Tag Archives: Murray & Roberts Cementation

Murray & Roberts Cementation achieves major safety milestone

The year has started strongly for mining services specialist Murray & Roberts Cementation, with a safety achievement of five million fatality-free shifts.

According to Mike Wells, Managing Director of Murray & Roberts Cementation, this landmark has been reached as part of a concerted corporate journey towards Zero Harm.

“This exciting milestone, which we reached in early January 2021, is the result of years of commitment by every member of the company – through multiple initiatives and programs,” Wells said. “This has included our unrelenting focus on the Major Accident Prevention program, as well as stringent risk assessments and the verification of critical controls in the field.”

Perhaps the greatest outcome of these efforts, he highlighted, is that the company’s safety leadership has succeeded in motivating and inspiring all employees in fully internalising safety principles. This has entrenched the belief that Zero Harm can indeed be achieved, with each employee returning home safely every day.

“We have seen a vital attitudinal change over the years, where success has bred more success and all our people take ownership of their safe work practices – both personally and collectively,” Wells said. “This builds a resilient safety culture, which has included a crucial commitment to doing work right the first time.”

Underpinning much of the success in safe working practices has been the increased investment in effective training strategies at the Murray & Roberts Training Academy at Bentley Park near Carletonville, South Africa. Here, the latest technologies and methods – supported by realistic mock-ups of mining environments – ensure workers are fully prepared for all working conditions.

“Our mining customers today regard the commitment to fatality-free operations as a given – not only for themselves but for their service providers,” Wells said. “We are proud to be able to demonstrate our success as part of the broader progress in this field by the whole mining sector.”

Over the years during which the five million fatality-free shifts have been achieved, Murray & Roberts Cementation has conducted a diverse range of projects across sub-Saharan Africa, including large shaft sinking contracts. Employee numbers over this time have averaged about 4,000, Wells said.

Booyco Electronics to provide Otjikoto gold mine with ‘true collision avoidance system’

Proximity detection specialist Booyco Electronics says it is equipping 19 mechanised mining machines with its latest Booyco CXS proximity detection solution to enhance safety during the development phase of underground operations at B2Gold’s Otjikoto gold mine, in Namibia.

According to Anton Lourens, Booyco Electronics CEO, the order was placed by Murray & Roberts Cementation, one of the contractors establishing the underground stoping horizon for the Wolfshag zone at Otjikoto mine.

The contract also includes sensing devices for 120 underground personnel on the operation, which will be included in the employee’s cap lamp to provide an alarm.

“Our equipment will help achieve the highest level of safety by mitigating the risk of collisions between pedestrians and vehicles, and between vehicles, on this project,” Lourens says. “The installation of our CXS units is in line with the commitment by the mine and the contractor to zero harm in the workplace.”

The Cementation Lewcor JV contract will take 28 months. Lewcor Mining is a Namibian company with extensive mining experience in that country. The contract includes a decline of 5 m wide by 5.5 m high being driven to the orebody from a portal in one of Otjikoto’s depleted open pits. The operation will be highly mechanised, with equipment including drill rigs, dump trucks, LHDs and utility vehicles, as well as shotcreting and ancillary equipment.

Lourens highlights that Booyco Electronics’ latest generation CXS system is a comprehensive and integrated proximity detection solution, taking a step beyond being just a warning system to become a “true collision avoidance system”.

He added: “The CXS system on this project will deliver Level 7 and Level 8 capability in terms of the Earth Moving Equipment Safety Roundtable (EMESRT) and can also accommodate Level 9. Although there is not yet a legal requirement for collision avoidance systems in Namibia, our customer and the mine adopt a global best practice approach to all aspects of safety in mining operations.”

With the mine’s location more than 300 km north of Windhoek, it is important the equipment is robust and reliable to ensure maximum uptime, according to Lourens.

“To ensure that the equipment performs optimally, we have trained the customers’ artisans on how to look after it,” he said. “A qualified serviceman from Booyco Electronics will also visit the site regularly to audit performance, assess the equipment and conduct any necessary maintenance.”

Booyco Electronics’ home-grown technology has seen wide take-up in underground operations – both hard rock and coal – as well as in the open-cast environment, plants and warehouses, the company says. It now has a footprint of over 100 mining customers in South Africa, with this Namibia project part of a gradual expansion into other countries in Southern Africa.

Lourens says the use of collision avoidance systems is likely to keep increasing, as more miners adopt the EMESRT guidelines.

He concluded: “The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) is also an important stakeholder in this process. The ICMM highlights that transport and mobile equipment accidents were highest cause of fatalities at their members’ operations in 2018, accounting for 30% of fatalities.”

Murray & Roberts Cementation adds trackless mining machinery to training options

Murray & Roberts Cementation has further enhanced its training facilities in South Africa to develop scarce skills in modern underground mining.

The well-known Murray & Roberts Training Academy (MRTA) at Bentley Park near Carletonville, in Gauteng, now boasts a specialised Engineering Training Centre for trackless mining machinery (TMM).

According to Tony Pretorius, Education, Training and Development (ETD) Executive at Murray & Roberts Cementation, the centre will raise skills levels among operators, service staff, artisans and apprentices.

“As mining becomes more mechanised locally, it is vital that the mining sector keeps up with the technical demands to maintain and repair advanced underground machinery,” Pretorius said. “There are simply not enough suitably trained and experienced artisans to keep the growing number of TMMs well maintained and fully operational.”

He highlights that there is considerable value in upskilling TMM operators to better understand and correctly operate their machines, for instance. This could take some of the pressure off artisans while also ensuring more uptime between equipment servicing.

“Mines aim to raise productivity levels with mechanised mining machinery, and this comes with greater technical demands on mine production and support staff,” he says. “This training will equip artisans with specific skills in mechanised engineering, which are not currently part of the syllabus for conventional trades.”

The centre – which was constructed during the national COVID-19 lockdown at a cost of R1.8 million ($109,074) – includes a workshop, wash bay and refuelling bay with all the necessary tools and infrastructure. It offers training suitable for people undergoing a trade or having completed a trade, introducing them into the wider mechanised mining equipment engineering space, according to the company.

Pretorius notes that many people remain unemployed after completing their trades at an accredited trade centre; this new centre enhances their employability while filling an important need in the mining industry’s technology trajectory.

“Here at Bentley Park, we have workplace approval with the Mining Qualifications Authority, authorising us to offer practical training to those undergoing trade training who need workplace experience,” he says. “Our mechanised mining equipment engineering centre can address the workplace learning element of their trade certificate – phase two and phase four of their training.”

The focus is on underground mechanised equipment such as load haul dumpers (LHDs), roof bolters, drill rigs and utility vehicles. The training incorporates the MRTA’s leading-edge blended training methodologies including e-learning, virtual reality, simulation and workshop practical hands-on training.

“This gives our learners the knowledge, understanding and skills required in mechanised mining equipment engineering,” he says. “In addition to our own employees, we also provide training for the mining sector broadly, and can customise training for mining companies.”

The centre has already enrolled 19 apprentices in the mechanised mining equipment engineering training, and expects considerable interest from the mining industry as a whole. The MRTA is also working closely with the Mining Qualifications Authority to make the training available to qualified work-seekers.

MacLean Engineering up to the Africa mining challenge

MacLean Engineering’s investment in Africa is paying off, with multiple production support vehicle sales recently secured on the back of an increased presence in South Africa.

Having last month bolstered its largest single fleet in Africa to 11 vehicles at the Kibali gold mine, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the company is now busy assembling equipment for delivery at an underground mine in Namibia, while making manufacturing and delivery plans for a successful tender for five units that will head to a underground gold mine in Mali.

John-Paul Theunissen, MacLean’s General Manager for Africa, says recent sales could be put down to the company boosting its manufacturing and service capacity on the continent close to two years ago.

“We are now manufacturing for Africa out of South Africa,” he told IM. “Towards the end of 2018/beginning of 2019, we commissioned another 900 sq.m of manufacturing space at our South Africa facility. This means we now have 1,000 sq.m of workshop and assembly space.”

The Free State facility, the first international branch MacLean set up back in the 1990s, also offers maintenance and service support.

These attributes, plus the ability to access MacLean engineers across the globe for equipment troubleshooting, have allowed Africa-based mining companies to get comfortable with the Canada-based brand, according to Theunissen.

“We have really started to build momentum in Africa, increasing the level of service and support closer to home,” he said.

“It is this local aspect that really sells fleets, as opposed to individual machines.”

MacLean now has 1,000 sq.m of workshop and assembly space, Theunissen says

This increased local offering has arrived at just the right time.

While the stricter lockdown measures in South Africa have been lifted – the country has moved from Level 5 to Level 3, allowing mines to return to full capacity (with COVID-safe procedures in place) – companies procuring equipment for Africa are conscious intercontinental deliveries could face upheaval again if a ‘second wave’ of COVID-19 hits.

Some mining companies influenced by recent lockdowns are also making longer-term pledges to adjust their supply chains to take advantage of local expertise, at the same time reducing potential risks that come with buying machines and solutions from overseas suppliers.

This recently enlarged presence in Africa could see MacLean benefit from such moves.

Recent orders

The latest orders Theunissen mentioned could reflect this reality.

In securing a contract to supply three MacLean 3-Series Cassette Trucks (CS3) and four cassettes to the Murray & Roberts Cementation and Lewcor Mining joint venture set to establish the underground stoping horizon at the Wolfshag zone at B2Gold’s Otjikoto mine, in Namibia, the company achieved several ‘firsts’, he said.

“It’s a new customer, Murray & Roberts; a new country, Namibia; and a new miner, B2Gold,” he said.

These units will be assembled in South Africa – another MacLean first – and are due to be delivered to the mine by the end of the last quarter of the year, according to Theunissen.

And, as mentioned before, the company recently bolstered the fleet at the Barrick Gold/AngloGold Ashanti majority owned Kibali gold mine in the DRC.

The latest piece of equipment for the mine – which arrived at the end of July – was one of the company’s personnel carriers.

This adds to the three EC3 Emulsion Chargers, a WS3 Water Sprayer, a FL3 Fuel Lube Truck, and a BT3 Boom Truck – all from MacLean’s trusted Mine-Mate™ Series – that Byrnecut, the original mining contractor at Kibali, brought in from 2013 onwards.

When the Kibali mining model changed to ‘owner-operator’ under the management of Randgold (now Barrick), the fleet got bigger, with the miner adding four new rigs: another EC3, another BT3, an SL3 Scissor Lift with pipe handler attachment, and a TM2 Mobile Concrete Mixer.

MacLean says its expanding presence at Kibali, from the development phase all the way back in 2013 up to achieving record production numbers in 2019 and 2020, illustrates the “MacLean Advantage in action”.

It explained: “MacLean’s dedicated team in South Africa has worked closely with mine management and operators to provide the training, maintenance and support needed to keep Kibali running smoothly. With operations forecast to continue at Kibali through 2036, MacLean looks forward to providing dependable support for years to come.”

Tech take-up

Mines like Kibali – one of the most technologically advanced in Africa – are gradually becoming more and more automated in an effort to increase productivity and safety.

Already one of the world’s most highly automated underground gold mines, Kibali’s backbone is Sandvik’s AutoMine Multi Fleet system, supervised on surface by a single operator. This system, in a world first, allows a fleet of up to five LHDs to be operated autonomously, 750 m below the surface, within the same 6 m x 6 m production drive while using designated passing bays to maintain traffic flow, Barrick says. A similar system is used in the production levels to feed the ore passes, according to the company.

While MacLean’s production support vehicles often interact with these autonomous loaders, for the time being they are still manned by operators.

This is set to change into the future, according to Theunissen.

“The Advanced Vehicle Technology Team (AVT) in Canada is moving into the automation space,” he said. “We’re looking to integrate our own digitalised systems into those of OEMs such as Sandvik and Epiroc to ensure fully interoperable autonomous operation.”

Within the AVT, the Advanced Vehicle Technology group embedded at the MacLean Research and Demonstration Facility, in Sudbury, Ontario (pictured below), has over 20 engineering staff working on remotely controlled to fully autonomous vehicle operation, using radar, LiDAR, and vehicle monitoring technology, according to MacLean.

This team has already come up with vehicle telemetry hardware and software, and virtual reality training tools. It is also transitioning to a cloud-based platform for documentation, parts ordering, and training content called Documoto.

The Advanced Vehicle Technology group is embedded at the MacLean Research and Demonstration Facility, in Sudbury, Ontario (photo: James Hodgins)

While these technology developments will, in the future, underwrite the company’s transition to offering machines capable of fully autonomous operation, MacLean is already at the front of the pack when it comes to facilitating the industry’s electrification movement.

In Canada, it has more than 30 battery electric mining vehicles (BEVs) working underground – at 10 mine sites, across four provinces, with more than 50,000 operating hours amassed.

While Africa as a whole might not yet have the energy infrastructure in place to fully leverage these ‘green’ BEVs – many mines remain off grid and reliant on diesel power – Theunissen has seen grid-connected miners in South Africa show interest in taking on these machines.

“In South Africa there is already appetite for BEVs,” he said. “We see it coming through in the RFIs (request for information) we get on projects.”

MacLean has an advantage over some of its competitors when it comes to converting these RFIs into sales.

Not only has it got thousands of operating hours under its belt, it also has engineers in place that can calculate the total cost of ownership savings a specific mine will achieve should they bring BEVs into their fleets. Due to the increase in upfront cost currently seen when comparing diesel- with battery-powered vehicles, this type of analysis is crucial to securing orders.

“We can show them how the machine will fit into the mining cycle and provide in-house calculations on ventilation and mine design savings,” Theunissen said. “This helps assist end users when it comes to long-term decision making for the mine.”

For countries in Africa to get on board the electrification train like those mines in Canada have, Theunissen thinks governments will need to introduce incentives for mines to change their energy inputs and adopt BEVs.

Should this happen, MacLean will be equipped both within the continent and internationally to take on that challenge.

M&R Cementation ready to make shaft sinking transition at Palabora copper mine

The sinking of the 1,200-m deep ventilation shaft at Palabora Copper, in South Africa, is proceeding apace, notwithstanding the COVID-19 shutdown and restrictions, contractor Murray & Roberts Cementation reports.

Work began on the 8.5 m diameter shaft early in 2019, with pre-sinking recently reaching a depth of 50 m and the changeover from pre-sink to main sink almost complete, according to Murray & Roberts Cementation Project Executive Mine Development, Graham Chamberlain.

Part of the development of Palabora Copper’s new LIFT II underground block cave mining area, the shaft will be developed to a final blind sink depth of 1,190 m, with a drop raise to its final depth. Completion is expected in the September quarter of 2022, Murray & Roberts Cementation says.

“We were required by the client and national lockdown regulations to pause our work schedule, but operations resumed as planned when restrictions were relaxed,” Chamberlain said. “The priority is to ensure that safe working conditions are maintained, and the COVID-19 infections are avoided.”

The project is using automated machinery at the shaft bottom, removing employees from high-risk contact areas. Modern, high-penetration rate hydraulic drills are deployed on robotic arms nested on the shaft sinking stage. This allows operators to conduct drilling at any position in the shaft without physically being in contact with the drills, the company says.

“We shorten our cycle times with the use of explosive delivery pods containing sensitised emulsion,” Chamberlain said. “Electronic systems deliver real-time data on blast holes numbers, volumes and pressures, improving blasting efficiency and quality.”

To reduce potential disruption from the intersection of poor ground conditions, Murray & Roberts Cementation takes the shaft lining to the bottom of the shaft during sinking. In the past, industry practice tended to carry this lining to about 20 m from the bottom.

“Our lining approach is applied with the use of a modified version of the traditional shuttering, and our specialised concrete mixes which we design for this specific purpose,” Chamberlain explained. “The mixes are prepared and delivered by our on-site batch plant.”

Chamberlain adds that the company’s focus on Zero Harm and a rigorous safety regime continues to deliver a high level of safety on the project.

Murray & Roberts Cementation expands Bentley Park training facilities

Further enhancements at the Murray & Roberts Training Academy (MRTA) training facility, Bentley Park, in South Africa, are keeping the organisation at the top of its game in mining skills development, the company says.

The training infrastructure, near Carletonville in Gauteng, is constantly adding to its resources as the demand requires, according to Tony Pretorius, Education, Training and Development Executive at Murray & Roberts Cementation.

“Among our new facilities is an indexing wall on which drill rig operators can be trained to drill on a horizontal plane,” says Pretorius. “We are also constructing a new tunnel with a face wall on surface to teach miners how to take line and grade and accurately mark off a development end with laser technology.”

He highlighted the value of the MRTA’s ‘blended learning’ approach, which makes the learning process more effective by including not just classroom lectures but also e-learning, virtual reality, bench modelling, simulations and integrated learning in a workplace mock-up.

The facility prepares trainees mainly for the hard-rock underground mining environment, in which Murray & Roberts Cementation is a leading contractor.

Other recently developed mock-up facilities at the site include a board-and-pillar layout constructed on surface, to facilitate practical, supervised training for most primary and secondary trackless activities, and a figure-of-eight surface roadway for LHD driver training, complete with brake-test slopes. The fleet of trackless vehicles used for training at MRTA includes LHDs, a drill rig, a bolter, a telescopic boom handler, a mechanical scaler and a mechanised shotcreting unit.

“The quality of our skills output – combined with the ongoing demand for entry-level skills by Murray & Roberts Cementation’s mining projects around the country – allow us to turn training into jobs,” Pretorius says. “In fact, we are creating hundreds of career opportunities for unemployed youth from communities near our operations.”

With grant-funding from the Mining Qualifications Authority, MRTA will this year train 176 young jobless learners in basic mining-related skills, according to the company. Those who successfully complete the six-month program will earn a Level 2 National Certificate in Health, Safety and Environment for Mining and Minerals. Most trainees – of which half are women – are taken up by Murray & Roberts Cementation’s contract mining operations, to begin exciting careers in the mining industry, the company said.

Pre-sink of Shaft 2 at Ivanhoe’s Platreef underground project months away

In a review of exploration and development activities in 2018, Ivanhoe Mines has gone into some detail on developments at Shaft 2 at the Platreef PGM-nickel-copper-gold project on the northern limb of South Africa’s Bushveld Complex.

This follows a project update issued just after the Mining Indaba event in February.

Shaft 1, expected to reach its final depth of 982 m below surface in early 2020, will ultimately become the primary ventilation shaft during the project’s initial 4 Mt/y production case, but Shaft 2, around 100 m northeast of Shaft 1, will provide primary access to the mining zones.

Ivanhoe said Shaft 2 will have an internal diameter of 10 m, will be lined with concrete and sunk to a planned, final depth of more than 1,104 m below surface.

It will be equipped with two 40-t rock-hoisting skips capable of hoisting a total of 6 Mt/y of ore – the single largest hoisting capacity at any mine in Africa. The headgear for the permanent hoisting facility was designed by South Africa-based Murray & Roberts Cementation.

Ivanhoe said nine blasts were successfully completed in 2018 enabling the excavation of Shaft 2’s box cut to a depth of approximately 29 m below surface and the construction of the concrete hitch (shaft collar foundation) for the 103-m-tall concrete headgear (preparations pictured here) that will house the shaft’s permanent hoisting facilities and support the shaft collar.

Excavation of the box cut and construction of the hitch foundation is expected to be completed in the June quarter, enabling the beginning of the pre-sink, that will extend 84 m below surface, it said.

In July 2017, Ivanhoe, which indirectly owns 64% of the Platreef project through its subsidiary, Ivanplats, issued an independent, definitive feasibility study (DFS) for Platreef covering the first phase of production at an initial mining rate of 4 Mt/y. The DFS estimated Platreef’s initial, average annual production rate would be 476,000 oz of platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold, plus 21 MIb (9,525 t) of nickel and 13 MIb (5,897 t) of copper.

Murray & Roberts Cementation to sink ventilation shaft at Palabora copper mine

Murray & Roberts Cementation says it has been awarded a contract by Palabora Mining Co for a 1,200 m deep ventilation shaft at its copper complex in Phalaborwa, Limpopo Province, South Africa.

The shaft, with a lined diameter of 8.5 m, will reach a final blind sink depth of 1,190 m before a drop raise takes it to its final depth, according to Braam Blom, Project Executive at Murray & Roberts Cementation.

“The duration of this project is expected to be just over three years,” Blom said. “After mobilisation, site establishment and surface civils have been completed, we expect to conduct pre-sinking until the end of 2019, with the use of our special shaft sinking gantry to a shaft depth of 65 m.”

A surface headgear and winder installation will then be constructed from January to March 2020. This will facilitate the slow sink to 200 m and the main sink until February 2022. Canadian shutter and lining methods will be employed, the company said. The team is expected to conduct shaft stripping by mid-April 2022 and to dis-establish the site by the end of May 2022, it said.

“There will be no stations or other excavations required, so this will help keep the team in a sinking cycle and optimise production levels,” Blom said. “We will run full calendar operations with 12 hour shifts and cycles of five day shifts, five night shifts and five shifts off.”

A relatively small labour force of 123 people is planned for steady main sinking conditions, with some sub-contractors conducting surface piling and civil works for the winder, headgear and other site construction. Shaft drilling itself will be done with two twin-boom Komatsu shaft drill rigs, and mucking by a Komatsu excavator with close to 1 t of loading capacity.

Blom said ground conditions were expected to be a challenge in some areas, as profiled from the cover and core drilling “However, we have various ways of reducing the risk and downtime during these intersections – such as keeping the shaft lining as close as possible to the shaft bottom,” he said.

Palabora operates a large block cave copper mine and smelter complex employing around 2,200 people, according to the company’s website. It has developed a $410 million underground mine with a production capacity of 30,000 t/d of ore.

Murray & Roberts Cementation simulates mine environment for students

Murray & Roberts Cementation recently invited final year mining engineering students from the University of Pretoria, in South Africa, to try out a simulated learning environment at its Training Academy.

The company’s facility at Bentley Park, near Carletonville, Gauteng, offers a blend of e-learning and experiential learning in simulation conditions, the company said. The facility includes mock-ups of mine development areas and shafts, as well as a virtual reality blast wall which the students were able to experience.

Executives from Murray & Roberts Cementation also often lecture at local tertiary institutions and universities, adding to the students’ knowledge base.

Tony Pretorius, Education, Training and Development Executive at Murray & Roberts Cementation, said: “The Tuks students were able to appreciate our targeted and holistic approach, in which we apply simulators in a blended learning experience. This improves the way we transfer knowledge and build capacity among South African companies, to strengthen and build the local mining sector.”

Learners at Bentley Park complete structured e-learning modules, followed by visual training and pre-simulation training. They then undergo simulation training, followed by in-workplace learning using an actual machine under the direct supervision of a competent person, Murray & Roberts Cementation said.

“This is how we apply the situational leadership development model of ‘Tell, Sell, Participate and Delegate’,” Pretorius said.

Ivanhoe Mines’ Platreef Shaft 1 intersects ‘Flatreef’ PGM deposit

Ivanhoe Mines and sinking contractor Aveng Mining have reached a new milestone at its Platreef PGM-nickel-copper-gold project in South Africa with Shaft 1 now at the top of the ‘Flatreef’ deposit, 780 m below surface.

At the Shaft 1 intersection, the flat-to-gently-dipping deposit is an estimated 26 m thick, making it amenable to the sort of bulk-scale mechanised mining most PGM operators would dream of.

This is the first time Platreef, in the Northern Limb of South Africa’s renowned Bushveld complex, has been intercepted by underground mining activity, according to Ivanhoe Mines.

The mining team has now delivered first ore from the underground mine development to a surface stockpile for metallurgical sampling. “The estimated thickness of the mineralised reef (T1 and T2 mineralised zones) at Shaft 1 is 26 m, with grades of platinum-group metals ranging up to 11 g/t 3PE (platinum, palladium and rhodium) plus gold, as well as significant quantities of nickel and copper,” the company said.

The 26 m intersection is expected to yield some 3,000 t of ore, estimated to contain more than 400 oz of PGMs.

The 750 m station on Shaft 1 will provide initial, underground access to the orebody, enabling mine development to proceed during the construction of Shaft 2 – the mine’s main production shaft.

The mining zones in the current Platreef mine plan occur at depths ranging from approximately 700 m to 1,200 m below surface.

Shaft 1’s 750 m station will also allow access for the first raisebore shaft, which will have an internal diameter of 6 m, to provide ventilation to the underground workings during the mine’s ramp-up phase.

As shaft-sinking advances, two additional shaft stations will be developed at mine-working depths of 850 m and 950 m. Shaft 1 is expected to reach its projected, final depth of 980 m below surface, complete with the stations, in early 2020.

Shaft 2

Excavation of the Shaft 2 box cut to a depth of approximately 29 m below surface is progressing well, according to Ivanhoe.

Completion of the box cut will allow for the construction of the concrete hitch (foundation) for the 103 m-tall concrete headframe that will house the shaft’s permanent hoisting facilities and support the shaft collar.

Shaft 2, around 100 m northeast of Shaft 1, will have an internal diameter of 10 m, will be lined with concrete and sunk to a planned, final depth of 1,104 m below surface. It will be equipped with two 40 t rock-hoisting skips with a capacity to hoist a total of 6 Mt/y of ore. This is the single largest hoisting capacity at any mine in Africa, according to Ivanhoe.

Headgear for the permanent hoisting facility was designed by South Africa-based Murray & Roberts Cementation.

In July 2017, Ivanhoe issued an independent, definitive feasibility study (DFS) for Platreef covering the first phase of production at an initial mining rate of 4 Mt/y. The DFS estimated Platreef’s initial, average annual production rate would be 476,000 oz of platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold, plus 21 MIb (9,525 t) of nickel and 13 MIb (5,897 t) of copper.