Tag Archives: Mozambique

Montepuez Ruby Mining to triple processing capacity at Mozambique operation

Gemfields’ 75%-owned Montepuez Ruby Mining Limitada (MRM) has entered into a legally binding contract with Consulmet Limited to construct an additional processing plant at MRM’s ruby mine in Mozambique.

The addition of the second plant will triple MRM’s processing capacity from the existing 200 t/h to 600 t/h, allowing MRM to process its sizeable stockpile, bring to market additional size and colour variations of rubies and to assess and expand into additional mining areas, Gemfields says.

The contract is a lump-sum turnkey contract based on industry standard International Federation of Consulting Engineers terms, with MRM’s payment obligations agreed in South African rands and equating to approximately $70 million (at recent foreign exchange rates and excluding VAT and government levies).

Subject to specified milestones, it is estimated 30% of this cost will fall in 2023 and 60% in 2024, with the remainder being paid in 2025. In addition, MRM expects a modest expansion of its mining fleet through 2025, with notable additional capacity being added in 2026.

The new processing plant, funded by cash resources and debt, is expected to become operational during the first half of 2025.

The Montepuez mine provides more than half of the world’s supply of quality rubies, delivering over $100 million in tax revenue to the government, and over 1% of revenue allocated to establishing community and conservation projects, according to Gemfields.

FLSmidth improves water balance at Mozambique coal plant with thickener tech

FLSmidth has been chosen as the preferred provider for four large bolted thickeners for a large mining customer in Mozambique.

Two of the thickeners are designed to reduce water load on the filters allowing for a drier filter product, while the other two thickeners recover water from the plant tailings.

The installation, which includes E-Volute™ feedwell technology for superior flow distribution, will contribute to achieving optimal water balance at the coal plant in Mozambique, FLSmidth says.

“The thickeners measure 45 m in diameter and will control the density of material to the belt filters, improving the plant’s output,” Howard Areington, FLSmidth’s General Manager for Projects and Account Sales in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, says. “The design was based on the test work we conducted on the customer’s material, allowing us to determine the best thickener solution.”

He emphasised that a bolted thickener is quicker and safer to construct on site, saving on costs and improving quality control; both of these factors suited the project’s remote location.

“The extent of welding in the construction of normal steel thickeners typically runs into kilometres,” Areington said. “By contrast, the amount of on-site welding required by a bolted thickener can be measured in metres.”

The E-Volute feedwell technology improves flow distribution, leading to lower flocculant consumption, better settling rates and improved overflow clarity for the optimal performance of the thickener, according to FLSmidth.

Despite the COVID-19 lockdown, good progress was made on the fabrication of the thickeners in South Africa, according to FLSmidth Project Manager, Kevin Kockott. This has been managed by leveraging FLSmidth’s global resources and the design teams’ ability to work remotely.

“Our local South African office collaborated closely with our engineering hub in Salt Lake City in the United States, ensuring that our engineering work on the project was able to continue without interruption,” Kockott said.

FLSmidth has been involved with this project for almost a decade and has provided a significant portion of the coal preparation equipment. To date, this has included reflux classifier technology, pumps, screens and feeders.

FLSmidth’s global thickener collaboration hits the right notes in Africa

The use of FLSmidth thickeners in African mining operations has continued to grow, supported by, the company says, global collaboration across the FLSmidth organisation’s offices in South Africa, China and the USA.

According to Alistair McKay, FLSmidth’s Vice President for Mining in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, the company is set to deliver six substantial thickener contracts to mines in Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2020. McKay highlights that Chinese companies have been driving much of the growth in the continent’s mining sector.

“In our work in Africa with Chinese customers, we have found that our Beijing office plays a valuable role in ensuring streamlined communication and efficiency,” he says. “This allows a constructive combination of our local knowledge with the ability of our Chinese colleagues to facilitate relationships with our customers in China.”

This differentiator has enhanced FLSmidth’s acknowledged leadership in thickener technology in the region. The company will deliver 25 new thickeners, including high rate, high density and counter-current decantation thickeners, in southern and central Africa this year.

“The design work for these contracts was conducted by FLSmidth’s centre of excellence in the USA,” McKay says. “Given our established local infrastructure and experience in this product range, the thickeners were cost-effectively manufactured in South Africa and China.”

While the fabrication and platework was completed using local skills, the FLSmidth on-site technical support presence to construct and commission the thickeners at Chinese-owned mines in the DRC will integrate staff from the Beijing office.

“This improved communication between FLSmidth and the customer has negated the risk of any misalignment that could slow the process down,” McKay says. “In fact, our Beijing office has become increasingly involved in the full delivery process, fulfilling the role of the project manager. This is significant as the building of relationships across east-west contracts becomes increasingly important.”

FLSmidth offers full-service capabilities in thickener technology, McKay says, starting with bench or pilot scale test work to characterise customers’ material. This informs the customer’s flowsheet and equipment selection and sizing, and the right technology application for cost-effective, optimised operation, the company says.

Longhau pact sets up hard-rock mining at Xtract’s Manica operation

Xtract Resources’ wholly-owned Mozambique subsidiary, Explorator Limitada, has concluded a mining contractor agreement with Longhau Tianci Mining Co Ltd for the exploitation of the Guy Fawkes hard-rock gold deposit at its Manica mining concession in Mozambique.

The pact will see Longhau mine the Guy Fawkes deposit for six years or until the orebody is depleted or no longer viable, Xtract says.

Guy Fawkes was mined historically since 1893 and was one of the largest of a series of hard-rock gold mines in the district, with total production of almost 16,000 oz Au reported, Xtract said. A previously reported SAMREC-compliant indicated and inferred resource at Guy Fawkes came out at 1.13 Mt at 1.91 g/t Au with potential for additional upside in several dimensions.

Subject to a number of pre-conditions including the contract miner obtaining a gold trading licence and Explorator securing a mining licence and environmental licence, the agreement includes performance targets whereby Longhau will be required to commission a plant with a minimum throughput of 60 t/d within two months from the date of signing. The throughput tonnage will be increased to 120 t/d within three months of commencing operations, Xtract said.

Explorator will be responsible for recording the gold concentrate produced from the permitted area on a daily basis, while the contract miner will be responsible for the smelting of the gold concentrate and delivery of gold doré bars.

Longhau, as the contract miner, will retain 74% in gold for services provided, and Explorator will retain 26% of all gold production, amounting to 20% after payment by Explorator of the applicable Mining Production Tax of 6%.

After deduction of applicable expenses and costs and tax incurred by Explorator, Xtract has agreed with Mutapa Mining and Processing LDA (MMP), Explorator’s existing hard-rock collaboration partner, to split the net cash flow 65% in Explorator’s favour (with 35% due to MMP).

Xtract Resources, back in 2019, signed up to a collaboration agreement with MMP that could see the building of a carbon in leach plant and the subsequent processing of hard-rock ore from Manica.

Longhau is to commence adit mining and initial underground development during the processing build phase, Xtract said.

Colin Bird, Xtract Executive Chairman, said: “We are pleased to report the signing of this agreement, which should provide the opportunity for incremental cash flow during MMP’s Fair Bride construction and building phase.

“The Guy Fawkes deposit shows considerable variation both in mining width and grade, demonstrating propensity for selective higher-grade mining. Longhau intends to work a portion of the deposit by open-cast methods where drilling indicates that suitable grades locally can run close to surface. Underground mining will be selective.

“We are currently in discussions in respect of the Boa Esperanza deposit and look forward to updating shareholders shortly.”

Kibo Energy to help power Baobab’s Tete Steel and Vanadium project

Kibo Energy says it has signed a binding term sheet to supply 200 MW of energy to Baobab Resources’ Tete Steel and Vanadium (TSV) project in Mozambique.

The binding term sheet allows Baobab to exclusively deal and negotiate with Kibo regarding entering into a power purchase agreement (PPA) to supply the energy from its in-development Benga power plant, around 36 km away.

Louis Coetzee, CEO of Kibo, said: “The TSV project represents one of Mozambique’s key development projects that could contribute significantly to the growth of the country. We are therefore delighted that our Benga project will be supporting this growth by providing 100% of TSV project’s circa-200 MW energy requirements, subject to reaching final agreement on an appropriate PPA.”

Coetzee said this PPA was one of several supply agreements the company is targeting for Benga, in line with “our commitment to creating reliable, sustainable and affordable electricity in Mozambique”.

Kibo remains focused on developing Benga with its joint venture partner, Termoeléctrica de Benga SA, which will now comprise a thermal power plant with minimum capacity of 350 MW, as well as planned renewable energy projects.

TSV is being developed to produce 0.5 Mt/y of construction steel and is construction-ready with all licences, concessions, and agreements in place, according to Kibo. “This is recognised as a key development project in Mozambique and is set to be the anchor industry for the Revuboe Industrial Free Zone, Mozambique’s newest and largest industrial zone,” it said.

Weir Minerals improves plant uptime at mineral sands, gold mines

Two African mines are achieving increased production time and plant availability after converting to Weir Minerals rubber lining solutions, the company says.

A mineral sands operation in Mozambique approached Weir Minerals just over two years ago, after experiencing high wear on its pipe and launders. This was leading to frequent maintenance, leaks and downtime. The Weir Minerals team observed that part of the challenge was worn out and corroded metal work on the mine’s wet concentrator plants due to the proximity to the coast.

Access to reline the existing launders was difficult and posed safety risks necessitating a more effective solution, the company said.

The solution was to replace the competitors’ products – chemically-cured rubber – with Linatex® rubber and Linard® 60 rubber. This was done during the mine’s monthly shutdowns.

Whereas the competitors’ rubber lasted only two to three months, the Linatex and Linard linings are still in operation after 25 months, according to the company.

The Linard 60 rubber lining solution was also applied at a gold mine in South Africa’s North West province. The mine’s maintenance team had been replacing the rubber lining on mill feed hoppers and spouts every 10 days, but the Mechanical Foreman was looking for a more resilient solution.

The Foreman was not familiar with Linatex rubber products, so a trial using Linard 60 rubber was arranged, with the entire feed hopper and spout lined with this silica-reinforced natural rubber.

The results saw wear life increase to 12 weeks. With only the partially worn areas requiring relining, there was a reduction in relining costs. This, in turn, increased plant availability, resulting in fewer stoppages and reduced operating costs.

Linatex premium rubber is a proprietary vulcanised natural rubber produced through a process that uses high quality natural latex, according to Weir. “It has outstanding strength, resilience and resistance to cutting and tearing – with high performance in wet, abrasive conditions,” the company said.

Linard 60 rubber, which is silica reinforced, retains the natural strength and nerve of latex, while combining with the toughness needed for handling coarse materials, according to the company.

Operations at Kenmare’s Moma mine heat up with Royal IHC, Pyromak order

Royal IHC and Pyromak, through a recently formed partnership, have received an order for two reheaters for Kenmare Resources’ Moma mineral sands mine, in Mozambique.

As part of the contract with Kenmare Moma Processing (Mauritius) Ltd, two indirect electric reheaters will operate at the Moma mine, located on the north-east coast of the country.

Royal IHC said the order was the result of the strong relationship between IHC and Kenmare, where IHC has recently delivered a third mining dredger for Kenmare, JULIA, to also operate at Moma.

The indirect electric reheaters allow for the uniformed reheating of products by suspending the material in a fluid-like state, according to IHC. The complete surface of the material is then exposed to the electric heating elements. The discharge temperature is measured and controlled by adjusting the voltage supplied to the electric elements.

“If no reheating is required, the control system switches off the power supply to the elements, but the fluidising fan continues to operate, allowing material to flow through the reheater,” it said. “The reheater can adjust to changes in feed and ambient conditions rapidly, and also reduces operational costs.”

IHC’s Australia based specialised business unit for the mineral sands and alluvial mining industry, IHC Robbins, and Pyromak signed a partnership to join forces to become a leading global service provider and supplier of fluidised bed drying (FBD) systems recently.

The design of IHC Robbins-Pyromak dryers, coolers and heaters is based on the fluidised bed principle. Material in a fluidised state behaves as a liquid, flowing over and under weirs, maintaining a level surface and exerting a hydrostatic head proportional to the bed depth.

Pyromak has over 35 years of experience in the product development, engineering design, installation and maintenance of fluid bed dryers and associated systems, IHC Robbins has global expertise in the resources industry (specialising in the heavy mineral sands sector). Their partnership offers a unique mix of experience and capability to deliver customised solutions, tailored to suit customers’ specific operational requirements.

Kenmare pushes ahead with Wet Concentrator Plant relocation at Moma

Kenmare Resources’s board is backing a plan to relocate its Wet Concentrator Plant (WCP) B to the Pilivili ore zone at its Moma titanium minerals mine, in northern Mozambique, after a definitive feasibility study (DFS) indicated the move could deliver an additional 130,000 t/y of heavy mineral concentrate (HMC) from 2021.

The DFS, completed by Hatch Africa, confirmed the technical and economic feasibility of relocating WCP B to Pilivili, following the completion of the existing mining path at Namalope in the September quarter of 2020, Kenmare said.

The WCP B relocation is the last of three internal growth projects required to increase production to 1.2 Mt/y of ilmenite (plus co-products of zircon and rutile), according to the company.

WCP B and its dredge will be relocated by specialist heavy lifting and transport contractors on a purpose-built road from Namalope to Pilivili, according to Kenmare. The company’s updated investor presentation displayed a graphic of self-propelled modular transporters provided by Mammoet.

The key additional infrastructure required to commence production from Pilivili includes a HMC pumping system and power infrastructure, in addition to a 23 km purpose-built road.

The contractor will use self-propelled modular transporters to transport WCP B out of its mining pond at Namalope, along a road, including a causeway estuary crossing into the new mining pond at Pilivili. This is the same type of equipment that was used to transport the recently completed WCP C dredge in the Netherlands, Kenmare said.

The company posted a video of a simulated move here, which featured equipment from Mammoet.

The relocation and re-establishment of WCP B is expected to commence in the September quarter of 2020 for a period of up to 12 weeks, with the commissioning of WCP B at Pilivili anticipated in the December quarter of that year. During this 12-week period, production from WCP B is expected to be suspended.

“Additional mining areas have been identified for WCP B at Namalope to ensure that production is maintained, in the event of delays to the project execution schedule,” Kenmare said.

The Pilivili ore zone has the highest grades within Moma’s portfolio, with mineral reserves of 220 Mt averaging 4.4% total heavy mineral (THM). The life of mine average grade mined by WCP B at Pilivili is expected to be 4.6% THM and in the first four years of production the average grade mined is expected to be 5.3% THM. Due to these higher grades, production from Pilivili is expected to increase overall HMC production by an average of 130,000 t/y, contributing to a total of 1.2 Mt/y of ilmenite production (plus co-products) from 2021.

Additionally, Pilivili’s mineral reserves have higher zircon and rutile co-product credits than Namalope (with 0.25% zircon and 0.08% rutile in ore), which are expected to contribute to lower cash operating costs per tonne of ilmenite.

The total capital cost estimate for the relocation is $106 million, including $15 million contingency, which Kenmare expects to fund from its balance sheet and internally generated cash flow.

The most significant infrastructure requirement for the relocation of WCP B is the construction of the purpose-built road for the transportation of WCP B and its dredge. The road will be 23 km in length and 66 m wide, and construction is expected to take approximately eight months from the September quarter. HMC produced at Pilivili will be transported to the MSP using a 16 km overland pipeline and positive displacement pumping system. Electrical power at Pilivili will be provided by a new 16 km 110 kV power line adjacent to the purpose-built road, supported by a static synchronous compensator to improve reliability.

Kenmare received approval of the Environmental, Social and Health Impact Assessment (ESHIA) ESHIA for Pilivili from the Ministry of Land, Environment and Rural Development in Mozambique in May 2019, in line with the project delivery timeline. The company expects the ESHIA for the purpose-built road to be approved in the September quarter.

The contractor will use self-propelled modular transporters (“SPMTs”) to transport WCP B out of its mining pond at Namalope, along a purpose-built road, including a causeway estuary crossing into the new mining pond at Pilivili. This is the same method that was used to transport the recently completed WCP C dredge in the Netherlands.

Xtract Resources and Mutapa enter hard-rock processing collaboration pact

Xtract Resources has signed up to a collaboration agreement with Mutapa Mining and Processing (MMP) that could see the building of a carbon in leach (CIL) plant and the subsequent processing of hard-rock ore from its Manica deposit in Mozambique.

As part of this agreement, MMP, in partnership with Omnia – a company Xstract previously signed a joint venture and collaboration agreement with in 2018, will be appointed as independent mineral processing contractor on the various gold-bearing mineral deposits on the Manica concession.

MMP has agreed to finance and conduct the mining operations at Manica, including all capital and operating costs, with Xtract receiving between 20% and 23% (depending on the prevailing gold price) of the hard-rock after tax operating cash flow.

At the same time as this, Xtract intends to exploit gravity-recoverable gold during the CIL plant-build phase, assuming suitable material is available.

Colin Bird, Executive Chairman of Xtract, said: “This agreement allows for the extraction of CIL-amenable resources to be commenced in the mid-term whilst alluvial operations continue. The income to Xtract, once commercial levels of production are achieved, is expected to be significant and continuing for in excess of six years.”

While alluvial operations continue and the CIL plant plan is finalised, alluvial gold will still be exploited through an agreement Xtract has in place with Huafei Gold Resources.

And a concession exploration programme will be initiated with a view to enlarging the currently known resource by drilling at depth and testing areas not yet investigated, according to Bird.

MMP is currently the owner of a 42,000 t/mth hard-rock processing plant, which includes crushing, milling and gravity recovery circuits and furnace, for mining and mineral processing, located in the Manica region of Mozambique, according to Xtract. This plant has already had over $11 million invested to date and, as Xtract is aware, represents the only sophisticated hard-rock processing capacity in the Manica region, the company said.

“The MMP plant is the key reason supporting the rationale of agreeing the collaboration agreement, as it reduces both capital expenditure requirement and the time to production of the Manica project,” Xtract said.

MMP has undertaken to commence construction of the CIL plant and to provide Xtract with a schedule of purchases and an activity chart indicating initial production and a target date for commercial production of no later than July 1, 2020, Xtract said. Commercial production is defined in the agreement as the installation of a processing plant with throughput capacity of not less than 29,000 t/mth (being 70% of the planned 42,000 t/mth throughput).

Royal IHC readies new mining cutter suction dredger for Kenmare’s Moma mine

Royal IHC says it has launched a mining cutter suction dredger (CSD) for Kenmare Resources’ Moma titanium mine in Mozambique.

The launch occurred on May 20, with the naming ceremony taking place on May 24. During the ceremony, held at IHC’s shipyard in Kinderdijk, the vessel was named JULIA.

The new custom-built dredger will operate at Kenmare’s Wet Concentrator Plant C project at Moma, according to IHC. It is the third dredger in Kenmare’s operation that was designed and built by IHC.

The design of JULIA was based on the success of the first two IHC dredgers in Kenmare’s fleet, MARY-ANN and CATARINA. IHC used the more than 10 years of operational experience the two vessels have had at Moma, plus its extensive knowledge of dredging technology, to update and improve the latest vessel, it said.

“Among the improvements are an increased cutter power and monitor pump power, both to ensure a high production performance of the dredger at Moma,” IHC said. JULIA is expected to operate at 600 t/h with the potential to be upgraded to 1,500 t/h in the future.

The vessel will be finalised and tested at IHC’s yard in Kinderdijk, before disassembly for transportation to Mozambique, where production is expected to start before the end of 2019, IHC said.

Royal IHC’s Managing Director of Mining & Tunnelling, Hans Greve, said: “We are very proud to celebrate the latest result of our long relationship with Kenmare with the delivery of the CSD JULIA. This vessel is the result of our close collaboration and sets a new benchmark for the mining industry.”

Kenmare Chief Operations Officer, Ben Baxter, added: “Kenmare is one of the world’s leading titanium feedstock producers and the addition of the Julia dredger will contribute to the company’s strategy of increasing production by more than 20% from 2021. Through the collaborative design and build process between Kenmare and Royal IHC, this best-in-class, bespoke dredger will deliver additional tonnage, while reducing unit costs.”