Tag Archives: Morocco

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.”

AYA Gold & Silver enlists DRA division for Zgounder expansion study

AYA Gold & Silver says it has launched the feasibility study for the expansion of its Zgounder silver mine in Morocco in partnership with Montreal-based DRA Met-Chem, a division of DRA Global.

AYA is also engaging several contractors with specific competencies related to the feasibility study, it said.

The Zgounder silver mine currently operates at around 500 t/d with nameplate capacity of 700 t/d. AYA believes the feasibility study will support a significant increase in tonnage, with a preliminary target of 2,000 t/d.

“This target will be further defined in the coming months and is consistent with internal resource growth assumptions,” it said.

A 2018 preliminary economic assessment on Zgounder estimated a project life of 10 years with the current resources up to 2027, with milling increasing to 2,000 t/d in 2021 and silver production rising from 1.354 Moz/y to 4.762 Moz/y.

DRA is recognised for its capabilities in mining and mineral processing and for its experienced engineering, technical and project management expertise, AYA said.

Benoit La Salle, President and CEO of AYA, said the strong silver fundamentals, as well as the company’s planned drilling exploration program, gave it confidence in growing the resource and the expansion potential of Zgounder.

“The feasibility study is an important step forward to maximise shareholder value,” he said. “We are assembling a highly qualified team of experts to complete the study by Q4 (December quarter) 2021.”

Daniel Gagnon, Senior Vice President at DRA Met-Chem, said the company was delighted to work with AYA and its team.

“We have historically worked in Morocco and look forward to leveraging our expertise in country and in precious metals to help optimise production and to deliver value to all stakeholders.”

Multotec liners scrub up nicely for Morocco phosphate mine

In one of its largest scrubber installations to date, Multotec Rubber is helping a phosphate mine in Morocco achieve new levels of efficiency thanks to the installation of customised liners.

The scrubbers measure 6.5 m in diameter and 11 m in length – large dimensions necessitated by the process plant throughput of 12 Mt/y. The installation, conducted during the March quarter of 2019, was carried out in response to a serious challenge faced by the customer. The existing head plates were wearing out at double the rate of the shell plates. This was leading to additional maintenance shutdowns during the life of the liners, with associated extra costs.

According to Mohamed Trabelsi, Senior Sales Engineer at Multotec Rubber, the collaboration with the customer included sending a Multotec team to site to first assess the situation. Multotec already had a longstanding relationship with the customer at this process plant, with Multotec trommel screens having operated successfully at the plant for over three years.

“Our team of engineers were on site to gather vital operating information including throughput tonnages, particle size, charge levels and rotational speed,” Trabelsi said. “We also assessed the variable speed drive system.”

This data was processed using the Rocky DEM simulation software, in which Multotec Rubber has made a significant investment. Leveraged by engineers, this software can simulate the full lifecycle of liners and predict when the scrubber will no longer perform efficiently, according to the company.

Rocky DEM allows engineers to accurately simulate all operating parameters in the scrubber. These include the shape and size of ore particles in the slurry being fed into the scrubber slurry, the charge level, the linings, attrition rates, particle trajectories and the scrubber’s rotational speed, Multotec Rubber says.

“We can therefore simulate the actual operating conditions of the scrubber, as well as the performance of the head and shell liners,” Trabelsi said. “Upon our assessment of the results, it was found we needed a different configuration of liners to the previous one in this application. In fact, the solution was a uniquely designed liner configuration – quite different to what is traditionally used.”

He notes that, in Multotec’s experience of high throughput scrubber applications, it is critical to lift the material away from the head plate, thereby alleviating the sliding abrasion which causes excessive wear.

“Our objective was to ensure optimum wear life with the lowest total operating costs,” Trabelsi said. “Efficiency was enhanced by ensuring that the liner profile configuration was suited to the specific operating conditions. By doing this, the wear life in this application has been improved.”

Since installation, the liners have been performing in line with the customer’s expectations and are expected to have a lifespan of over five years. These lifecycle predictions also allowed the payback period to be accurately determined, assisting the customer in making the best operational and financial decision, the company said.

The liners are locally manufactured at Multotec Rubber’s ISO 9001:2015 facility near Johannesburg, South Africa, which has benefitted from continued investment in technology over the years, the company said.

“Our quality manufacturing facility expedites the production of liners engineered for individual applications,” Trabelsi said. “The entire process from design stage to installation took just 12 weeks – in response to the urgency resulting from the premature failure of the previous scrubber lining installation.”

Trabelsi also noted that – even after finding an appropriate solution – mines must constantly anticipate changing conditions in their process plants.

“As mines develop, the orebody changes; this brings changes to their throughput capacities and mill operating parameters,” he said. “If a process plant has liners that have run for 10 years, it is not necessarily a given that this liner configuration is still suitable for the application.”

He emphasises that it is critical to conduct an assessment exercise in every application, before quoting on a replacement liner. Most importantly, the liners should be engineered in accordance with the current operational parameters of the mine.

“This is why Multotec Rubber considers it so important that our engineers go to site and assess the actual mill operating data for themselves,” he said. “This makes it possible for us to gain access to the information from the plant operating system, so that the best solution can be engineered for the mine.”

Correctly designed liners will offer greater energy efficiency and reduce media consumption, according to Trabelsi. This is significant, as energy input and media consumption account for around 80% of the grinding costs in the plant – depending on the application.

“The more we are able to simulate, the more accurate information becomes available,” Trabelsi said. “We are then able to accurately predict the savings and payback period that could be expected at the plant – as a result of improved efficiency and reduced power consumption per tonne.”

Tenova DELKOR shows off sedimentation specialism at Morocco silver project

Tenova DELKOR says it has successfully supplied and carried out mechanical completion of seven DELKOR thickeners, together with its flocculation system and a DELKOR Pinned Bed Clarifier (PBC) for a silver leaching plant project in Morocco.

The thickeners are to be employed in the counter current decantation circuit of the plant, with the project including the design, fabrication and supply of thickeners, flocculation plant and PBC, supervision of installation and performance guarantee.

The PBC is a unique process for hydrometallurgical plants where solution clarity is important, according to the company. “A technology for polishing feed solutions for solvent-extraction plants, the unit offers low suspended solids counts in overflows, regularly achieving clarities of less than 50 ppm solids, and as low as 20 ppm.”

Benefits of the PBC technology, according to Tenova DELKOR, include low capital expenditure for comparative clarifying technology; no moving parts, virtually eliminating the need for maintenance; robust and stable performance; it is optimised to minimise flocculant consumption, and; a small footprint.

Ramesh Mahadevan, DELKOR India Managing Director, said: “As the industry specialist in sedimentation, DELKOR offers a range of thickeners and clarifiers catering to various applications across the minerals, chemical, industrial and water management industries with designs of up to 100 m in diameter.

“Successful hand over of this important project only serves to strengthen our capabilities in the North African region and is a true testament that.”

DRA Global to carry out feasibility study work on Managem’s Tizert copper project

DRA Global says it has been awarded the bankable feasibility study (BFS) contract for the Managem Group-owned Tizert copper project, in the Souss-Massa province of Morocco.

The Tizert copper deposit is located on the northern edge of Igherm Precambrian buttonhole and is the largest copper deposit in the western Anti-Atlas Copper Belt, according to DRA. The underground mine, with a targeted production of 3.3 Mt/y of ore, is expected to use multiple mining methods including room and pillar and long hole stoping.

An aerial ropeway system will be used to convey the ore from the mine site to the process plant across an 800 m wide and 250 m deep canyon. The process plant will be a flotation concentrator producing oxide and sulphide copper concentrates.

DRA’s Montreal office has been awarded the full BFS scope which will include mining, backfill, ore transport, process plant and infrastructures. The BFS is expected to be completed in the June quarter of 2020.

Pierre Julien, DRA’s Executive Vice President Americas, attributes the winning of the contact to an excellent working relationship with Managem: “The DRA team has been working closely with the Managem leadership team for almost two years, and through a dedicated and collaborative approach has built a partnership which culminated with the award of this BFS contract.”

Rhosonics SDMs win plaudits at OCP Group’s Beni Amir phosphate mine

Rhosonics Slurry Density Meter (SDM) has proven its worth at the OCP Group’s Beni Amir phosphate mine and washing plant in Morocco, the Netherlands-based company said in its latest case study.

The leading phosphate miner recently evaluated nine months’ worth of test work at Beni Amir, which came out with favourable results.

OCP began operating the Beni Amir mine and washing plant in Morocco in 2015. Here, the phosphate ore at the washing plant goes through a wet treatment process to enrich the ore and increase its “Boone Phosphate of Line” content, according to Rhosonics.

Four pieces of the Rhosonics SDM, a non-nuclear density meter using sustainable ultrasonic technology, were installed at the Beni Amir plant in April 2018.

Rhosonics said: “The phosphate industry traditionally uses nuclear devices. Non-nuclear devices are still quite new to this industry and success stories are limited.”

By measuring the acoustic impedance of a slurry, the SDM calculates the density of the slurry in-line during the process, according to Rhosconics. The sensor is made of stainless steel and ceramic material. “Because of the new sensor material, the sensor has lots of better properties. By making use of ceramic material, the ultrasonic signal is more bright and powerful than before.”

Mohammed el Moudden, Chief Instrumentation of OCP Beni Amir, said: “We confirm a successful test of the SDM from April 2018 until now. A single calibration is sufficient for operation over three months. The team at the Beni Amir washing plant are satisfied with this technology.”

The Rhosonics SDMs were installed in the output of a cyclone, a mixing tank and two thickeners to improve the efficiency and fully use the production capacity of these separation processes, Rhosonics said.

Now, following this trial, the OCP Group has bought 13 additional non-nuclear Rhosonics SDMs to install at several locations at the washing plant, the company said.

Fertiliser leader OCP signs up Outotec for sulphuric acid plant EPC

Outotec has signed a contract with Morocco-based OCP Group for the delivery of a sulphuric acid plant for fertiliser production.

The approximately €80 million ($90.2 million) order has been booked into Outotec’s 2019 March quarter order intake, the company said.

Outotec’s delivery includes the engineering, procurement and construction of the plant, which is based on Outotec’s sulphur burning system. The new acid plant will incorporate advanced proprietary technologies such as HEROS heat recovery system as well as a converter, absorption towers and an acid distribution system that are made of the Edmeston SX stainless steel alloy.

Outotec said: “With more than 20 acid plants and several mining sites, OCP Group is a global fertiliser producer and leader in the phosphate industry. The acid plant will be built in connection with their existing chemical complexes and support in OCP’s fertiliser production from phosphate rock from their mining processes as a raw material.”

Kalle Härkki, Head of Outotec’s Metals, Energy & Water business, said: “Outotec’s sulphuric acid technology has proven to be one of the leading technologies for decades. We are honoured that OCP has selected our design for their new plant.

“With our leading technologies providing benefits such as safety, high reliability and enhanced heat recovery we are happy to help OCP reach their sustainability targets.”