This issue leads off with two articles on coal. In Keaton turns around Vaalkrantz mine, we look at the steps taken by Joburg-based Keaton Energy to get Vaalkrantz, an underground anthracite mine in the Vryheid district of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), back on track. Acquired by Keaton last year, Vaalkraantz gives the company its second producing asset, the first being its Vanggatfontein mine in the Witbank coalfield. The acquisition has also brought four new projects in KZN - the most promising being Koudelager and Braakfontein - into the Keaton stable.
Our second article, Zimbabwe coal under the spotlight at FFF Indaba, is a report on the recent Zimbabwe Coal Indaba in Johannesburg. The excellent turnout suggests that there is massive interest in Zimbabwe's coal potential, notwithstanding the country's distance from coal markets and - of course - its political problems. Coverage included the latest developments in two major coalfields in the north of the country, Lubimbi and Sengwa, while the Hwange operation, the only coal mine of any significance in Zimbabwe, was the subject of a presentation by a senior executive of Hwange Colliery Company.
In the platinum field, the good news is that the Bakubung project (previously known as Frischgewaagd-Ledig), long in the pre-development phase, is finally moving into the main execution phase with the award of the keenly contested shaft-sinking contract to Aveng Mining. Modern Mining recently visited the site to view the progress to date on this nearly R8 billion project, which is located close to the Sun City complex - and which is adjacent to two other developing mines, Styldrift and Maseve.
While South Africa is famous for its platinum endowment, it is less well-known for its rare earth resources. But they are in fact considerable and there are at least two projects currently underway - Steenkampskraal in the Western Cape and Zandkopsdrift in the Northern Cape. Steenkampskraal is the more advanced of the two but Zandkopsdrift is making steady progress, the latest milestone being a Preliminary Economic Assessment - covered in this issue - which has confirmed the viability of a US$910 million project which TSX-listed Frontier Rare Earths, which owns Zandkopsdrift, hopes to bring into production by 2015.
|This issue of Modern Mining is available for interactive "page-flip" viewing. You'll need the latest Flash Plugin, and an ADSL or 3G internet connection to view the magazine smoothly.||You need to register with Crown Publications to read the online version of this magazine.|
Barloworld's Tier 111 Cat flameproof solution
The first Cat C7 flameproof electronic engine to be developed in South Africa is now operational at a major underground colliery, powering a 4x4 Bateleur stone duster designed and built by Nelspruit original equipment manufacturer (OEM), Bird Machines.
Shaft sinking poised to start at Bakubung
Aveng Mining has been awarded a R1,64 million contract to sink the main and vent shafts of the new Bakubung platinum mine in the Western Bushveld. Completion of the shafts is scheduled for late 2018, at which point Bakubung will begin its ramp up to a steady state production level - to be achieved by 2023 - of approximately 350 000 ounces of 4E (3 PGM + Au) a year.
Full production in sight at Doornkop
The South Reef project at Harmony Gold Mining Company's Doornkop mine has been largely completed in terms of capex with R1,6 billion of the R1,8 billion allocated for the project having been spent. Once in full production, the project will allow Doornkop, located 30 km west of Johannesburg, to produce between 190 000 and 220 000 ounces of gold a year.
Mobile LiDAR service is a ‘first' for South Africa
Precision Geospatial Solutions (PGS), a joint venture between EPA Survey of Middelburg and Trail Surveys of Pretoria, has become the first company in Africa to offer a terrestrial dual sensor mobile LiDAR service.
M&C completes repairs for Saldanha plant
Marthinusen & Coutts (M&C), a leading local repairer of rotating electrical equipment, has completed a repair and design change on a 28 MW Jeumont Schneider synchronous motor operating at the Saldanha Steel plant on the Cape West Coast. This motor incorporates an 18-ton stator which is 3 m in diameter, making it one of the largest non-power generating stators ever to be repaired in South Africa.