Botswana features very prominently in this issue. Not only do we report on the recent Botswana Resource Sector Conference, but we also -as a spin-off of our conference coverage - look at the development of the ground-breaking Ghagoo diamond project of Gem Diamonds.
The Resource Sector Conference was held in Gaborone in late June and drew an excellent attendance of more than 400 delegates. Projects covered at the event included Botswana's two newest mines, the Karowe diamond mine and the Boseto copper mine, both of which are now entering production. Presentations were also given on a host of exploration projects. Among these was Petra's Sephaku diamond project in the Central Kalahari where the very promising KX36 kimberlite has recently been found.
The Ghaghoo diamond mine was the subject of a presentation at the conference by Haile Mphusu of Gem Diamonds Botswana. Ghaghoo incorporates a sand decline which is being developed using an Open Faced Tunnel Shield - a piece of equipment one commonly associates with the excavation of civil engineering tunnels and which one would not normally expect to see operating at a project in the Central Kalahari of Botswana.
Still in Botswana, we profile a company - Dewet Drilling - which has proved to be one of Botswana's success stories. Well-known for its development of the innovative Elephant large diameter drill rig, Dewet Drilling has now teamed up with Bauer in a venture known as Bauer Dewet Equipment, which is producing a range of sophisticated drill rigs at Dewet's Rasesa premises north of Gabarone.
Another company to be highlighted in this issue is RSV ENCO, part of the RSV Group, which focuses on projects in the coal, energy and infrastructure fields. It is now being run by Alan Wingrove, who has worked in mining for around 37 years. In a recent interview with Modern Mining, he discussed his philosophy of business, described RSV ENCO's current order book and said he expected the company's strong growth to continue.
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‘Heavy metal' at Moatize
The world's biggest hydraulic shovel, the Cat 6090 FS, has been commissioned at the Moatize coal mine in Mozambique where it is working in conjunction with the first Cat 797 trucks to be seen in Africa. The 6090 FS has an operating weight of nearly 1 000 tonnes and a payload of 93,6 tonnes.
Coal mining returns to historic coalfield
AIM-listed Strategic Natural Resources (SNR) is in the process of bringing coal mining back to the Eastern Cape. The company is developing the Elitheni mine - owned by subsidiary Elitheni Coal (Pty) Limited -in the Molteno/Indwe coalfield and says its immediate objective is to achieve a production capability of 800 kt/a by the end of this year.
Koidu's new processing plant officially opened
A report on the latest developments at the Koidu diamond mine in Sierra Leone, a project which has a strong South African involvement. The mine's new 180 t/h processing plant was officially opened at a recent gala event, which also saw the launch of the OCTÉA Diamond Group, which incorporates OCTÉA Mining (previously known as Koidu Limited).
World class drill rigs from Botswana
Botswana has become the home for a world-class manufacturing operation which is producing drill rigs able to compete in international markets with some of the biggest industry brand names. The company behind the operation is Dewet Drilling, which in conjunction with its joint venture partner, Bauer of Germany, has started producing a range of drill rigs which have been designed in Botswana and which feature a high degree of local content.
Finnish supplier aims for African expansion
Fast-growing Finnish underground equipment manufacturer and construction chemicals supplier Normet has established its own sales and customer support company, Normet Africa, in Johannesburg. Normet specialises in the design and manufacture of concrete sprayers, scalers, lifting and charging equipment, as well as underground transport vehicles, for use in both mining and tunnelling applications and claims to be the global market leader in its market segment.