Platinum Group Metals

The platinum-group metals, more commonly known as PGMs, are iridium, osmium, palladium, platinum, rhodium, and ruthenium. Platinum group metals incorporates, mining, exploration, processing, precious metals. Electric vehicles use both palladium and rhodium, as well as platinum for use in the manufacture of the catalytic converter. Platinum and palladium are used in jewelry manufacture. PGMs are usually mined in deep level, narrow reef mines, where safety is of utmost concern.


Particle Separation Systems Technologies (PSST) has developed and patented a new technology that can dewater paste thickener underflow, economically and effectively, to the dryness selected.
Paste thickener
Iron ore.

The technology accepts the paste thickener underflow, which is introduced onto a woven steel belt (SBF) in a dyke and furrow shape. The paste is subsequently subjected to medium wave infrared radiation (MIR) under vacuum. The symbiosis of both negative pressure (vacuum) and MIR on the SBF provide for evaporation rates whereby 1 kWh power evaporates in excess of 2-3 l of water from a paste. The retention time decides the final paste moisture discarded from the SBF.


Fernando Monteiro, business development director of Multotec Process Equipment, says that in the case of a complex ore body, there are many variables such as viscosity and rheology that can give abnormal operating conditions.
Ore boding processing
The 900B two in one slurry
bed sampler handles close
to 4,000 m3 an hour.

“Test work allows for the various different factors to be included in the simulation model for the selection of equipment and the prediction of the plant performance,” he says.


African Explosives Limited (AEL), the leading producer of explosives products, initiating systems and blasting solutions in Africa, will once again be exhibiting at Electra Mining Africa 2006 in September.

As the major supplier of explosives to the South African mining industry – and further afield in Africa – AEL has concentrated its technological innovation on developing specialised explosives, initiating systems and services that improve safety by optimising blasting efficiencies.


These new risks are a result of the global commodities boom and economic expansion. They are a result of increased activity in the construction sector in major developing markets, including South Africa, the primary source of materials and expertise for undertaking mining projects in the region.

One such risk is the escalation in demand for commodities used in mining projects themselves and increases in prices of those commodities. For example, the recently experienced shortage of tyres for large earthmoving equipment globally was a result of the economic boom in China. The price of steel in South Africa has surged dramatically in the last two years owing to the import pricing parity formula used in South Africa, which makes its steel manufacturers among the most profitable in the world. This impacts the cost of implementing projects in the region and causes problems in managing steel price escalation.


These middle risks are issues such as HIV/AIDS, the lack of transport and communication infrastructure, unclear implementation of legislation, corruption, and social issues such as the presence of artisanal miners. Broadly speaking, while the investment climate in Africa’s mining sector is more favourable than in the past as a result of a better political climate coupled with better mining legislation, the new risks require more management.

“The plus side, however, is that if the management of mining companies do the right things many of these community and socially related risks can be managed,” Cattaneo says. “One can mitigate risks related to changes in regimes by forming good relationships with a variety of stakeholders including the host government, local suppliers and forming joint ventures.”


Greenhill believes that ALT-X is very much suited to mining and exploration. “South African and African resource-based companies source their labour, technology and of course the resource itself in this region; there is no reason they should need to use entirely foreign capital. South Africa does have an investment environment where one is able to raise capital for listings and the ALT-X listing requirements are appropriate for start up exploration projects, late stage exploration or junior mining projects.”


“One of the current bottlenecks regarding our capacity to build projects is determined by the capacity of fabricators of structural steel,” Smith says. The availability of steel and project timing impact directly on the output capacity of the workshops. It seems that the fabricator is always in a state of either feast or famine. “Late design changes also cause unnecessary rework, hampering throughput.” These are probably all symptoms of fast track projects.

A further and more concerning restriction on construction capacity is the shortage of human resources in the industry. The construction upswing has stretched resources to the limit. There are only so many teams available. Succession planning is also a problem – it seems that there is a relatively big gap between the older experienced resources and the next level younger entrants. In these market circumstances, it will probably be to the advantage of both the clients and constructors to negotiate upfront participation on new projects and reserve capacity, Smith says. This will ensure that competent teams are allocated to the projects.

Anglo Platinum confident on metal’s future

[img:Anglo%20Plat%20-%20Pic%201_0.JPG|Anglo Platinum’s
platinum mine plant
]Johannesburg --- MININGREVIEW.COM --- 12 February, 2008 - The Anglo Platinum group – the world's leading primary producer of platinum group metals (PGMs) – has re-affirmed its confidence in the continued robust demand for platinum, and will continue with its multi-billion rand South African expansion programme in 2008.

Aquarius profits up 25% in Q2 of 2007

[img:Aquarius%20-%20Pic%201_0.bmp|Marikana – the Aquarius
operation which showed
a 45% increase in
production in the
second half of 2007
]Johannesburg, South Africa --- MININGREVIEW.COM --- 8 February, 2008 - Aquarius Platinum Limited –a focused platinum group metals producer in southern Africa, and listed on the Australian, London and Johannesburg stock exchanges – is living up to its reputation as one of the world’s fastest growing platinum companies.

Load- shedding again – but not for the mines

[img:4%20Feb%20New%20Power_0.JPG|Number Nine shaft at the
Gold Fields Driefontein
mine – one of many
affected by the current
power crisis
]Johannesburg, South Africa --- MININGREVIEW.COM --- 4 February, 2008 - The new week is off to a promising start in terms of the power crisis which has been disrupting the mining industry for the past ten days.

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