NEW COLLABORATION OPENS INTERNATIONAL DOORS FOR BOOYCO ELECTRONICS

Booyco Electronics will quickly transition into a fully-fledged international service provider of proximity detection systems (PDS) in 2022. This follows the conclusion of a collaboration agreement with global smart technology solutions specialist Wenco International Mining Systems (Wenco).

The agreement will see both companies work in partnership to deploy Level 9 PDS systems across the global mining industry – as part of their objectives to enhance safety and production efficiency across the sector. Through Wenco, Booyco Electronics is immediately exposed to Wenco’s global distribution network with customers in 40 countries and offices supporting those customers in every major mining jurisdiction.

“The benefits to both companies are significant,” says Anton Lourens, CEO of Booyco Electronics. “Wenco is an internationally recognised and leading supplier of mining technology solutions and fleet management systems who truly understands open pit mining and operations. This affords our business the opportunity to enhance our existing PDS solution footprint and track record through their network. For Wenco, they now have a reference point in assisting their clients reach Level 9 PDS status through a well reputed service provider. Together, we can now collectively offer a safety system in both open pit and surface mines for PDS solutions for optimal personnel tracking as well as fatigue management.”

The Wenco technical services team are experienced in implementing complex real-time mining operation systems. They also have the requisite change management skills to condition these systems.

“As we’ve seen in South Africa, implementing a surface Level 9 PDS solution is highly complex. This was therefore an obvious fit with our system and marks a major step in introducing the highest level of PDS solutions to an international mining clientele,” Lourens continues.

Partnership established through excellence delivery

The collaboration is the result of a working relationship established between Booyco Electronics and Wenco through individual project execution work for new Gold Field’s project Salares Norte in Chile, South America. This is Booyco Electronics’ first execution work in the country together with local supplier, Insucam, and therefore an accolade in itself. Wenco was contracted to deliver a fleet management solution to site.

“Having recognised the Booyco PDS solution, Wenco approached me to evaluate the partnership potential between our two businesses and the rest as they say is history,” Lourens highlights. “Wenco is also recognised for publicly championing the benefits of new technologies and this new relationship is an extension of that message to market.”

With a working partnership firmly in place the focus for 2022 is the successful commissioning of new deployments. “Wenco has a number of contracts already in place with clients that are urgently looking for PDS implementation, so this year is ripe with quick win opportunities for Booyco Electronics. We will simultaneously focus on developing Wenco’s corporate knowledge of our systems so they fully understand the PDS offering, the capabilities of our technologies and then also how to integrate the different solutions into a single cohesive and comprehensive solution,” Lourens outlines.

While the global potential for PDS is clear, Booyco Electronics and Wenco (which has a South Africa-based branch) will focus equally on South Africa. The requirement for Level 9 PDS solutions remains an incoming legislative requirement, which was postponed due to the challenges of COVID-19, but should, according to Lourens be promulgated into law very soon.

“We believe there will be a massive spike in PDS deployment in the next 12 to 24 months as a result of this, equating to a solid and financially strong period for Booyco Electronics moving forward,” Lourens concludes.

MULTOTEC’S SA-MADE PUMPS DELIVERED TO KAZAKH MINE

The global reach of mineral process equipment specialist Multotec has been highlighted by the recent supply of its South African-manufactured slurry pumps to a chrome project in Kazakhstan.

According to Gerhard Hendriksz, general manager responsible for slurry pumps at Multotec, an order of 38 slurry pumps was delivered in mid-December 2021 through a collaboration of Multotec’s international business team and the company’s distributor in Kazakhstan.

“The pumps were produced according to the specifications provided by  Multotec’s distributor, ensuring the units will deliver the required duty for the end-customer,” says Hendriksz. “This includes being designed to withstand highly abrasive operating conditions.”

Certain chrome deposits in Kazakhstan boast some of the world’s highest concentrations of chrome oxide (Cr₂O₃) – up to 62% content – making the slurry particularly abrasive. The pump range that Multotec delivered includes models from the HD25 to the MD300, in metal and rubber-lined configurations to suit their respective duties.

An impressive turnaround time of just 10 weeks was achieved, with Multotec leveraging its trusted local supply chain that included foundry work, machining and other suppliers as well as collaboration with Multotec’s technical partner, 7D based in Perth, Australia.

Andre Burger, production manager responsible for pumps at Multotec, also emphasises that a close working relationship with end user and Multotec’s Russian-speaking business team ensured smooth preparation and delivery.

“Our distributor has in-depth knowledge of the customer’s applications and has the engineering expertise to ensure optimal product specification and performance,” says Burger. “Multotec will support the products with aftersales and support services, including availability of spare parts.”

Despite the trade disruptions related to the Covid-19 pandemic, Multotec has continued to perform strongly on the export front. Last year, it earned a place in the Exporter of the Year Awards – presented by the South African Capital Equipment Export Council (SACEEC).

Multotec supplies a complete range of pumps for medium and heavy duty slurry applications, including cyclone feed, spirals feed, mill discharge, tailings disposal, filter feed, effluent discharge and spillage. The range caters for flow rates from around 15 m3/hr up to 2,000 m3/hr.

WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM A KEY PART OF THE VUP

De Beers is making good progress on the installation of a comprehensive water management system at its Venetia Underground Project (VUP) in Limpopo Province. 

Costing US$2,2 billion to develop, the VUP will see an ultra-modern sub-level cave mine replacing the current open pit operations, which are due to cease shortly after being in production continuously since the mine opened in the early 1990s.

The cave mining method allows underground mines to achieve the same type of production rates that are normally associated with open pit mines and this is the case at Venetia. Once in full production, the VUP will produce approximately 6 Mt/a ROM to deliver between 4,5 and 5,5 million carats of diamonds a year. These figures are similar to those which have been typically achieved by the open pit operations at Venetia.

The new underground mine is located directly beneath the current open pit. Given that it is a caving operation, water ingress from the pit into the mine, particularly at times of heavy rainfall, is a risk which has to be carefully managed. 

The methods used to mitigate the risk include the installation of an extensive pumping system, as well as the construction of water control doors which will be activated if inflows exceed the capacity of the pumping system. 

The frames of the water doors are each about 8 m high and 7 m wide. The doors are 1 m thick and are designed to hold back a 100 m head of water. They will effectively seal off the ‘dry’ side of the mine, where the water pumps and other critical infrastructure are located, from the ‘wet’ side where the kimberlite is located.

In terms of the pumping systems, a major milestone was achieved in January 2022 with the completion of Pump System 2, which has the capacity to pump 100 litres/second (360 m3/h) out of the mine from a depth of 540 m. It has increased the mine dewatering capacity threefold and allows for active dewatering of the mine groundwater, which is recharged during the rainy season which runs from roughly December through to March.

The system consists of underground pump stations situated on 54-level and 46-level, as well as a pump station located in the K01 open pit on Bench No 27, which pumps to the open pit dewatering pump station located on Bench No 15.

A challenge on Pump System 2 was the installation of two pipe columns which connect the pump stations in the open pit and which are routed 120 m up the pit wall. After an initial unsuccessful attempt to install the columns, the installation method being used was reviewed and adjusted, with the new procedure adopted proving very successful.

Construction is now well underway on Pump System 1 with commissioning expected by mid-year. This system will add a further 40 litres/second (144 m3/h) of pumping capacity and involves the construction of a further two pump stations underground on 46-level and 54-level and one on the surface at Terrace 3 together with all interconnecting pipework.

Pump Systems 1 and 2 are interim water pumping solutions until the main pump station in constructed on 56-level. This is scheduled for completion in Q3 2023. Once it is in operation, the full pumping capacity will be 4 500 m3/h.

Construction of the first water door is currently in progress and it has had an extensive engineering review to ensure the integrity of the installation. The door is secured by 40 mm rock anchors, 234 in total, which are each about 2,5 m long and pinned 1,5 m deep into the host rock.

In total, six water doors must be installed before December 2022 to allow first ore production from the VUP to start by the end of the year. The installation of the water doors will therefore be a major focus for the underground construction team over the next several months.

An interesting point is that De Beers has invested R70 million in a new weather station at Venetia. This is linked to South African Weather Services and will give timely warning of heavy rainfall events and enable the mine to prepare in advance for possible excessive water ingress.

TIME IS NOW FOR BATTERY ELECTRIC VEHICLES IN MINING

In the mine of the future, battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are poised to play a leading role in improving health and safety, boosting efficiencies and achieving sustainability goals.

With BEV technology at their disposal, southern African mines are now able to consider how to prepare themselves to best advantage, argues Deon Lambert, business line manager for load and haul at Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions.

“For mines who are working towards carbon neutrality, there are options to combine on-mine renewable energy generation with BEVs,” says Lambert. “In countries where grid power is unreliable, this strategy also holds the promise of more streamlined and uninterrupted operations.”

With a solid reference base of its battery-powered LHDs and trucks already operating in the field, Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions has made considerable progress in introducing BEV technology into mines. From 4 t LHDs in 2 to 3 m tunnels to 65 t trucks in 5 to 6 m tunnels, the BEV proposition is well-proven. The key, he says, is to ensure that there is the right level of site readiness before bringing any innovation into an existing process. 

“For instance, it is clear that BEVs cannot on their own improve on the carbon footprint of an older, cable-trailing fleet if the mine’s source of electricity is still a coal-fired power grid,” he notes. 

Key to the enabling infrastructure for a productive BEV fleet is the necessary expertise for maintaining and servicing all technical aspects to achieve the expected performance levels. This process of skills development is well underway among Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions people in southern Africa, and will be rolled out into an upskilling process for customer personnel. 

“An advantage of our technology and design is that we minimise the new infrastructure that mines need to put in place to run our BEVs,” he says. “Our LH518B underground loader, which will soon be introduced to this region, needs no cranes or forklifts to change the battery, for example.”

Equipped with Sandvik’s patented AutoConnect and AutoSwap functions, the loader can change batteries on its own in just six minutes. Similarly, the battery charging facilities – complete with cooling component – can be readily moved and installed to suit the location of the fleet. The charger is also designed to have only a light impact on the mine’s electrical network. 

Lambert also highlights the importance of the extended technical support that Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions can offer to mining customers who employ BEVs for the first time. Service level agreements can include close monitoring and maintenance of equipment, and options such as batteries-as-a-service rather than purchasing batteries.

“The entry of BEVs into our market is an exciting development for the future of mining,” he says. “To fully leverage its value, though, we need strong partnerships at mine level for mines and suppliers to succeed in this technological journey together.”

CHRYSO GROWS ITS LABS TO PUSH CEMENT TECHNOLOGY

In its quest to help customers generate more sustainable construction materials, CHRYSO Southern Africa has continued to enhance its laboratory facilities – even during the disrupted years following the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The latest expansion within its Centre of Excellence in Jet Park near Johannesburg has been a cement laboratory, in which the company has invested extensively. According to research and development (R&D) manager Mpume Mlalazi, these investments will continue into 2022 to ensure the latest tools are available.

“Much of our work in the cement laboratory is focused on the growing global concern to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from cement manufacturing,” says Mlalazi. “We are also now fully equipped to align with international standards in cement testing.”

CHRYSO Southern Africa’s other facilities include a research and development laboratory for new product formulation and evaluation, a concrete laboratory conducting physical tests to evaluate concrete properties, a quality control laboratory and a colour laboratory.

There are also satellite laboratories at the company’s Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Kwa-Zulu Natal branches to support customers. Amongst the equipment recently acquired is an isothermal calorimetry and permeability tool; in addition to basic tools for cement setting time, specific surface Blaine, pycnometry and cement compressive strength determination auxiliary equipment.

“Our cement laboratory works closely with cement industry players, and supports our customers with product development to find solutions for their ever-changing applications,” she says. “Of course, cement is the main contributor to concrete performance, so it is vital that we understand exactly what impacts are achieved by the changes we can make.”

This is why CHRYSO Southern Africa’s wide breadth of facilities – combined with its depth of expertise – is so effective, with its cement and concrete laboratories under one roof, she explains. Whatever is achieved in the cement laboratory can be closely assessed and tested in the concrete laboratory.

“As experts in the field of admixtures, we have the necessary chemistry knowledge and products to help customers drive their sustainability agendas and meet their carbon reduction targets,” says Mlalazi.

She highlights that CHRYSO Southern Africa re-invests at least 4% of its sales revenues into R&D each year, emphasising that the laboratory capacity has a strategic role in supporting customers’ key concerns into the future. These include carbon emissions, clinker factors, cement performance and energy saving. The exciting projects underway in its cement laboratory include research into the potential for limestone calcined clay cement (LC3) to drastically reduce carbon dioxide emissions during the manufacturing process.

RAUBEX RELIES ON AFRISAM FOR NEW BEITBRIDGE BORDER POST

The new border post at Beitbridge, one of Zimbabwe’s first public-private partnerships, is making good progress toward completion by JSE-listed contractor Raubex, on behalf of its client Zimborders Consortium.

When completed, the facility will provide three new immigration facilities, each custom designed to speed up the flow of traffic, according to Raubex construction manager Herkie Sandenbergh. The first area, dedicated to freight trucks, has already been handed over, and processes approximately 500 trucks a day. Currently underway is the second phase which is focused on bus transport, which will be complete by May 2022. The third phase will be the facility for light traffic, and will be handed over in November this year. 

“Each stream will have its own terminal building where all customs and immigration documentation will be dealt with, thereby streamlining the processes by applying specific expertise in each area,” says Sandenbergh.

He adds that there is considerable related infrastructure around the town of Beitbridge that is also included in the scope of work. This includes an 11,5 million litre reservoir with associated pipelines, an oxidation dam for sewage treatment, a fire station, an animal quarantine facility and a new staff village for border post personnel.

As a key partner in the project, AfriSam has supplied some 7,000 tonnes of its High Strength R42.5 Cement from its Roodepoort plant near Johannesburg. The company will have delivered around 10,000 tonnes of bulk cement by the time work is completed – delivered in 34 tonne tankers. 

Adele Wentzel, AfriSam’s sales manager manufacturing for Gauteng, says the distance from site and the complexities of border crossings have been among the challenges to be overcome. 

“The AfriSam team has been working closely to ensure consistent quality and on-time delivery, while complying with the various customs requirements at the border,” says Wentzel. “Our close coordination – combined with daily interactions with site – have kept the project proceeding well.”

She notes that congestion at the border – which delayed trucks for up to a week – was a particular challenge in the early stages. 

“Our success to date has certainly built constructively on our long relationship with Raubex,” she says. 

CONCOR BUILDS TO TOP-LEVEL GREEN RATING AT IKUSASA

Its commitment to Zero Harm and sustainability ideally positioned Concor to complete the Ikusasa office block in Rosebank’s Oxford Parks precinct to 6-Star SA Office V1.1 green standards. 

According to Concor contract manager Martin Muller, the company has constructed a number of buildings in this development and elsewhere to 5-Star Green Star SA level in terms of the Green Buildings Council South Africa (GBCSA) certification. Ikusasa will be the first one of its projects to achieve a 6-Star Green Star SA Office V1.1 design certification. Green Star certification is an internationally recognised mark of quality for the design, construction and operation of buildings, interior fitouts and precincts.

“Concor’s strict performance strategies to manage water use, energy consumption, process waste and pollution all contribute to upholding critical environmental standards,” says Muller. “In addition to carefully applying our client’s sustainable designs, our quality systems all contribute to the points requirement in the GBCSA rating.”

These included Concor’s application of a comprehensive Environmental Management Plan on site, in line with its ISO14001 accreditation. It also applied a rigorous Waste Management Plan, which saw 70% of demolition and construction waste being re-used or recycled rather than going to landfill.

“We also conducted a hazardous materials survey on the project site before demolishing existing buildings, in accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and other legislation,” he says. “Wherever we found asbestos, lead or polychlorinated biphenyls, these substances were responsibly removed as the law required.”

Annelide Sherratt, head of department for green building certifications at Solid Green Consulting, notes that four key members of Concor’s site team completed the Green Star online course – which helps the team understand and apply sustainable ratings on the project. Sherratt highlights that the Green Star certification focuses on nine categories of sustainability achievement, from management and materials to the reduction of energy use, water and emissions. 

“In terms of the materials category, for instance, the Green Star rating rewards developers and contractors for reducing the amount of natural resources used, and for reusing materials wherever possible,” she says. “At the Ikusasa project, Concor reduced the portion of ordinary Portland cement used in their concrete mixes by 30% as an average across all concrete mixes used in the project, and achieved a level of 60% recycled content in the steel requirement.”

Local sourcing of materials also played a role in this category, where Concor sourced 20% of the contract value from suppliers within a 400 km radius of the site, and 10% within 50 km. 

In terms of energy efficiency, Ikusasa aims to achieve a Green Star SA Net Zero Carbon Level 1 – by generating as much energy on site as the base building would require. This includes the use of a photovoltaic solar generation system on the roof of the building, producing renewable power. The building’s design and operation enhances energy efficiency by applying sub-metering to track and control the main areas of consumption.

“Any energy uses of 100 kVA or more are metered separately so users can benchmark usage targets and implement opportunities to reduce consumption,” she says. “This impacts on the production of greenhouse gasses and other emissions associated with electricity generated by fossil fuels.”

The data generated by the metering system is captured and analysed by a digital monitoring system for building management, but is also shared with the building’s tenants and visitors on a public display screen – aimed at raising awareness and driving energy-efficient behaviour. 

Conserving water is another important element of the building’s environmental performance. This is optimised using options like low-flow tap fittings and dual flush toilets, as well as water sub-metering for uses such as irrigation and bathrooms. Plant irrigation was reduced by 50% using water-wise irrigation methods and smart sensors. Also, the heating, ventilation and cooling system is cooled by air rather than by water. 

PCI’S WASTEWATER PLANT EXPANSION RELIES ON WEG MOTORS

Water purification specialist PCI Africa has expanded the treatment capacity of a wastewater plant south of Johannesburg, installing over 65 WEG motors for optimal performance, reliability and energy efficiency. 

The project involved the addition of an extra module to the existing wastewater treatment plant, allowing it to treat another 50,000 cubic metres of water each day. Ongoing urban migration and development in the area has demanded that the region’s wastewater treatment facilities continue to increase their capacity. 

According to Lebo Rathebe, proposals manager at PCI Africa, the mechanical portion of the contract included the inlet works, 25 metre diameter primary settling tanks (PSTs), a biological reactor, secondary settling tanks and dewatering facilities. 

“We added a sixth module to the plant, which included the installation of two screw pumps to feed the PSTs, with four front rake screens and hydro-conveyors,” says Rathebe. “The PSTs were fitted with 30 metre long half bridges and two recycle pumps per tank.”

The new module treats water using a three-stage process for the biological removal of nitrogen and phosphorous, he explains. Influent – the incoming stream to the plant – first enters an anaerobic reactor before reaching an anoxic reactor and finally an aerobic reactor. 

“Recycle pumps transfer part of the stream from the anoxic reactor back to the anaerobic reactor, to preserve microbiological matter and keep the solution homogenous,” he says. “There are also recycle pumps to move some of the stream back from the aerobic reactor to the anoxic reactor.”

The WEG W22 motors, supplied by Zest WEG, to this project mainly power the numerous pumps on the site as well as the mixers and agitators, says Dillon Govender, Zest WEG’s sector specialist for public sector business development. 

The motors on this site range mainly from 30 kW to 90 kW flange-mounted units and also include pad foot-mounted motors from 1,5 kW to 37 kW.

“WEG motors are installed in all major processes, from screening, de-gritting, primary settling biological nutrient removal reactors, secondary settling and waste sludge thickening up to dewatering,” says Govender. “Our role in this project demonstrates our growing contribution within the wastewater sector in South Africa and the continent generally.”

In this project, WEG motors are also driving the pumps for return activated sludge and waste activated sludge. He highlights the demanding nature of wastewater applications, given the high levels of corrosion that can occur if equipment is not suitably designed and manufactured. 

“The Class H insulation on these WEG motors enhances their durability and lifespan, allowing them to withstand a higher temperature rise,” he says. “The contract also specified the inclusion of anti-condensation heaters for all motors of 4 kW and above. Our motors on site also boast paint plan 212P as well as IP66 ingress protection to help keep them free of moisture or dust.”

With the rising cost of electricity, it was vital for the motors to run at high efficiencies to control the plant’s operating costs. Zest WEG supplied its IE3 top premium efficiency motors to satisfy the client’s specifications and ensure the owner achieves the lowest cost of ownership. Govender notes that Zest WEG also offers IE4 motors, the next level of efficiency.

Rathebe emphasises the advantage of having Zest WEG supply almost all the motors on the project, saying this made life easier for both the contractor and the end-user. 

“In terms of ongoing operation, the plant owner can economise on the spares they carry, and be assured of responsive after-sales support,” he says. “As the contractor executing this project, it was easier for us to have one source of responsibility when dealing with the supplier.”

Govender concludes that the quality, robustness and efficiency of WEG motors allows Zest WEG to offer a five-year guarantee, giving customers not only value for money but peace of mind that operations will not be disrupted by unexpected stoppages. 

MULTOTEC’S RAMA™ IS A GIANT STEP IN PRECISION SAMPLING

With its latest sampling system that aligns with metallurgical accounting standards, minerals processing equipment leader Multotec now offers unprecedented levels of accuracy for effective plant optimisation.

The company’s Realtime Automated Metallurgical Accounting (RAMA™) system promises to deliver significant value by unlocking higher mineral content through improved grade control and recovery, as well as by optimising the consumption of reagents. The system essentially brings three sampling disciplines – metallurgical accounting slurry sampling, sub-sampling, preparation and analysis – into one solution.

“By integrating our advanced samplers with a sample preparation system that meets metallurgical accounting standards, we can feed online analysers with a fully representative and accurate sample,” says Modisaotsile Nyokong, process manager at Multotec. “While analysers can be accurate instruments, they cannot provide meaningful results if they are fed with inaccurate samples.”

Nyokong highlights that the RAMA™ online analysis feed preparation system extracts regular and full sample increments from slurry flow streams according to AMIRA P754 metal accounting standards, best practice standard and Theory of Sampling. This eliminates more than 80% of the total sampling error, and allows real time process control to be conducted to the highest standard.

“Samples are extracted from the production flow using automated mechanical samplers which are Theory of Sampling (TOS) compliant,” he says. “This is achieved by taking full cross-cut samples that are representative of the flow stream.”

The analysed slurry is therefore unbiased, presenting an accurate reflection of all the key parameters such as particle size, slurry density, settling velocity and mineral grade. He explains that process control samplers – including pressure pipe, poppet and shark fin type samplers – have traditionally been used to feed online analysers. However, these primary samplers do not comply with the TOS, with the result that poorly represented samples are analysed with high levels of precision – which is a futile exercise. 

“Our advantage with the RAMA™ system lies with feeding representative samples to online analysers, using correct sampler designs,” says Nyokong. “This produces real time results that represent the flow stream and are free of error or statistically significant bias.”

Multotec’s slurry sample preparation solution prepares and treats each analysis stream in its own line, making it ideally suited to analysers that deal with streams individually – avoiding cross-contamination. Where multiple streams are analysed through the same analyser source and detectors, some cross contamination of streams can occur with different grades or mineral properties – undermining the accuracy of the result. 

Over an analyser multi-stream cycle, the RAMA™ system can collect composite samples for each stream, says Willem Slabbert, sampling and magnetics product specialist at Multotec. This means that the analyser does not measure the instantaneous off-take stream ‘sample’ from the traditional in-line continuous discharge like process control samplers – which is only done about 30 minutes apart. 

“Rather, it measures the performance of each stream through multiple composite samples taken over the 30 minute interval,” says Slabbert. “This reduces the grade or quality variability per flow stream, and gives the plant manager a more representative monitoring of minimum and maximum process conditions – with precise values.”

The problem with ‘snapshot’ sampling of process control samplers is that stream properties can fluctuate before and after the analysis. This fluctuation is therefore not captured in the results. By contrast, the RAMA™ system’s composite sample accounts for all process variations over the analysis period.

Slabbert reiterates that sample analysis results are only as good as the sample presented for analysis, pointing out that this applies as much to online analysers for process control as it does to conventional laboratory analysis for metallurgical accounting.

“RAMA™ is also a cost saving solution, as separate process control samplers are no longer required,” he says. “The samplers’ purpose in our system is doubled up for both metal accounting and for process control – without the need for any compromise.”

Configured in a containerised and modular design, RAMA™ is a compact and mobile system. This allows for easy installation and retrofitting into any plant operation – where it can feed any type of online analyser. It can also be readily transported and commissioned, with flexibility for expansion where necessary. Layout options are available for plants which have primary and secondary sampling with a subsequent containerised sample preparation stations, as well as for those with primary sampling only and separate secondary sampling preparation. 

The RAMA™ system allows analysers, for the first time, to be fed with representative samples taken from the production flow stream. The innovative combination of existing equipment with proven track record into a modular, containerised solution will bridge the gap between metallurgical accounting accuracy and accurate process control. 

“The advantages of this novel combination of sampling global best practices into process control applications will unlock value for both analyser calibration as well as optimal, dynamic process performance,” Slabbert concludes.

FULL WATER MANAGEMENT OFFERING FROM WEIR MINERALS AFRICA

Optimising water usage is a priority for Weir Minerals Africa – it is an area that can often be overlooked but contributes significantly to a mine’s Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) drive as well as its bottom line. “Our product and service offering aims to assist mines reduce their overall water consumption while optimising their usage requirements,” says Marnus Koorts, pumps general manager.

He says that when assisting a mine with its water requirements, Weir Minerals Africa’s starting point is to gain an understanding of the mine’s often unique challenges (for example, seepage in unknown areas and water accumulation), evaluate the site which often reveals unexpected outcomes and put together a tailor-made solution designed to integrate into existing infrastructure and resolve the problem areas.

Koorts’ colleague, Christian Stehle, who is head of engineering at Weir Minerals Africa, emphasises that the delivery of such solutions is generated in collaboration with the company’s in-house engineering team, an offering few OEMs provide. “When dealing with water it is important to understand that it is a dynamic situation where changes can be frequent. Our team understand this and know how to manage it with the support of our extensive product range.” 

So strong is Weir Minerals’ engineering capability that it has coined the term ‘engineered to order’ – a phrase that demonstrates its focus on delivering customised integrated solutions. 

The company designs and engineers a full range of dewatering pumps and equipment under well-known brands Multiflo®, Warman®, Envirotech® and GEHO® – suitable for any dewatering, drainage or water transfer application, providing optimum pumping performance in the most arduous conditions in applications all over the world. 

These dewatering pumps are part of Weir Minerals Africa’s extensive range of mine and dewatering products, including Cavex® hydrocyclones, Enduron® dewatering screens, speciality Linatex® hose, Isogate® valves, and tailored Multiflo® pontoons and barges. 

Following a partnership agreement with Andritz, the company also offers the Isodry® brand. This incorporates a range of equipment that has been specifically developed to deliver first class solid-liquid mechanical separation for the mining and aggregates industries including thickeners, filter presses, centrifuges, and vacuum belt filters.

Both Stehle and Koorts confirm that Weir Minerals Africa (together with all Weir Group companies) have, are and remain invested in technology – because this too assists with any sustainability drive, particularly when used in conjunction with water management solutions.

A prime example of the company’s dedication to providing technology-driven solutions is Synertrex® – an intelligent analytics platform that can easily be integrated into existing systems. It helps operations to understand wear rates, forecast replacement part timing and assists in making decisions to improve overall efficiency without unexpected downtime.