The construction of the coal washing plant by DRA Mineral Projects at the Douglas- Middelburg Optimisation (DMO) Project is underway. DRA secured the contract early this year for a new coal processing plant for BHP Billiton Energy Coal South Africa (BECSA) which will when complete assist BECSA to maintain current export and Eskom supply till 2034.

The DMO project consists of the engineering and design of a raw coal handling and coal preparation plant, slimes handling and product handling facilities with DRA operating on an EPCM basis. Once completed, the plant will provide a throughput of 14 million tonnes a year and will feature one of the world’s largest twomodule DMS plants, using cyclones measuring 1,150 mm in diameter and 4.2 m wide vibrating screens. Work on the project commenced early this year and the new plant is on schedule to receive coal in mid-2010.


Plant feed silo

Says Jaco Vosloo, DRA’s project manager, “The main focus for the client and DRA on this project was to design the largest feasible DMS modules for optimum throughput. A versatile plant design was proposed, capable of coping with coal from many different sources and producing prime grade export coal and middlings suitable for local power generation. Some of the largest multi-slope vibrating screens will be used in conjunction with large cyclones in each module in order to reduce capital, operating and maintenance costs while at the same time increasing plant efficiency and annual operating ‘on coal’ hours. Two modules will be built with space left for a third.


DMS centrifuge civil

” The project will see the design and construction of a tertiary crushing facility, raw coal feed to the two module density medium separation plant which consists of low and high gravity modules, spirals and dewatering circuit. Additional to this are slimes handling, pollution control and tailings catchment return pumping, materials handling and sampling as well as services and related infrastructure.

DRA’s scope of work includes the engineering and draughting for all earthworks, civil works, structural, mechanical and process engineering as well as power reticulation and control systems. In addition the company will oversee construction, risk and safety management, Plant feed silo. commissioning and final handover.