The growth and diversification of West Africa’s mining sector is making the precision of mineral sampling a vital priority.
“West Africa is a growing market for Multotec samplers and services, with the increased output of commodities adding a new dimension to the importance of our equipment,” says Willem Slabbert, process manager at Multotec Process Equipment.
For over two decades, Multotec has been active in the West African market, with its proven samplers at over 30 sites in countries including Ghana, Liberia, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Mali and Guinea-Bissau. A range of commodity sectors use the equipment for both slurry and dry sampling applications, among them gold, bauxite, iron ore and heavy minerals.
Multotec has also presented representative sampling training courses explaining the practical aspects of implementing the Theory of Sampling (TOS).
“In bulk minerals like bauxite – where our sampling plants have been in operation with a major West African producer for 17 years – the sampling protocol and “correctness” of equipment design is key to ensuring bottom-line success,” says Slabbert.
He highlights the importance of reproducible and accurate sampling – cumulatively termed representative – at the interface between the mine and port, and on the ship-loading conveyor to the client.
The sampling, which must comply with ISO standards and best practice as prescribed by the Theory of Sampling (TOS), confirms the mine is supplying product to the end-customer’s contractual specification. “Any imperfection in the sampling process can lead to unnecessary contractual disputes and potential financial losses for the mine or client,” he says.
Multotec supplies wet slurry samplers to many gold mines in West Africa, who rely on good gold accounting and reconciliation at their processing plants. The equipment is popular among large gold producers as well as the smaller entrants.
“With a comprehensive range of Two-In-One, primary and ancillary samplers, we are able to tailor each installation to the customer’s specific application,” he says. “This means accommodating variables like throughput rates and slurry densities, including accounting for grade variability from various mine sources feeding a single processing plant, in many of the West African deposits.”
For brownfield projects, Multotec can design solutions to suit and fit the structural constraints of the customer’s existing infrastructure.
Local service support is available from Multotec’s Ghana branch as well as regional agents and service providers operating in other countries. This ensures a point of contact as first line of support and drawing on its expertise across a range of disciplines, Multotec can put specialists, engineers, design draughtsmen and millwrights to work on projects throughout the West African territories. This ensures optimal placement and performance of equipment to safeguard customers’ profitability.