DRA, through its sister company Minopex (Pty) Ltd, specialises in managing the operations and maintenance (O&M) of the beneficiation process for mining companies.

The decision to outsource the operations and maintenance functions on a mine has to take many factors into account; the most obvious of these being capital costs, operating costs and the life of the mine. A less obvious, but no less important consideration is the commitment of the contractor. Tony Riley, managing director of Minopex, says that one of the strengths of Minopex is that with each operation the company starts with the belief that it will be there for the life of the mine and not merely for a fixed term contract period.

It is with this attitude that Minopex has grown to the point where it now operates and maintains seven minerals processing facilities in South Africa and one in Indonesia. This achievement is not the result solely of belief, but of the unmatched technical and professional skills that the company offers.

Minopex operated plants provide a quality based COM (contract operations and maintenance) service at internationally competitive prices. All sites are operated to an ISO 9001:2000 Quality Management Standard, and to the highest standards of safety as prescribed within the integrated NOSA Safety System. All sites of prerequisite maturity carry both, a NOSA 5 Star rating and the ISO 9001:2000 certificate.

The service provided by Minopex is tailored to suit each client’s needs as the company is able to project manage operations, from inception to implementation and management. Contracts are tailored to individual client requirements with a number of commercial options available. Minopex fully understands the vagaries of the world economic climate and accepts that changing factors will affect clients’ markets and as such the ability to accommodate change forms part of its repertoire.

By handing over the COM operations to a professional contractor, new mines can save up-front capital costs on equipment and engineering facilities, and operating mines can minimise operating costs. In addition, a well-run organisation is able to guarantee continuity of production and the flexibility to manage exceptional conditions.

Minopex currently manages the operations and maintenance activities for the following mines: Forzando Coal Processing Plant, Dorstfontein Coal Processing Plant, Sebuku Coal Processing Plant, Dwarsrivier Chrome Beneficiation Plant, Kroondal Platinum Concentrator, Marikana Platinum Concentrator, Messina Platinum Concentrator and Marula Platinum Concentrator.

The company has been appointed by Letseng Diamonds (Pty) Ltd as operations and maintenance contractor for the Letseng Diamond Recovery Plant in Lesotho. This facility is scheduled to go into production in the first quarter of 2004, bringing the complement of operational facilities in Southern Africa to eight.