DRA Projects, a division of DRA, was formed last year to handle fixed price contracts of less than R50 million. The team distinguishes itself from others within the DRA stable by offering more direct engineering control and making less use of project management systems.

Phase 1 Re-Opening of Kalana Mine

We have completed Phase 1 of the re-opening of Kalana Mine in Mali. This involved the reconstruction of the gravity circuit using as much of the original equipment as possible. Although most of the infrastructure of this Russian built plant was in good condition, the tailings pipeline had to be reinstated and all electricals were refurbished to South African standards. The plant was commissioned in December 2003 and designed to process 5000 tons of ore per month through the existing ball mill. Phase 2 of the project will involve the construction of a carbon-in-leach plant with a design throughput of 20 000 tons of ore per month. The go-ahead for the new plant is expected soon.

Reclaiming Slimes Dams at Blyvooruitzicht Gold Mine

Earlier last year the DRA Projects team was awarded a R40 million contract to reclaim the Number 4 and 5 slimes dams for Durban Roodepoort Deep’s (DRD) Blyvooruitzicht Gold Mine. The plant to process the tailings became operational in October and came on stream in December 2003. To contain costs we made maximum use of equipment at Blyvooruitzicht. Treatment will take place in eight existing tanks, one of which has been converted into a pre-conditioning tank with lime and oxygen. The other seven tanks have been modified for CIL.

DeBeers Brownfields Project

In a Brownfields project for De Beers (Cullinan Diamond Dump Retreatment), we have re-commissioned and re-equipped one of the DMS modules that has been out of service for a number of years. In order to supplement underground tonnage, a front end was installed to handle material for the re-treatment of kimberlite waste dumps at a projected rate of 300tph. The project consisted of two sections: the dump material section, and the expansion of the retreatment DMS plant by adding the additional modules. The dump material is scrubbed, wet screened, crushed and treated in the retreatment DMS plant with tailings arisings from the primary DMS sections.

Modifying Impala UG2 plant

The Impala UG2 plant is already several years old and we were contracted to modify the existing plant through the design and construction of an open circuit mill. The plant treats between 480,000 and 500,000 tons a month of UG2 Platinum ore (with a minor quantity of Merensky reef), of which 65% goes through the open circuit section of the plant. The upgraded plant has already been commissioned and recovery has been improved by 5%. The value of this project was R5 million.

DMS Plant for Lannex Chrome

We were commissioned by Lannex Chrome to supply a DMS plant similar to one built by DRA for Tweefontein a number of years ago. It includes front-end crushing and screening, a stockpile area, product grading and a total waste conveyance system. Work on the R45 million contract began in August last year and comprises a 275tph ROM crushing circuit and a drum and cyclone DMS plant capable of handling 175tph. The plant will produce two sizes of lumpy product, chips, and fines which will be pumped to an existing circuit.

Marikana Platinum Plant

DRA Projects is currently in the process of handling two contracts for Xstrata, both at the Marikana Platinum Plant which was completed by DRA in 2002. One of the projects is the construction of a spiral plant to treat 180tph of coarse UG2 tailings from Marikana Platinum to produce a metallurgical grade concentrate for ferrochrome smelting. Although the spiral plant is being built at Marikana on Aquarius’ property, the plant, commissioned in December 2003, is owned and funded by Xstrata. It has produced the required grade of >42% chrome and <5%Si. Operations have been outsourced to Minopex, which also operates the Platinum plant. Diamond Load-Out Facility at Nuwejaarskraal

In October last year, we were asked by Trans Hex to upgrade the product handling system at Nuwejaarskraal diamond mine near Prieska in the Northern Cape. An automated diamond load-out facility was added to the existing plant.