Tag Archives: SPH Kundilila

SPH KUNDALILA DELIVERS TECHNICAL EXCELLENCE AT PILANESBERG PLATINUM MINE

Located on the Western Limb of South Africa’s Bushveld Complex, the Pilanesberg Platinum Mine recently celebrated 10 years of production excellence which it attributes largely to the technical excellence delivered by its outsourced contractors. Critical to this operation is the upfront dry processing requirement which Raubex Group subsidiary SPH Kundalila has been providing to the mine for the last nine years.

As the mine’s longest standing contractor, SPH Kundalila’s primary contract entails managing all of the mine’s primary crushing requirements. This includes crushing all ROM material from the mine before it is transported to the concentrator. “With our 260 people on site, 75% from the local Bakgatla tribe, we operate four 63 t mobile crushing machines on the outskirts of the pit which have a combined design capacity of 380 000 tpm,” says SPH Kundalila production manager Walter Eriksen.

A nine-year relationship, which has seen the company’s contract expand more recently, can be attributed to the trust and partnership the company has built with Pilanesberg Platinum Mine but also its high level technical skills set.

“Our crushers have been replaced over the years as the mine’s production requirements have grown. Throughout this process we have maintained our machines’ high availability thanks to an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the mine’s production requirements. To ensure our performance further, we have established on-site technical support infrastructure including a workshop and +40 workshop crew. “This facility enables us to conduct preventative maintenance equipment routines as well as full services and minor repairs which results in minimal downtime,” Erikson states.

As is tradition in the platinum sector, the mine requires heavy-duty crushing machines capable of crushing large, hard rocks. SPH Kundalila’s crushing equipment delivers flawlessly in this area.

Having proven its technical expertise and commitment in contributing towards the mine’s objectives, the mine has expanded SPH Kundalila’s work on site which now includes materials handling services delivered from its fleet of front end loaders, dump trucks and tippers. In June 2018 the company’s workload expanded even further to include loading and hauling waste material from the pit.

“Since June of last year we have successfully been moving waste material from the northern side of the pit. We have also steadily grown our volumes which started at 145 000 tons per month to around 500 000 tons per month. Through this service we are giving the mine quick and easy access to the reef,” says SPH Kundalila pit manager Danie de Jager.

Over a year into this new work stream, SPH Kundalila’s technical capabilities have continued to shine brightly. Its earthmoving fleet comprising two excavators, two bulldozers and eight 45 t dump trucks which were carefully selected to allow accurate waste-only removal.

“Our service delivery, technical capability and ongoing dedication to helping Pilanesberg Platinum Mine meet its 150 000 ounces per annum of PGM production requirements is a proud achievement for SPH Kundalila and we hope to continue working with the mine as its explores new and exciting chapters of its life,” concludes SPH Kundalila site manager Pieter Boonzaier.

GOOD PARTNERSHIPS CAN LOWER MINING CONTRACTORS’ CYCLE TIMES

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.”