Manhattan Corporation is a South African company involved in mining and equipment supply. It operates four alluvial diamond mines in the Northern Cape as well as a gold mine on the East Rand of Johannesburg.
Manhattan’s equipment products cover new and refurbished equipment. Manhattan has been in business since 1992 and continues to show steady revenue and profit growth year on year. Close to 2000 employees represent the Manhattan brand with corporate offices on the East Rand of Johannesburg. New equipment was added to Manhattan’s business model in the past few years due to a shortage of refurbished products driven by the commodities boom. Manhattan’s extended equipment range now offers customers the choice of short lead times and capital savings via the refurbished range or state-of-the-art latest technology products that offer optimal process efficiencies.
Manhattan’s new products include grinding mills, girth and pinion gears, gear-reducers, grinding media and mill liners where mills are manufactured in Europe to worldclass AGMA and international standards. Lead times and pricing are very competitive and numerous contracts have already been secured by Manhattan to supply milling equipment to clients in Africa and Russia.
In pit and mobile screening and crushing plants have landed in South Africa, with Manhattan’s first Spyder in-pit screen in production. Initial tests show the screen outperforms other plant in tonnes throughput per capital cost. Manhattan has in collaboration with the OEM redesigned the screen to incorporate a bottom deck high carbon de-sanding mesh to remove all sand in the mining quarry, reducing tramming loads and improving cost per tonne efficiencies. An alternative hoop wire screen-mesh (piano wire) is also an optional fit, where sand removal efficiency can be increased provided the material is relatively dry and bottom size scalping accuracy is less critical.
The Spyder in-pit screens come with patented softstart and soft-stop technology where vibrating action is dampened causing less stress to the screen frame and mechanical structures extending component life.
Diesel power plants and generators are custom manufactured to suit customer needs ranging in size from smaller industrial units to major power plants of multiple MVAs. Synchronisation allows for large MVA units to be assembled suiting most mining company back-up or primary power requirements. Popular engine brands such as MTU, Cummins, Volvo and Mitsubishi are provided and sound-proof panels as well as other peripheral components are supplied as optional items. Manhattan’s most recent sales were to South African coal and chrome mines, which purchased a 2 MVA and a 5 MVA power plant respectively.
Custom designed and manufactured wet screens, conveyor systems, static crushing and screening plants, gold, diamond, gravity, leaching and pyrometallurgy processing plants and equipment form part of Manhattan’s turnkey supply product range. With over 50 categories of refurbished and new equipment, Manhattan offers a onestop equipment supply solution.
Manhattan’s equipment and mining services customers are located throughout the world and cover all continents. Manhattan has equipment alliances and 28 representative offices throughout Africa, Europe, Asia, USA, Canada and the Middle East. A 550,000 m2 facility on the East Rand serves as Manhattan’s head office and manufacturing facility which includes state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment and heavy engineering capability. Manhattan has moved equipment throughout the world and into the most remote parts of Africa. Complete ship charters, floating dock cranes, route optimisation and logistics management form part of Manhattan’s professional services that support its equipment and engineering solutions.
Manhattan’s equipment and technology solutions business is boosted through its exposure to the mining production environment. Operating its own gold and diamond mines has allowed the company to get closer to its customers’ needs through on-line experience of the daily challenges faced by the mining industry. Cost control, equipment availability and utilisation, optimal process performance and product yield are some of the typical variables any world-class mining company strives to optimise. Manhattan’s business ethos is driven by this exposure to production challenges to provide its customers a value-add experience with Manhattan equipment solutions.
Manhattan’s diamond mining operations have an installed capacity of over 12 million ROM tonnes per annum, with more projects under construction. In-pit screening, desanding, rotary pan plants, DMS and X-Ray recovery form part of the material process-flow. Technical innovations allow Manhattan to optimise its operations and control its cost per tonne and business efficiency. Custom designed software links all input variables to allow tight control on cost per tonne. Over the past 12 months Manhattan has improved its cost per tonne by a staggering 33% on diesel consumption per tonne mined. Custom developed logistics software allows business managers to enter their equipment and part requirements onto a sequel database system, which selects authorisation routing based on budget, technical complexity, reason for purchase (such as breakdown compared to normal wear and tear) and other rules forcing optimisation of all capital and operating cost spend. Reports can be generated to provide real time cost data on any business unit as a total spend or normalised to a tonnage comparative basis.
Frequent failure and downtime data is captured in the engineering and operations data management system, with root cause failure analysis identifying permanent solutions. Any technical or design optimisation strategies are fed back to Manhattan’s design office for roll-out on all future projects, ensuring Manhattan’s operational experience is shared with all its customers.
The on-line data management and process optimisation system allows Manhattan to increase its mining capacity with minimal effort and this is reflected in the aggressive growth Manhattan has employed on its diamond mining operations.
Geological modeling forms a core element of Manhattan’s mining expertise and numerous innovations in diamond modeling science have allowed optimisation of grade management in alluvial operations. Alluvial diamond river systems rely on laws of mechanics and fluid dynamics to create trap-sites and high, medium and low grade deposits. An intimate understanding of these parameters allows Manhattan to build predictive models that define potential high grade zones. Combining these models into mine block planning, allows for optimised grade control and income per tonne performance. Three dimensional models of river systems and their trapping mechanisms as well as daily analysis of mining and gravel data allow the Manhattan geological skill-set to be continuously tweaked and developed into a world-class alluvial diamond specialist unit.
New diamond projects benefit from this unique set of specialist skills, allowing projects to be designed for economic success in early stages of project life-cycle.
Manhattan’s gold mine on the East Rand has close to a three million ounce resource and lies between Afgold and Pamodzi Gold. With 15 shafts and extensive underground development, the infrastructure offers easy access to the ore body. The East Rand, which earned its reputation as the richest gold orebody in the world, is famous for its high grade Main Reef and Black Reef ore-bodies which have run in grades of kilograms/ tonne.
The gold project has ore to a depth of approximately 700 meters and Manhattan is currently mining the shallower deposits up to 150 meters depth. Multiple grade sample-points throughout the mining operation allow strong control of mine call factor and optimisation of cost per gram. Statistical analysis of sampling data has optimised the sample grid pattern and frequency of samples on the mining face ensuring sampling is accurate. Comparison between gold samples from the mining face to material transfer points up to and through the gold plant, allows for accurate knowledge of gold lock up and release.
Board and pillar mining techniques have allowed Manhattan to access the poorly supported next above layers which were ignored by the historical mining companies. The deeper ore has not been exploited at this stage but offers a higher grade, larger volume mining opportunity.
Numerous gold, coal and diamond opportunities are being reviewed by Manhattan to expand its mining operations into Africa and beyond. Manhattan’s corporate structure which includes all aspects of mining, processing and resource modeling expertise is well positioned to grow Manhattan’s portfolio of successful mining operations in a cost effective and high return manner.