SBS Water Systems (SBS) is celebrating a major milestone achievement – 20 years of supplying the mining industry with innovative and cost effective liquid storage solutions.

And the timing could not be more perfect considering the company in 2018 will conclude two major contracts for two prestigious mining clients.

SBS’s year started on a high after the company was awarded the contract to design, supply, install and commission three 2-million litre SBS Tanks for ASX-listed Universal Coal’s Kangala colliery in Delmas in July 2018.

This article first appeared in Mining Review Africa Issue 7 2018

The Kangala mine will soon undergo a resource expansion as Universal Coal brings its newly acquired Eloff property on stream.

“The expansion is critical to Kangala’s future as the current pit is approaching the end of its life. But thanks to Eloff, we have an additional 20 years of lifespan at the operation and will need our supporting infrastructure to contribute to the mine’s long life requirements,” explains Kevin Donaldson, chief development engineer at Universal Coal.

AUTHOR: Editor of Mining Review Africa, Laura Cornish

Water storage is one critical infrastructure requirement for the mine – which remains committed to protecting the environment by minimising its water usage and also ensuring the mine functions as a closed water circuit.

It is for this reason that Universal Coal chose to invest in three permanent, covered SBS Tanks.

“This will reduce excess evaporation from our pollution control dam and also limit our need to pull excess water from on-site boreholes,” Kangala general manager Petrie Erasmus adds.

SBS boasts a quick fabrication (six – eight weeks per tank) and installation time (no more than 17 days) and as such is well into the assembly process on site.

The first tank is up and the second and third will follow imminently.

The process on site has impressed Donaldson who points out that the tanks are erected from the ground up.

Once the foundation work has been established, each layer/sheet of Zincalume steel is inserted in the bottom to eliminate having to work at height.

“The timeframe required to build the tank is quick and efficient. This is a company I would recommend,” Petrie highlights.

All three tanks, covered on top are expected to be commissioned by the end of July 2018 and will immediately be used for water storage on site.

SBS is also currently commissioning seven SBS Tanks in Ghana for a major gold mining operator.

“This is the largest order, by volume, we have ever received for a mining client,” says SBS’s technical sales consultant for mining, Andre Lotriet.

The tanks range in capacity from just over 100 000 litres to 1.1 million litres and will be used within the process plant for potable, process and raw water storage. (The company’s largest tank can hold 3.3 million litres).

“It is encouraging that several of our tanks are being used for the process water storage on a mining application, these tanks are well equipped for the job.”

The SBS success factor

SBS attributes it recent successes in the sector to the company’s vast experience and keen understanding of the mining industry.

The company boasts teams of highly skilled, internationally accredited installers that are trained to deal with documentary and legislative requirements.

In addition to this, clients are assured of only the highest levels Health and Safety compliance, which is a key consideration in the mining industry.

The modular nature of SBS Tanks make the product highly suited to competitive road transportation and containerised shipping.

Export sales make for a large portion of SBS’s business.

The company is highly experienced at container loading, which takes place in-house.

“One of the key considerations for us in the development of our products is longevity. We use superior input materials and technology in the manufacturing of our storage solutions which guarantees our clients a superior maintenance-free service life,” Lotriet points out.

Corrosion resistance is and remains a core focus for all of the company’s product developments.

All SBS Tanks are manufactured only using original patented Bluescope Zincalume steel.

This coating technology, pioneered by Bluescope Steel in 1976, uses a molten alloy comprising 55% aluminium, 43.5% zinc and 1.5% silicon.

It is applied in a continuous hot dipped process, rendering the steel highly resistant to corrosion.

SBS Tanks are also custom made to order based on specific applications and their unique requirements.

All fittings, nozzles and accessories are manufactured in the company’s 5 000 m² in-house manufacturing facility based in Durban, South Africa.

Fittings are available in mild steel and stainless steel, depending on liquid being stored.

All mild steel fittings and accessories are hot dip galvanized post fabrication to SANS 121:2011 ISO1461:2009 standard, “ensuring a maintenance-free service life.”

SBS Tanks are lined with an internal PVC liner, which is AS/NZS4020-2005 approved (testing of products for use in contact with drinking water).

This liner consists of a high tenacity polyester yarn which is coated on both sides with PVC, and renders the lining highly UV stabilized, even in open topped reservoir installations.

SBS Tanks have an estimated service life of 60+ plus years under normal climatic and operational conditions and carry a 12-month workmanship and materials guarantee. Products also have a ten-year conditional non-leak warranty.

“With over 1 500 installations around the world, it’s no wonder mining companies like Universal Coal turn to Africa’s leading tank and reservoir company,” says SBS marketing manager James Preston.

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