Tag Archives: Mauritania

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.”

Aggreko stabilises power supply for Kinross at Tasiast gold mine

Aggreko has helped Kinross Gold shore up its power supply at the Tasiast gold mine in Mauritania, providing a turnkey heavy fuel oil (HFO) solution that has given the company time to review its longer-term energy needs.

The Tasiast mine is one of the largest open-pit gold mines in Africa, located in the remote north western region of Inchiri in Mauritiana.

As an off-grid mine it needed to have its own power supply and was being powered by a 25 MW HFO Wartsila power plant, with an additional 10 MW of diesel, both of which Kinross own, Aggreko said.

“The diesel technology was ageing, very inefficient and prone to regular breakdowns, which was incurring Kinross huge maintenance costs,” Aggreko explained.

Furthermore, the company had recently completed phase one of an expansion of the mine. This included the installation of a new SAG mill to increase the rock crushing capacity by 50% – from 8,000 t/d to 12,000 t/d – however, the power generation capacity had not been upgraded. This meant the redundancy available on site was significantly decreased once the mine expanded and heightened the risk of power failures.

The life of mine was expected to be at least another decade away in 2029 too, and, with the diesel price volatility impacting operations, Kinross needed to think about power for the mine over the longer term, as well as what it could do to alleviate the cost implications it was suffering, short term, Aggreko said.

It engaged Aggreko to explore the options.

To address the immediate issues, Aggreko offered a solution that was easy to integrate into the team’s current power mix, it said.

“Replacing the existing diesel plant with 13 MW of Aggreko’s HFO power meant we could reduce their reliance on diesel, and they could keep the old diesel sets as additional redundancy for emergencies,” the company said.

“We synchronised with their existing Wartsila HFO plant and integrated the systems smoothly with no interruptions to their operations – ultimately safeguarding production.”

With Aggreko providing a turnkey solution, the company didn’t need to worry about operating or maintaining this new plant, it said.

Delivering the plant on time was also crucial for Kinross, Aggreko said.

With eight months of planning, the contract was signed in June 2019. This requested Aggreko to deliver and commission the plant by the last day in November of the same year.

“Putting our deep experience of operating in Africa to use, specifically our knowledge of local importation and logistics challenges, we delivered the project not only on time, but also on budget,” Aggreko said.

Aggreko concluded: “Kinross have reliable, guaranteed power 24/7 to ensure their gold production is unaffected by power issues or further shutdowns, and it’s given them the breathing space and time to review longer-term power options for the remaining life of the mine.

“The solution we put in place to use HFO also made the fuel management easier using one fuel across both their existing Wartsila plant and the new plant, which was also more cost effective.”

Tasiast produced 391,097 ounces of gold equivalent in 2019, according to Kinross. For the second consecutive quarter, the mine achieved record quarterly production and a record average throughput rate of 16,100 t/d in the March quarter, as the mine continued to benefit from the phase one expansion.

The company is also in the middle of a phase stage expansion at the operation, which could see throughput capacity increase to 24,000 t/d by mid-2023.

West Africa investments about to pay off for Capital Drilling

Capital Drilling’s push into West Africa will start paying off in the second half of the year, according to Executive Chairman, Jamie Boyton, with the contractor having sealed a number of drilling agreements in the region in the opening six months of 2019.

The company has progressively invested more resources in West Africa over the past few years, aiming to capture market share in a region where gold exploration is high.

The company recorded revenue of $54.7 million over the six-month period, a 0.4% year-on-year increase, while its average revenue per operating rig dropped to $183,000, compared with $200,000 in the first half of 2018, primarily due to new contract mobilisations. The group maintained guidance on anticipated revenues for the current financial year of $110-120 million, with revenue expected to increase in the second half of this year.

During the period, the company purchased an additional blasthole rig for the long-term contract at Centamin’s Sukari gold mine, in Egypt, as part of the group’s ongoing fleet management; made further progress in the establishment of its West Africa operations, with drilling commencing in Burkina Faso with Golden Rim Resources in May; and was awarded its first drilling contract in Nigeria with Thor Explorations Ltd, with drilling scheduled to commence in the December quarter.

The company also, in these six months, appointed Jodie North as Chief Operating Officer, increased business development resources, appointing Chris Hall to position of Business Development Manager, West Africa, maintained its ongoing rig improvement program and achieved a number of safety records at the likes of Sukari, North Mara (Tanzania), Geita (Tanzania), Tasiast (Mauritania) and Syama (Mali).

Boyton said: “The first half of the year was focused on further consolidating Capital Drilling’s presence in the highly active West African market, with a number of new contracts awarded, which will contribute to group revenues from the end of Q3 (September quarter). This strong push into this region has seen the commencement of our first drilling contract in Burkina Faso during Q2.

“Today we have also announced our expansion into Nigeria from Q4 (December quarter), a mineral rich, yet poorly explored country with significant potential, where we already operate a successful mineral analytics laboratory. Pleasingly, our major operations have also continued to achieve significant safety milestones throughout the first half.”

New contracts awarded during the first six months include:

  • Compass Gold Corp (Sikasso, Mali, pictured). Awarded a 10,000m exploration drilling contract, using one reverse circulation (RC) and one diamond rig from the existing fleet. Drilling commenced in June;
  • Golden Rim Resources (Kouri, Burkina Faso) (previously announced). Awarded a 20,000m exploration drilling contract using one multi-purpose rig from the existing fleet. Drilling commenced in May;
  • Allied Gold Corp (Bonikro, Côte d’Ivoire). Awarded a five-year exploration drilling contract, using one diamond rig and one RC rig from the existing fleet. Drilling is scheduled to commence in December quarter;
  • Thor Explorations Ltd (Segilola, Nigeria). Awarded a five-year exploration and grade control contract, using one RC rig from the existing fleet. This will transition to grade control in 2020, with exploration drilling scheduled to commence in the December quarter and grade control in H1 2020;
  • Kinross Gold Corp: (Tasiast, Mauritania): MSALABs was awarded a three-year onsite laboratory services contract with Kinross at the Tasiast gold mine. Operations commenced in July 2019, and;
  • Resolute Mining Ltd (Syama, Mali). Awarded one-year extension of the long-term underground grade control drilling contract using two underground rigs from the existing fleet. Contract extended to June 2020.