Tag Archives: B&E International

GROWING PRESENCE IN COAL GROWS B&E INTERNATIONAL’S CAPABILITIES

Raubex Group company B&E International’s 15 years of experience in coal today places it in the top rung of crushing and screening specialists in this competitive segment of mining, according to director of operations Sandile Mazibuko.

Sandile Mazibuko, director operations at B&E International.

“Our expertise – developed mainly in hard rock mining and quarrying – is today employed in processing about 4,8 million tonnes of coal a year for local and export markets, using our static and mobile plants,” says Mazibuko. “In a recent engineering, procurement, construction and management (EPCM) contract to a customer in Mpumalanga, we designed, manufactured and commissioned a 1,000 tonne per hour coal crushing plant on their site.”

He highlights that B&E International’s considerable in-house design and fabrication facilities allow the company to develop cost effective solutions that met and exceeded customer requirements. In addition to the mobile plants for which it is well known, the company also develops large static plants for high throughput applications.

“We have processed at least 25 million tonnes of coal for customers since we entered this segment, at more than 30 sites around South Africa’s coalfields,” he says. “Our considerable project capability can cater for various sizes of plants, from major mining operations to smaller coal operators needing just 150 tph.”

Among the applications for B&E International’s coal crushing and screening plants has been as stand-in equipment for mines during an emergency or a scheduled plant shutdown for upgrading. However, the company also offers a full build-own-and-operate (BOO) option to coal miners, reducing operating risk and substantially cutting capital expenditure demands for new projects.

In addition, its stockpile management and materials handling expertise allows B&E International to offer mine rehabilitation services, conducted with its own trained operators and fleet of key equipment such as hydraulic excavators, front-end loaders, articulated dump trucks and water bowsers.

To assist customers in addressing their procurement requirements in terms of local suppliers and enterprise development, B&E International has also developed innovative partnership solutions to meet growing requirements for local economic participation in coal projects. It is even setting up an office in the Mpumalanga town of Belfast, to be closer to customers and to take a more hands-on approach to supporting its small business partners in the coalfields.

CAPITAL-SAVING SOLUTIONS FOR CRUSHING AND SCREENING

As some rising commodity prices bring the sparkle back into potential new mining projects, raising enough finance remains a challenge. B&E International, specialist in crushing and screening plants, has a toll model that reduces the capital demands of mining entrepreneurs.

“Many smaller operators – or those who are new to the mining business – often find it difficult to raise all the necessary capital for starting up once the feasibility studies have proved a project viable,” Chris Weideman, director operations at B&E International, says. “They may also lack the in-depth expertise required to establish and operate a processing plant cost-effectively and efficiently; that is where we come in.”

For more than 40 years, B&E International has been developing its capacity to design, build and run process plants, and has the experience of operating in many countries, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. The construction sector is also a key focus area of B&E International, building and operating aggregate crushing plants for a range of applications.

The company’s extensive manufacturing facility in Gauteng allows it to conduct an entire plant construction almost entirely in-house, according to customer requirements. Its control of the whole value chain raises quality levels, holds down costs and shortens lead times.

“We have engaged in a number of successful contracts where we undertake to design, construct and operate a plant on behalf of a mining customer, so that they can focus on other important aspects of mining,” says Weideman. “We retain ownership of the plant and charge a toll rate depending on the production output. This removes the financial burden of paying upfront for their processing plant, and reduces the risk of that plant underperforming to the detriment of the whole project.”

He says there is also the option for the customer to take back ownership of the plant after an initial five year to seven year period, where they would pay only the residual value of the plant based on an amortisation formula that could be agreed in advance.

In addition to its head office and branches in South Africa, B&E International has permanent bases in Namibia and Botswana; it has worked in countries including Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia, and has also sold equipment into the Democratic Republic of Congo.

HOWARDS QUARRY MEETS MUCH ASPHALT STANDARDS WITH QUALITY DOLERITE STONE

High quality dolerite aggregate from B&E International’s Howards Quarry at eMalahleni is keeping Much Asphalt’s nearby static plant well stocked to produce asphalt for the N4 highway project and developments as far as Nelspruit over 200 km east.

As one of southern Africa’s largest commercial suppliers of hot and cold asphalt products, Much Asphalt keeps a close eye on standards and specifications of both its ingredients and its final product, according to its eMalahleni branch manager Gavin Roos.

“The quality of stone we use is an important aspect of asphalt production, as it gives the road its strength,” says Roos. “Dolerite is particularly good for asphalt because it’s a strong stone and it doesn’t crush under weight, so it is able to withstand the heavy truck traffic that our highways must endure without deteriorating.”

Before making their choice of aggregate supply, Much Asphalt takes samples from source quarries and sends them for specialised laboratory testing.

“This allows us to establish that the key aspects like fraction sizes, aggregate crushing value (ACV) and moisture content are suitable for our use and is in line with Committee of Land Transport Officials (Colto) standards,” he says. “Permeability and adhesion properties are also important, as we must ensure that the bitumen is going to adhere fully to the stone, or this leads to stripping on the road where stones begin to come loose.”

At plant level, the focus is then on maintaining a consistent grading of the stone ensuring that every load that is delivered is up to standard. Howards Quarry trucks in supplies daily so that Much Asphalt always has substantial stockpiles; this helps in retaining a consistency of aggregate, which is blended on-site by means of a pay-loader.

Good dolerite sources are being systematically depleted and quality aggregates produced from this igneous rock have become scarce, according to Howards Quarry manager Andre Kamfer.

“The result is often that quality materials have to be hauled over ever-increasing distances, adding to the overall cost of a project,” says Kamfer. Fortunately in this case, the Much Asphalt facility at eMalahleni – one of 15 static plants that the company operates around South Africa – is just a few kilometres down the N4 highway from the quarry.

B&E International – a member of the Raubex group of companies and a provider of integrated crushing, mining and processing solutions – had until recently been operating its Kusile Quarry in this area. Now at the end of its life, Kusile Quarry’s production has been replaced by Howards Quarry, which has an expected life of 25 years.

“Independent tests verify that this hard rock dolerite source is far superior to anything else found in the region,” says Kamfer, “This allows us to provide superior quality aggregates to asphalt plants, mines, readymix companies and other contractors in the area.”

Roos emphasises the need for continuous, daily testing at his on-site laboratory. After every 100 tons of aggregate delivered, testing is done to determine sand equivalent, fines, grading and other factors that affect the ‘recipe’ for high quality asphalt.

“Based on our test results, we then make adjustments, after bringing in different fraction sizes from a minus 4,75 mm dust up to a 28 mm stone,” he says. “Depending on the consistency of the stone, gradings and fines, we adjust our final mixture because the asphalt makes use of a combination of those fractions. The more consistent the stone received from the aggregate supplier, the better for us.”

The mix must result in a final grading that aligns with the company engineers’ specifications; on roadwork applications this will also be done in compliance with Colto standards. To ensure the accuracy of the on-site laboratory, its equipment is regularly checked against Much Asphalt’s SANAS-accredited main laboratory in Cape Town. The company’s regional laboratory in Benoni is also used for more technical tests on both aggregate and bitumen.

Recent infrastructure upgrades at the eMalahleni asphalt plant – which was initially adapted and enlarged from a mobile plant – have included an improved conveyor system and storage silos. The plant can also treat recycled asphalt in new asphalt mixes, incorporating between 10% and 20% recycled asphalt.

Hot asphalt from the mixing drum is deposited into a hopper which will transport it to a storage silo.