Roymec Technologies

Zambia Plans Return to The Glory Days of Mining

Zambia Plans Return to The Glory Days of Mining

Roymec Technologies

Roymec Technologies has been involved with the Zambian mining industry for over 10 years now supplying equipment to several metallurgical plant projects on the copperbelt.

In the last year we have received orders for a Flocculant plant for Mopani Copper Mines – Nkana plant, Pinned Media Bed Clarifiers for the new CNMC’s Luanshya Mine and SX Dual Media Organic Coalescing Filters for ENRC’s Chambishi Mine.

“Our equipment is fundamental to base metals processing,” says Roymec Technologies sales director Hoosen Essack. He adds: “Filtration, screening and sedimentation processes are core to copper and cobalt plants and being at the forefront of solid liquid separation processes with equipment supplied into 25 countries across the globe we have provided world class solutions to Zambian operations. The Zambian mining and minerals sector has seen several initiatives by government put in place to regain its world class status, and Roymec Technologies are well placed to add value and offer solutions to enable this.”

Zambian Development Agency director-general Andrew Chipwende believes that the best time to invest in Zambia is now and warns that there might not be space for latecomers. He was speaking at the inaugural Zambian International Mining and Energy Conference (Ziminex) held in Lusaka in June 2011, at which Roymec Technologies was an attendee and exhibitor. The sentiment was echoed by most of the speakers at the event, and the fact that for the first event of its kind it was well attended with interest from first tier mining companies and influential investors across the globe.

The Ziminex 2011 event was opened by Zambian Vice President Honorable George Kunda who urged investors in the mining industry to shift their focus from copper mining to other equally profitable minerals. Mr. Kunda said Zambia has abundant mineral resources such as iron ore, uranium, and gemstone among others which investors should exploit.

The finance ministers’ comments come on the back of comments by the Honorable Minister of Mines and Mineral Development Maxwell Mwale at the Indaba 2011 conference in Cape Town, South Africa, earlier this year who stated that his country’s experience with nationalisation was a failure that had cost the country dearly. Minister Mwale also mentioned at that forum that he expected copper cathode output to rise to 850,000t in 2011, up from 750,000t last year, and 250,000t in 2000, and that Zambia will be pushing its copper output to 1m t/pa by 2015.

“Part of the drive to expand the mining sector is Zambia will be geologically mapped in its entirety in order for the exploration of copper and other minerals to reach its full potential. Better geo-logical data will assist in attracting more and better investments as investors will be more willing to part with their money if they can base their exploration decisions on certainty rather than un-certainty. Only 58%of Zambia has been geologically mapped, but the government has now engaged the World Bank to organize aerial surveys of the remaining 42%”, stated Honorable Minister Maxwell Mwale, which is a strong showing of commitment and effort by government.

Zambia has been a mining country for over 90 years, is Africa’s largest copper producer and the seventh worldwide (at a production of 850,000t in 2011 it will have exceeded the highest production recorded in the 1960s). The country is also the second largest cobalt producer worldwide. The mineralized ore body stretches across Zambian north eastern provinces into the DRC, and sees several successful projects that exploit the ore reserves on both sided of the border.

Along with M&A activity there has been announcement of several new projects such as the KDMP mine development by the Vale-ARM Joint Venture, Mopani Copper Mine’s new $350m Synclinorium shaft investment, CNMC’s Luanshya Mine, FQML’s Trident Mine in Solwezi in North-Western Province, Mutanga Mine Uranium Project and African Energy Resources’ uranium projects in Southern Province, Fishtie Copper Project in Mkushi in Central Province and extensive metals exploration by the world’s largest mining house BHP Billiton, in several provinces.

To effectually participate in this growth activity in the Zambian mining sector and improve our overall support and service to our clients in Zambia Roymec Technologies has recently signed an exclusive representation agreement with Nuco Industrial Services to support and service Zambian end users. Nuco has a well established team that will be responsible for day to day client interaction with added technical support from Roymec’s Johannesburg offices. Nuco’s strong presence on the copperbelt with offices and warehouse based in the Kitwe industrial area is well positioned to serve the countries entire mining and industrial sector. Nuco will be the exclusive representative for all of Roymec’s range of processing equipment, whose product range includes thickeners, vacuum belt filters, vacuum disc & drum filters, filter presses, pinned media bed clarifiers, linear screens, flocculant plants, SX dual media filters, ion exchange systems, resin elution systems and segmented tanks.

“Our service offering with the new Nuco arrangement will include operational training, consignment spares holding and immediate technical support on the ground in Zambia,’ says Roymec Technologies Sales Director Hoosen Essack. The sentiment was supported by Nuco MD Jacques Reyneke who further commented: “This new process equipment agreement allows us to offer a more complete service to end users in addition to the license agreements that we have in place for instrumentation, automation, dewatering pumps and valves. We have also established a Kitwe based workshop and fabrication facility that would be involved in routine fabrication together with equipment maintenance and repairs thereby reducing production downtime and also improving artisan skill levels on the copperbelt. A long term goal that would improve production and operations in Zambia itself.” Reyneke added: “We are committed to long term sustainability and progress in our country.”