Engineering group DRA has ordered six large screens from Kwatani for the R1,6 billion Elikhulu gold tailings retreatment plant facility at Pan African Resources’ Evander operation in Mpumalanga.
“Kwatani was involved from an early stage in this project, so we were able to custom design this equipment at the study phase, allowing the EPC to readily integrate the design into the plant design,” says Kwatani CEO Kim Schoepflin. “Our focus here was to deliver a cost effective, fit-for-purpose solution to the customer that is technically appropriate to their needs; which is to retreat 1 million tonnes per month of gold tailings.”
Cognisant of the price pressures on all stakeholders, Kwatani was able to hold the price from the original quote date through to final agreement. Making the customer’s purchasing decision easier was also Kwatani’s substantial reference base in the gold sector, as well as at the Evander operations.
“We also helped the EPC with designs for ancillary equipment, assisting in holding down costs for the overall plant structure,” says Schoepflin.
Four of the six screens – the two trash screens and two carbon safety screens – are in excess of three metres wide, feeding 1,500 tonnes per hour. The remaining units comprise one regenerated carbon screen and one loaded carbon screen, through which some 2,000 m3 of slurry will pass per hour.
“We designed these six large screens to facilitate a commonality of spares in the plant, so that parts will be easily interchangeable. This will reduce the necessity for a holding a large inventory of these items,” she says.
She emphasised the low margins inherent to gold retreatment operations, highlighting the importance of reliability in the way that Kwatani equipment is designed, tested and maintained.
“Uptime of the plant is a key factor in sustaining a profitable operation in this sector, so we place high priority on both the process duty that our units must achieve and their mechanical durability to achieve low cost of ownership over their life-times,” she says.