Tag Archives: Zululand Anthracite Colliery

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.

Babcock’s Volvo fleet ticking the boxes at ZAC coal operation in South Africa

South Africa headquartered Babcock Equipment is helping Menar improve productivity and lower costs at its Zululand Anthracite Colliery (ZAC) in KzaZulu-Natal.

Earlier this year, ZAC celebrated an average of 5,000 machine hours worked in the space of just 12 months, with no downtime while running 24-hour shifts.

ZAC’s fleet of Babcock-supplied and maintained machinery consists of three Volvo A30G articulated haulers, two Volvo crawler excavators and two Volvo wheel loaders. The machinery was purchased to manage the reprocessing of a discard dump, and has worked up to 5,800 hours per individual machine since July 2017.

ZAC is South Africa’s sole producer and exporter of prime anthracite coal. It has a 100 t/h capacity and is expected to wash 3 Mt of discard in the next five years.

The reclamation of the long-standing discard dump will decrease the rehabilitation footprint of the colliery and produce 1 Mt of saleable product to be made available for both inland and export markets, according to Babcock.

The Volvo Construction Equipment operating at ZAC is being used to mine the surface dump and transport it to a newly built processing plant (pictured), as well as clean slurry dams at the mine.

Bradley Hammond, COO of Menar, said Babcock was able to offer something different from its equipment dealer competitors when it came to service.

“In addition to providing us with a highly competitive price, Babcock was the only company able to fulfil our extended service warranty requirements. This cost-effective, tailored package was the ideal solution for ZAC. Babcock also provided spot-on advice as to which machinery would be the most effective and efficient, and we are currently running at full utilisation with no wastage,” he said.

The CAP10C warranty and attractive maintenance plan offered by Babcock made the package highly cost-effective in the long term, he added.

This extended warranty covers 10,000 hours, and Babcock’s Richard Bay branch maintains the Volvo machinery through Caretrack. Caretrack allows for early detection and resolution of problems and Volvo-trained Babcock technicians are sent to site when necessary, Babcock said.

Hammond said the Volvo fleet had been a “great investment” with a fuel burn 20% less than competitors and equipment that is “perfect for our needs”.

The equipment has performed so well over the past year that Menar is considering expanding its Babcock-supplied construction equipment for other mining operations within its fold, according to Babcock.

Although being used for ‘soft’ mining, Hammond said the conditions have nevertheless tested the machinery’s capacity and endurance. “The Volvo Construction Equipment has shown excellent performance in wet conditions, with the crawler excavators doing especially well,” he said.

ZAC has reduced its monthly operating expenses and Hammond attributes much of this to Babcock’s maintenance plan.

Babcock Equipment distributes and supports international brands and construction equipment.