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MEI Online: Commodities: Metallic Ores: Iron: Latest News: March 28th 2007

 
 

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:: allmineral Supplies 24 alljigs® to South Africa

In the international rankings of the iron ore sector, Kumba Resources is listed in fifth place ญ and asserts its position with confidence. The project providing a noticeable growth stimulus to the South African iron ore industry is known as "SEP". SEP stands for "Sishen Expansion Project", i.e. the expansion of iron ore extraction in the mine located in the Northern Cape, which has been in operation since 1953. The opening up of additional areas of the mine, which are linked to the existing open pit have been in progress since 2005.

However, SEP is becoming a success story not only for Kumba. allmineral, the specialist for jigging machines renowned worldwide, is also writing a chapter in its own success story entitled "The Sishen Expansion Project". After Kumba Resources ordered 18 jigging machines from allmineral in October 2005, the operator of the largest iron ore mine in South Africa has now ordered an additional 6 alljig® systems. The systems from the first order were delivered in September 2006, and the second lot is scheduled for delivery in spring 2007.

The global demand for resources has given the "Sishen Expansion Project" an added impetus; Kumba have been considering expanding the Sishen mine for a long time. However, strong demand compelled the manager to bring the plans forward. This is all due to the booming economies of China and India; which demand should continue for the foreseeable future. A study by the McKinsey management consultancy anticipates the worldwide demand for iron ore to quadruple by 2020. In 2005 demand rose by 3.5 percent to 1.33 billion tons; in 2006 many producers increased their supply by two-digit figures.

The expansion plans included the development of the second deposit roughly seventy miles south of the present one. There, Kumba intend to extract an additional 3.5 million tons of iron ore. The problem: this deposit was not yet connected to the railway line which links Sishen to Africa's second largest raw materials harbour at Saldanha; the biggest being the Richards Bay Coal Terminal with a capacity in excess of 70 ktpy. But without this link, nearly 900 kilometers long, to the world market, the promise of success would be fulfilled slowly. Thus, the planners decided to go ahead with the "Sishen Expansion Project" (SEP), as the necessary transport capacity is already existing. Today, Kumba extracts 28 million tons annually, which is scheduled to increase to at least 38 million tons by 2009.

In Sishen, allmineral's state-of-the-art technology is producing an iron ore quality which was previously considered waste into a valuable, marketable raw material. The high-performance alljig® -jigging machines guarantee an export quality of 64% Fe, even with graded products containing only slightly more than 50% Fe ญ this opens up additional mining potential. Up to now, mineral processing systems had to facilitate a smaller increase in quality, as iron ore with a Fe content of nearly 60% was extracted in the original Sishen territory. "Although the current life-of-mine is estimated at 25 years, these additional 300 million ton, some of which was previously stockpiled, can now be beneficiated to a saleable product" states Udo Busch, the head of the allmineral subsidiary in Johannesburg.

The subsequent order for six more alljigs® poses a challenge to allmineral - but the team led by company director Dr. Heribert Breuer has met it with their usual efficiency and team work. The additional alljigs® are identical to the originally ordered systems, as Breuer explained. "So it's relatively easy to complete the contract quickly. We are also extremely pleased with our suppliers in South Africa, as we were able to navigate the obligatory learning curve that accompanies working with new partners on new products very quickly and can now continue at this high level," added Breuer. Nothing should now stand in the way of putting the new alljigs® into operation in spring 2007.

 

 

   

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