DRA has commenced construction of a new 240 tonne per hour (tph) export coal washing facility at Hakhano colliery in Mpumalanga. This is particularly important for the engineering company as it is its first build-ownoperate- transfer (BOOT) project. Valued at around R71 million, the project is expected to take six months to complete.

DRA will fully finance the project on behalf of its client, Umthombo Resources which already has an off-take agreement in place with Turkey. Once the plant has been built, DRA’s sister company, Minopex, will operate the facility with revenue generated on a rate per tonne basis. After four years the client will have the option of either extending Minopex’s operating contract or taking transfer of the plant and its operations.

The plant is designed to operate on a continuous basis; six working days a week, allowing for an eventual annual through tonnage of 2.4 million tonnes. DRA’s scope of work includes ROM loading facility feeding a crushing and screening circuit designed to supply a maximum of -75 mm material to a 200 tph DMS plant producing a washed product for supply to both the domestic and export market. Space has been allowed for the future addition of dense medium drum and spiral separators with the thickener has already sized for this eventuality.

Paul Hopwood, manager, turnkey projects at DRA, says, “The concept of BOOT projects is quickly gaining momentum, particularly among small mining operations which lack the capital to build and operate their own plant facilities. Such projects work out as a win for all parties as the client is able to establish itself while we are guaranteed a return on our investment. DRA is already negotiating similar projects for the near future.”