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Published by tasch, 2019-12-03 07:19:13

SA Mining Nov/Dec 2019

Keywords: SA Mining,Mining,SA Mining Magazine

$758m: Value of Implats acquisition of NAP +R400m: Roytec’s turnover this financial year

w w w. s a m i n i n g . c o . z a

R39.90 (incl VAT) International R44.50 (excl tax)


strives for 10 000t
tin concentrate


POWER SUPPLY Menar chairman
Mpumelelo Mkhabela

Canyon Coal ready to assist Eskom





In Johannesburg acid water in for- To counteract this worst-case scenario, Open the photo or
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Minergy inks first o -take agreement.

Diamond market awaits festive season demand. Roytec Global eyes international markets for growth.

IN BRIEF $758m: Value of Implats acquisition of NAP +R400m: Roytec’s turnover this financial year

6 Mark Farren appointed CEO of Kamoa-Kakula Copper JV SA MINING SA MIN NGNOVEMBER/DECEMBER2019
Aveng Water rebrands to Nafasi Water
w w w. s a m i n i n g . c o . z a
8 Renergen orders SA’s first commercial LNG and liquid
R39.90 (incl VAT) International R44.50 (excl tax)
14 Diamond market awaits festive season fervour INNOVATION CANYON COAL EYES 20MTPA
Industry anticipates the appointment of a new SADPMR board, strives for 10 000t PRODUCTION
hoping it will address bottlenecks hampering progress in the tin concentrate Canyon Coal is prepared to
local diamond industry, says WFDB’s Ernie Blom. In demand supply coal at prices that
will benefit the country,
18 Gemstone demand soars GORGEOUS Menar chairman Mpumelelo
SA Mining chats to Sean Gilbertson, CEO of Gemfields and GEMSTONES Mkhabela tells SA Mining.
Kagem Mining, about the growth of the gemstone industry.
24 AEL Intelligent Blasting expands global footprint Mpumelelo Mkhabela
Explosives manufacturer AEL Intelligent Blasting is targeting
entry into at least five or six new markets by 2022, divisional Canyon Coal ready to assist Eskom
director Meagan van den Berg says.
38 Brelko drives innovation
28 AfriTin eyes production of 10 000t tin concentrate Equipment manufacturer Brelko is busy testing its innovative
Tin miner AfriTin Mining is exploring geographical expansion belt tracking inline unit, which will be ready for rollout by
beyond its two tin projects – Uis Tin Project in Namibia, and April 2020, notes MD Kenny Padayachee.
Mokopane in South Africa, says CEO Anthony Viljoen.
34 Breaking barriers
Roytec Global’s territorial expansion strategy has seen the 6 $758m: Value of Implats acquisition of NAP
company defy economic challenges to post 20% year-on-year 34 +R400m: Roytec’s turnover this financial year

4 Out of Africa
50 Column by Peter Major

Visit SA Mining at or at


w w w. s a m i n i n g . c o . z a

Nelendhre Moodley EDITOR
Nelendhre Moodley Tel: 011 280 5782
So a new study published in the British as a demonstrable commitment to sustainably Email: [email protected]
scientific journal Nature suggests that supporting South Africa’s energy needs.
the origins of modern-day people can ONLINE EDITOR
be traced back to a woman who lived Interestingly our cover story, Canyon Coal, Stacey Visser Tel: 011 280 3671
is fast climbing up the coal ranks as it looks to Email: [email protected]

in Botswana some 200 000 years ago. unlock further coal opportunities. Both Minergy ART DIRECTOR
Shailendra Bhagwandin Tel: 011 280 5946
The Southern African country is about the size of and Canyon Coal, currently non-coal suppliers to Email: [email protected]

France. But where France’s population is around local power utility Eskom, stand at the ready to ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS
Ilonka Moolman Tel: 011 280 3120
66 million people, the population of the world’s assist by o ering Eskom coal supply options that Email: [email protected]
Noël van Breda Tel: 011 280 3456
fourth largest diamond producer is a third of its will go a long way in helping avoid much-dreaded Email: [email protected]

diamond production, which stood at seven million load shedding. In fact, Canyon Coal has identified PRODUCTION CO-ORDINATOR
Gail Mortinson
carats in 2018. Interestingly, Botswana’s diamond its Palmietkuilen coal project in Springs as ideal for Tel: 011 280 5369 Fax: 011 328 2226
Email: [email protected]
production is almost on par with the number of Eskom’s needs – and the miner has two further coal
“unemployed people in South Africa. assets awaiting the green light from Eskom Andrea Bryce
According to Statistics South Africa, the (see pg 10).
unemployment rate in South Africa grew to 29.1% FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHY
in Q3 2019. “The number of unemployed rose by Further to this, coal miner Black Royalty Jeremy Glyn
78 000 to 6.73 million while employment increased Minerals has announced that it has won the bid for
Koornfontein coal mine. BUSINESS MANAGER
Claire Morgan Tel: 011 280 5783
by 62 000 to 16.38 million,” said StatsSA. More bad Meanwhile, aspiring tin champion of Africa, Email: [email protected]

news is that there is an AfriTin Mining, which is GENERAL MANAGER MAGAZINES
Jocelyne Bayer
increase in the number Palmietkuilen’s coal exploring geographical
of skilled people leaving expansion beyond its two SWITCHBOARD
Tel: 011 280 3000
the country. So where project in Springs “ tin projects – Uis Tin Project
are people moving to, is ideal for Eskom’s in Namibia and Mokopane SUBSCRIPTIONS
apart from overseas? in South Africa, is eyeing Gail Mortinson Tel: 011 280 5369
Botswana? needs. production of 10 000t tin Email: [email protected]
concentrate and earning
Minergy CEO – Canyon Coal revenues in excess of PRINTING
Morne du Plessis $100-million in the next five Hirt & Carter
recently relocated to years (see pg 28).
Botswana to focus
on the Botswana- Yes, size does count –

headquartered coal explosives manufacturer

mining company. The AEL is looking to expand

latest news from the new kid on the coal mining its global footprint, targeting entry into at least

block is that it has secured o -take agreements five or six new markets by 2022, divisional director Arena Holdings,
PO Box 1746, Saxonwold, 2132
with key industrial players in South Africa Meagan van den Berg tells SA Mining (see pg 24).
Copyright Arena Holdings. No part
(see pg 30). of this publication may be reproduced, stored
And if media reports are to be believed, Prince ROCKED in a retrieval system or transmitted in any
Harry and Meghan Markle are planning to build Although demand for coal continues to be robust, form or by any means, electronic or
mechanical, without prior written permission.
a home in Botswana “to live a more private life demand for diamonds on the other hand remains Arena Holdings is not responsible for the views of
its contributors.
where their work can focus on Africa”. so . American politician Henry Kissinger best

SIZE COUNTS? described the diamond when he said it was just

a chunk of coal that did well under pressure, and

In the case of the South African rugby team, under pressure it is. In fact, the World Federation

diminutive players Faf de Klerk and Cheslin Kolbe of Diamond Bourses is eagerly awaiting the festive

have shown that dynamite does come in small season in the hope that festive fervour will result

packages. The pressure they placed on favourites in diamond gi ing and thus demand for the

England was instrumental in South Africa’s 32-12 sparklers (see pg 14). On a more positive note, the

win. coloured gemstone industry seems to be tracking

In the coal space, junior miners are making a radiant performance. SA Mining recently caught

waves as they step up to fill shoes le by coal up with coloured gemstone miner Gemfields’ Sean

majors South32 and Anglo Coal. Most recently Gilbertson, CEO of Gemfields and Kagem Mining,

Seriti Resources finalised its acquisition of South who says its Kagem emerald mine in Zambia

Africa Energy Coal. Seriti CEO Mike Teke noted that produces around 25% of the world’s emerald

the acquisition would enable Seriti to o er further supply, and has over the past decade tripled its

secured, long-term coal supply solutions to Eskom gemstone production (see pg 18). ■



GHANA TSX-listed Lucara Diamond has announced positive results from
an underground feasibility study aimed at expanding its 100%
Gold exploration and development company Cardinal Resources owned Karowe diamond mine in Botswana.
says the feasibility study for the Namdini Gold Project in Ghana,
West Africa, has confirmed Namdini as a gold project with Karowe is a prolific producer of large high-value type IIA
attractive economic returns. diamonds. The underground expansion at Karowe is expected
to double the mine life, and generate significant revenue and
Cardinal’s board has also approved plans to further de-risk cash flow out to 2040. Eira Thomas, CEO, says: “Lucara is
the project by commencing with the Front-End Engineering highly encouraged by the results of the Karowe underground
Design programme and further enhancement of the project feasibility study which has outlined a much larger economic
execution plan. Early site works and advancement of opportunity than first envisaged in the 2017 PEA and represents
engineering towards construction will be funded through an exciting, world-class growth project for our company.”
Cardinal’s strong cash position of around A$27-million.
Cardinal’s board has recommended progressing the project
to construction pending successful completion of financing

© ISTOCK – assistantua MALI

BURKINA FASO ASX-listed Mali Lithium has commenced with its first drilling
programme at its Koting gold prospect located within the
Gold miner Teranga Gold has successfully commissioned its Massigui project area in Mali.
Wahgnion gold mine, ahead of schedule and under budget.
The company was working on completing 12 reverse
CEO Richard Young says with the addition of Wahgnion, circulation holes with further drilling planned at the Goulamina
the company has two operating mines and an advanced-stage Lithium Project. According to MD Chris Evans, previous drilling
exploration project, which moves it significantly closer to at Koting confirmed that mineralisation dipped towards the
achieving its vision of becoming a mid-tier West African gold east. “The drill holes in this programme are being drilled from
producer. “With another solid quarter at Sabodala and the start- east to west with a dip of -60°. Results from the Goulamina
up of production at Wahgnion, we are well on track to meet the programme will be fed into the definitive feasibility study to
higher end of our full-year production guidance for the company improve the confidence and extent of the mineralised resource.”
and the lower end of our cost guidance. The Wahgnion plant is
ramping up and we expect to declare commercial production ZIMBABWE
during the fourth quarter,” says COO Paul Chawrun. “Based
on our most recent technical report, Wahgnion is expected to Arcadia Zimbabwe
increase Teranga’s annual production by 50% and double mine Lithium
site free cash flows at $1 250/oz gold price.” project

TANZANIA African lithium company Prospect Resources has advised that its
ultra-low iron petalite product has met the glass-ceramic market’s
Graphite explorer Walkabout Resources has advised international stringent technical specifications.
capital markets that it wishes to raise $40m.
Prospect provided two of the world’s largest glass-
The proceeds will be used to fund the development and ceramic manufacturers, both based in Europe, with samples
construction of the Lindi Jumbo graphite project in Tanzania as for laboratory testing and analysis. The next steps in the
it takes advantage of forecast market conditions for Large and product qualification process include developing a pilot
Jumbo flake graphite products, the company says. Walkabout trial manufacturing product in a large kiln; and a full test in
Resources engaged the international investment bank Pareto the production kiln. Testing will continue into 2020 as larger
Securities to advise on procuring the development funding for the volumes of product become available a er the pit is opened up
Lindi Jumbo project. The explorer holds 100% of a mining licence and the pilot plant is constructed, the company says. It intends
and between 70% and 100% of adjacent graphite prospecting to operate a pilot plant for the life of the mine.
licences at Lindi Jumbo. A high-grade graphite mineral reserve
has been delineated within the Mining Licence area.


Scan here
to s ee how
our roots run deep in
South Afri ca.


Impala Platinum (Implats) has inked a deal to acquire 100%
Junior miner Black Royalty Minerals (BRM) has been selected as of Canadian platinum group metals miner North American
the new preferred bidder for the acquisition of the Koornfontein Palladium (NAP) shares. TSX-listed NAP owns and operates
coal mine together with its port allocation at the Richards the Lac des Iles Mine in Ontario, and has a shareholding in
Bay Coal Terminal. BRM’s bid included a multiple funding two exploration properties, the Sunday Lake project and
approach, comprising o -take agreements, internal funding the Shebandowan Joint Venture. Implats CEO Nico Muller
and facilities by Standard Bank. BRM, a subsidiary of the Makole says Implats has had an exploration presence in Canada
Group, has interests in iron ore, platinum, chrome, graphite, for more than two decades and over the past three years
gold and coal mining in the Waterberg. Makole Group’s CEO the company has developed a strong relationship with and
Ndavhe Mareda said: “The bid for Koornfontein coal mine is understanding of NAP. “Ownership of NAP will accelerate our
aligned with our existing focus and expansion strategy which progress against a number of key strategic imperatives, and
combines local operations with a strong export component.” it is Implats’s view that the palladium market will remain in
Koornfontein’s mine assets include an open-pit strip mine, and a structural deficit in the medium term, which should lend
two underground areas (Gloria and Blinkpan), a processing considerable support to stronger-for-longer pricing.”
plant capable of processing 3 500 000tpa, and a railway siding
with rapid loading. Operations can extend beyond 2040. AVENG WATER

APPOINTED CEO OF Aveng Water has rebranded to Nafasi Water – a 100% black-
KAMOA-KAKULA COPPER JV owned water technology and water utility service company.
The rebrand follows the acquisition by Infinity Partners earlier
TSX-listed Ivanhoe Mines has appointed Mark Farren, formerly this year from the Aveng Group of companies. Nafasi Water, a
Ivanhoe’s executive vice president, operations, as the CEO of the key player in acid mine drainage, currently operates three mine
Kamoa-Kakula Copper joint venture, the company says. Louis water treatment plants in Mpumalanga as well as operating
Watum, Ivanhoe’s Democratic Republic of the Congo country the largest sea water desalination in Erongo – Swakopmund,
manager, has been appointed president of the board of directors Namibia, the company said.
of Kamoa Copper SA and South African mining veteran Warwick
Morley-Jepson has been appointed as Ivanhoe’s new COO,
assuming the duties formerly held by Farren. The Kamoa-Kakula
Copper project is a joint venture between Ivanhoe Mines (39.6%),
Zijin Mining Group (39.6%), Crystal River Global (0.8%) and the DRC
government (20%). Initial copper concentrate production from the
Kakula Mine, the first of at least three mines planned at Kamoa-
Kakula, currently is scheduled for the third quarter of 2021.


Black women-owned South African advisory and on the R4.1-billion all-share Sibanye-Stillwater
investment company Moshe Capital has been transaction, which Moshe says provided a platform
named as 2019’s corporate finance team of the to showcase black excellence. Most recently, Moshe
year at the Association of Black Securities and Capital advised on Siyanda Resources’ acquisition
Investment Professionals’ annual award ceremony of Union Mine and 50.1% of Masa Chrome from
held in Johannesburg recently. Founded by Anglo Platinum as well as Mpumalanga Economic
Mametja Moshe, the company has advised on Growth Agency on the strategic options relating to
some of the most complex deals in Africa over the its minority shareholding in Nkomati Anthracite,
past two years including being adviser to Lonmin says the company.



AD-13608 REV A 04/2019


Canadian mineral exploration company Thor Explorations
recently received approval from the TSX Venture Exchange Vergelegen, the 319-year-old wine estate owned by diversified
for the first tranche of the $15-million private placement mining group Anglo American, was recently declared a heritage
with the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC). Thor holds a site. “From the start, the purpose was to restore and develop
100% interest in the Segilola Gold Project located in Osun this historic jewel to reach its full glory, and to open it to the
State of Nigeria, a 70% interest in the Douta Gold Project public for all South Africans to enjoy. We are completing the
located in south-eastern Senegal and a 49% interest in circle today, recognising that this heritage belongs to the
the Bongui and Legue gold permits located in Houndé nation,” says Vergelegen managing director Don Tooth.
greenstone belt, south-west Burkina Faso. Segun Lawson,
CEO, says: “Detailed design work on the Segilola Project
is in progress and we are on track to break ground in Q4

this year. We look forward to completing the
current equity placements and AFC debt
documentation, at which
point the Segilola
Project will be fully

© ISTOCK – Adrian Wojcik

Diversified miner Glencore is one of seven mining companies
to have joined forces to accelerate responsible sourcing of raw Emerging domestic natural gas and helium producer Renergen
materials with the World Economic Forum has appointed Western Shell Cryogenic Equipment Co. of China
(WEF). The WEF has o ered its platform to supply the technology and equipment for the construction
and expertise to help industry leaders of the Virginia Gas Project in the Free State. EPCM contractor
better understand the impact and Bonisana will install the pipeline and manage the interface
potential of blockchain technology. between the two installations, the company said. The plant is
The Mining and Metals Blockchain expected to be operational within the first half of 2021 and will
Initiative will explore the building of see it produce up to 2 700GJ of liquid natural gas and 350kg
a blockchain platform to address of liquid helium per day. This will make the plant the first
transparency, the tracking and commercial LNG facility in the country.
tracing of materials, the reporting
of carbon emissions or increasing
e iciency, the company says. Ivan
Glasenberg (pictured), CEO of
Glencore International AG, says:
“We welcome the development
of technology that can facilitate
industry reporting to improve
compliance across the supply
chain.” In addition to Glencore,
Antofagasta Minerals, Eurasian
Resources Group Sàrl, Klöckner &
Co, Minsur SA, Tata Steel and Anglo
American/De Beers (Tracr), are
founding members.


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Canyon Coal eyes 20mtpa production

By Nelendhre Moodley

On the back of South Africa’s African government recently implored all coal Zululand Anthracite Colliery.
constrained power situation producers who supply to Eskom to cut prices, opportunities for local business people
and rising tari s, owing in part to ease the utility’s debt burden and improve and economic development initiatives,”
to the high cost of coal, coal reliability of energy supply to industry and Mkhabela said.
miner Canyon Coal is prepared households.
to supply coal at prices that will benefit “We need to work together with
the country, Menar chairman Mpumelelo Canyon Coal currently produces 5mtpa, the government to create a conducive
Mkhabela tells SA Mining. while Menar as a group produces 7.5mtpa of environment for this investment to succeed.
coal for mostly the export market, with plans We cannot fail the community and our
Canyon Coal, a subsidiary of mining in place to bump up production to 20mtpa of country,” he said.
investment company Menar, is focused on coal in the next year.
developing coal projects. Production from the Palmietkuilen
Part of the new production has been project, estimated to deliver 600 000tpm
“Ensuring that we supply Eskom with good- earmarked for possible supply to Eskom run-of-mine coal for the next 27 years, is
quality coal at good prices will benefit business, – with the miner having identified its scheduled to start in 2020 when it is expected
communities and the country as a whole. Given Palmietkuilen coal project in Springs, 50km the project would have gone through all the
that every ordinary South African has a stake in east of Johannesburg, as ideal for Eskom. regulatory processes.
Eskom, it is our collective duty to ensure that it
is a success, failing which we all su er. As such, “The Palmietkuilen coal project easily Once operational, the Palmietkuilen mega
we have an obligation to assist Eskom and ticks all the boxes for Eskom requirements. mine will employ about 800 people.
ensure that the power utility succeeds.” The project is going through the latest round
of regulatory approvals. It is more than Given South Africa’s high unemployment
Mkhabela echoed views expressed by Menar three times the size of our Khanye Colliery in rate, which stands at a staggering 29%,
MD Vuslat Bayoglu who told a coal mining Bronkhorstspruit that was o icially launched Canyon Coal is looking to absorb a portion of
symposium in Middelburg that supplying last year and in which we invested R600- the unemployed through the progression of
coal to Eskom at exorbitant prices was self- million,” Mkhabela said. its growth strategy.
defeating. “If you are selling coal to Eskom at a
high price and you are proud of it, then there is Canyon plans to invest as much as R1.5- “Our plan to produce 20mtpa of coal
something wrong with you,” Bayoglu said. billion to develop Palmietkuilen. will significantly increase our current
employment rate of 3 800 people,” said
So dire is the situation that the South “There are huge expectations in the Mkhabela. “Unlike big mining companies, we
host community for jobs, procurement still have an appetite to invest and grow.”

R1.5-billion The coal miner has also identified
its Springfield coal project located in
Proposed investment to develop Palmietkuilen Vereeniging in Gauteng and De Wittekrans,
a greenfields project located south of
10 SA MINING NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019 Hendrina, in Mpumalanga, as suitable for
the supply of coal to Eskom, depending on
the power utility’s needs. De Wittekrans

is expected to come on-stream in 2020, develop assets and create jobs. and the communities 5% ownership in the
followed by Springfield the following year. “At Menar we believe that coal has mine. At Zululand Anthracite workers own
13% of the mine, while the community
The Springfield project has an estimated an important role to play in promoting also has a 13% shareholding. Our
life of mine of around 40 years based on radical industrialisation and economic approach to empowerment also targets
an ROM production of around 600 000t/m, development. In fact, countries such as local communities who are allocated
while De Wittekrans has an estimated life India and Vietnam are looking for cheap procurement opportunities.”
of mine of some 24 years based on an ROM and reliable power to drive their radical PROGRESSING A DIVERSIFICATION
production of around 300 000t/m. industrialisation programme. Globally STRATEGY
there are 1 600 coal-fired power stations A key component of Canyon Coal’s growth
Apart from these projects, Canyon being built. South Africa should also look at strategy is to diversify its portfolio, which
Coal operates the Hakhano Colliery, an unlocking further opportunities o ered by currently consists of metallurgical and
opencast coal mine located near Middelburg, this natural endowment,” says Mkhabela. thermal coal as well as anthracite, to
Mpumalanga, which it has been mining include manganese.
since December 2009, the Ukufisa Colliery Aside from job creation and foreign
in Springs (where phase 1 of the project is exchange, coal is vital for growing the South The manganese asset, located in Hotazel
under development), Phalanndwa Colliery African economy, he adds. in the Northern Cape, had cleared all
located close to Delmas, Mpumalanga, and regulatory licences, aside from the water-
Khanye Colliery, its flagship opencast mine Speaking of the recently promulgated use licence, the company said.
in Bronkhorstspruit, Gauteng. The Khanye integrated energy plan, Mkhabela said it
Colliery, a 2.4mtpm operation, consists of was a good plan. “The integrated energy “Once we are in possession of the
three pits, a processing plant and rail siding. plan acknowledges that coal will continue water-use licence, we will start mining,”
The operation currently employs 405 people to play a key role in South Africa’s economic said Mkhabela. Manganese production is
including contractors. development, especially given that the anticipated by the first quarter of 2020. ■
A CASE FOR COAL country relies on 16 coal-fired power
With coal majors South32 and Anglo stations,” he said. COAL SUPPLY
Coal signalling their intention to exit the COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT “Supplying coal to Eskom at
commodity, junior and mid-tier companies Canyon Coal is looking to create as many exorbitant prices is self-defeating.” –
are preparing to take up the gauntlet to jobs as possible and providing its employees Bayoglu
progress the development of coal projects. and the communities surrounding its
Mkhabela says it’s important that major operation with a stake in its coal operations.
mining companies who seek to divest from
coal do so responsibly by giving the assets “Communities are aware of their rights
to companies who are willing to invest and and as a company we are keen to have
community participation. At our Kangra
mine in Piet Retief we o ered employees

Phalanndwa Colliery. Hakhano Colliery.





Xavier Prévost.

Tracking the way forward The Minerals Council fact sheet states COAL REMAINS A KEY
that since 2009, net investment in the coal COMMODITY FOR SOUTH
By Nelendhre Moodley industry has declined at a rate of 10% per
year – from R7.3-billion to R3.8bn in 2017. AFRICA
There is an urgent need for The coal industry in South Africa
government, Eskom and local coal THE WAY FORWARD employed 89 775 people in 2018
producers to come together to The way forward, says Prévost, is for Eskom (92 933 in 2019), representing around
find suitable solutions for security to negotiate new long-term contracts with 19% of total employment in the
of power supply, XMP Consulting the coal mining community. “Only when mining sector. Furthermore, the
analyst Xavier Prévost tells SA Mining. the various parties speak to each other industry spent R61-billion procuring
and establish the terms of agreement will goods and services, most of it locally,
Prévost echoed Mineral Resources and financial institutions consider funding coal thereby contributing to the creation
Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe’s call for projects.” and maintaining of jobs in other
the establishment of a platform to speedily industries.
address power concerns, including load Prévost explains that Eskom should
shedding and high electricity prices. start negotiating coal prices from “future The industry produced 253mt of
mines such as New Largo Coal mine” which coal in 2018 (252mt in 2017), which
Mantashe noted that government had is scheduled to supply coal for the Kusile amounted to total coal sales of
started engagements with coal producers power station and look to co-own mines R146bn (R130bn in 2017).
and independent power producers to which would then allow the power utility to
discuss the state of the economy and the better negotiate prices, including considering moment, mines are independent and set
role of electricity in contributing to economic paying on a “cost plus” basis. their own prices for coal which means that
growth. Eskom is forced to accept high coal prices.”
“By co-owning the mines Eskom will
According to the Minerals Council South have better price-negotiating power. At the Prévost also advocates for the adoption
Africa’s latest fact sheet, 70% of coal volume of clean coal technology which is “slightly
is consumed domestically and more than more expensive” but would align with the
70% of electricity demand is generated from calls for clean energy adoption.
coal power.
He explains that a portion of the carbon
However the coal sector has been facing tax should be set aside to finance and
massive headwinds, including pressure from promote clean coal developments.
the global arena to change the energy mix
in favour of renewable energy. Apart from Coal is a significant contributor to
government’s recently implemented coal economic growth, being an important
tax, the industry has been facing project revenue contributor and employer; therefore
funding constraints with financial institutions it is imperative for government, coal
refusing to invest in the development of coal producers and Eskom to reach an agreement
projects. quickly. ■

Following these challenges, coal
production has been decreasing by a rate of
10mtpa year-on-year for the past few years,
states Prévost.

Annual revenue per commodity, Rbn

160 105 ■ 2016
140 120 ■ 2017
120 139 ■ 2018
80 94
60 97
40 75
20 85
0 Coal 37

PGMs Gold IrOorne Manganese Chrome



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Diamond market awaits festive season fervour

By Nelendhre Moodley

The South African diamond “We hope that the new board will be Ernie Blom.
industry is eagerly awaiting open to opportunities to discussing these
the appointment of a new challenges which have been cited as significant decline in diamond sales for
board to the South African among the reasons for the contraction of rough diamonds, with Alrosa flagging low
Diamond and Precious Metals the manufacturing sector of the diamond availability of credit facilities and trade
Regulator (SADPMR) in the hope that it industry from 4 500 members to just 300.” tensions between the US and China as some
will address issues related to the red tape of the reasons for lower diamond demand.
hampering progress in the local diamond The SADPMR states on its website that De Beers has cited an oversupply of polished
industry, Ernie Blom, president of the it is looking to be a leading catalyst for the gems, which has depressed demand for
World Federation of Diamond Bourses transformation of a sustainable diamond rough stones. “Much of the polishing and
(WFDB), tells SA Mining. beneficiation industry. trading industry is based in India, where
companies have been squeezed by tight
According to the SADPMR, the board Apart from engaging with the SADPMR, bank financing and currency fluctuations,”
tenure came to an end on 31 August, but Blom also concedes that there is an urgent De Beers said.
the Minister of Mineral Resources and need for the local industry to engage with
Energy Gwede Mantashe extended it by a the Department of Mineral Resources to However there remains a glimmer of
further three months. The board appointment thrash out the concerns facing the struggling hope as the year enters its last leg, with
is undertaken by the Department of Mineral industry. the expectation that festivals, including
Resources and Energy. Thanksgiving in the US, Diwali, Christmas,
CELEBRATION TIME New Year and the Chinese New Year in
Blom notes that one of the key challenges 2019 has been a challenging year for the February and Valentine’s Day next year,
facing the industry is related to value- diamond industry following subdued will drive demand for the precious stones.
added tax (VAT) for both the rough and appetite for diamond jewellery from leading
consumers China and India. Only the US,
“polished diamond industries. Given the slow the largest consumer of diamonds, at 52%
of global consumption, continues to have a
repayment turnaround time, diamantaires robust appetite.
have to wait lengthy periods before being
compensated. According to Blom, there is a In fact, major diamond producers Alrosa
huge amount of VAT that is owing to industry and De Beers have recently announced a
at any given time.

Between Thanksgiving and the Chinese New “
Year in February next year, consumers take up as
much as 75% of diamond production. – Blom


“ “

Emerging and maturing digital technologies are
a ecting all parts of the value chain, enabling
diamond producers, midstream players and retailers
to increase e iciencies within their operations.

– Bain & Company report

in South Africa. COUNTRIES
A view of the Venetia mine.
The top diamond-producing
countries by volume are:

■ Russia
■ Botswana
■ The Democratic Republic of the


■ Australia
■ Canada
■ Zimbabwe
■ Angola
■ South Africa

“Between Thanksgiving and the Chinese New technologies are a ecting all parts of the value from the process. “In this tough
Year in February next year, consumers take value chain, enabling diamond producers, operating climate, technology is ensuring
up as much as 75% of diamond production,” midstream players and retailers to increase the sustainability of diamond cutters and
explains Blom. e iciencies within their operations. polishers,” he said.
Marketing e orts that use digital technology
Africa, meanwhile, a significant producer can also deliver superior customer Apart from improving e iciencies,
of rough diamonds, with production mainly experiences,” the report noted. technology has led to the growth and
from Botswana, the Democratic Republic development of the synthetic diamond
of the Congo, Zimbabwe, Angola and South It added that apart from technology, the industry, with De Beers launching its
Africa, is not a massive consumer of polished growing presence of lab-grown diamonds Lightbox Jewelry initiative last year.
diamonds. “Demand from Africa is largely and the shi ing preferences of younger
driven by the tourist market,” says Blom. generations of consumers to self-purchase “The launch of Lightbox Jewelry set the
continued to grow, this as millennial and platform for a dramatic reduction in the price
TECHNOLOGY Generation Z’s female spending power of lab-grown diamond jewellery, which is
Bain & Company’s report The Global Diamond increased. selling at a discounted rate of between 85%
Industry 2018 cites technology as being at and 90% of the natural diamond,” says Blom.
the forefront of the trends influencing the According to Blom, technology is key He adds that technology plays an essential
diamond industry. in helping diamond cutters and polishers role in the development of tools to easily
determine the best options to cut and polish identify lab-grown diamonds from natural
“Emerging and maturing digital diamonds and thereby extract maximum diamonds. ■



© ISTOCK – Moussa81
© ISTOCK – Faferek

De Beers sDt HELps LoCAL
NEw portAL sHiNE At GEm fAir

De Beers group Auctions recently launched its new auction The State Diamond Trader (SDT) recently collaborated with
portal – a platform that provides customers with an improved six local diamond beneficiators to exhibit their precious
bidding experience through a range of enhancements to products blended with modern craftsmanship at the Hong Kong
functionality and to the user experience, the company said. Jewellery & Gem Fair in September.

The platform provides customers with a suite of features The Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair is home to Asia’s
that deliver a number of direct benefits including: largest gem marketplace with over 1 700 exhibitors showcasing
a wide range of loose gems of diamonds, gemstones and pearls
■ Easy navigation: Registered buyers can get an overview of from around the world.

all auctions that are happening on the portal. The SDT has been facilitating the participation of the SA
national Pavilion for the past six years, and this year took
■ Efficient bidding: Registered buyers can quickly refer to six local companies – Rez Diamonds, Millennium Diamonds,
Kwame Diamonds, Nungu Diamonds, Outclass Crystallized
each lot, with the description and pictures provided on the Gems and Hall of Diamonds – to Hong Kong to market and sell
digital platform. As each lot closes separately, customers their proudly South African polished diamonds. The companies
can save time, instead of staying in the auction until all generated more than R41-million combined through the sale of
lots in the auction event close. locally produced diamond products.

■ Price protection: All registered buyers will be privy to the This initiative is one of the interventions the State Diamond
Trader spearheads to help emerging diamond beneficiators to
starting price of the lot. Only bidders will be given access access the local and international markets.
to the lot price after they have placed their bids for the lot,
thereby preventing non-bidders from accessing price data The State Diamond Trader’s main business is to buy and sell
from the auctions. rough diamonds in order to promote equitable access to and
beneficiation of diamond resources. Its main aim is to address
■ Transparency: While an auction is on, bidders will be distortions in the diamond industry and correct historical
market failures to develop and grow South Africa’s diamond-
informed if their bids have met the reserve price. With the cutting and -polishing industry, the company said.
price protection and transparency on reserve prices in
place, the preliminary bidding round has been eliminated, © ISTOCK – Kwangmoozaa
simplifying the process for the bidders and saving time.

■ Security: The diamond industry is built on trust, and the

security of the digital platform is of utmost importance to
auctions so that registered buyers can place their bids on
the platform with confidence.

■ Human-centred design: De Beers group Auctions has

applied the human-centred design approach, placing
registered buyers at the heart of every development

16 SA Mining nOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019

If its not INVAL, it’s not Invincible



By Nelendhre Moodley

JSE-listed coloured gemstone miner changer. Mozambique has fast become “ WHAT ARE THE KEY DRIVERS FOR
Gemfields’ Kagem emerald mine the world’s number one ruby exporter, THIS GROWTH AND THE TRENDS
in Zambia, which produces around yielding record-breaking auction results for INFLUENCING IT?
25% of the world’s emerald supply, Gemfields. From young royals to high-profile actresses,
has over the past decade tripled its coloured gemstones have basked
gemstone production. SA Mining caught up Following US-led bans in 2008 on rubies increasingly in the limelight in recent years.
with Sean Gilbertson, CEO of Gemfields and from Burma, Mozambique’s consistency
Kagem Mining, to chat about the growth of Not only are fine rubies and emeralds
the gemstone industry. “and transparency of supply have instilled rarer than colourless diamonds, but they
  provide a highly appealing colour contrast
HOW HAS THE GEMSTONE MARKET renewed confidence in rubies and have to those who already have colourless
GROWN OVER THE PAST TWO TO FIVE enabled high-end jewellery brands to create diamonds.
YEARS? extraordinary capsule collections with fine
Demand has grown markedly. A decade ago rubies they would typically have spent years It helps of course when the world’s
colourless diamonds were widely perceived collecting. leading auction houses have seen a
by consumers to be the most prestigious significant increase in both the interest in,
of gems. Today the swing towards precious Today the swing and value of, precious coloured gemstones,
coloured gemstones is overwhelming. with world records occurring on multiple
towards precious occasions during the past decade.
The past four years have seen world
record prices for an emerald and a ruby coloured gemstones And then of course there are the luxury
surpass that of a colourless diamond on a sector’s millennials, who rightly attach far
per-carat basis, with the current records set is overwhelming. greater importance to understanding the
at auctions held by Christie’s. origin of their purchases, the conditions
– Gilbertson under which they were produced and
It surely can’t be long before sapphires (a therefore whether their purchases will
record presently held by Sotheby’s) surpass Interestingly, people o en forget benefit or exploit those at the other end of
colourless diamonds too. that the well-known laws of supply and the supply chain. Gemfields’ core values of
demand apply to “e icient markets”, a term transparency, integrity and legitimacy speak
When combined with significant that cannot yet be used for the coloured directly to these concerns.
improvements in the supply chain, gemstone sector. Gemfields’ Kagem emerald
particularly in respect of reliable and mine in Zambia is a case in point: today it The increases in demand have stemmed
responsible sources of supply, it is no produces an estimated 25% of world emerald in large measure from improving consumer
surprise that we’ve seen such growth in the supply. Over the past decade its gemstone confidence given unparalleled insight into
sector. production has tripled while the prices how Gemfields’ gems are mined and our
received have increased more than sixfold. ability to provide a reliable and regular
The recent discovery of rubies in supply of responsibly sourced gemstones.
Mozambique in 2009 has been a real game
The industry is rightly undergoing


“ “ Gemfields GEMFIELDS
The past four years ■ Gemfields is a world-leading
have seen world
supplier of responsibly sourced
record prices for an coloured gemstones. Gemfields
emerald and a ruby is the operator and 75% owner of
both the Kagem emerald mine in
surpass that of a Zambia and the Montepuez ruby
colourless diamond mine in Mozambique.
on a per-carat basis.
■ Gemfields’ ownership of Fabergé
– Gilbertson
enables Gemfields to optimise
positioning, perception and
consumer awareness of coloured
gemstones, advancing the wider
group’s “mine and market” vision.

■ Gemfields has developed a

proprietary grading system and
a pioneering auction and trading
platform to provide a consistent
supply of coloured gemstones
to downstream markets, a
key component of Gemfields’
business model, and has played an
important role in the growth of the
global coloured gemstone sector.

heightened supply chain scrutiny with a corner and we hope it will continue to go ongoing basis to minimise the impact on
consumers increasingly asking for certificates from strength to strength. the land and encourage biodiversity. Our
of origin, requiring much improved practices do not use chemical substances
knowledge and documentation at the retail The biggest impediment for our emerald that are hazardous to health or polluting.
level. mine Kagem remains the new 15% Zambian Machine oil is carefully discharged; machines
export duty, imposed on emeralds since and vehicles are maintained by our in-house
In conjunction with the Gübelin 1 January 2019. When combined with the teams.
laboratory in Switzerland, we launched the pre-existing 6% mineral royalty tax, Zambian
use of nanoparticles in our higher-quality emerald exporters must now pay an e ective WHAT IS GEMFIELDS’ CONTRIBUTION TO
emeralds, allowing – for the first time – their 21% turnover tax on their revenues, which THE INDUSTRY?
mine of origin to be determined for decades hands the tactical advantage to other Globally accepted principles and standards
to come via Gübelin’s Provenance Proof emerald-producing countries like Brazil and in the coloured gemstone sector are yet
programme. Colombia, neither of which have any export to be developed and Gemfields is setting
duty on emeralds. We continue to liaise with new benchmarks for environmental, social
At Gemfields we aim to operate in a the key government departments in seeking and safety practices. Taking a leadership
manner that contributes positively to a resolution and remain hopeful that a role, we are working to support increased
national economies of our host countries solution will be found. transparency across the wider downstream
and to build lasting, sustainable livelihoods supply chain, providing discerning customers
for the communities around our mines. We HOW ARE ELEMENTS ASSOCIATED with increased confidence in the responsible >
are proud of our leadership position in this WITH CLIMATE CHANGE AFFECTING
field and we continually work to improve GEMSTONE MINING?
the awareness and delivery of sustainability We are realistic and open about the impact of
within our industry all the way through to the a mining operation on the environment, but
end consumer. strive to minimise impact wherever possible.
We carry out environmental studies to guide
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES us in managing our sites in a way that not
FACED BY THE GEMSTONE INDUSTRY? only meets, but where possible exceeds,
The gemstone industry is ancient and national and international requirements. We
complex, and there’s no shortage of aim to be operating to ISO14001 to help the
challenges to negotiate. continuous improvement process.

We see promising signs of recovery in Before we mine an area, we collect seeds
India: the Indian market is particularly of the indigenous plants and trees from the
important when it comes to the sale of top soil and create a seed bank. We then
commercial-quality emeralds and has been grow the seeds in a nursery for replanting
navigating challenging financial conditions as we complete mining. We do this on an
for some time. It now appears to have turned



journey their gemstones have taken all the “
way from our mines. Kagem emeralds.

Sustainability or responsible sourcing is The biggest impediment for our emerald mine Kagem“
therefore a key part of this. remains the new 15% Zambian export duty, imposed

Responsible sourcing for Gemfields on emeralds since 1 January 2019. – Gilbertson
means operating in a way that contributes
positively to national economies, takes a should be mined and marketed by partners with trusted evaluation and
leading role in modernising the coloured championing three key values – legitimacy, declaration of treatment.
gemstone sector and builds lasting, transparency and integrity.
sustainable livelihoods for the communities WHAT ARE SOME OF THE LATEST
around our mines. Legitimacy: We go over and above DEVELOPMENTS UNDER WAY AT
accepted practices operating in a way GEMFIELDS FROM A BUSINESS AND
We believe that coloured gemstones that not only meets international and OPERATIONAL POINT OF VIEW?
national laws, but that also challenges the This year Gemfields introduced the most
Zambian rough emerald prices sector by setting new benchmarks around technologically advanced coloured
(GEMFIELDS Higher Quality Auctions) sustainability. gemstone sort house in the world at its
operations in Mozambique, with state-
(Indexed to 1.00 at 20 July 2009) Transparency: To lead we must be of-the-art equipment, like optical sorting
transparent. As well as leading with our machines. In addition, a proprietary grading
18.00 own standards and initiatives through our system, pioneering auction platform and an
downstream supply chain, we are working active marketing presence means Gemfields
16.00 with partners to standardise strong, plays a significant role in the rise of African
transparent practices across the industry. gemstones. This endeavour is coupled with a
14.00 strong belief that coloured gemstones should
Integrity: We are committed to create a positive impact for the country and
12.00 embedding tangible operational actions community from which they originate. ■
from the mines onwards, to support
10.00 sales and marketing of our product. Our
proprietary grading system provides our






Kagem emerald
mine, Zambia.


We’re proud of our rich past and together we
are ready to take the mining industry where
we’ve always been headed: FORWARD.


T CONsUMer FAIrhe Okavango Diamond Company (ODC) displayed an
exact replica of the world-renowned Okavango Blue,
Botswana’s biggest ever blue diamond, at the recent
2019 Botswana Consumer Fair, the company said.
Deep Blue. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) graded
the diamond as an Oval Brilliant Cut, VVS2 clarity, with one of
the highest polished colour classifications of any blue diamond.
As a 41.11 carat rough stone, it is the biggest blue diamond ever

ODC is a rough diamond marketing company that is discovered in Botswana. The ODC acquired and managed the

wholly owned by the Botswana government. polishing of the diamond with the intention of “placing Botswana

The ODC exhibit “allowed the public to interact with a on the global map as a leading natural diamond producer, trader

number of natural diamonds on our stand”, said Marcus ter Haar, and beneficiator”, said Ter Haar. “To this end, ODC’s planned

managing director of ODC. This included its flagship diamond, international auction of the Okavango Blue will be history in the

the Okavango Blue. Blue diamonds are extremely scarce and the making.”

Okavango Blue is even more so. The Botswana-sourced natural The polished diamond is named the Okavango Blue in

diamond’s striking colour has been graded as a Type IIb Fancy recognition of Botswana’s Okavango Delta – a World Heritage Site.

Diamond administrator Moshe Mabikwa, le , The Okavango Diamond Company
and HR coordinator Tsholofelo Mmopi at the (ODC) exhibits at the recent 2019
Okavango Diamond Company display at the Botswana Consumer Fair. 
Botswana Consumer Fair.

CAr GoVt © ISTOCK – opadol Uengbunchoo

The government of the Central African Republic (CAR) recently houses will be required to enter into a contract with the CAR
launched an extensive overhaul of the country’s alluvial government which will stipulate the due diligence sourcing
diamond mining sector. It has called for full transparency protocols. The Presidential Decree also stipulates severe
and proper due diligence protocols, traceability of individual conditions on foreign buyers in cases of non-compliance
parcel and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and whose licences will subsequently be withdrawn.
Development Due Diligence Guidance.
On the back of a new finance law issued on 23 July, the
According to a statement, following the adoption of total exportation tax rate was reduced to 4% to ensure
Presidential Decree No. 19.282 signed on 30 September 2019, competitiveness in line with neighbouring countries.
all existing buying houses will be required to withdraw from
any engagement in the informal circuit; with each buying This will be accompanied by a reinforcement of the
house also obligated to export at least $3-million per quarter. mining police.
Failure to comply with the regulations will result in the
withdrawal of the licence to mine.

A er a trial period ending 31 December 2019, the buying


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AEL intelligent blasting “This global expansion drive remains However, countries facing political or
expands global footprint critical for ensuring future sustainability for economic uncertainty, such as South Africa
AEL and while the acquisition guarantees us and Zimbabwe, did not fully realise the
By Nelendhre Moodley a presence in the country, more importantly benefits of the upturn, explains Van den Berg.
it gives us the opportunity to expand our
Explosives manufacturer footprint into neighbouring countries,” says Although the basket prices for platinum
AEL Intelligent Blasting’s Van den Berg. group metals and gold have improved
global growth strategy, which significantly, South Africa’s underground
is underpinned by its African AEL’s expansion strategy is based on the mines continued to face high input costs and
profitability, is targeting entry into hub and spoke methodology which entails labour unrest.
at least five or six new markets by 2022, says scouting new markets, setting up shop and
divisional director Meagan van den Berg. establishing distribution channels. This “The underground mining market in
“More than half of our business is dollar- method encompasses the use of modular South Africa has always been very attractive
based and a significant chunk of that sits plants that are easy to set up and allows for to AEL because of the high volumes. Earlier
in Africa.” The South African-domiciled speedy production ramp-up. this year, AEL launched a new strategy to
company, while dealing with tough market better service our underground customers.
conditions in the country, has been able From a socio-economic perspective, AEL’s We changed many of our pricing mechanisms
to benefit from the improved mining preference is for in-country manufacturing and service models and looked at how best
sentiment in its international operations. which aims to ensure security of supply for to improve the market sustainably. AEL has
AEL recently kicked o its expansion drive customers (over an import model) while always o ered the latest technology as well
with the acquisition of Brazilian explosives providing local employment and skills as good product and services and these new
manufacturer Dinacon. The acquisition transfer in host countries. service models enable our customers to
includes an emulsion-manufacturing plant better access AEL’s o erings. Although the
and provides AEL with an established This strategy has already shown benefits underground market in South Africa remains
footprint from which to grow. as AEL started operating in Indonesia in 2009 volatile and a challenge, local mining houses
The agreement is AEL’s entry vehicle into and entered the Australian market in 2015. have recognised the benefit of supporting
Latin America; in particular, Brazil, Peru and The ability to rapidly deploy in these markets local suppliers,” states Van den Berg.
Chile. and o er service of high quality has secured
future growth in these regions. “Apart from investigating opportunities
900 metres elsewhere on the continent, it has become
SOUTH AFRICA important for AEL to diversify our exposure
Deepest vertical drop AEL’s global performance in 2019 has been to commodities. Where in the past we were
bolstered by the upturn in commodity prices, highly exposed to gold, platinum and coal,
installation in the with most regions in which the company following our recent expansion into Africa,
operates benefiting from the upside we have managed to diversify our exposure
world and subsequently achieving increased by including commodities such as copper
production output. into our portfolio,” notes Van den Berg.


AEL Intelligent Blasting’s global growth “ AEL INTELLIGENT BLASTING
strategy is targeting entry into at least five or six
■ AEL Intelligent Blasting is a
new markets by 2022.
– Van den Berg member of the JSE-listed AECI
GLOBAL TRENDS INFLUENCING THE technology into all aspects of the mining
EXPLOSIVES MARKET cycle so as to improve safety, production and ■ It is eyeing various
Key trends influencing the market include e iciencies.
customers’ calls for customisation, opportunities to reduce
innovation and technology-driven value add. “New technologies make it possible for the carbon footprint of its
the development of products that o er new operations and associated
“Customers are no longer interested in capabilities and disrupt existing practices activities.
a one-size-fits-all approach; instead they to aid the mining industry. It is about doing
are looking for a supplier that understands things more safely and e iciently and ■ AEL is looking to diversify its
their needs and for the development of demonstrating the intelligence which goes
customised products and services particular into every blast,” says Van den Berg. exposure to commodities to
to their requirements.” include copper.
Well worth noting is AEL’s new
Secondly, the market is calling on service technology-driven expansion – the
providers to incorporate innovation and commissioning of the deepest vertical drop

Intellishot – a blasting system that
ensures uncompromised safety and
delivers uniform rock fragmentation.

The University of Pretoria’s virtual reality
centre sponsored by AEL Intelligent Blasting.
AEL’s Mobile Manufacturing Unit at
Modderfontein Bulk Emulsion Plant.

Meagan van den Berg.

installation in the world at a site in Zambia.

The 900m vertical drop enables emulsion

explosive precursors to be delivered from the

surface to underground workings without

additional transfer cassettes or transfer

mechanisms, thereby improving logistics,

handling, storage and control.

The project, scheduled for o icial

launch by the second quarter of 2020, is the

fourth such project to be rolled out by the

explosives manufacturer.

“AEL rolled out three vertical drop

installations in South Africa – two at

Sibanye-Stillwater’s Bathopele platinum

mine, in Rustenburg, and the other at

Anglo American’s Unki platinum mine in >



Moreover, AEL is investigating the to be consistent across the globe while product streams as it improves the quality,
opportunities presented by virtual reality to providing users with a real-life experience robustness and performance of products,”
enhance its training and skills development. that better prepares them and enhances their says Van den Berg.
“It is anticipated that the implementation of own capabilities. We will also look to expand
virtual reality, next year, will enable training our incorporation of nano technologies to all Thirdly, host countries are calling for
greater engagement and value addition to
Gold Fields South Deep Mine - the first mining projects, as aligned to socio-economic
mine in Africa to use AEL’s Intellishot 4G requirements.
detonators underground.
“Aside from a focus on upskilling local
citizens, we o er innovative solutions through
our AECI sister companies, for example for
water purification and agriculture.”

AEL also remains focused on responsible
mining and continues to look at various
opportunities to reduce the carbon footprint
of its operations and associated activities.

“Sustainability has a twofold influence on
our way of thinking – firstly we look for ways
in which to reduce our own impact on the
environment and secondly, the impact of our
products used during their application at the
customer sites.”

Initiatives under way include the use of
used oil emulsion explosives which have
been introduced to South Africa, Indonesia,
Botswana, Zambia and the Democratic
Republic of the Congo. The product employs
used/waste oil from a customer’s site in the
emulsion manufacturing process. “This has
proved to be an environmentally friendly and
cost-e ective way to dispose of waste oil and
prevent its release into the environment.” ■


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TiN Talk
AfriTin eyes 10 000t
tin concentrate are spreading to new technologies, such production plants in Yunnan (the biggest
production as renewables, semi-conductors, electrical producer in the world), reduced exports from
boards and a key component in the battery Myanmar, environmental and regulatory
By Nelendhre Moodley and chip revolution. We see tin as one of hurdles in Indonesia and depleting resources
the metals at the forefront of the Fourth and grades from Latin American supply
Aspiring tin champion of Africa Industrial Revolution,” says Viljoen. leading to a potential impending physical
and recent tin producer AfriTin supply constraint.
Mining is exploring geographical He cites the International Tin
expansion beyond its two tin Association’s expectation that demand for Apart from new applications, tin
projects – Uis Tin Project in tin could triple by 2050 and highlights tin’s remains critical to everyday life and is used
Namibia, and Mokopane in South Africa, “critical position to the energy revolution”, extensively in electronic products (fridges,
CEO Anthony Viljoen tells SA Mining in an which is driven largely by emerging market washing machines and dishwashers). Other
exclusive interview. opportunities for tin in lithium-ion batteries. uses include solder in electronic products
and cars, tin chemicals including PVC
Given its strategy of reaching revenues Viljoen considers electric vehicles as catalysts, tinplate for packaging, lead-acid
in excess of $100-million in the next five being the largest potential growth sector for batteries and copper alloys, among others.
years, the miner remains focused on growth tin in lithium-ion batteries together with the
through acquisition both in the country and global touchscreen controller market which Uis tin Mine
elsewhere in Africa. is expected to grow from $5-billion in 2016 to AfriTin’s flagship Uis tin mine in Namibia
$15bn in 2023. offers significant appeal given its large-scale
In fact the AIM-listed entity has Professor open-pit deposit, attractive demand-supply
Laurence Robb, who has a seat at Oxford Indium tin oxide (ITO) is used in fundamentals, the discovery of lithium in
University and was a Wits University touchscreens and display technologies such the tin-bearing pegmatite which is being
academic, on the board of directors to as LCDs and plasma. investigated for potential as an additional
identify the next generation of tin deposits revenue stream and the acquisition of
in Africa. In addition to the burgeoning demand for further prospective licence areas near the
tin, there is a consistent supply deficit in the historic Brandberg West mine. The miner
“We have also engaged students from world markets owing to a lack of industrial- has also signed an off-take agreement with
the departments of geology from both scale tin deposit. Coupled with this supply Thailand Smelting and Refining Company
institutions to map new areas of tin outcrop. deficit has been the closure of Chinese for 12 months with an option to extend the
The exercise serves to provide the students agreement. Its £2.4m facility for working
with both relevant work and academic ■ Tin metal production capital requirements which has been agreed
experience while simultaneously providing ■ Tin metal consumption upon with Nedbank Namibia places it in
us with an opportunity to spot potential new ■ Persistant deficit good stead.
tin destinations,” says Viljoen.
“The Uis tin mine is one of just 6% of
In particular, AfriTin is sweet on the opencast tin operations in the world. In fact,
African Great Lakes region which consists of in the 1980s, the Uis tin mine was the largest
countries such as Burundi, the Democratic opencast hard-rock tin mine in the world.
Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Malawi, As it stands, more than 60% of tin mines
Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. However
the company’s interest lies in sourcing tin
projects from non-conflict areas.

Market overview
Driving AfriTin’s strategy is the attractive
demand-and-supply fundamentals for tin.

“Given that tin is a natural substitute for
lead, it is considered a green metal. And on
the back of the globe’s green drive, tin’s uses

Refined tin demand currently outpaces supply





320 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017F 2018F 2019F 2020F 2021F


28 SA Mining nOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019


AfriTin’s revenue target in the next five years.

Uis Tin Project in Namibia. Refined Use by Region (2017) AFRITIN
Demand by End Use
Provisiorenfainl eITdAteinstuimseastheasroef,gtolonbnael ■ Bushveld Minerals spun o its

China non-core tin business in 2017
to create AfriTin and currently
holds 8.1% of the issued capital of

■ Following AfriTin’s listing on the

AIM market in 2017, the company
was able to bring its Uis tin mine
into production – just 18 months
a er listing.

■ The Uis tin mine is located on a

225km tenement.

Other Asia



Other regions

Source: WBMS,DBS BANK AfriTin CEO Anthony Viljoen
and Minister of Mines in
in the world are underground operations Phase 2. This will help us meet our long-term Namibia, Tom Alweendo.
associated with higher mining costs,” says objective of moving towards our 10 000t-per-
Viljoen. year target of tin concentrate,” says Viljoen. The exploration drill core
indicating the tin-bearing
The AIM-listed base metals developer The Uis tin mine is a conflict-free, hard- mineral cassiterite at Uis.
produced its first tin concentrate from its rock tin deposit consisting of high-grade
pilot plant in August. mineralised zones with mineralisation farms and exploration has been conducted
confirmed along strike and at depth. on two targets, Groenfontein and Zaaiplaats,
AfriTin, a spin-o from the highly which were both historical operations for a
successful Bushveld Minerals – a vanadium- Discussing the resource, Viljoen explains number of decades.
focused producer – will develop the project that recent data highlights that the 72mt
in two phases, with Phase 1 scheduled to JORC-compliant mineral resource for the V1/ “We are busy with scoping studies
ramp-up to 65t per month of concentrate by V2 pit is 70% bigger than that indicated by and exploring the best options to bring
year end. historical data owing to down dip thickening Mokopane back into production,” says
and depth. Viljoen, who adds that the focus at the
Estimated at a cost of £7m, Phase 1 will moment remains on ramping up the Uis tin
target a life of mine of 80 years. “The ore bodies are up to 100m thick project. ■
and over 500m along strike and existing pits
“Phase 2, meanwhile, will leverage o are open-ended at depth and along strike.
the achievements and platform of Phase 1 Concurrent exploration will target more
and look to deliver a superior return on mineralised pegmatites with low stripping
investment,” says Viljoen. ratios to maintain mining stockpiles.”

Pegged at £50m, Phase 2 “will be at least Furthermore, virgin pegmatite outcrops
six times larger than Phase 1, producing across the mining licence area provide huge
5000t of tin concentrate per annum”. A upside exploration potential, he adds.
bankable feasibility study (BFS) for
Phase 2 is scheduled to start early next year MOKOPANE TIN PROJECT
and production is earmarked for 2021. The Mokopane Project is located in the
Mokopane District in Limpopo, South Africa.
“The next two years are extremely critical
for AfriTin as it looks to complete the BFS, To date, targets have been identified on
identify satellite pegmatites and commission




Minergy inks off-take agreement MASAMA COAL PROJECT
The Masama resource is located
By Nelendhre Moodley between six and 12 months. close to existing rail, road and water
The miner is targeting industrial users, infrastructure, and has significant
New kid on the coal block, BSE- distance advantages over existing
listed coal producer Minergy including breweries, manufacturing coal suppliers to regional markets.
Coal, recently finalised an facilities and hospitals, among others.
o -take agreement with a South The project further holds large
African cement producer, CEO Around 85% of product is earmarked tonnages of export quality coal,
Morne du Plessis tells SA Mining. Apart from for the South African industrial sector, ideally suited for export to Africa,
the agreement, which takes up a significant with 10% supplied into Namibia and 5% India, Asia and China should the
portion of its nameplate capacity, the miner allocated to Botswana’s manufacturing economics be attractive.
is looking to secure “a few more” contracts. sector.
The coal mining and trading company’s ■ High-quality 380mt coal resource
wholly owned 390 million-tonne Masama However, while it is not focused on
Coal Project located in the Mmamabula supplying product to power utilities, Du (A and E Seams West Block).
Coalfields of Botswana is targeting some Plessis notes that should the need arise,
70 000tpm of product, and planning to “Minergy with its stability of volume and ■ Potential of additional coal
extract steady state production of 110 000 quality of supply is well poised to provide
tonnes run of mine (ROM) per month. coal on a consistent basis to the South resources with further exploration.
According to Du Plessis, the three-year African market.
o -take agreement is for the supply of du ■ Shallow: sub-crop ~20m to 130m
product (fines) and accounts for roughly “Owing to coal shortages in South
30-35% of current coal production. Africa, industrial users are struggling to max.
However, he remains adamant that access a consistent supply of high-quality
for its more profitable product, ranging product. Moreover, favourable export ■ Gently dipping coal seams
between 8mm-28mm in size, the company prices generally see South Africa’s larger
will look to sell at spot prices; negotiating coal producers favouring the export market (0.5-3.5°).
contracts with a maximum time frame of where prices are higher and volumes
bigger.” ■ Thick coal seams – up to 6m.
■ Life of mine – about 100 years.
Among the numerous challenges faced

110 000tpm

Minergy’s planned steady state production rate


Importance of coal industry to the SA economy – (Minerals Council South Africa
fact sheet):

■ Despite the challenges faced by the coal industry both from a global and local

perspective, coal remains a significant contributor to the local economy.

■ The coal industry in South Africa employed 86 647 people in 2018 (82 248 in

2017), and represents about 19% of total employment in the mining sector.

“ ■ 253mt of coal was produced in 2018 (252mt in 2017) amounting to total coal sales

of R146-billion (R130bn in 2017).

■ Since 2009, net investment in the coal industry has declined at a rate of 10% per

year – from R7.3bn to R3.8bn in 2017.

■ The coal industry spent R61bn procuring goods and services, most of it locally,

thus contributing to the creation and maintaining of jobs in other industries.

■ 70% of coal volume is consumed domestically and more than 70% of electricity

demand is generated from coal power.

Minergy Coal recently“
finalised an o -take
agreement with a
South African cement


– Du Plessis

by local producers, including the pressure Masama coal project
to mine sustainably and additional costs in Botswana.
associated with the recently implemented
carbon tax as well as banking institutions’ from coal to renewables given the country’s According to Du Plessis, the Botswana
refusal to fund the development of coal strong reliance on coal,” Du Plessis says. coal miner has the capacity to speedily
projects, the South African government has ramp up production to meet growing
indicated that it is considering asking local Furthermore, with more than 500 million demand.
coal producers to reduce the cost of coal people in Africa living without electricity,
supplied to power utility Eskom. coal, a cheap resource which is in abundant “Our Masama project o ers significant
supply, has been tagged as the catalyst for blue sky potential to help sub-Saharan
COAL DEMAND electricity generation. Africans access power.” ■
Du Plessis believes that in the short term,
the industrial demand for coal will increase.

“Following notification from South
Africa’s coal majors of their imminent exit
from the commodity and the refusal by
financial institutions to fund projects, we
expect the coal supply shortage to grow.
And while there is certainly a speedy move
to adopt renewable energy, South Africa
cannot a ord to immediately transition




Growth in sub-Saharan Africa remained slow through 2019, © ISTOCK – FlamingoImages
hindered by persistent uncertainty in the global economy and
the slow pace of domestic reforms. This is according to the 20th cyclones in Mozambique and Zimbabwe, political uncertainty
edition of African Pulse, the World Bank’s economic update for in Sudan, weaker agricultural exports in Kenya, and fiscal
the region. Overall growth in sub-Saharan Africa is projected to consolidation in Senegal.
rise to 2.6% in 2019 from 2.5% in 2018, which is 0.2% lower than
the April forecast. In Central African Economic and Monetary Community
countries, which are also resource-intensive, activity was
“Empowering women will help boost growth. African expected to expand at a modest pace, supported by rising oil
policymakers face an important choice: business as usual or production. Growth among metals exporters was expected to
deliberate steps toward a more inclusive economy,” said Hafez moderate, as mining production slowed and metal prices fell.
Ghanem, World Bank VP for Africa. 
“Africa’s economies are not immune to what is happening in
Global uncertainty was taking a toll on growth well beyond the rest of the world, and this is reflected in the subdued growth
Africa, with real GDP growth expected to slow significantly in rates across the region,” said Albert Zeufack, chief economist for
other emerging and developing regions. The Middle East and Africa at the World Bank.
North Africa, Latin America and Caribbean, and South Asia
regions were expected to see even larger downward revisions in
their growth forecasts than in sub-Saharan Africa for 2019, the
report said.

The recovery in Nigeria, South Africa, and Angola – the
region’s three largest economies – has remained weak and
weighed on the region’s prospects. In Nigeria, growth in the
non-oil sector had been sluggish, while in Angola the oil sector
remained weak. In South Africa, low investment sentiment
continued to weigh on economic activity.

However, growth on the rest of the subcontinent was
expected to remain robust although slower in some countries.
The average growth among non-resource-intensive countries
was projected to edge down, reflecting the e ects of tropical


AIM-listed Ncondezi has appointed Hanno Pengilly as its new CEO. Africa with market leading co-development
Ncondezi is a power development company with an integrated partners. Ncondezi’s developing position in the
thermal coal power plant and mine project located on the African captive solar and battery storage sector
Ncondezi licences in the Tete Province, Northern Mozambique. through the proposed joint venture with
Since May 2017, Pengilly has led the company’s strategic partner GridX Africa Development o ers a
process, which successfully resulted in the signing of a binding strategic approach to a new
joint development agreement in July 2019, and in key negotiations growth market,” said
with the Mozambique government and state power utility Pengilly.
Electricidade de Moçambique, the company said. “Energy growth
is critically important for Africa as a key catalyst for economic
development. The company’s 300MW Ncondezi Project is one of
the most advanced base-load power plant projects in Southern


© ISTOCK – Liens


ASX-listed uranium developer Paladin Energy has announced The burgeoning coal-mining industry in Mozambique has seen
improved economics for the restart of its flagship Langer the successful establishment of Aury Africa Mozambique in Tete.
Heinrich Mine in Namibia. This follows the completion of the
first stream of the prefeasibility study (PFS1) which focused on a According to Aury Africa MD Sydney Parkhouse, Mozambique
rapid low-capital and low-risk restart, the company said. is on an upward investment trend as more international
companies view the country in a positive light.
Paladin CEO Scott Sullivan said: “The Langer Heinrich
Mine is a world-class uranium asset and this study confirms Establishing a strong presence in the country itself is an
Paladin’s key position as a first mover back into production in a important part of Aury Africa extending its footprint on the
recovering uranium market. Achieving production of over 5mlb continent. “Any company operating in a foreign country needs
pa at a cost of under $30/lb all-in sustaining costs and with a to have a local presence. The growing demand requires local
12-month lead time on execution were key targets for the board expertise to be developed by those with the necessary skills,”
and executive team and will see Langer Heinrich in an enviable Parkhouse said.
position when uranium prices recover. This study continues
to demonstrate the high quality and potential of the asset Aury already has a depth of experience in China, Australia and
and provides a solid foundation for a confident and successful South Africa that can be tapped into in order to add value to the
restart.” Mozambican market. Here it will o er its full range of solutions,
from basic screening to its latest Telligent Dry Separator
Demand growth far exceeds supply capability ■ Base supply need technology.
■ Existing production weighted
325 “We will be trialling our exciter drive units and centrifuge
300 ■ Additional high supply need baskets in order to prove their reliability and performance. In
275 ■ Base demand addition, we are exploring opportunities for our RFID asset
250 management and inspection system,” Parkhouse said.
225 ■ Secondary supplies
200 ■ Base demand Aury specialises in screening and sorting equipment such as
175 ■ High case vibrating screens and feeders, centrifuges, cyclones, dry sorters
150 and associated consumable supplies.
Mlbs 100
“Africa is the perfect market for our international expansion
75 objectives. We see Mozambique as a great opportunity from
50 which we will piggyback throughout the region, including
25 Zimbabwe and Zambia,” Parkhouse said.









Current supply unable to meet base case demand

Sullivan flagged the opportunity for further cost
improvements a er project restart and the prospect of
vanadium production in the future. “We will continue to
explore these opportunities, once the market shows signs of

Langer Heinrich was transitioned to care and maintenance
in August 2018 due to the sustained low uranium price.
Subsequently, Paladin completed a concept study in February
that identified multiple options to reduce operating costs,
improve process plant performance and potentially recover a
saleable vanadium product.

Paladin commenced a two-stream prefeasibility study in
March (PFS1 and PFS2) to improve the details of the Langer
Heinrich restart plan and to pursue further improvement
options to clearly present a compelling investment case. This
included Paladin conducting:

■ A study to reduce operating costs and to improve


■ Around 16 200m of resource verification drilling.
■ An update of the mineral resource model for uranium and


■ Further de-risking of the rapid restart plan.



Roytec Global eyes
international markets
for growth

By Nelendhre Moodley

South African-based Roytec Global’s o ice in China, Roytec entered the Australian decisions were handled from Perth.
territorial expansion strategy market in 2018. He adds that Roytec’s liquid/solid
taken four years ago has seen the
mineral separation equipment The strategy of entering the Australian separation equipment has been well received
supplier defy economic challenges market was driven by the realisation that by the Australian market and subsequently
to post a 20% year-on-year growth, says funding for a large number of new mining led to the company being awarded two
Roytec’s business development director Peter projects and project expansions were being contracts – one for the supply of six large
Sampson. raised on the Australian Stock Exchange. vacuum belt filters for a lithium conversion
plant, and the other for the supply of large
“Roytec’s decision to expand into the “Furthermore, many engineering thickeners for an iron ore expansion project
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia companies undertaking the engineering in Pilbara, Australia. Both orders are in
and Tanzania, and global destinations of development of these projects are based execution phase and together are worth an
Australia and China in 2017, has seen the in Australia, so it made sense to establish a estimated R150m.
company achieve a turnover in excess of Perth-based o ice so as to have access to the
R400-million in this financial year,” he says. engineering decisions being made on African Sampson says battery minerals including
“South Africa’s mining operations only projects,” explains Sampson. He cites the cobalt, lithium, graphite, nickel and copper,
account for 20% of overall turnover while in Balama Graphite Project in Mozambique as which is used in the development of electric
excess of 50% of turnover has been achieved a case in point and explains that while the vehicles, have emerged as the key drivers
from projects located in global destinations.” project is located less than 1 000km from for the development of a number of new
Roytec’s Johannesburg o ice, the engineering projects.
Prior to entering the Australian market,
Roytec Global made a strategic move into +R400-million
China – a decision that has seen the company
reap the benefits of reducing equipment Roytec’s turnover this financial year
cost-e ectively, while being able to maintain
world-class standards. Roytec Toncin Thickener.

In early 2018 Roytec opened an o ice
in China which consists of three western
engineers tasked to control product
engineering and manufacturing at its plant in
Yantai, a large industrial city in east China.

“In this tough operating environment
clients are looking for improved e iciencies
coupled with cost-e ective prices on
equipment. While the bulk of non-critical
equipment is manufactured in China at
competitive prices under our direct control,
critical components are sourced in South
Africa where quality assurance for these
products is a priority,” notes Sampson.

Following on the heels of launching its


“ “ © ISTOCK – thitivong

Roytec plans on entering the North American market in
2020 and the South America market by 2021.
– Sampson

BEATING THE ODDS equipment manufacturer being able to
Roytec Global’s drive to remain ahead of the reduce the size of thickening equipment by
competition has seen the company invest as much as 25%.
heavily in product development such as
the Roytec RadFlow Thickener Feedwell, “The market is extremely competitive.
which has resulted in the privately owned In fact, the number of new mining projects
being developed has significantly reduced
Roytec Filter Press.
Roytec Toncin Horizontal
Vacuum Belt Filter.

from three or four years ago, so industry
participants are chasing the same projects.
By being able to deliver leading technologies
which are competitively priced, we are
better placed to win projects. The move to
develop products that are modular, have a
smaller footprint and improved e iciency,
has led to a significantly reduced price tag
for the customer. These products have been
extremely well received by our customers.”

Sampson cites Roytec’s diversification
strategy and the company’s flexible structure
as the key drivers in it achieving its targeted
revenue of more than 20% year-on-year for
the 2019 financial year.

“We are a focused small company that
is nimble enough to make quick decisions
when required. We are also able to adjust our
strategy speedily and adapt to the needs of
the environment,” explains Sampson.

The leading supplier of thickening,
clarification, filtration and flotation
equipment plans on entering the North
American market in 2020 with an eye on the
Canadian market. By 2021, Roytec expects to
use its “North American market footprint to
expand into South America”. ■





Global leader in bulk handling equipment solutions Martin Area vice president for EMEAI Robert Whetstone says helping
Engineering is celebrating its 75th anniversary with a new communities flourish reflects Martin Engineering’s approach
scheme to encourage its employees to volunteer work time to to social responsibility. “We believe businesses can bring both
help their local communities. The company, founded in 1944 on economic and social benefits to the communities where they
a simple solution to improve industrial safety and productivity, operate. Many of our people already do great things for good
has launched the Helping Communities Flourish initiative for causes. This initiative is designed to encourage them, while
employees across its Europe, Middle East, Africa and India at the same time helping to bring colleagues together and
(EMEAI) region. enhancing their personal development.” Around the world
Martin Engineering is marking its 75th anniversary with local
Reflecting the company’s vision to “ignite excellence so that celebrations and promotions to share the success of a firm that
families thrive and communities flourish”, the scheme gives has become synonymous with innovations in bulk materials
each employee the opportunity to spend the equivalent of processing that eliminate blockages, prevent spillages and
one day – individually or as a team – volunteering for a local reduce airborne material. Established at the end of the Second
good cause and earn a day’s pay doing it. By the end of 2019, World War in Illinois, United States, by Edwin F Peterson, Martin
the aim is for the whole EMEAI region to have given 750 hours Engineering has grown into a worldwide business with o ices
of support. If successful, the initiative will run every year, the and operations across six continents.
company says.

Engineering solutions provider Semane, which was spun
o by Anglo American in 1998, recently appointed The Omnia Nitrophosphate Plant constructed for the
Muzi Siyaya as its new CEO. Siyaya has more diversified chemicals group Omnia took the winner’s trophy
than 20 years’ experience, having previously for the Industrial category at the recently held SAISC 2019
held senior management and executive roles Steel Awards. Steelwork contractor and steel erector, SE Steel
at MTN, Cell C and Dimension Data subsidiary Fabrication, was the nominator for the project. Despite tight
Plessey. Siyaya takes over from founding CEO project deadlines and multiple challenges, including working
Joe Araujo, who is retiring from the company at a height of up to 46m, the complex plant construction was
a er 21 years at the helm. According achieved safely and on time.
to Joel Mokgohlwa, executive
chairman, Siyaya’s multifaceted
experience will direct Semane
into a new trajectory.
“He has broad business
skills and experience in
managing growth in a
rapidly evolving business
landscape.” Semane
boasts clients such as
Anglo American, Foskor,
Exxarro, Rio Tinto,
Seriti, BHP and Gold
Fields, among others.


$758m: Value of Implats acquisition of NAP +R400m: Roytec’s turnover this financial year


w w w. s a m i n i n g . c o . z a

R39.90 (incl VAT) International R44.50 (excl tax)


strives for 10 000t
tin concentrate


Mpumelelo Mkhabela

Canyon Coal ready to assist Eskom




Megatrends driving

New breed of
Industry calls for companies
economic revival


Mining Business @businessmediaMAGS
Infrastructure ICT Business Media MAGS
Health Construction & Engineering
Architecture Skills Development
Green Travel

Local Government Textiles

© iStock - peshkov




Drives innovation and technology

By Nelendhre Moodley

Johannesburg-based conveyor belt the application, the better aligned it is to the ease of packing and stacking on containers
cleaning equipment manufacturer Brelko product range.” scheduled for global destinations, says
Brelko’s strategy for continuous Padayachee.
innovation, and a belief echoing Brelko’s belt tracking inline unit has been
US politician Anna Eshoo that designed to include an adjustable carrier The innovation follows on the heels of
innovation is the calling card of the future, which is able to handle di erent belt widths Brelko’s acquisition of a robotic arm last year,
sees the firm in the test phase of innovative and adjustable angles. “The patented system which ensures that “each and every weld
developments on its belt tracking inline unit. allows for angle adjustment between 0° is done perfectly with no room for human
and 45° and the ability to flatten the belt error”.
In a fiercely competitive market, which tracking inline unit to 0° – this fosters ease of
on the back of depressed economic product packing ahead of transport to global In line with developing products that
conditions is experiencing an unprecedented destinations,” explains Padayachee. meet future trends of conveyor belt cleaning
entry of newcomers, firms are expanding including products that require less
their product o erings to net as many The belt tracking inline unit, which has maintenance, are smaller in size and contain
customers as possible. However Brelko’s been three years in the making, is being interchangeable longer-lasting parts, the
key di erentiator is developing innovative tested (for the past nine months) at a coal company recently moved from producing
products, which MD Kenny Padayachee mine in Gauteng. rubberised equipment to polyurethane,
says is what sets the company apart and which has seen it manufacture products that
establishes the platform for growth even in While the product has been well received outperform standardised products.
tough operating conditions. by the coal mine, Brelko plans on further
testing ahead of rollout in April 2020. According to Padayachee, Brelko’s focus
Brelko supplies robust conveyor belt on innovation is bearing fruit as the company
cleaning equipment used in the most According to Padayachee, for personnel strengthens its reputation as a solutions
arduous aspects of the mining process, such ordering replacement parts, the belt tracking provider for the entire conveyor belt cleaning
as the crushing and milling processes. inline unit innovation takes the guess work system.
out of determining the correct product angle
“Our products are used primarily in to order. “Our focus is on helping the customer
crushing of hard rock and the more severe achieve improved e iciencies and
Furthermore, the innovation allows for production output, so when a client requires
improved logistics, given that it allows for a product replacement on the conveyor
system, we o er a complete conveyor belt
R50-million overhaul to ensure e iciencies. In this way
we are able to provide a complete solutions
Brelko’s investment to expand package to the client.”
manufacturing facility
As a result of this, Brelko has been able
to net new customers and grow despite
depressed market conditions.


Brelko’s factory in Booysens market” e ectively takes three years of BreLko sUPPLies into
south of Johannesburg. investment; this is apart from scoping the keY ProJeCts
area, understanding the local culture and
GrowinG a GLoBaL FootPrint establishing key local partnerships. Brelko continues to supply into key
The South African manufacturer has an African and local projects including:
extensive footprint across Africa which Further to this, Brelko’s courtship of the
accounts for roughly 25% of business, a Saudi Arabian market saw it initially win ■ Syama gold project in the south
global footprint accounting for 25% of a contract with Maaden, a Saudi Arabian
business (the US, Europe, UK, Middle East mineral company, for the supply of 50 of Mali.
and Australia) and a South African footprint, units of conveyor cleaning equipment,
which accounts for 50% of business. including skirting and conveyor cleaners ■ The Kamoa Copper
for its phosphate plant (in 2017), and a
Armed with its niche market premium second contract for the supply of 80 units Project situated close to Kolwezi
product the equipment manufacturer of conveyor belt-related equipment, last in the Democratic Republic of the
continues to make headway into new market year. Given Maaden’s diversified commodity Congo.
segments, including the South American o ering of gold, base metals and aluminum,
market, in particular Chile and Mexico where Brelko is looking forward to extending its ■ Karowe diamond mine in
it continues to entrench its presence. focus to supply products to the miner’s other
commodity o erings. Botswana.
Brelko recently supplied a range of heavy-
duty conveyor belt cleaning equipment, Leveraging o foreign currency has ■ Konkola Copper Mines in Zambia.
including belt tracking units, belt scrapers diversified Brelko’s earning power, away ■ Medupi and Kusile power
and belt return ploughs for the Cananea from the rand to the dollar and euro-based
copper mine located in the north-west of currencies, says Padayachee. stations.
Mexico, in Sonora. Cananea represents one
of the largest copper reserves in Mexico and PreParinG For tHe FUtUre ■ Exxaro’s Grootegeluk and Belfast
in the world, with estimated reserves of 4.52 “Success is where preparation and
billion tonnes of ore. opportunity meet.” – Bobby Unser (former coal mines.
American automobile racer).
“We recently appointed a master ■ Sappi Saiccor, KwaZulu-Natal.
distributor to promote and support Brelko “We are a SANAS-approved B-BBEE Level
products in the Chile region and we have 1-accredited company and are equipped Manufacturers Association of South Africa,”
revamped our US strategy, investing heavily with ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015 and says Padayachee.
in upskilling personnel, identifying the ISO 45001:2018 certification. We are also
‘right partner’, increasing stockholding to members of the South African Institute In preparing for the future, Brelko
include 65t of stock and moving into new of Materials Handling and Conveyor is investing in excess of R50-million in
premises located in Boulder, Colorado,” says expanding its manufacturing facilities in
Padayachee. Booysens, south of Johannesburg.

He explains that “cracking a new The new 4 000m building, currently
under construction, comes complete with
365m of garage space for Brelko’s trucks.
Scheduled for completion in April next year,
the new development is in preparation
for the market upturn, which Padayachee
anticipates will be in the next three to
five years, by which time Brelko will have
increased production by a further 50%. ■






Tyre dealer Kal Tire recently announced the certification of its plans to roll out in other regions Kal Tire operates.
new carbon calculator which is able to determine fuel and carbon In 2021, new environmental laws in Chile will dictate
emissions saved by retreading earthmover tyres compared to
buying new. The company is also launching its Maple Program, responsible tyre recycling, of which retreading is an o icial option.
which quantifies a customer’s environmental impact as they grow Pedro Pacheco, vice president, Latin America operations, Kal Tire’s
their fleet with retreads, Kal Tire said. Mining Tire Group, says Chilean customers have already embraced
the Maple Program and see the value in receiving the certificate.
“We have long claimed that our retread products are
beneficial to the environment, but now we are able to quantify
those benefits and recognise customers for opting to retread
earthmover tyres,” said Darren Flint, vice president, European and
West African operations, Kal Tire’s Mining Tire Group. “Retreading
reduces a tyre’s operating cost per hour, and it has become
increasingly important to customers to reduce their impact on the
environment. We look forward to providing customers with actual
data on the environmental savings they achieve.”

The Maple Program uses data from Kal Tire’s new carbon
calculator to award customers with one to five stars according
to the percentage of their fleet running retreads rather than new
tyres. The programme is first launching in Chile and the UK, with


Contract miner Lomeza Mining Services recently took delivery of Volvo EC750D excavators and six A35G ADTs in November 2017.
three Volvo A60H articulated dump trucks (ADTs) and one EC950E “My business was still in the start-up stages and I wasn’t yet known
excavator, adding to their existing fleet which includes six A35G to the leading equipment suppliers. However, Babcock chose to
ADTs, three A45G ADTs, and three EC750D crawler excavators. support me and this was the beginning of a solid and long-lasting
relationship,” says Mkhonza.
Simon Mkhonza, MD of Lomeza Mining Services, says he initially
approached Babcock three years ago seeking reliable construction He adds that the mine soon recognised the quality and
equipment for Exxaro’s Leeuwpan Coal Mine. Today Lomeza’s performance of the Volvo Construction Equipment and increased
fleet includes 18 Babcock-supplied Volvo Construction Equipment Lomeza’s production capacity which in turn required more
machines – these have helped the growing business meet and machinery. “I went back to Babcock and again they o ered me
increase its production capacity. fantastic support. Together with Babcock and Volvo, we have
grown and advanced Lomeza’s fleet to 18 Volvo machines, meeting
Mkhonza explains that as a young organisation Lomeza did not our production targets of two million tonnes of overburden a
have extensive access to machinery that larger contract mining month.”
companies had, and recalls his first meetings with Babcock as
the owner of a small business with a large equipment supply Leeuwpan mine produces 3.65mtpa of thermal coal for export
problem. A er initial negotiations, Mkhonza took delivery of two and for South Africa’s power supplier Eskom.


SaSol inveStS in Clariant inks
chemical tanker partnership with
through nduna
Speciality chemicals producer Clariant Mining Solutions
Nduna Maritime, a subsidiary of the Mnambithi Group, and recently concluded a partnership with ChemQuest. The
Sasol have entered into a R400-million enterprise and supplier partnership is set to increase metallurgical efficiencies
development (ESD) funding agreement through the Sasol for the beneficiation of mineral wealth in Africa, says the
Siyakha Trust for South Africa’s first locally owned maritime company. ChemQuest, owned by SnF Floerger since 2009, is a
vessel. This is Sasol Siyakha’s single largest funding agreement distributor of the Clariant Mining Solutions range of products.
to date.
The agreement concentrates on providing solution-based
The specialised chemical tanker, named Bow Cecil, is specialty chemicals that address challenges experienced
the very first South African-flagged vessel that will transport specifically in the copper, platinum, gold and base metal
chemicals to international markets. mining sector. Countries seen as focus markets are South
Africa, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and
“As a global producer of a number of chemical products, Zimbabwe.
we supply numerous markets around the world with products
made in South Africa. Through Nduna Maritime, we are “This partnership with one of the world’s largest specialty
extending our value chain participation through a wholly chemical manufacturers and solution providers allows us
owned South African business,” says Vuyo Kahla, executive VP: to jointly be the leading supplier of collectors, frothers and
advisory, assurance and supply chain, Sasol. custom-developed products and services, formulated for the
extraction of valuable minerals in Africa,” says Heystek du
Vusi Mazibuko, Mnambithi Group executive chairman, Plessis, MD of ChemQuest.
says the company has plans to expand its fleet in both liquid
bulk and dry bulk vessels which will see it further deepen Clariant Mining Solutions in South Africa recently opened
South African ownership of the maritime industry. The vessel its world-class laboratory which will serve as a regional hub
currently handles outbound shipments of chemicals into South for mining operators in Africa, the company says.
East Asia, the Middle East and Europe for Sasol and other
companies. The investment enables Clariant to become a stronger
player in African mining markets and to better support
Sasol spends some R1.8-billion a year on shipping from customers by improving research and supply chain
South Africa to global markets. As the owner of Bow Cecil, capabilities.
Nduna Maritime will leverage this asset to increase its capacity
to ship more chemical products to markets concentrated in Dries Lategan, head of Clariant Mining Solutions, Sub-
Asia. To date the Sasol Siyakha Trust has disbursed R426.7m Saharan Africa, says: “The state-of-the-art laboratory makes
since 2007 to 91 small, medium and micro enterprises. it possible for Clariant to provide tailored chemical solutions
to the mining sector. We can do metallurgical testwork with
state-of-the-art equipment and supply accurate and timeous
results for mining customers before setting up the actual
investment on the mining site.”

SA Mining nOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019 41



pilot CrushteC makes Coal EngEn
Crushing simple and mobile drivEr
Crushing and screening specialist Pilot the product they were keen on was the
Crushtec recently helped a client DoppiaTrac DR400 double roll crusher, in the spotlight
operating in KwaZulu-natal to increase a mobile unit that not many companies
their average monthly processed coal manufacture,” says Yeshen Achary, sales South African oil company Engen
production from some 20 000 tonnes a engineer at Pilot Crushtec. recently highlighted health and
month to just over 60 000 tonnes with safety for truck drivers through its
an investment in the DoppiaTrac DR400 The decision to go with the Engen Driver Wellness initiative.
double roll crusher, the company said. DoppiaTrac DR400, according to Achary, Engen Driver Wellness aims to
was an easy one. “The double roll improve occupational health and
“The company’s focus lies in three crusher works a lot better for their wellness among long-distance
areas: anthracite, bituminous coal, application, as the raw feed material truck drivers by providing free
and lean coal mining for both the local in KZn tends to be slightly softer and it health screening, advice on healthy
and international markets. Having creates more fines, which is unsuitable lifestyle choices and consultations
increased their production significantly for their particular clients’ spec of end where necessary, the company said.
over the last while, they needed to add product. Having looked at a number
[another] mobile crusher. Having had of the competitors’ machines our Running for its eighth year,
a long association with Pilot Crushtec client realised, quite quickly, that the 2019 Engen Driver Wellness
and an understanding that our service the DoppiaTrac design was more initiative looked to reach 18 sites
and quality is beyond reproach, they advanced, robust, easy to use and, most in four provinces in October and
contacted us for a solution. Additionally, importantly, it was mobile.” November.

All truck drivers passing through
Gauteng, Free State and the Eastern
and Western Cape were invited to
visit participating Engen 1-Stops
and Truck Stops for free voluntary
health screenings.

In partnership with Thubelihle
Occupational Health & Wellness,
mobile clinics were set up at
selected Engen Truck Stops and
retail service stations. These offered
free screenings conducted by
qualified nurses and councillors,
including blood pressure,
cholesterol, diabetes, BMI (body
mass index) and HIV/Aids tests.

Unathi Magida, Engen’s head of
Transformation and Stakeholder
Engagement, said the primary aim
of Engen Driver Wellness was to
improve health through awareness
and to make roads safer.

“Given the long hours many
truck drivers spend on the road
and the stresses associated with
the job, these interventions form
a critical pillar of support. It is
therefore essential to remind drivers
and Engen forecourt staff why their
health is so important and how
lifestyle choices impact on their
well-being. Ultimately, voluntary
testing will improve their health,
safety, well-being and productivity.”

A clear indication that Engen
Driver Wellness is making a
difference is the marked increase in
the number of individuals using the
services. In 2017 and 2018, about
4 750 truck drivers took advantage
of the voluntary health screenings.

42 SA Mining nOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019

eXXaro aCCepts seCond rtms
aCCredited aWard

Following the launch of the conneXXion building earlier this The impact can already be seen at Exxaro Grootegeluk mine
month, mining giant Exxaro recently held an exclusive Road Tra ic in Lephalale where the mine deploys on average 500kt of coal
Management Service (RTMS) workshop at the newly opened per annum via road. By adopting RTMS processes, the company
building. RTMS is an industry-led,
government-supported, self-regulation benefited from better enforcement
scheme that encourages consignees, strategies by the road and tra ic
consignors and road transport authorities, reduced overloading of
operators to implement a management heavy vehicles, limited road damage
system (a set of standards) that and increased driver health.
demonstrates compliance with the
road tra ic regulations and contributes “Overloading causes premature
to preserving road infrastructure, road deterioration and, together with
improving road safety and increasing inadequate vehicle maintenance, high
productivity, the company said. levels of driver fatigue and poor driver
healthcare programmes contribute
Exxaro is the first company to be accredited and the first to significantly to South Africa’s poor road
be accredited in accordance with the amendment. Through the safety record,” Exxaro solution architect, marketing and logistics
implementation of RTMS processes, companies demonstrate that manager Johan Bisscho said.
they pose minimal risk to the road infrastructure, the environment During the workshop, Exxaro was handed the second RTMS
and other road users, as well as taking care of their drivers. accreditation award based on Exxaro’s compliance with the RTMS
accreditation amendments.

BEll EXPAnds FinlAY OFFEring wiTH

Bell Equipment recently expanded its Finlay mobile crushing and material specification.
screening range to include two conveyors – the TC-80 Tracked “Studies have shown that by replacing a wheeled loader
Conveyor and the TR-75 Radial Stacker – o ering customers the
benefits of reduced costs, better site e iciency and improved with a conveyor an operator can save up to 90% of his labour
material quality associated with conveyors, the equipment and fuel costs. Of course, less wheel loader activity has positive
manufacturer said. environmental spin-o s in terms of dust, noise and emissions
as well as on-site health and safety due to reduced tra ic,” says
According to Finlay’s regional business manager Paul Chappel, Chappel.
conveyors o er significant benefits in terms of improving site
e iciency. “For example, the stockpile of a Finlay I-140 Impactor Bell Equipment’s Finlay product manager Tyron Ravencro
needs to be cleared a er 17 minutes of crushing whereas the says: “Our new conveyors have common parts with our existing
addition of a TC-80 Tracked Conveyor extends the clearing time to Finlay range so our Bell Global Logistics Centre is well covered to
seven hours and 13 minutes.” support these new products. They have also been specced to a
high standard to meet Africa’s tough site requirements. We have
Improved plant layout contributes further to e iciency by a top-quality product and are excited about the mainstream and
enabling material to be re-circulated from the screen back to the niche application possibilities that we can present to existing and
crusher to reduce the wear rate on wear parts and improve the potential customers.”




ksb pumps
Pump manufacturer KSB Pumps and Valves, together
with the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), “KSB usually performs such tests on our own standard
recently tested “one of the most impressive pump sets equipment, but this time the size of the motor was a limiting
to be assembled on South African soil in recent times” factor and required us to use the SABS facility. Here, testing was
done under the supervision of the customers, KSB and SABS
at the SABS facilities in Pretoria. personnel and ran for four hours before being deemed to meet all
“With 1 350kW of raw power produced by a massive V16 diesel specifications and requirements,” says KSB’s test field manager
motor, [this is] one of the most impressive pump sets to be tested Norman Taylor.
recently,” KSB Pumps and Valves said. “These kinds of string tests are done to ensure the entire
Due to the critical nature of the application, which is to units work correctly considering that the diesel motor is required
suppress toxic gases in an emergency situation, engineers to produce a staggering 1 015kW of power just to handle the
took the unusual step of pre-testing the complete pump set to required absorb-power needed to produce the 2 800m of water
ensure the unit performed exactly as required. Owing to the needed per hour. Also, the forces at play when you consider
sheer size and power of the set, even KSB’s own testing facilities this power are generated at 1 500rpm and reduced through a
in Germiston were deemed too small which subsequently reduction gearbox to 1 000 which is the optimum range of the
necessitated the use of the SABS’s larger facilities in Pretoria. KSB a RDLO 400-935A pump.”
KSB contract manager Geo Havenga explained that the Havenga continues: “With the unit weighing an impressive
set, comprising a heavyweight KSB a RDLO 400-935A pump, V16 32 tonnes, it is particularly impressive that we have facilities in
Quad-Turbo Mitsubishi motor and David Brown-manufactured South Africa where our customers can witness the performance
gearbox, is part of Sasol’s Natref Hydrofluoric Acid Cloud of the equipment that they have purchased, in this instance by
Mitigation project and is required to be able to rapidly produce Worley Consulting Engineers on behalf of Sasol.” ■
a spray water to “knock down” any gas cloud that may form in
an emergency spill situation. As a result, the pump set needed
to be ultra-reliable and ready to spark into action in an instant
to be able to pump some 770 litres of water per second at a head
pressure of 13 bar.

iMPressive sCaLe KSB Pumps and Valves tests
The test is unusual as components are usually tested individually a powerful pump set.
and again on commissioning. This time, however, the units
were tested separately – the pump in Germany pre-delivery to
South Africa, the diesel engine by Mitsubishi in France and the
gearbox by David Brown in Benoni, South Africa. Due to the
nature of the project, further tests were then required of the
entire unit including capacity, head, power, e iciency and net
positive suction of the pump to ensure further conformity with





High-head pumps play a critical © ISTOCK – ClaraNila
role in areas like bulk water
delivery, which makes selecting the materials used in their construction “That includes the need for ease of access
the right product equally are selected to ensure the compatibility during routine maintenance.”
important. of rotating and stationary wearing parts,
Proudly South African company combined with high corrosion and erosion On these pumps, the bearing brackets
Mather+Platt and its group company APE resistance. and bearing bushes are designed with a
Pumps are original equipment manufacturers horizontal split along the centre line.
(OEMs) with a product history in the local The end result is prolonged life, sustained
market dating back to 1952. Mather+Platt e iciency and low maintenance costs. The main advantage is the ability to strip
manufactures horizontal multistage pumps the bearing assembly without disturbing
designed for high-pressure applications, and High heads are achieved at standard the alignment of the element, and without
split-case pumps chiefly for high volumes. direct coupled motor speeds of 1 480rpm for having to remove the pump, half coupling
In turn, APE Pumps specialises in the PJ pumps and 2 960rpm for PL units, both or driving unit. Additionally, the bearing
design and manufacture of vertical industrial generated via a 50Hz electrical supply. brackets are supported at the top and
turbine pumps and split-case and end- bottom, thereby avoiding distortion of
suction pumps for most industries. APE These pumps are also suitable for bearing bush/sha alignment when the
Pumps and Mather+Platt also provide an operation at other speeds, including those pump is under pressure. The balance valve
installation and commissioning service. All directly coupled to two- or four-pole motors assembly is designed to enable the wearing
products are designed, cast and assembled in fed by a 60Hz supply. A key benefit of these parts to be replaced at minor cost. The
South Africa. pumps is their relatively compact size and stainless steel balance valve head will never
What sets them apart is their ability energy savings. The PL/PJ system design have to be replaced, since it’s provided with
to devise standard and custom-designed further allows for direct drive from power a separate wear face.
solutions across the entire fluid transfer recovery water turbines of the Pelton wheel
spectrum. type and for direct or indirect drive from “This is one of a series of
Within the public sector, this includes bulk virtually all other alternative forms of prime examples of how we build
water transfer systems for municipalities and mover. durability and practicality
utilities. Here Mather+Platt leads with its PL/ into our PL and PJ series,”
PJ range of multistage centrifugal pumps. “Every project and installation has its Montgomery concludes. ■
unique requirements and we have the
HIGH-HEAD DUTIES in-house design and engineering expertise PJ250 vertical
These pumps, available either in horizontal to devise the optimal pump and process multistage pump.
or vertical configuration, are designed for a match,” says John Montgomery, general
wide range of high-head duties at sustained manager, APE Pumps and Mather+Platt.
highest e iciencies.
PJ250 horizontal
This makes them particularly well suited multistage pump.
for applications that include high-li mine
drainage duties, mainline water supply, and
high-pressure boiler feed pumps operating at
elevated temperatures.

They feature a heavy-duty ring-section
design and robust fabrication. Incorporating
the latest hydraulic design principles,


Leaders in pump innovation

26 Nagington Road, Wadeville, Germiston 1400, South Africa
Tel +27 11 824 4810 / Fax +27 11 824 2770
E-mail [email protected] / [email protected]
Website /

Split Case Pump Vertical Turbine

• Sugar and Paper Mills • Cooling Water
• Refineries • Circulation
• Petro Chemical • Irrigation

Multistage Pump

• Power Generation Plants
• Cooling and Heating

• Mining Applications

© ISTOCK – jurisam Annual shut down 26 Nagington Road, Wadeville, Germiston 1400, South Africa
17 December – 2 January Tel +27 11 824 4810 / Fax +27 11 824 2770

E-mail [email protected] / [email protected]
Website /

100% Locally Manufactured
in South Africa


siMO sÄÄsKilAHTi
metso ValVes neW Vp For FinanCe

Industrial company Metso recently appointed Simo Sääskilahti Minerals Business will transfer to Outotec. The completion of the
as senior vice president, finance for Metso’s Valves business transaction is expected in the second quarter of 2020, subject to
area. During the course of creating Neles Corporation, he will be the approval of both Metso and Outotec, the company said.
nominated chief financial o icer of Neles, the global entity said.
Sääskilahti took up the new position in October and will report to
Olli Isotalo, president of the Valves business area and the future
CEO of Neles. Sääskilahti joined Metso in 2011 and has held
several top management positions in the company. Meanwhile
Metso’s recently approved plan will see it combine Metso Minerals
Business and Outotec to create Metso Outotec. Following this,
the flow control business will become the continuing business
of the currently listed Metso, which will be renamed Neles, an
independent flow control equipment and services company. The
transaction will be executed through a partial demerger of Metso
in which all assets and liabilities of Metso that relate to the Metso

Simo Sääskilahti.

megator sliding shoe
design suitable For mining

Megator distributor Australian Pump Industries reports seeing new To meet the specialised requirements of di erent industries,
applications for the displacement pumps that are equipped with Megator has developed versatile assemblies. They can be electric-
a sliding shoe design that came from the need for pumps in the (single- or three-phase), petrol- or diesel-driven. Air or hydraulic
mining and marine industries. The Megator sliding shoe design drives are also available.
means it can be used in a wide range of applications including
oily waste transfer and for e luent and hazardous applications The product lends itself to stationary, skid-mount or portable
including spoils, the company said. The Megator pump is described versions.
as a positive displacement pump with super-suction, self-priming
and dry running capabilities. It allows easy access to the working
parts resulting in reduced maintenance costs and downtime.

The pump is suitable for jobs including the recovery of oil from
sumps, pits, ponds and oil traps.

“The Megator delivers a ‘super-suction’ performance that is
provided by the unique sliding shoe concept. The working parts
are entirely submerged and liquid-sealed, even when pumping
air. Liquid sealing allows for self-priming and enables the pump to
safely run with a completely dry suction without depending on a
bypass or other easily blocked devices.

“Best of all, the Megator sliding shoe pump will handle liquids
of any viscosity, to the maximum of what is economically feasible.
Some reduction of speed may be necessary at the highest
viscosities,” the company said.


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