Stefanutti Stocks Ghana, a subsidiary of South African listed construction group Stefanutti Stocks, has added another successful African project to its track record, with the completion of a major plant expansion project for mining client Newmont Gold Ghana.
The project achieved commercial production on schedule and within budget in October 2019.
Ahafo mine, located in the Brong-Ahafo region of central Ghana, is one of the largest gold mines in the Republic of Ghana and in the world. The project objective was to execute the Ahafo Mill Expansion (AME), to increase mill throughput and production, while lowering life-of-mine processing costs, as the mine transitions to a harder, lower grade ore resource.
“In total, we erected 1200 tonnes of structural steel work and installed approximately 2500 tonnes of mechanicals and 950 tonnes of platework,” says Neels Uys, project panager at Stefanutti Stocks Ghana.
He says the key benefit of the mill expansion includes increasing mill capacity at Ahafo by more than 50%, to nearly 10-million tonnes a year.
The engineering procurement construction and management (EPCM) company managing this project was DRA Global, a multi-disciplinary global engineering group with which Stefanutti Stocks has worked successfully on many local and pan-African projects. However, this was the first time that Stefanutti Stocks has had the opportunity of working for Newmont Goldcorp as the end-client.
Speaking to the completion of the project, Uys points out that, common to projects of this nature – particularly with a brownfields component – a certain amount of “project scope growth” occurred (with variations in design and specifications) during execution, adding time and complexity to the overall project.
“A further challenge was that of logistics,” he says. “We dispatched over 200 40-ft shipping containers containing the required tools, equipment, structural and plate steel from South Africa.”
However, despite these project-related challenges, Stefanutti Stocks Ghana is very proud to have completed the two-year project on time.
“We achieved this by working on various aspects of the project simultaneously. The success of such a large and complex project is very much dependent on successful interface between the various companies involved. We were very fortunate to have DRA Global as our EPCM, as they have excellent site management experience, so they managed the contractor interface and all other aspects within their ambit of responsibility.”
Stefanutti Stocks Mechanical managing director Marius Botes says the company was “very pleased” to complete the project successfully, and within the allotted time.
“What also excites us about this success in Ghana, is that it will provide a springboard to access similar projects in West Africa.”
To this end, the company will be establishing a local office.
“Our establishment in Ghana also signifies our serious commitment and sustainable approach to doing projects in the region. We would like to express our thanks and appreciation to DRA Global and the end-client, Newmont Goldcorp, for assisting us to successfully complete this key African project.”