Assmang (jointly owned and controlled by African Rainbow Minerals and Assore) has placed an order worth R250 million (US$35 million) for the supply of nine materials handling machines – four rail-mounted bucketwheel reclaimers and five rail-mounted stackers – with Sandvik Materials Handling Africa (SMHA) for its greenfields development at its Khumani Iron Ore mine (BKM Project) near Sishen.


Freddie Human, Assmang contracts
manager (left), hands a copy of the
contract to Manfred Schaffer, MD
of the Sandvik factory in Austria,
where the equipment will be

The order is the biggest placed with Sandvik for a materials handling project in Southern Africa and follows a major development late last year when ETS, one of South Africa’s leading materials handling specialists, was integrated into the company’s operations, according to Jan Detlof- Wismer, SMHA’s manager for business development.

Formerly known as the BKM development, the R3.2 billion (US$0.4 million) Khumani iron ore mine is scheduled to begin production during the early part of 2008.

The stackers and reclaimers for the project will be designed and manufactured by Voest-Alpine Materials Handling, which is also a Sandvik company. Work on the project will begin later this year and when completed, the iron ore will be mined from a series of open pits for hauling to the primary and secondary crushers. From there it will be transferred by conveyor to stockpiles, where the run-of-mine ore will be stockpiled on blending beds in two categories, on-grade and off-grade. Both grades will then be treated independently into three products, lumpy, medium size (MS) and fines, for shipment by rail to Saldanha Bay and the export market.

“The reclaimers and stackers will play an integral role in the production cycle at the mine. At the ROM stockpile the booms of the two rail-mounted stackers will be 45 m in length, each with a capacity of 4,000 tonnes an hour, while the two reclaimers, with a nominal capacity of 1,000 tonnes an hour each, will be fitted with 47.5 m booms and will be used for windrow stacking.

“Downstream of the recovery plant, there will be three product stockpiles, the lumpy stockpile being serviced by a stacker with a capacity of 4,000 tph and a boom length of 29 m and a bucketwheel reclaimer with a capacity of 7,400 tph and a boom length of 47 m which also services the scaw stockpile. The stacker to the MS stockpile has a capacity of 600 tph, the boom length also being 29 m, while the fines stockpile has a dedicated stacker and a reclaimer identical to the machines on the lumpy stockpile,” Detlof-Wismer says.