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Updated: 1 hour 27 min ago

Companies find use for abandoned underground coal mines

13 hours 24 min ago
Forsaken underground coal mines are increasingly being reopened using opencast mining methods, according to independent mining advisory group Ukwazi senior mining engineer Adriaan Strydom, who tells Mining Weekly that this practice is effectively enabled through increased mechanisation. While an underground coal mine was typically dismissed or abandoned once mining activities were complete, this is changing, he notes, adding that mining companies utilise technology as a means to mine the remaining pillars, once labelled to be depleted.

Electricity exports create investment opportunity for S Africa

13 hours 24 min ago
Power generation stakeholders and key industry players are investigating ways of deriving the most benefit from lower coal qualities, says independent mining advisory company Ukwazi senior mining engineer Adriaan Strydom, who tells Mining Weekly that companies are implementing new technologies to generate electricity from lower-quality orebodies. South Africa has a mature coal-mining history, with coal generation capacity and infrastructure already developed across the country; therefore, mining companies now need to revisit how best to use specific orebodies that have been identified as viable for electricity generation, he points out.

Demand for African resources, but common codes needed

Fri, 07/14/2017 - 00:00
African mining has entered into the new up-cycle for commodities, which is fuelled by the economic growth profile in the eastern hemisphere – which includes China, Mongolia and the Pacific rim region, as well as the global uncertainty over the value of and the sustained availability of ‘cash-money’.

Local miners leverage existing infrastructure to extend operations

Fri, 06/30/2017 - 00:00
As a result of financial constraints, South African gold miners are looking to exploit their existing infrastructure to mine licensed blocks adjacent to existing operations, says mining engineering consultancy Ukwazi Mining. Ukwazi underground engineer Hans Dippenaar notes that, in this way, miners will be able to increase production and revenue without amassing large capital expenditure costs, highlighting that the consultancy is working on such a project for gold miner Harmony Gold.

Ukwazi

Fri, 05/20/2016 - 00:00
Independent mining adviser Ukwazi strongly believes in following transparent and compliant mine planning processes by applying specialist teams that are focused on specific mining methods and commodities. “We follow outcome-driven project management principles and supply specialist technical services as required by clients. We are structured to provide on site and off site technical services for small aggregate quarries to some of the largest operations in Africa,” the Centurion, Gauteng, company explains.

Turnaround strategies should be collaborative to unlock value

Fri, 03/11/2016 - 00:00
Gauteng-based mine planning and engineering consultancy group Ukwazi maintains that its opencast coal mining turnaround strategy unlocks value by combining the interrelated processes that exist on a mine. “As commodity prices are at an all time low and markets are under pressure, we believe a cheaper alternative is available in the form of a turnaround strategy. We believe that significant value is unlocked through a collaborative management platform that aligns the objectives of the role-players in control of daily mine production processes. This process is transparent, easy to maintain by mine personnel, and delivers tangible improvements on the face that result in overall production rate and product quality improvements and, therefore, improvements to the end product unit cost,” elaborates Ukwazi.

Coal-to-power project ready for bid submission

Fri, 02/19/2016 - 00:00
Energy company Shumba Energy (SE) has made significant progress on its Mabesekwa Export Independent Power Plant (MEIPP) project, which will be ready for bid submission by mid-2016. The project is located in the Mabesekwa village in Botswana’s Central District. Shumba has started with the bankable feasibility study for the MEIPP, and with a cash balance of $2.85-million, is confident that it will meet its objectives in 2016 as it moves its project towards financial close.

Consultancy attributes growth rate to specialist teams

Fri, 02/19/2016 - 00:00
Gauteng-based mine planning and engineering consultancy Ukwazi grew by 29% in 2015, exceeding its average growth rate of between 22% and 23% recorded over the previous five and ten years.    According to Ukwazi director and principal mining engineer Jaco Lotheringen the company’s formal study teams continued to perform well over these periods in their delivery life-of-mine (LoM) plans and feasibility studies for openpit mines, collieries, and caving and mechanised underground and narrow tabular underground mines and projects.

Cost-effective mining can be achieved through technical collaboration

Fri, 11/06/2015 - 00:00
Mines should invest more in effective operational plans to counteract high off-site costs, which in some bulk commodities could be as high as one third of the products total free-on-board product cost, says consultancy, the Ukwazi director and principal mining engineer Jaco Lotheringen. He notes that useful operational plans encompass aligned and collaborated planning meetings, a holistic short-term planning process and excellence in operational execution that is controlled in a transparent and accountable manner. “Operations that invest time and effort in setting up a mine planning and operational execution process that continuously, strategically and authoritatively guide operations, have a higher chance of success in the ever-changing mining climate,” he informs Mining Weekly. 

Ukwazi

Fri, 04/24/2015 - 00:00
Gauteng-based independent and focused mining engineering services provider Ukwazi supplies services to any size of operation, from small mines to large-scale operations moving one-million tons of material a day. Ukwazi specialises in mine design, mine planning as well as mine engineering and project management. The company is mining software independent and sees itself not only as a user, but also as an expert in the field, working closely with various software suppliers, including Dassault Systèmes, RungePincockMinarco, Trimble, MineRP, Datamine and Bentley.

Suitable rail infrastructure can facilitate access to increased coal resources

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 00:00
The establishment and maintenance of efficient and accessible rail and port infrastructure, and the regional linking thereof, could enable State-owned electricity provider Eskom to access a reliable supply of affordable coal, says mining engineering and strategic consultancy services firm Ukwazi Group. Ukwazi Group director and principal engineer Jaco Lotheringen tells Mining Weekly that while South Africa’s neighbouring countries, such as Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, have large deposits of inexpensive and appropriate quality coal, these resources have historically been underused.

Stakeholder buy-in key for successful openpit planning

Fri, 10/24/2014 - 00:00
When it comes to openpit mine planning, it is essential to establish a thorough understanding of the practical mining cycle and how mine-planning software can help, says mine planning and engineering consultancy Ukwazi Group.

Increased focus on efficient mine planning for SA coal mines

Fri, 09/19/2014 - 00:00
Owing to current coal prices, depleting coal reserves and the increasing need for infrastructure investment, the local coal mining industry is focusing more on efficient mining and processing using existing infrastructure without added capital investment, says mining services group Ukwazi director and principal engineer Jaco Lotheringen. “With the pressure on the coal price, the need for operations to deliver specification products at a low cost has materially increased over the past two years,” he tells Mining Weekly, noting that the uncertainty of coal prices over the medium term further increases the need for most coal companies or coal mines to decrease their unit cost of coal products to remain competitive.

Ukwazi

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 00:00
Though classified as a medium-sized mine, planning and engineering consultancy, Gauteng-based Ukwazi remains the largest independent and focused mining engineering services provider in Africa.

Effective open pit mine planning and planning software Ukwazi

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 11:18
Over the past 10 years at Ukwazi we have seen and adapted to significant changes in mine planning software and mine planning service providers.  Mine design and scheduling software applications has progressed with leaps and bounds since my first open pit mine planning assignment some 15 years ago.  I remember having to manually modify parameters in text files and saving it to a specified directory structure before initialising the next run.  Today, it still remains essential that you cannot ...

Mechanisation boon for platinum producers – Ukwazi

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 08:27
The unrest that has plagued the local platinum-group metals (PGM) industry over the last two years, culminating in this year’s five-month-long strike, spearheaded by trade union the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, has forever changed the operating climate for local PGM miners, says midtier mining consultancy Ukwazi Group director Hugo Tukker. Owing to the increased wage and safety demands made on PGM producers, the industry’s way of doing business has to be reviewed, Tukker tells Mining Weekly.

Mechanisation a boon for PGM producers

Fri, 08/22/2014 - 00:00
The unrest that has plagued the local platinum-group metals (PGM) industry over the last two years, culminating in this year’s five-month-long strike, which was spearheaded by trade union the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, has forever changed the operating climate for local PGM miners, says local midtier mining consultancy Ukwazi Group director Hugo Tukker. He tells Mining Weekly, that owing to the increased wage and safety demands enforced on PGM producers, the industry’s way of doing business has to be reviewed. Tukker points out that, like the gold mining industry in South Africa, PGM producers use conventional stoping methods, such as hand-held drilling, which has created thousands of jobs for rock drill operators.

Resources Watch Resources Watch

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 08:00
Welcome to Creamer Media’s Resources Watch. This week: Mining project studies are on the increase. Kumba’s cash return to black shareholding is now at an astounding R23-billion. And, a metals mine will implement a new planning solutions system.

Metals mine to implement planning solutions system Mine planning and engineering consultancy Ukwazi Group director and principal engineer Jaco Lotheringen discusses the Open Pit Metals Solutions software for metals mines.

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 00:00
Mine planning and engineering consultancy Ukwazi Group is working with mining major Anglo American Kumba Iron Ore (Kumba) to implement the new Open Pit Metals Solution (OPMS) software system at Kumba’s Kolomela mine, in Postmasburg, in the Northern Cape, says Ukwazi director and principal engineer Jaco Lotheringen. “Ukwazi will assist Kolomela with the implementation of the OPMS system as a long term mine planning tool. We have extensive OPMS experience, having implemented the system before on other iron-ore mines in Africa.”

Insufficient infrastructure a challenge for Africa

Fri, 07/11/2014 - 00:00
African governments should prioritise infrastructure development to attract foreign investment to the continent, which boasts a wealth of mineral resources, says South Africa-based midtier mining consultancy Ukwazi Group. Company director Hugo Tukker tells Mining Weekly that the lack of infrastructure remains a significant challenge for Africa, causing prospective mining projects not to be initiated at times.

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