Level 1 BEE compliant minerals processing company MIP Process Technologies is dedicating significant time and focus to expanding its pollution control business – a strategy which will further diversify its business risk in the mining sector. Thanks to a partnership agreement with a Germany-based gas cleaning systems specialist, the company is well equipped to deliver on this goal, writes LAURA CORNISH.
MIP Process Technologies (MIP) first entered the pollution and dust control field when it acquired all the rights and technology to the products belonging to Alliance Dust Control Services (ADCS) in 2013. With more than 30 years’ experience in providing dust and fume extraction solutions to a wide variety of industry sectors; this quickly delivered a new revenue source for MIP.
“The success we have quickly built up in this field has seen us expand our pollution control repertoire after partnering with a Germany-based specialist that already boasts a large installation base of successful gas cleaning systems,” says MIP MD Philip Hoff . “Through this partnership, we are now able to off er a highly specialised technological service where few other companies around the globe can successfully compete in – reducing noxious gases such as sulphur dioxide emissions to less than 1 200 mg/m3 – a recognised standard across the globe. And as South Africa’s legislation regarding atmospheric pollution intensifies, we are now well positioned to serve this growing market need.”
Through its German partnership, MIP’s business opportunities extend from extractive metallurgical applications to hydrometallurgical applications where noxious gas release is more common. “Important to note, we offer a tailormade package solution from design to construction of all elements for any gas cleaning system.”
So, in addition to typical bag filters for dust extraction, MIP systems include packed scrubber column solutions as well as a variety of other scrubber technologies to effectively capture fumes and remove all pollution components before releasing environment-friendly gas levels into the atmosphere.
To ensure MIP is fully equipped to deliver on the promises it commits to clients, Hoff points out that the company did a lot of upfront test work prior to project execution – specifically computational fluid dynamics (CFDs) – to simulate the installations and determine the results of the installations as well.
The result today is a steadily growing footprint of successful projects – including the design of a large gas cleaning system for a vanadium oxide application near Brits in 2016 whose purpose is to remove sulphur dioxide and particulates. The company also supplied two gas scrubbing plants to a copper project in the DRC which are also being used for the removal of sulphur dioxide. MIP’s supply scope specifically included a reagent plant, fan, ducting, scrubber and associated instrumentation – thus, a complete solution.
Hoff enthusiastically discusses a project which is due for completion imminently – the implementation of a furnace tap hole fume extraction system for a steel plant in Lydenburg. “This project is particularly challenging because of the high temperature environment and the wide area we need to enclose to ensure we capture all the toxic fumes – all while ensuring operators in close proximity remain functional.”
Looking ahead, Hoff says MIP is tendering on a number of new projects which require sulphur dioxide gas cleaning systems and is confident of securing a steady workflow of new business for the remainder of 2017.
Minerals processing business continues to deliver steady growth
MIP’s journey since the business was founded in late 2007 has been a hugely successful one, which is impressive considering the mining industry has been in the throes of a recession for large portions of the last 10 years. “We off er technical expertise on our minerals processing product ranges and have a business philosophy which allows us to be flexible and accommodate customers’ needs at any time,” Hoff highlights.
As such, a lot of the company’s success over the years can be attributed to repeat business from clients around the world; particularly for thickeners, flocculant plants and linear screens. Business in 2017 is also looking healthy with project work execution stretching from South Africa to Panama.
At present the company is supplying 2000 m3 overflow tanks for a diamond project in Botswana. The original thickener was also supplied by MIP. “We more recently designed, built and commissioned three chrome tailings thickeners and a flocculant plant for an Australian customer based in South Africa. And we are excited to have received our first contract to supply a thickener and linear screens for a copper project in Panama.”
One of MIP’s largest projects, which began some 18 months ago and continues at present, is the supply of fi ve thickeners for a platinum producer in South Africa; and finally, the company is also underway with a contract to upgrade two large thickeners for another platinum company, also in South Africa.
Again, Hoff notes there a number of new projects in the pipeline as well which the company hopes to secure in 2017.
The X factor
MIP is relocating its current small scale manufacturing facility to a much larger 15 000 m2 facility in Springs where all tasks will be housed under one roof – including sandblasting, painting, packing, loading and importantly, pre-assembly of units. “Having our own facilities is definitely one of the leading contributors to our success in more recent years. It enables us to off er clients and potential new customers competitive pricing, faster deliveries and 24/7 customer support as well,” Hoff concludes. MRA