The experience that multinational engineering consultancy Amec Foster Wheeler and its South African mining company MDM Engineering bring to the DRC is unprecedented.Amec Foster Wheeler and MDM Engineering deliver some of the most logistically and technically challenging mining projects in the world, Amec Foster Wheeler business development director Trevor Anderson tells Chantelle Kotze.
MDM Engineering has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amec Foster Wheeler since November 2014 and is an industry leader in the design, construction and commissioning of metallurgical processing plants for customers on the African continent.
Following the combination, the company is now able to offer services across the entire mining value chain for the entire African continent, including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which is recognised for its mining constraints and logistical challenges.
Specialising in studies - ranging from concept through to bankable feasibility studies, engineering, construction management and commissioning – both for process plants and surface or underground mining operations, its expertise also includes environmental and socio-economic studies; project, logistics and construction management; as well as environmental assessment, permitting and closure expertise.
Amec Foster Wheeler’s track record for delivering and executing projects in the DRC is significant and continues to expand thanks to the country’s significant copper/cobalt wealth and the steady increase of new production and new players.
The DRC boasts some of the largest copper resources and highest copper grades in the world, averaging between 2.5 and 5% copper.
In light of the companies’ expertise in copper specifically, they have been able to build a successful track record in the country.
Amec Foster Wheeler’s experience in the country does not stop at copper, its experience in the DRC also includes a variety of studies and projects covering a range of commodities including gold, zinc, cobalt and diamonds.
“At Amec Foster Wheeler, we pride ourselves in our ability to build and maintain longstanding relationships with our clients, which often starts at the geological study stage and extends right through to process plant commissioning,” Anderson highlights.
[quote]One example of such a relationship is the one that the company has built with Kamoa Copper SA.
Amec Foster Wheeler completed early stage scoping studies for Kamoa in 2012/13, while MDM Engineering was contracted to conduct a pre-feasibility study (PFS) in 2015, with the intent of identifying the most suitable business case for the Kamoa ore body.
Amec Foster Wheeler in particular has experience in executing large projects, particularly in remote locations in Africa.
“This includes logistics of both goods and services, and is ideal for developing the DRC’s mining sector further, Anderson notes.
“Because the majority of specialised equipment used in executing projects is manufactured and sourced globally, we have to ensure that we are organised and able to execute the project, most specifically in terms of the logistics expertise needed to get equipment to site,” he explains.
Africa continues to be a critical mining region for Amec Foster Wheeler. “Having provided us with significant work opportunity in the past, we continue to see future growth in the sector from a number of countries on the continent,” Anderson concludes.
A true industry leader
Amec Foster Wheeler is renowned for its consulting and project delivery, not just in Africa, but around the world. It service offering includes:
- Front-end studies
- Consulting services
- Mining and metallurgical process design and development
- Open-pit and underground mine design
- Surface and underground infrastructure engineering
- Geotechnical and waste management services
- Environmental and socio-economic studies
- Project, logistics and construction management
- Environmental assessment, permitting and closure expertise; and
- A global network of execution centres
Feature image credit: Lundin Mining