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ENGINEERING EVOLUTION

01 Aug Mining

In the four years since it was founded, engineering process company, K’Enyuka has become a significant linked enterprise to RSV, a company that has been in the sector for over twenty years, offering a vast spectrum of specialised engineering solutions to its clients.

“In addition To mineral process plant engineering services, we have developed waler treatment services with a focus on acid mine drainage (AMD) treatment. In this way we offer engineering solutions to cover not only coal processing, but the impact of coal processing on the waler resource,” says head of process engineering Felihle Dumisa.

K’Enyuka is currently injecting significant resources into developing innovative solutions, specifically for the coal industry, which Dumisa points out is of immense importance to South Africa’s economy, not only in terms of the local supply, but also in terms of exports.

The company has moved beyond processing to become involved with coal product beneficiation and has formed agreements with large international consortia in China and India and believes that the benefits can be passed on to other clients.

The company has a “can-do” entrepreneurial culture, which is demonstrated when, at the height of the recession it secured crucial business.

Two 300tph coal plants were successfully commissioned and it conducted numerous feasibility studies.

K’Enyuka is also making its mark with its modular coal plant. aimed specifically at the small to-medium sized player. It offers a range of benefits, including ease of relocation and erection, swift transport, fewer errors and reworking because of IMP assembly off-site, potential for easy future expansion, ease of maintenance and customised design.

Business development manager Trevor Anderson and Dumisa are positive about the future of the coal market. It is important for us as service providers to ensure that mines can supply coal. In addition to offering various processing and engineering solutions, we undertake logistics studies with clients as well, including the transport of coal between the mine and the washing plant.”

In terms of the greater environmental pressures on coal and coal mining, KTnyuka is capable of addressing the mine’s water treatment requirements. “Greater emphasis on resource management, including that of our water resources, is noticeable. Our experience and awareness of such requirements gives K’Enyuka a substantial advantage when providing solutions to our clients, as we can see the bigger picture.’ says Anderson.

K’Enyuka has by no means lost sight of other mineral projects, however. “Coal might be the crucial focus at the moment.” notes Anderson, “but in five years, with ihe prospects of further nuclear plants, it might well be uranium. K’Enyuka already has significant experience in that field and is well positioned to move into that and further into other Sectors.’

The company offers broader solutions which consider a mine’s overall water issues before zooming in on a specific plant. “We market a lasting, viable and sustainable water solution problem.” claims Anderson “We study the entire lifecycle, including all the environmental implications, and design solutions intended to provide a holistic response.

The relationship model with RSV and linked enterprises is an innovative drive to address needs that range in magnitude from basic to highly complex “Each linked enterprise has specific areas of expertise,” explains Anderson. We can call on this knowledge as and when required without having to employ such skill fulltime. This lowers costs to clients and still gives them access to every speciality available. We call this approach “hunting in a pack”.

In this way K’Enyuka, through the RSV linked enterprise model is well positioned to offer services within the mining value chain as well as throughout the mineral project life-cycle. The specific services range from sampling campaigns lo metallurgical testwork, through to process and engineering design, construction and commissioning. Project delivery is supported by in-house procurement, cost estimation and control as well as planning functions.

. Not lacking in skills itself, K’Enyuka is. however, cognizant of the wider shortages, and, in addition to in-house training, also links with universities to provide vacation training for students.

PALESA SUCCESS

In 2008, HCI Khusela Coal approached K’Enyuka lo conduct a project status review of the design and construction of its coal washing plant at the open-cast Palesa mine near Bronkhorstspruit, Mpumalanga, where construction had just been initiated.

“Our mandate was to determine “approved for construction status” explains David Ireland, project manager at K’’Enyuka. “On completion, K’Enyuka was appointed to assume project management and complete the full detailed design, procurement, cosntructiona nd commissioning processes on an EPCM basis”.

The 300tph coal washing plant will beneficiate raw coal to a level suitable for sale to Eskom. It will operate on a continuous basis for six working days per week, or 6000 operational hours per annum.

“Later, the plant will be upgraded to at least 700tph (nominal) head feed” continues Ireland. “So it was important to ensure that the plant design could make provision for this doubling of capacity at a later date, together with the incorporation of spiral plants and the use of second stage, low gravity washing plants”. The processes of the coal preparation plant include crushing, screening, dense media separation, thickening with centrifuges being employed for dewatering the final product together with the associated materials handling systems.

The plant consists of the following plant sections:

• Run-of-mine and plant feed (tipping bin, crushing and screening);

• Intermediate stockpile and tunnel;

• De-sliming plant

• High gravity cyclone circulating medium circuit;

• High gravity cyclone dilute medium circuit;

• Classifying circuit (cyclones) and fines stockpile;

• Clarified water and thickener circuit;

• Product handling (centrifuge and stockpile);

• Discard bin;

• Dense medium (magnetite) storage and reticulation;

• Compressed air.

“Our main challenge was to re-engineer the plant within a very tight timeframe.” Ireland says. “This also had to be done at a stage when construction was already under way, albeit in its infancy. Management had to be pinpoint accurate, and planning and utilisation of both internal resources and sub-contractors honed to the maximum.”

Construction was undertaken in a systems-orientated manner so that hot commissioning of the front-end of the plant through to the intermediate stockpile could proceed hot commissioning of the wash dense medium separation plant.

K’Enyuka completed the project within a tight timeframe, with the plant producing its first product on February 17. “The project was handed over to the client without any lost-time injury,’* states Ireland. This involved work in excess of 240000 man-hours, a significant achievement.

Source: SA Mining