DemcoTECH materials handling technology: innovative engineering solutions, African Mining Brief, ­ January 2015

Bulk materials handling specialist DemcoTECH Engineering offers a proven track record in the supply of stackers and reclaimers for the African mining industry.

“Our comprehensive suite of technologies covers slewing and luffing stackers, retractable boom stackers and reclaimers and reclaim systems,” says DemcoTECH GM, Paul van de Vyver.

The supply of a boom stacker/spreader was part of a contract covering the design and engineering of a tailings disposal system for the second diamond treatment plant at Letšeng Diamond Mine (Plant No 2) in the Maluti Mountains in Lesotho. The project also included a conveyor with fixed tripper and multiple discharge points, two tail-driven downhill extendable conveyors with a rail-mounted tripper and three transfer houses. The system was required to operate successfully at ambient temperatures ranging from +35°C to – 20°C in wind speeds of up to 100 km/h, as the operation is at an altitude of approximately 3 000 m. In addition, as the conveyors had to follow Lesotho’s undulating mountainous terrain, special engineering solutions included a regenerative braking system on the tail pulley to prevent the conveyor from running away.

Following the success of this project, DemcoTECH was, more recently, contracted by diamond producer Gem Diamonds to upgrade some of its materials handling capability at Letšeng.

“We are designing conveyors for the tailings dam expansion as part of Letšeng’s current focus on continual improvement of its operations and cost optimisation,” says Van de Vyver.

Recently completed projects in Africa include expansion of a manganese export facility for manganese miner Assmang at its Cato Ridge Alloys plant in KwaZulu-Natal. The 80 000 t stockpile expansion project, which included stacking and reclaim facilities, was carried out jointly with engineering group Kantey and Templer, based in Durban. DemcoTECH provided the bulk materials handling equipment and expertise.

A rceent major international project was the provision of design and engineering services for the bulk materials handling facilities for Vale’s Teluk Rubiah Maritime Terminal and iron-ore distribution centre in Malaysia.

“We provided the initial materials handling layouts, design and basic engineering and specified the mechanical equipment for the project and adjudicated all the technical areas of the tender. This included nine port and yard machines, which consisted of bucket wheel stacker/reclaimers, ship-loader, yard stacker and ship-unloaders. DemcoTECH also provided operational readiness services, operational and maintenance manuals and training modules,” adds Van de Vyver.