Tag Archives: South Africa

Maelgwyn opens new 4,000 sq.m premises in Johannesburg

Maelgwyn Mineral Services says it has officially opened its new combined Maelgwyn Africa and Maelgwyn South Africa premises in Boundary Park in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The new facility offers over 4,000 sq.m of floor space housing state-of-the-art offices, workshops, metallurgical and analytical laboratories, together with a world-class metallurgical pilot facility, the company says.

The metallurgical lab and pilot plant mostly undertake commercial mineral processing evaluations for process design and development purposes to bankable feasibility study level with bespoke solutions and fast reporting times undertaken by experts in the field of minerals processing, Maelgwyn explained.

The laboratory facilities also support the company’s proprietary technologies, including Imhoflot Flotation and the Aachen Reactor. These technologies have found favour across the globe in associated processes such as Leachox for precious metal recovery, Aachen Assist Leach and MMS-CND cyanide destruction.

Sandvik and FLANDERS to develop ARDVARC-iSeries drill rig digital interface

Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions and FLANDERS have agreed to develop a Digital Interface between FLANDERS’ ARDVARC® Autonomous Drill System (ADS) and Sandvik iSeries rotary blasthole drills.

The development of this digital interface is a direct response to growing customer demand for agnostic automation systems in surface mining, the pair say.

The digital interface will enable the operation of Sandvik rotary drills via the ARDVARC ADS system with no modification to the drill rig, effectively a plug-and-play solution that allows for easy deployment of Sandvik drills to mine sites, FLANDERS explained. This open-architecture approach simplifies the installation and commissioning process while ensuring the customer retains OEM warranty and aftermarket support.

This agnostic approach to delivering digital solutions allows customers to select the value-added solutions that best meet their needs, whether that be the drill or the operating system powering the drill, FLANDERS added.

ARDVARC improves drill productivity by up to 30% and provides a significantly safer working environment for workers operating in complex or hazardous conditions, according to FLANDERS.

With its autonomous operating technology, FLANDERS helps its customers pro-actively optimise drilling and increase plant availability. The introduction of autonomous technology at the mine adds significant environmental gains for diesel machines, reducing fuel consumption and CO2 by up to 7.3% compared with a manned operation.

With its autonomous operating technology, FLANDERS helps its customers proactively optimise drilling, improve fragmentation, improve loading and hauling productivity and increase plant throughput.

The first deployment of the FLANDERS/Sandvik Digital Interface is scheduled for the December quarter of 2022 with further deployments being scheduled soon after that.

Sandvik in its statement says it “will continue to develop and support AutoMine® Surface Drilling solutions for remote and autonomous operation of the full range of Sandvik iSeries drills”.

FLANDERS added that it has signed a deal with Anglo American to incorporate ARDVARC on all new and existing drills at Anglo’s Mogalakwena mine in South Africa, including the recently purchased Sandvik DR410i blasthole drills.

The third (of four) brand new Sandvik 410i drill is currently being converted to an ARDVARC Autonomous system at the state-of-the-art facility in Middelburg, South Africa.

FLANDERS has already deployed ARDVARC Autonomous drills to Mogalakwena, converting Epiroc Pit Viper 271 XC drills.

Multotec pulping chute advances at Ekapa open opportunities for fines scrubbing tech

The performance of Multotec’s pulping chutes at Ekapa’s diamond treatment operation in Kimberley, South Africa, over the past couple of years has, the company says, opened the door to quicker and more cost effective fines scrubbing.

According to John Britton, Technical Consultant at Multotec, the two pulping chutes have achieved outstanding results, helping the customer’s facility to cost effectively increase the throughput of its Combined Treatment Plant (CTP).

“At our recent two-year inspection of the plant, we found that the wear rate on the ceramic lining of the wave generator was only 20 mm over that 24-month period,” Britton says. “Each chute was processing 380 t/h of recrushed kimberlite product with 380 cu.m of water, rushing down a 28° incline.”

Multotec’s patented wave generators use gravity to create a constant turbulent mixing action in the slurry flow that releases the mud, clay and slime sticking to the kimberlite particles. The chutes are positioned to receive material from the high pressure grinding rolls’ interparticle tertiary crushing circuit. Multotec’s engineered alumina ceramic tiles give the chutes and wave generators high wear resistance, it says.

“The chutes exceeded our expectations in how well they separated the clay from the kimberlite ore and broke up clay balls in the material stream,” Britton says. “This has really demonstrated the long-term capacity of our design to deliver results with hardly any maintenance or operator intervention.”

He highlights that the chutes are stationery structures that rely on the kinetic energy being created by the in-rush of slurry flow over the wave generators. This makes the solution much simpler and less energy-intensive than traditional rotary scrubbers with motors, drives and gearboxes. The chute can also achieve its results much quicker, as the material flow passes through in just three to four seconds.

Ekapa CEO, Jahn Hohne, says he has been impressed by how well the chutes have performed as an alternative to a considerably more costly scrubber circuit, and having delivered a 20% increase in throughput through the plant and making a positive economic contribution to overall efficiency. Hohne says he admired Multotec’s innovation capability and looked forward to even further improvements in the design.

Britton notes that, after conducting the wear inspection of the chutes, there were modifications Multotec was planning. One of these related to the retarder bars, which slow down and divert the slurry flow.

“We believe we can achieve even better results if we remove some of the retarder bars and install another set of wave generators,” he says. “Our results suggest that this will get the ore material even cleaner, before it reports to the screen, the conveyor belt and finally the dense medium circuit.”

The success of the pulping chutes at Ekapa has led to considerable interest from other diamond producers in southern Africa, he added.

Rajant’s BreadCrumb Peregrine unlocks tech deployment possibilities for Anglo American in South Africa

Rajant Corporation, the pioneer of Kinetic Mesh® wireless networks, says it has successfully deployed its fourth-generation BreadCrumb® Peregrine node at an Anglo American operation in South Africa.

Peregrine, which supports a maximum combined data rate of 2.3 Gb/s and up to six times enhanced throughput performance over existing Rajant BreadCrumbs, is being used at the operation to support applications for mine production systems, including proximity detection, fatigue management and teleremote drilling.

It is the first deployment in South Africa with Anglo American.

“Rajant has always been the leader in industrial wireless mesh networking,” Reyno Eksteen, BU Head, Scan RF Projects, a Rajant Kinetic Mesh distributor, says. “With the substantial increase in performance of the new generation Peregrine BreadCrumbs, our customers now can support applications that require more bandwidth. Because all Rajant BreadCrumb models are fully backward compatible, it makes migrating to the latest higher-capacity radio nodes much easier while still redeploying the existing BreadCrumbs to other parts of the network to get the most out of the customer’s investment.”

After successful implementation, Anglo American confirmed a considerable increase in capacity of the Rajant Peregrine within its pit network, enabling the company to become more innovative by introducing technologies in areas of its operation where it was previously impossible, Rajant says. This allows the mine to scale the overall network with the operation’s demands quickly, bringing much higher bandwidth closer within areas of its pit production environment.

The new Peregrine BreadCrumb provides impressive performance with the same robust hardware, which can withstand the harsh conditions of an open-pit mine, Rajant added.

The Peregrine offers multiple MIMO radio interfaces, high throughput and enhanced security performance with up to 256-QAM and 80 MHz channels. It is part of Rajant’s initiative to develop deeply integrated solutions that securely combine data from connected people, vehicles, machines and sensors, with machine learning.

“This data combination unlocks the benefits of process optimisation, digital twins, predictive analytics, condition-based maintenance, augmented reality and virtual reality while improving worker safety,” Rajant says.

The Peregrine is interoperable with all BreadCrumb radio nodes to expand market capabilities for industries like mining, rail, shipping ports, public safety, agriculture and heavy construction. It is fortified with rugged, environmentally-sealed enclosures and supports several robust cryptographic options for data and MAC-address encryption and per-hop, per-packet authentication.

Scalable to hundreds of mobile, high-bandwidth nodes, the Peregrine enables data, voice, and video applications.

(photo credit: Anglo American)

Delta Drone to carry out survey mapping and blast inspection services for Assmang’s Khumani mine

Global drones-as-a-service provider, Delta Drone International Limited, says it has signed a contract with Assmang Proprietary Limited for drone surveying services at its Khumani iron ore mine in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa.

The contract, which is through Delta Drone subsidiary Rocketmine Pty Ltd, is for a three-year renewal and has a Total Contract Value of A$880,000 ($609,740).

Drone services will include survey mapping and blast inspections for Khumani – formerly known as the Bruce, King and Mokaning (BKM) Project, which refers to the farms on which the iron ore resources are located. The mine has a capacity to mine 14 Mt/y of iron ore, according to Assmang.

DLT CEO, Christopher Clark, said: “We are very pleased to have renewed our services for a further three years with Khumani mine who are a leading player in the iron ore mining sector.”

Zululand Anthracite Colliery commissions Filtaquip filter press at coal operations

Zululand Anthracite Colliery (ZAC) says it has commissioned a new 25 t/h filter press at its coal washing plant, in Emakhalathini, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

The filter press, from South Africa-based Filtaquip, removes slurry from the water used in the coal washing process. It will aid in preventing incidents such as the coal slurry spill, which occurred at ZAC after the end wall at Slurry Pond 3 failed on December 24, 2021, the company noted.

ZAC Engineering Production Superintendent, Howard Atkinson, explained: “The filter press filters slurry-laden water and removes all the ultrafines from the water to enable reclaimed water to be reused in the beneficiation process.”

The filter press plant, which cost R14.5 million ($933,660), was commissioned on May 10, 2022, and was in full production by May 16.

Filtaquip says its filter presses have high pressure technology for up to 21 bar feed pressure; Q-Shift plate movement technology for efficiency; external filtrate discharge; and an automated and maintenance free shaker system.

The conservation, protection and management of water is a top priority for ZAC, it said.

ZAC GM, Wayne Rowe, said: “The principal aim of ZAC’s sustainable water management policy is to minimise and reduce freshwater consumption in all our operations.”

ZAC operates an underground, deep level, narrow seam operation, using both continuous miners and drill and blast mining techniques. ZAC’s current life of mine is up to 2027, but there are undeveloped known resources still to be considered in future, it says.

Kwatani customers set to benefit from Sandvik Rock Processing integration

Both local and foreign customers – as well as mineral processing OEMs looking for specialised solutions – are set to benefit from the recent acquisition of vibrating screen specialist Kwatani by global multinational Sandvik, according to the South Africa-based company.

The closing the transaction occurred late last year with Kwatani becoming part of Sandvik Rock Processing Solutions. 

The deal highlights South Africa’s world class nodes of excellence in the engineering sector, according to Kim Schoepflin, CEO of Kwatani, who says the Sandvik collaboration is a milestone for local industry. It also contributes significantly to the government’s industrialisation strategy, to foster world-class industries that can compete globally and promote job creation locally.

“The acquisition will allow Kwatani greater access into foreign markets through Sandvik’s extensive distribution network,” she says. “Our modern Kwatani facilities in Kempton Park, accredited in terms of ISO 9001:2015, is now the global engineering and manufacturing base for vibrating screens and feeders for customers.”

She adds that an added benefit for customers is the support they will receive through the Sandvik service network of engineers and technicians in the field. The proven interface between Kwatani and Sandvik equipment – for instance, a Kwatani screen feeding into a Sandvik crusher – will, the company says, add considerable value to customer’s purchasing choices.

“Customers get the best of both worlds, and can feel confident of the efficient dovetailing of our product ranges,” Schoepflin says.

Sandvik brings state-of-the-art resources which further leverage the benefits to Kwatani customers, the company says. This includes access to monitoring and automation processes as well as a depth of research and development into the application of technology like simulators.

Kwatani continues to invest heavily in its resources at its Kempton Park facilities, Schoepflin says, which employ and develop local expertise while sustaining a strong supply chain of local players. Sandvik supports this model, and shares the vision that business sustainability must be based on effective engagement, investment and commitment to the local economy. Kwatani’s local empowerment strategy supports transformation and is compliant with the South African Mining Charter.

“We work closely with local supply partners in our value chain – many of them being small businesses – to embed quality systems and manufacturing capacity,” Schoepflin says. “Customers can therefore be assured of quality throughout our products’ construction, with a reliable, sustainable and cost effective local production base.”

With its cost base rooted largely in the South African economy, Kwatani can offer customers a consistent pricing regime that is not vulnerable to frequent exchange rate fluctuations, it says. This has added to the popularity of Kwatani’s products at home and abroad, with the company twice being recognised in the Exporter of the Year awards hosted by the South African Capital Equipment Export Council (SACEEC).

“Our growth has allowed us to build our complement of competent staff, who are continuously upskilled to stay a step ahead of industry needs – with the help of our in-house training centre,” Schoepflin says.

An important indication of Kwatani’s depth of expertise and field experience is its ability to precision-engineer specific solutions for other OEMs in mineral processing. This extends to highly specialised equipment like sorters, which demand very precise feed characteristics and other protection.

“We are a partner of choice to OEMs whose equipment must operate within tight specifications, and which may have other specific requirements that a standard range of screens would not accommodate,” Schoepflin says.

Kwatani’s approach addresses the three key elements of vibrating screen performance: ore properties, screen design parameters and screening media. Its engineering solutions address all these priorities, Schoepflin says, giving customers optimal results at the lowest cost of ownership.

Zest WEG E-House powers up HIG mill at South Africa platinum mine

A purpose-designed electrical house (E-House) from Zest WEG is driving one of the largest new high intensity grinding (HIG) mills in the southern hemisphere, recently installed at a platinum mine in South Africa’s North West province, Zest WEG says.

The size and operational parameters of the mill place demanding requirements on the equipment in the E-House, according to Tyrone Willemse, Senior Proposals Manager at Zest WEG. Constructed in South Africa incorporating a range of products – produced and distributed by Zest WEG – the E-House design also delivers world-class standards of safety and fire protection, the company said.

“The key benefit of the prefabricated E-House concept is the time it saves the customer and the high level of quality that can be ensured through its construction and testing under ideal workshop conditions,” he says. “The process is also streamlined as the complete project falls under a single provider, who takes full responsibility for delivering on-time and on-budget.”

This E-House includes the HIG mill’s variable speed drive (VSD) and all its associated auxiliary circuits and starters. A range of WEG transformers and motors are also part of this project. With its extensive in-house expertise, Zest WEG generates fully detailed designs for its E-Houses, using 3D computer assisted design software.

“For this application, the E-House consists of a medium voltage room and a low voltage (LV) room,” Willemse notes. “The MV room houses the well-known WEG MVW01 VSD, with an integral oil type 12 pulse transformer manufactured locally at our transformer manufacturing facility in Wadeville.”

Willemse explains that the WEG MVW01 makes use of high voltage insulated-gate bipolar transistors, which lower the amount of power electronics needed. This also reduces the mean time to repair, so that operations can be quickly restored in the event of a major fault on the system.

“The WEG MVW01 powers a WEG 3.75 MW MGR eight pole 3.3 kV directly-coupled squirrel cage induction motor,” says Willemse. “This motor is specially designed to be vertically mounted to meet the HIG mill’s operation and maintenance requirements.”

Both the motor and the VSD were designed to meet the aggressive torque requirements during some phases of the mill’s operation. The combination handles the torque requirements that periodically exceed 170% for more than three minutes, giving the customer the necessary flexibility, according to Zest WEG. The LV room contains the motor control centre (MCC) that feeds all the auxiliary circuits of the mill.

“Importantly, we have installed the newly arc-proof type-tested IEC 61641 WEG board, which has the best rating for personal protection,” Willemse says. “In the event of an internal arc, the MCC is fitted with an explosion duct that transfers any explosion safely out of the building.”

Another aspect of the safety features is a fire detection and suppression system that meets the customer’s demands. The two rooms are fitted with their own fully automated room-flooding suppression systems, which can flood the space with gas that douses electrical fires but is not dangerous to humans.

“The system can detect smoke at a very early stage, and can also check against false triggering,” Willemse says. “More than two smoke detectors must react, activating a loud bell for evacuation or cancellation, before flooding takes place.”

The LV room also houses WEG CFW11 LV VSDs, which feed premium efficient WEG motors. The E-House’s small power and lighting circuits are fed by one of Zest WEG’s locally manufactured SANS780-compliant transformers.

Second Doppelmayr RopeCon goes live at Northam’s Booysendal mine

The second Doppelmayr RopeCon® system at Northam Platinum’s Booysendal platinum mine in South Africa has gone live, helping transport approximately 400 t/h of mined material over a distance of 2.8 km and a difference in elevation of -160 m.

A RopeCon system has been transporting platinum ore at Booysendal since the end of 2018, with this first installation transporting some 909 t/h of material over a circa-4.8 km distance through hilly terrain.

In December 2021, the second installation at Booysendal North was handed over to the customer.

The Booysendal North RopeCon discharges the material into the same silo from which the material is loaded onto the Booysendal South system, which makes it a perfect link in a continuous conveying line, Doppelmayr explained. Since early 2022, the second loading point along the line has been in use, too. The option of an alternative loading point was provided at tower 2. A conventional feeder conveyor transports the material to the RopeCon line where it is loaded directly onto the belt via a chute.

RopeCon, developed by Doppelmayr, offers the advantages of a ropeway and combines them with the properties of a conventional belt conveyor, according to the company. It essentially consists of a flat belt with corrugated side walls: just as on conventional belt conveyors, the belt performs the haulage function. It is driven and deflected by a drum in the head or tail station and fixed to axles arranged at regular intervals to carry it. The axles are fitted with plastic running wheels which run on fixed anchored track ropes and guide the belt. The track ropes are elevated off the ground on tower structures.

“By using the RopeCon system, the customer did not have to rely on trucks to transport the material, a definite advantage in this topographically challenging terrain with its sometimes very steep roads,” the company said. “Furthermore, using the roads only for the transport of people and supplies will have a positive effect on road maintenance costs.”

Booysendal was also particularly careful to choose a transport system that would minimise the environmental footprint of the mine. By guiding the RopeCon over towers, the space required on the ground is reduced to a minimum, or more precisely to the tower locations. At the same time, the system does not represent an insurmountable obstacle for wildlife or humans. The track crosses a number of roads, and even wildlife can roam freely underneath the RopeCon, according to Doppelmayr.

African Star appoints new mining contractor at Oena diamond mine

Southstone Minerals Ltd’s 43% owned subsidiary, African Star Minerals, has entered into a contract mining and diamond recovery agreement with Oryx Mining for the Oena diamond mine, in South Africa.

Oryx, at its own cost and expense, will provide and maintain all the plant and equipment as required to perform the mining services, Southstone says.

The diamonds produced by Oryx will be sold via a designated tender facility in South Africa and 80% of the gross income of net diamond sales, less commission, will be paid to Oryx for the duration of the 36-month agreement, the company explained. For any individual stones recovered with a gross selling price, less commission, of greater that ZAR10 million ($664,529) Oryx will be paid 70% of the gross income.

Oryx specialises in the processing of alluvial diamond deposits in South Africa and the operation is currently targeting to operate 24 h/d, six days a week with total headfeed capacity of 200 t/h. Equipment and road building is ongoing, and it is expected production will commence in May 2022.

The contract award follows the conclusion of mining by another contractor, Bluedust 7 Propriety Ltd.

Oena consists of an 8,800-ha mining right located along the Orange River in a well-established alluvial diamond-mining province that produces high quality and large sized diamonds.