Project Management

Mining, industrial contracts for ELB in SA and abroad

ELB Engineering Services announced last week that it had been awarded the contract for the drying system for the MV Grand Banks life extension project by marine mining company De Beers Marine.

Additionally, the company noted that it had completed train loading station (TLS) and stacker projects  for the Assmang Black Rock Mine Operations (BRMO), in addition to completing projects for consumer goods company Unilever Nigeria and cement manufacturer PPC.

The MV Grand Banks alluvial diamond concentrate exploration vessel will be anchored at Cape Town harbour to undergo a major upgrade. ELB notes that part of the upgrade comprises the removal of the obsolete drum drying system and replacing it with a pneumatic Drycon drying system.

ELB’s scope for the project includes the design, manufacture, factory testing, delivery and commissioning of a pneumatic Drycon drying system rated at 1.5 t/h, while supplying the mechanical, structural, piping, electrical and instrumentation aspects.

Cape Town-based engineering, procurement and construction management company PBA Projects is responsible for erection of the drying system, with ELB offering installation support and guidance. ELB will also be responsible for C1, 2, and 3 commissioning dockside, with C4 commissioning to be undertaken at sea.


Meanwhile, ELB has completed a rapid TLS and stacker project for the Nchwaning manganese mine, in the Northern Cape. Nchwaning forms part of BRMO and is operated by Assmang, a subsidiary of mining investment company Assore and diversified miner African Rainbow Minerals.

The TLS has been operating at its nominal capacity since its handover in October 2017 without any major incidents or issues. The first Transnet Freight Rail 104 wagon test train was successfully loaded using the system, in January.

The two stackers, complete with their associated yard conveyors, have also been operating since October 2017. The machines have been stacking material at the designed nominal stacking rate. ELB notes that both projects are in the close-out phase.

ELB also supplied Unilever Nigeria with a new sack tipping system containing an integrated filter system to keep the sack tip unit dust free while the loading process is in operation. The sack tip unit will be mounted on top of an existing mixer to assist in providing a dust-free environment for workers.

The company completed the Clinker Loading Upgrade project at PPC’s Colleen Bawn Clinker factory, in Zimbabwe. ELB notes that increasing demand for cement in Zimbabwe and neighbouring territories necessitated an upgrade to the loading facility, located 160 km south of Bulawayo.

The project entailed demolishing the existing elevated overland conveyor and open-ended loading system, and replacing them with an automated system, including a new elevated conveyor, a new loading tower, a motor control centre and control room. The acceptance criteria included being able to load a 30-rack train within six hours.