures the end customer of the quality of bauxite they are purchasing.”

The solution designed for this specific application includes hammer samplers, double-roll crushers, rotating plate dividers, feeder conveyors and barcoded carousels to link the sampling plant’s hourly performance to the indexed samples produced, Multotec explained. There is also protection equipment – a moisture analyser, overbelt magnet and metal detector – and inter-sampling plant conveyors.

“The plants were designed as a holistic solution, to deliver measurements in line with the international standard ISO8685 – ensuring that both sides of a contractual agreement can feel confident in the results,” Slabbert says. “They are also fully automatic and PLC-controlled for maximum efficiency.”

He highlighted that the sampling and materials handling solution was based on extensive test work carried out at Multotec’s facilities in Spartan, near Johannesburg. Crusher tests were also conducted on the specific bauxite, which comprised a substrate material with very hard embedded nodules.

“We identified custom-designed, heavy-duty, double-roll crushers as the optimal solution to deal with the extreme hardness of the nodules in the material,” Slabbert says. “The abrasiveness and stickiness of the Guinean bauxite also required low-friction liners to be designed into each plant.”

Multotec also has a West Africa branch in Ghana to supporting its installations. This branch also sources local components for customers.

Multotec Process Equipment has experience in sampling bauxite in Guinea, says Slabbert, with a sampling plant installed two decades ago for another bauxite producer.

Nordgold asks China’s SUMEC to power up Lefa gold mine

Nordgold Group is looking to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions with the construction of a new 33 MW power plant at its Lefa mine in Guinea.

The gold producer has signed an engineering, procurement and construction agreement with China manufacturing service group SUMEC, a key member of China National Machinery Industry Corporation (SINOMACH), to design and construct the plant.

The new heavy fuel oil facility will replace the existing power plant, in turn reducing both fuel consumption for electricity production by 15% and engine oil by 30%, according to Nordgold. This will result in a 17,000 t/y reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the company said, which is in line with Nordgold’s climate change objectives as well as its commitments to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world’s largest shipbuilding company and leading manufacture of heavy industry machinery, is providing the power plant’s main generating equipment.

Nordgold said: “The power plant will enable a significant reduction in operating costs, in addition to enhancing the stability of the electricity supply for over 15 years of Lefa’s life of mine. Moreover, the installation of the latest fire detection systems will increase employee safety.”

The design and construction of the project is expected to cost around $23 million, with the power plant expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

During construction, hundreds of additional jobs will be created and essential construction materials including sand, cement, gravel amongst others will be sourced locally from Guinean suppliers, according to Nordgold.

Nikolai Zelenski, CEO of Nordgold, said: “Even during these challenging times, we remain committed to investing in Guinea. The new power plant is an important investment as it enables us to both decrease greenhouse gas emissions and provide sustainable power generation for our Lefa mine. We are looking forward to working with SUMEC and Hyundai to achieve this project.”

Nordgold acquired the Lefa mine in 2010, with annual gold output almost trebling since, according to the company. The mine, a conventional modern open-pit operation with three major mining areas and several smaller, higher grade satellite pits providing additional ore feed for the mill, produced 189,800 oz of gold in 2019.

Last year, Nord Gold the company did its climate change objectives no harm after entering into an exclusive agreement with Total Eren, an independent power producer specialised in renewable energies, and Africa Energy Management Platform, its strategic development partner, to construct a 13 MW solar photovoltaic power plant for its Bissa and Bouly gold mines in Burkina Faso.

DRA Global wins Lola graphite project EPCM contract

SRG Mining has selected DRA Global as the provider of engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) services for its Lola graphite project in Guinea.

This selection is the result of a competitive tender process where several international engineering firms were invited and responded with qualifying and attractive proposals, SRG Mining said.

Over the past three years, DRA has assisted SRG with the evaluation of the Lola graphite project, having been involved from the preliminary economic assessment (PEA) stage to the most recent feasibility study. This latter study outlined a project costing $88.5 million to build and producing 54,600 t of graphite flakes over a 29-year mine life.

DRA and its subsidiaries such as SENET have a long and successful history of delivering resources projects in Africa, most recently being involved in the construction of Alufer’s Bel Air bauxite project and Managem’s Tri-K gold project, both in Guinea, SRG Mining said.

“This historic knowledge and experience, combined with expertise of the latest processing technology, enable DRA to successfully design and execute mining and minerals processing projects, particularly in West Africa,” the company added.

The engineering phase of the project will be carried out through the DRA offices in Montreal and Toronto and the site-based execution will be led by DRA’s subsidiary SENET.

Ugo Landry-Tolszczuk, President and Chief Operating Officer of SRG, said: “Our tender process cemented our belief that DRA is the best partner for SRG to successfully complete the design and construct our Lola graphite project.”

Andrew Naude, CEO of DRA Global, said: “Awarding the execution of this internationally important graphite project on the African Continent to DRA is testament to DRA’s position as the preferred technical partner for projects of this nature. It reinforces DRA’s position as the preferred partner for the delivering of projects on the Continent.

“DRA has put together a very strong team for the EPCM of the project all of whom carry industry leading experience in delivering successfully on projects, in Africa.”

Tenova TAKRAF passes railcar test at Guinea bauxite expansion project

Tenova TAKRAF says a 48-hour performance test for bauxite-carrying trains at a major expansion project in Guinea was successfully completed on July 1.

During the 48-hour period, starting June 29 at 00:28 and ending on July 1 at 00:28, more than 1,560 wagons, equating to 12 individual complete trains, carrying bauxite were successfully unloaded.

Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée (CBG)’s Bauxite Production Expansion project, in Kamsar, Guinea, aims to increase bauxite exports to 18.5 Mt/y. TAKRAF, in late 2016, was awarded an engineering, procurement and construction contract worth around €100 million ($112 million) for a greenfield railcar unloading and primary crushing station, as well as a secondary crushing station and a brownfield conveyor system, at the project. The railcar unloading system was designed in collaboration with Ashton Bulk, the company said.

TAKRAF sizers, one primary and two secondary, were are also included within the crushing stations at the project, the company noted.

The bauxite expansion project hit its first ore goal back in February.

Andreas Papst, Tenova TAKRAF Senior Project Manager, said: “I would like to personally thank all colleagues, including our partners on the client’s side, for their strong willingness to collaborate and solid discipline in the successful achievement of this important milestone. TAKRAF’s successful delivery of this important project is an important reference for us in and is a true testament of our ability to operate in complex environments, overcome challenges and deliver!”

thyssenkrupp Barge Loader delivered to EGA bauxite project in Guinea

The final major piece of equipment for Emirates Global Aluminium’s in-development bauxite mining project in the Republic of Guinea has arrived in the West African country, the company reports.

The Barge Loader was shipped to Guinea from thyssenkrupp’s fabrication facility in India. It will be installed at the end of the project’s 1.5 km pier, where it will load bauxite ore into self-propelled barges for transport to waiting bulk cargo ships offshore, EGA said.

The Barge Loader is the last in a series of massive pieces of equipment for the project to arrive in Guinea, which includes some of the largest ever installed in a mining project in Africa, according to EGA.

Abdulla Kalban, EGA’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, said: “All the major pieces of equipment for our Guinea project have now safely arrived, completing a series of challenging engineering and logistical feats. Construction overall is very well advanced and we look forward to its safe completion and the start of bauxite exports later this year.”

The project is being developed by EGA’s subsidiary, Guinea Alumina Corp, and has a total budgeted project cost of around $1.4 billion. First bauxite exports are expected during the second half of 2019.

Just last month, the company loaded the first batch of bauxite from the project.

TAKRAF helps CBG’s bauxite expansion project hit first ore goal

TAKRAF has reported on the recent start-up of Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée (CBG)’s Bauxite Production Expansion project in Kamsar, Guinea.

The first ore milestone at the project, which sought to increase production from 13.5 to 18.5 Mt/y, was reached on schedule, on budget and, most importantly, safely, at the end of last year.

TAKRAF, in late 2016, was awarded an engineering, procurement and construction contract worth around €100 million ($113 million) for a greenfield railcar unloading and primary crushing station, as well as a secondary crushing station and a brownfield conveyor system. The railcar unloading system was designed in collaboration with Ashton Bulk.

The scope of supply included three TAKRAF sizers, with a primary sizer in the pit beneath the tippler and two secondary sizers. These sizers, as well as the apron feeders, were designed and fabricated at Tenova TAKRAF’s Lauchhammer fabrication facility in Germany.

An important safety milestone of 1.5 million lost-time-injury-free hours was achieved on site in December 2018, according to TAKRAF.

Frank Hubrich, TAKRAF CEO, said: “We are extremely proud to be a part of this important project and of our milestone achievements. These only serve to underline the competence and commitment to our clients of our global TAKRAF organisation.

“Whether it be a greenfield or an existing brownfield operation, we work with our clients to ensure that their requirements are met on time, within budget and most importantly, safely.”

Fluor Corp acted as the engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) services contractor on the project, responsible for the expansion of the mine infrastructure, rail system, port facility and processing plant infrastructure and utilities.

Emirates Global Aluminium achieves milestone at Guinea bauxite project

Emirates Global Aluminium has loaded the first batch of bauxite from its under-construction Guinea mining project, with the tonnage travelling from its subsidiary Guinea Alumina Corp’s (GAC) mine to the coast.

Emirates, the largest industrial company in the UAE outside oil and gas, said the 80-wagon train carried some 6,800 t of bauxite ore from GAC’s mine to the company’s facilities at Kamsar. The ore will be used to begin building a base-layer of bauxite at GAC’s new stockyard, according to the company.

First bauxite exports from the project are expected during the second half of 2019.

With a budget of around $1.4 billion, the project is the largest greenfield investment in Guinea in the last four decades.

“GAC has completed rail loops, and spurs to connect its facilities to an existing nearby railway track that is used by other companies. GAC’s locomotives, which were made in the US, and Chinese-made wagons, arrived in Guinea last year,” the company said.

The train took just under three hours to complete the 90 km journey from the mine to the coast, the company noted. GAC is also building port facilities including the unloading yard and an export pier at Kamsar, a well-established bauxite port.

Once the GAC project is fully-operational, up to six loaded bauxite trains a day are expected to make the journey from the mine to the port.

Abdulla Kalban, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of EGA, said: “This milestone is the result of many thousands of hours of planning and teamwork in Guinea involving GAC, train operator Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée, the owner of the existing rail infrastructure ANAIM, and other rail partners.”

Guinea is the world’s largest bauxite resource holder, and EGA’s project is expected to contribute significantly to the country’s exports of the ore from which aluminium is derived. Bauxite from the GAC project will be sold to aluminium producers around the world.

Once full ramp up is achieved, the GAC project is expected to produce some 12 Mt/y of bauxite.

The Guinea project is part of EGA’s strategic drive to expand its business upstream in the aluminium value chain and internationally. The company is also building the UAE’s first alumina refinery at Al Taweelah in Abu Dhabi. This plant will refine bauxite into alumina.