Modern Mining September 2016


Challenging coal bunker Murray & Roberts Cementation has successfully completed the construction of a 1 500-ton capacity underground surge bunker and associated infrastructure at Sasol Mining’s new Impumelelo coal mine. Describing the project, Mike Wells, Technical Director: Mine Development of Murray & Roberts Cementation, says it was a very challenging assignment with the box front (essentially the steel and concrete discharge structure below the bunker) being the biggest he has ever worked on in a 25-year career of executing capital projects in the mining field. Modern Mining’s Arthur Tassell recently visited the site and was able to view the bunker in operation.

I mpumelelo forms part of a R15,3 billion mine replacement programme being un- dertaken by Sasol Mining designed to replace 60 % of its operations in the Se- cunda area by 2020. Costing R4,7 billion and now in its ramp-up phase, the new mine replaces the Brandspruit operation (the oldest of Sasol Mining’s Secunda-based operations) and has the capacity to produce 8,5 Mt/a of ROM coal (although this can be upgraded to 10,5 Mt/a). The mine’s entire output – it will mine both the 4 and 2 seams of the Highveld coalfield – is earmarked for the Sasol Synfuels complex in Secunda with the coal being deliv- ered to the complex via a single-flight 27 km long overland conveyor with a planned operat- ing capacity of 2 000 tons per hour (tph). The conveyor is reputedly the longest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. As Wells explains, Murray & Roberts

Mike Wells (left) of Murray & Roberts Cementation with Willem van den Heever, Senior Project Manager, Sasol Mining.

22  MODERN MINING  September 2016

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