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Modern Mining November 2019 cover

Shaft sinking is one of the most expensive, time consuming and risky tasks in mining. If the process could be entirely mechanised it would represent a major leap forward in mining technology. Master Drilling has accepted the challenge of creating a mechanised system and in recent weeks, as we explain in this issue, has been trialling elements of its proposed solution – the Shaft Boring System or SBS – at a site near its Fochville headquarters.

Mining projects covered in this issue include the Sanbrado gold mine in Burkina Faso, the Karowe diamond mine in Botswana, the Kakula copper project in the DRC and the Langer Heinrich uranium mine in Namibia while the impact of digital technology on mining is addressed in an article which describes how engineering group Worley is taking digital design capabilities beyond 5D.  

Comment: Kangaluwi back in the spotlight

After going off the radar for several years, the proposed Kangaluwi copper mine in Zambia’s Lower Zambezi National Park is again attracting attention after a recent Zambian High Court ruling that the mine – opposed fiercely by many in Zambia – can go ahead. A Zambian Minister, however, has since given the assurance that no mining will be allowed without further examination of the environmental issues surrounding the project. Read more …

Sanbrado remains on schedule for mid 2020 startupSanbrado remains on schedule for mid-2020 start-up

ASX-listed West African Resources (WAF) reports that its new Sanbrado mine in Burkina Faso is proceeding on time and on budget for the first gold pour in June 2020. A combined open-pit and underground operation, Sanbrado will have an average annual production of 217 000 ounces over its first five years of mine life. Read more …

South Africa’s miners sold on Volvo’s articulated haulers

Volvo’s articulated haulers are continuing to prove popular in South Africa’s mining industry – so much so that the A40G, the backbone of the range, can now boast the lion’s share of the market for machines in its class. Also doing well is the A60H articulated hauler, the biggest true articulated hauler in the world, with 60 machines having been sold by Babcock, the Southern African dealer for Volvo Construction Equipment, since the local launch in May 2017. Read more …

Shaft Boring System put to the test by Master Drilling

Master Drilling, the world’s biggest owner and operator of raisebore rigs, has been developing a revolutionary Shaft Boring System (SBS) over the past several years. The ‘front end’ of the system – the cutter head and gearbox drive – are currently being trialled at a site on the West Rand. Modern Mining was recently part of a media/analyst group that visited the site to see the machine in action. Read more …

Lucara prepares to go underground at KaroweLucara prepares to go underground at Karowe

Based on the positive results of a Feasibility Study on an underground operation at its Karowe mine in Botswana, Lucara says it will commence advancement of detailed engineering immediately, in parallel with project permitting, arranging project financing and long lead item procurement. The estimated capital expenditure to implement the projects is US$514 million. Read more …

Initial Kakula processing plant capacity boosted to 3,8 Mt/a

Following the completion of basic engineering and procurement, as part of the forthcoming DFS, initial processing plant capacity at the new Kakula copper mine near Kolwezi in the DRC has been increased from 3,0 Mt/a to 3,8 Mt/a. The expansion of plant capacity will require increasing the underground mining crews in 2020 from 11 to 14 to ensure sufficient ore for the increased throughput. Read more …

Improved economics for restart of Langer Heinrich

Paladin Energy’s Langer Heinrich Mine (LHM) in Namibia is currently on care and maintenance but could return to operation at a production level of 5,2 Mlb/a if and when the uranium price improves. Results of the first stream of a PFS on the restart indicate that it could be achieved – rapidly and at low risk – for a capex of US$80 million. The PFS has also identified the opportunity to increase production to 6,5 Mlb/a for an additional capital expenditure of approximately US$30 million. Read more …

Health insurer makes inroads into Africa’s resources sector

A health insurance plan specifically targeted at companies operating in the resources sector in Africa is available from The Unisure Group, a UK-headquartered global health and life insurer with a strong African presence. Read more …


Worley takes mining sector beyond 5DWorley takes mining sector beyond 5D

By using Building Information Modelling (BIM), Worley is creating digital information models from 3D right through to 7D that contain both graphical and non-graphical information in a Common Data Environment. The information builds in value as the project stages progress with each dimension of data offering clients a fuller understanding of their project. Read more …

“Shared belief” vital to mining’s future in SA

The effort to put South Africa’s mining industry back on a sustainable growth path is lacking one key ingredient: a shared belief in what the sector could and should deliver, says Roger Dixon, corporate consultant at SRK Consulting. He argues that industry stakeholders are deeply divided and suspicious of each other, making it difficult to forge a sustainable future. Read more …

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Nellie Moodley 
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