It makes sense that Firebreak SA, a company focused on providing quality safety and fire solutions to industry, would select Apex General Purpose Strip Curtains to cordon off its receiving and despatch area at its facility in Alrode, Johannesburg.

Apex General Purpose Strip Curtains are manufactured from specially formulated PVC material which can withstand the movement of both pedestrians and motorised materials handling equipment without snagging or scratching.
The ends of the individual strip are reinforced by the patented Balledge® which when closed allows an efficient seal preventing unwanted contaminants from entering the cordoned off area.

Receiving and despatch areas are often a hub of activity with products being received from suppliers, and others being despatched to customers daily

Wim Dessing Jnr, sales director at Apex Strip Curtains & Doors, says that it is not uncommon for companies to want to control the ingress of dust and foreign particles at such facilities, especially delivery vehicles moving in and out most of the working day creating excessive dust.

“There was, however, an additional need at Firebreak SA, and this was to supply a solution that would allow the entrance to be opened completely, when necessary,” Dessing says.

This was accomplished by installing the Apex General Purpose Strip Curtains on a sliding rail in the opening.
The specially designed track allows the strip curtaining installation to be opened to allow vehicles to access the area, and then closed once the vehicle has left.

Dessing Jnr says the company has been supplying fit-for-purpose products for door openings in industrial and retail facilities for more than 40 years and works closely with customers to find appropriate solutions. Apex Strip Curtains & Doors supplies general purpose strip curtains, high impact traffic doors and high speed roll-up doors.


Leading vibrating screen and feeder OEM Kwatani will be showcasing customised products big and small at this year’s Electra Mining Africa exhibition, with live demonstrations showing the value of their laboratory test screen.

With a replica of the nose of its widest screen at its exhibition stand, visitors will sense the scale of these large ‘beasts’ currently at work in the mining industry.
They deliver solid performance not unlike rugby star Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira, whose image will grace the stand. These large screens measure 4,3 metres wide and 11 metres long and are operating in the most arduous screening conditions.

“The design and construction of these screens is a clear indication of Kwatani’s technical capability, with quality ensured by our ISO 9001:2015 certification,” says Kwatani CEO Kim Schoepflin. “Not only must they be robust and fit-for-purpose, but they must also achieve continuous tonnage at the lowest cost of ownership.”

In addition to desktop simulation in the design of customised screening equipment, Schoepflin also emphasises the importance of physical testing to ensure that the equipment delivers the results expected.
A versatile test screen will therefore be on show – a metallurgist’s dream – to give visitors an appreciation of how material can be tested as part of designing the optimal solution for the most challenging screening applications.

The test screen allows all the key screening parameters – such as the speed, deck angle, drive angle, amplitude and screening media – to be changed as part of the research process.

On the other end of the size scale on the stand will be 30-inch round separator, demonstrating the gentle, effective spiral screening motion that reduces breakages in products of high value.
At Electra Mining Africa, however, visitors will be able to sample the separated products: sweets.

This unit is part of Kwatani’s range of smaller screens and separators for industrial and food-related applications, now processing almost 50 different materials and products from sugar and rice to gold slurry and bunker sand.

Schoepflin highlights the importance of suppliers aligning with the Mining Charter: “We are proud to be the first – and still the only – manufacturer of vibrating equipment to be black-owned, allowing us to make a valuable contribution to our mining customers’ transformation efforts.”


Integrated Pump Rental intends to reinforce its position as one of the leading pump rental operations in southern Africa with its participation at Electra Mining Africa.

The company will showcase a range of its pump rental solutions aimed at showing the diversity of product available, and its ability to service all pump rental needs within the mining sector.

As the official representative of Sykes diesel driven self-priming pumps in the SADC region, Integrated Pump Rental offers a comprehensive range of these pumps for hire.
Offering characteristics such as high head and high flow, these large pumps are trailer mounted for ease of use. This range offers pumping capabilities up to 500 litres per second and a maximum head of up to 208 metres. Series and parallel configurations are available to facilitate higher heads and an increased flow.

Visitors to the stand can view a range of Grindex pumps. These robust units are easy to install, simple to operate and offer pumping efficiencies with low energy consumption.
The Integrated Pump Rental fleet includes drainage, slurry and solid handling and sludge pumps as well as stainless steel pumps for use in highly corrosive or low PH applications.

The company’s hydro mining solutions have gained traction over the last few years, and both the SlurrySucker and the SlurryBlaster dredge unit will be on the stand.
The SlurrySucker is ideal for the regular cleaning of process water ponds and return water dams, while the SlurryBlaster is suitable for hydro mining sludge out of water storage areas.
Both units are compact in design, and easy to transport from site to site. In addition, these units have been engineered to operate without causing damage to plastic lined dams and ponds.

Of interest on the stand will also be the latest addition to Integrated Pump Rental’s fleet – the Urban LED mobile tower light. With most dewatering and other pumping applications conducted on a 24/7 basis, there is a need to ensure optimum visibility and these tower lights provide reliable lighting ensuring the safety of personnel.
Completing the product offering will be a range of accessories including hose and pump flotation devices, hoses and control and automation solutions.

Integrated Pump Rental can be found at P73.


Lighting has a crucial role to play in allowing people to see clearly and avoid obstacles, obstructions, dangers and hazards. This is especially so when working on site, making lighting a critical safety issue.

Lee Vine, managing director of Integrated Pump Rental, says better lighting also enhances productivity and in response to this demand the company recently bolstered its pump rental fleet with the inclusion of Urban LED mobile tower lights. Units are mine specific and comply with all safety requirements.

Manufactured by AllightSykes, the Urban MLLED200K-9AC mobile tower light is built to the highest quality standards ensuring reliable operation. The tower light’s power coated full steel body and galvanised hydraulic mast assembly are integrated with its maintenance free axle suspension.

The Urban MLLED200K-9AC is equipped with a nine metre mast which ensures maximum output reaches the work area for optimum productivity and safety. The 359 degree mast rotation with lightbar tilt capacity is standard. Powered by a Perkins engine, the 240 Volt AC tower light delivers 200 000 lumens through four powerful 500 Watt LED lamps.

The unit is equipped with four adjustable outriggers facilitating optimum stability in all underfoot conditions.

Leading safety innovations have been incorporated into this latest generation LED tower light, and this includes an audible voice alarm should the hand brake not be engaged, or the unit is not level. When either or both conditions are not met, the mast cannot be raised, or if it is raised it will automatically lower. These integrated features prevent the incorrect deployment of the tower light on site.

The Urban is integrated with the purpose built Smartgen ALC708 lighting tower controller. This offers effortless operation, auto start/stop capability and engine protection.

“The inclusion of the Urban tower lights in our rental fleet is a natural progression and is aimed at addressing customer needs,” Vine says. He says the tower lights are also available for purchase.

Integrated Pump Rental offers a range of pumping rental solutions all engineered to deal with the harsh operating conditions on the African continent. Options include both medium and long term turnkey rental solutions.


Conserving large tracts of land for biodiversity conservation and research is one of the important ways that the De Beers Group ensures its overall impact on the environment is positive, according to De Beers senior environmental manager Dr Patti Wickens.

Its properties near Kimberley in the Northern Cape and near its Venetia Mine in Limpopo Province, together with conservation areas at both the major diamond mines managed by Debswana in Botswana, make up about 200,000 hectares that are dedicated to biodiversity conservation and research.

“For every hectare of land used for mining by the De Beers Group, six hectares are dedicated to the conservation of nature,” says Wickens. “This approach is driven by our objective to have no net loss of significant biodiversity, an aim which is now strengthened by our major shareholder Anglo American committing to have a net positive impact on biodiversity.”

Working proactively with a network of conservation and research partners, including academic institutions and NGOs, De Beers supports a range of research projects that make a broad environmental contribution. The research conducted – into birds, mammals, archaeology and other fields – is also given the opportunity to be shared at an annual research conference on biodiversity-related issues that the company co-hosts each year.

Fostering this vibrant network of specialists allows researchers to be readily mobilised when, for instance, a rare species is identified on one of its properties; such research could even lead to specific initiatives that promote biodiversity. Supporting this conservation research helps build capacity among young conservationists and scientists, as wildlife college students can avail the company’s properties for experiential learning; the properties are also made available for specific research projects by post-graduate students.

Wickens emphasises that a key part of De Beers’ business approach is to internalise all environmental and closure costs.

“This gives us both a clear assessment of the various business risks and an ability to plan the necessary biodiversity actions where new projects are envisaged,” she says. “This means understanding, in detail, the levels of biodiversity risk in each of the areas in which we operate – hence our careful focus on this impact.”


When planning and implementing load-haul mining contracts, the importance of close cooperation between contractor and customer cannot be over-emphasised, says Graeme Campbell, commercial and operations manager of Raubex Group company SPH Kundalila.

“It begins with the customer providing relevant and accurate data, so that the contractor can make the right calculations, but it goes much further than this,” says Campbell. “When both parties are focused on improving cycle times, the project efficiency can be significantly improved, and the cost reduced.”

He highlights that contractors will not be able to achieve the required cycle times if the customer causes any delays. But, on the other hand, it only takes small improvements to shorten cycle times and reduce the cost per tonne. This result should provide enough motivation for a constructive partnership.

“There are basic principles of earthmoving that influence cycle times, and these include ensuring ideal conditions both on-site and off-site,” he says. “On site, the loading area should be level and stable underfoot, while the haul road needs to be well-maintained, quality surface with as few stops as possible.”

The off-load area should also be easy to access, as this contributes to a quick turnaround time, he emphasises.

“Conducive off-site conditions mean that all activities must be accurately recorded, information on tonnes handled and hours worked per shift must be regularly provided, and there must be constant feedback on health, safety and machine status,” he says.

Not only will this achieve the shortest cycle times possible, but it will ensure a safe working environment – to the benefit of both the contractor and the customer.

“When adjudicating load and haul tenders, it is therefore vital that mines scrutinise the cycle times that contractors estimate, as this is a key criterion on which service providers can differentiate themselves,” says Campbell. “The difference between a couple of minutes per cycle could add unnecessary millions to the cost of a contract.”


On display at Zest WEG Group’s large outdoor stand at Electra Mining Africa this year will be not only its growing range of products but its integrated approach that offers customers significant added value in the execution of large projects.

One of the new products being launched at the event which is expected to draw the attention of visitors and customers is the WEG Motor Scan solution. This innovative device facilitates the monitoring of electric motor performance from a mobile phone and will help mines to avoid unplanned downtime.

According to Alastair Gerrard, integrated solutions executive at Zest WEG Group, the group’s entrepreneurial approach to aligning with customer requirements has led to the cost effective packaging of its offerings.

“In today’s mining sector, it is no longer enough to come to the market with a good product,” says Gerrard. “It is increasingly important to partner with customers in the design and delivery of integrated solutions that will enhance their bottom lines and achieve lower cost of ownership.”

The growth of Zest WEG Group’s product portfolio – as well as the increased size of many aspects of its equipment range – will see the company consolidate its exhibition on one large outdoor stand near the show’s main entrance.

“Moving with the trend of tailor-made solutions that leverage off our extensive portfolio, our integrated solutions approach will provide significant benefits to customers. It also strengthens our ability to supply and manage large projects,” he says.

He emphasises the value of early engagement with customers, which facilitates an in-depth understanding of the specific demands of projects. This enables Zest WEG Group to identify where it can contribute added-value offerings, drawing on its diverse product range that includes electric motors, vibrator motors, variable speed drives, switchgear, motor control centres, mini-substations, generator sets, transformers, containerised or and mobile substations and E-houses.

Also, of interest will be WEG’s recent acquisition of steam turbine manufacturing specialist TGM, which has a well-established reference base in the Brazilian market. Together with this, Zest WEG Group is growing its energy generation offering to include solutions in the renewable energy space.

Gerrard highlights the company’s Level 2 B-BBEE status and its extensive local manufacturing capabilities with four standalone facilities, enhancing its procurement value to customers in the mining sector.

WEG Motor Scan is a performance monitoring solution for electric motor installations. This innovative solution is designed to optimise access to information about the motor’s performance and allows data to be extracted and sent to the cloud. The access to real-time information allows preventive actions to be taken, avoiding unscheduled downtime.

Information is collected by the App using either a smart phone or tablet device, in either Android or iOS versions, and is sent to the cloud via Bluetooth or gateway. The stored data can be analysed on the device screen in a dynamic way or in greater depth on the WEG IoT Platform.

WEG Motor Scan will allow the connection of all the sensors in the plant, enable naming and monitoring of as many electric motors as required, analyse data sent to the cloud and synchronise the data through the WEG IoT Platform. But, most importantly, this solution will allow end-users to find their motor from anywhere in the world.


In the latest addition to its Vulco® composite range of mill lining systems, Weir Minerals Africa has introduced a new heavy-duty lifter bar to optimise service life and further contribute to lowering customers’ cost of mill ownership.

“The design and strength of this innovation makes us confident it will compete well against steel liners,” says Kevin Sherwen-Slater, Vulco Product Manager at Weir Minerals Africa. “It will also allow us to approach the bigger mills, in the size range of 6,5 metre diameter up to even 10 to 11 metre diameter.”

He notes that many process plants in the global mining sector are starting to ramp up production in response to higher commodity prices, putting them in a better position to benefit from more advanced liner technologies that offer longer life and less downtime. New mills being built tend to be larger, single-stream units that run at high tonnages for better efficiencies and throughput; as a result, mill uptime and lifespan have become more important factors in mine profitability.

“It is therefore increasingly imperative that mills run continuously, reliably and efficiently,” he says. “These new liner technologies – with stronger compounds and better designs – contribute significantly to mines’ efforts to achieve this.”

Manufactured with the new R67 rubber compound, which boasts higher wearing resistance than compound R63, the heavy-duty lifter also incorporates Hardox 500 steel to resist wear.

Vulco® composite liners have become popular for several reasons, says Sherwen-Slater, including a power consumption saving of 25% to drive the mill compared to steel lined mills, throughput increases of some 27% on grate discharge mills due to minimum blinding of the apertures on the grates and service life improvements of 30% compared to steel lined mills in certain applications.

“There is also a mill noise reduction of about 9 dB due to sound deadening from the rubber material, which is an important consideration for many mines as they work towards lower noise levels as part of improving mine health and safety,” he says.

The reduction of material lockup between the liners and the mill body, due to compression fit on installation, is a great benefit for low grade plant operations and reduces the risk of theft during liner replacement.

The liners – which are only two-thirds of the weight of steel liners – allow for a reduced installation time due to ease of handling, thereby cutting downtime and supporting plant productivity efforts. An added advantage is that the bearing loads applied by the mill itself are substantially less with composite liners.

“Due to the weight difference, a mill’s weight could be increased by 400 tonnes with the addition of steel liners, whereas the equivalent weight with composites would be less than 300 tonnes,” he says. “This represents a notable reduction in the pressure on the bearings, in turn improving their lifespan and reducing maintenance costs.”


As diesel engine technology advances in leaps and bounds, fleet owners need to appreciate the high level of equipment and skills needed to keep their trucks running efficiently.

“The great advantage of modern diesel truck engines is the fuel cost savings they offer their owners, mainly due to significant recent developments in fuel injection systems,” says Reef Fuel Injection Services director Andrew Yorke. “Recent technological progress has in fact been focused more on the diesel injection aspects than on the engines themselves.”

He warns, however, that keeping abreast of the specialised know-how and equipment from OEMs to test, diagnose and calibrate injection systems today requires constant and considerable investment.

“Many of South Africa’s aftermarket service providers had already fallen behind global trends during the sanctions era, when we ran with one brand of engine with mechanical fuel pump technology,” says Yorke. “The rest of the world had begun pursuing the electro-mechanical route, and we were not keeping up.”

This required South African players to effectively skip much of the electro-mechanical phase of development in fuel injection and jump straight into the modern era of electronics.

“For those players who did not fully understand this transition – and who did not invest substantially in the requisite equipment and expertise – the pace and demands of change have left them behind, leading to considerable attrition in this market,” he says. “The fact is that proper testing and diagnosis now requires OEM-specific equipment, if the fuel injectors are to be restored to as‑new condition after maintenance.”

Yorke highlights a critical step – often overlooked due to the lack of the right equipment – in the final calibration and adjustment of modern fuel injector systems.

“Before the injectors will operate optimally when reinstalled, they need vital trim codes to be generated by the OEM test equipment,” he says. “These are calibration codes that are fed into the engine control unit, to allow each injector to deliver exactly the right quantities of fuel.”

Without the trim codes, the repaired vehicle will seem to run adequately, but it will not deliver optimal performance and the efficiency benefits will be lost.

“It is false economy to try and save marginally on the repair or remanufacture of diesel fuel injectors today,” says Yorke, “as the outcome will simply mean higher running costs in terms of diesel consumption.”


Consistently increased demand for medium to large range mobile cranes has seen Johnson Crane Hire strengthen its position as the leading crane hire company by ensuring that these machines are readily available directly from its branch network.

Sales executive at Johnson Crane Hire, Peter Yaman says that the company proactively monitors crane usage at its 14 branches. “Our customer driven focus has always been to ensure that crane hire needs are met in the individual regions we service, and this is only possible by maintaining close relationships with existing customers and understanding the market demands.”

Yaman says analysis of the usage and demand statistics allows the company to plan ahead, and this has seen the company take delivery of one 250 t and two 140 t machines with two 100 t mobile cranes due for delivery mid-2018.
This level of planning facilitates the phased delivery of the new machines as well as the reallocation of cranes from the existing fleet to the Johnson Crane Hire branches that need them, thereby facilitating optimum availability.

“It is not unusual to reallocate various capacity mobile cranes to those branches that have shown increased demand, and by doing this we empower our team in those regions to offer an even more rapid response,” Yaman says. “It is all about having the appropriate mobile cranes available where and when the customer needs.”

Examples of the reallocation of machines within the current fleet are the moving of a 440 t unit to Cape Town last year, and more recently a 275 t machine to Durban and a 275 t to Burgersfort.

Commenting on the new machines acquired by the company, Yaman says the Liebherr LTM 1250 mobile crane is not new to the Johnson Crane Hire fleet, however unlike the existing six axle LTM 1250-6.1 machines in the fleet, the new 250 t unit is a five-axle machine making it more compact and lightweight.
This provides the manoeuvrability to operate in confined spaces where previously this was not possible.
In addition to this, the LTM 1250-5.1 is equipped with and driven by a single engine which drives both the carrier and the upper crane. This translates into a significant weight saving as well as a reduction in operation and maintenance requirements.

Johnson Crane Hire has an established reputation for the reliability and performance of its fleet, and Yaman says that safety underpins all Johnson Crane Hire operations, with comprehensively documented and implemented safety systems that comply with all industry safety standards in place.

“We have a focus on proper crane maintenance at all branches, and this supported by the national workshop in Johannesburg where we have comprehensive workshop facilities,” he says.