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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: Africa: November 24th 2005


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:: Sishen Expansion Project awarded to Bateman/Murray & Roberts JV

Kumba Resources Limited has awarded a contract to a joint venture between Bateman and Murray & Roberts to upgrade Sishen Iron Ore mine's production by 10M t/yr.

The total value of the project known as the Sishen Expansion Project is US$445M, of which US$50M is the engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract awarded to the Bateman and Murray & Roberts joint venture. The award was obtained due to the combined strength of the joint venture's process-engineering expertise and BATEMAN's extensive knowledge of jig processing. Pain and gain clauses have been incorporated in the contract.

The Sishen Expansion Project will increase Sishen's production from the current 28M t/yr to 38M t/yr by 2009. The design component of the project is to be completed by November 2005 and construction will start in mid 2005, with production ramp-up to commence by mid 2007.

The new plant will treat 16M t/yr of combined run-of-mine and stockpiled material. The additional 16M t/yr feed will be processed through a newly-built plant incorporating proven jigging technology to produce about 10M t/yr of saleable ore with an average iron content of 64 %, compared with the 66 % iron content of the current Sishen product. The primary crusher to be installed will be one of the biggest units built in recent times.

The additional production will be exported via the 860 km Sishen-Saldanha railway line and the port of Saldanha on the country's west coast. The product will be for sale in both the local and international market.

The project will make a meaningful contribution to the Northern Cape and South African economy with 1800 direct construction jobs and more than 300 direct and 600 indirect long-term jobs being created through the expanded operations. In addition, some US$250M per year will be contributed to South Africa's foreign exchange receipts when full production is achieved.

Sishen Iron Ore mine is operated by the Sishen Iron Ore Company Ltd and is located in the Northern Cape Province. It is one of the largest open-pit mines in the world and is well known for its high grade and consistent product quality.

Kumba Resources Limited, one of the largest South African-based mining companies listed on the JSE Securities Exchange, has a diverse commodity portfolio consisting of iron ore, coal, heavy minerals, base metals and industrial minerals.




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