In last month's issue we featured the steps being taken by Keaton Energy to turn around the Vaalkrantz anthracite mine. Anthracite is again in the spotlight this month with our lead feature dealing with the plans of Australian junior ZYL Limited to establish two new anthracite mines - Mbila in KZN and Kangwane in Mpumalanga.
Located near Nongoma on a 19 000 ha mining right area, Mbila is the more advanced of the two projects and could enter construction towards the end of this year. It will be underground mine producing - in its first phase - 580 000 t/a of saleable product.
In the gold field, an interesting development covered this month is African Barrick Gold's approval of a project at its flagship Bulyanhulu mine in Tanzania which will boost gold production by more than 40 000 ounces a year. The project involves constructing a new 2,4 Mt/a CIL circuit at a cost of US$167 million to treat both historic and current tailings. Site works on the plant are expected to start in July this year with first gold production anticipated in H1 2014.
Still across South Africa's borders, Australia's Bannerman Resources has completed a Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) on its Etango uranium project , located 28 km to the east of Swakopmund in Namibia. The DFS - which we report on extensively - envisages a substantial open-pit operation at Etango producing up to 9 Mlb (just over 4 000 tonnes) of U3O8 a year. Mining equipment will include 550-t hydraulic excavators and 220-t diesel/electric haul trucks. Pre-production capex is estimated at US$870 million.
In Zambia another long-awaited mining project has been given the go ahead. This is First Quantum's massive US$1,7 billion Trident development in the north-west of the country, which will see the construction of one of Africa's biggest copper mines with an ultimate production capacity of around 300 000 tonnes of copper a year. As we explain in our article on Trident, the project will feature the largest SAG/ball mill trains in the world.
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Cat's largest loader joins Aveng Moolmans fleet
Aveng Moolmans, reputedly Africa's biggest open-pit mining contractor, has invested in Caterpillar's top-of-the-range 994 H wheel loader. The machine has been deployed at Kumba Iron Ore's Sishen mine, where Aveng Moolmans is currently stripping and removing some 45 Mt of waste material per annum from designated zones.
Vele colliery ships its first thermal coal
Coal of Africa Limited (CoAL) is finally off the mark with its new Vele colliery on the banks of the Limpopo River, having shipped its first ‘test' consignment of thermal coal to the Matola Terminal in Maputo in April. Vele's development was delayed by fierce opposition from environmental groups but CoAL has now buried the hatchet with its opponents, clearing the way for Vele to ramp up to its initial production rate of 2,7 Mt/a (ROM).
Etango project passes two key milestones
Not only has Bannerman Resources completed a DFS on its Etango uranium project in Namibia but it has also concluded an agreement which will result in state-owned mining company Epangelo becoming a "key partner" in the proposed new mine. Etango will have a minimum life of 16 years and is expected to give a major boost to Namibia's economy, creating up to 1 500 jobs at the peak of construction and 1 000 once it is in production.
Pilot Crushtec records its best result ever
Our special feature in this month's issue covers the subject of ‘Screening, milling and crushing'. Among the companies featured is Jet Park-based Pilot Crushtec, which markets a wide range of mobile and semi-mobile equipment for crushing and screening and which has just enjoyed the best year ever in its 22-year history.
Innovative approach to crusher plant design
Sandvik harnessed an innovative 3D methodology to conduct design work on a new crushing plant at Randgold Resources' Gounkoto mine in Mali. The project entails the crushing of the primary run-of-mine gold ore and transporting it to a secondary crushing station to be stacked by a slewing stacker.