DRA-22015 can be described as a year filled with new successes for engineering design and project management specialists DRA. The company is underway with a variety of execution and study projects in Africa and continues to expand its footprint into new global territories, writes Laura Cornish.

DRA’s 2015/2016 execution project list in Africa is significant, especially in light of the current commodity price recession and lack of new mining projects moving forward into development.

This includes Roxgold’s Yaramoko gold project in Burkina Faso, Sierra Rutile’s Gangama (Phase 1) mineral sands project in Sierra Leone, Firestone Diamonds’ Liqhobong diamond project in Lesotho, Asanko Gold’s gold project in Ghana, Elandsfontein Exploration & Mining’s new phosphate project in South Africa and Platinum Group Metals’ WBJV/Maseve platinum project in South Africa.

In addition to this extensive portfolio of work, DRA acquired two highly prospective feasibility studies over the course of the year. In August Ivanhoe Mines’ South African subsidiary Ivanplats awarded the company with the feasibility study for its Platreef project, following the completion of the pre-feasibility study of the project in January 2015.

DRA’s role will be the management and coordination of the all-encompassing feasibility study of the Greenfield project, in addition to providing a wide range of engineering services in its own right. Its scope covers the highly mechanised underground mine design, processing facilities and associated project infrastructure. Among the external consultants to be managed by DRA will be specialists covering geology, life of mine planning, geotechnical, ground water, environmental aspects and tailings storage facility.

Mining will be conducted by a large, state-of-the-art mechanised underground operation, approximately 700 to 1 100 m below surface via a vertical production shaft which will be 10 m in diameter. The process plant is initially planned to consist of two parallel streams, each of 2 Mtpa capacity, with comminution, flotation, concentrate dewatering and tailings disposal. A full suite of infrastructure will be covered in the feasibility study, including bulk power supply, bulk water supply, internal and external roads, and on-site buildings and systems.

“The scope of the project being managed by DRA is also a clear demonstration of our “pit-to-port” capability. Our in-house engineers and project services personnel will be responsible for all major aspects of the project – for the mining engineering, the processing facilities and the associated infrastructure, in addition to coordinating the input of a number of external specialists,” says DRA CEO Paul Thomson. In April DRA has been appointed as lead study manager for the definitive feasibility study (DFS) for ASX-listed junior Triton Minerals’ Mozambique-based Graphite (TMG) project, comprising the Nicanda Hill/Cobra Plains, Ancuabe and Balama tenements.

Nicanda Hill is the world’s largest known graphite deposits, comprising 1 457 Mt…

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