Ivanplats, an Ivanhoe Mines company, has engaged diversified engineering group, DRA Global, to design a one of a kind Multi-Purpose Community Centre.

The project forms part of Ivanplats sustainable social development programme for its Platreef Mining operations, situated in the Limpopo Province of South Africa.

DRA Global has been involved with the Platreef’s platinum mine since 2014, providing essential technical solutions, including the Feasibility Study (FS), mining, infrastructure design and construction.

One of the main challenges is that the mine is situated in the middle of the Mokopane District, making all operations extremely community driven.

Ivanplats has seen this as an opportunity to break the mould with regards to community development and engagement.

From hiring local contractors to building a state-of-the-art MPCC, Ivanplats approach, with DRA Global’s assistance, is setting a trend for others to follow.

According to Werner Botha, Ivanplats Senior Projects Manager, Social & Legal Compliance; “We had to rethink our design and concept, considering how we would make this a fully sustainable center for the community.

“DRA Global has given us a design that truly exceeded all our expectations, but we also needed to ensure that the center will remain open and operational. Ivanhoe will be taking up a third of the space with some of our internal services.

“Our Enterprise and Supplier Development and Human Resources Development will be permanent tenants of the center, ensuring that it will remain in a working and viable condition”.

“Another innovative aspect of the MPCC will be the integration of Government, Banking and Business Development entities, who will be taking up residence in the center. This will benefit the community enormously.

“Now the local people will be able to make use of various training and development programmes, as well as completing day-to-day activities, all at one accessible location,” states Botha.

Ivanplats had a very specific design in mind for the MPCC and wanted to move away from the traditional “mining” look and functionality. Innovation, sustainability and green technology are extremely important to Ivanplats.

These elements have successfully been incorporated by DRA Global’s Architectural Design division, while also making the entire building aesthetically pleasing and not just another square “mine” building.

The MPCC will ultimately feature a new modern electronic library, a fully equipped training center, and a sustainable garden with a functional children’s play area.

DRA Global’s Architectural Design division has worked closely with environmental and sustainability consultants to ensure the MPCC design meets the strictest of green standards.

The building is energy efficient, makes use of natural light and ventilation, and will boast rain harvesters throughout the building to optimise the use of natural resources in the maintenance of the entire building.

“This project is a first of its kind for DRA Global and we are delighted to be helping Ivanplats break boundaries within the mining space. This is not just about mining, it is about leaving a legacy that will benefit people and the environment,” concludes Alistair Hodgkinson, DRA Executive Vice President, Projects.