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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: Africa: October 12th 2007


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:: Multotec Fulfills Contract in DRC

Quality manufacturing processes and a focused approach to the production of polyurethane flotation components has seen Multotec manufacture and supply flotation mechanisms (wetted parts only) to Kolwezi for the Kamoto Concentrator Rehabilitation Project. Katanga Mining Limited (KML) is the majority shareholder of this copper mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The mine is operated by Kamoto Operating Limited (KOL).

These flotation mechanisms were installed by KOL mine personnel and commissioned by Multotec Flotation field servicing teams during July 2007. KOL is rehabilitating the Kamoto Concentrator Complex near Kolwezi in the DRC. In light of the current demand for commodities - and, in particular, copper - the decision was made to renew the Kamoto concentrator and current mine infrastructure in order to produce copper concentrate.

Multotec Flotation has also supplied the level control system for both the sulphide and oxide flotation banks to enable automatic level control of the flotation units in the concentrator.

Through Multotec Zambia, Multotec initially completed a detailed plant audit on the condition of the existing Kamoto concentrator and made recommendations to Hatch as to how the proposed rehabilitation of the concentrator should be done. The supply contract also included scoping and design of the level control system.

ďOnce we had delivered the equipment to site, a field servicing team assembled a prototype of the WEMCO 120 unit in the concentrator to assist mine personnel during the setup of the mechanisms for the rehabilitation," Jaco du Toit, business development manager Africa, Multotec Manufacturing, says.

The cold and hot commissioning during July/August was held by a Multotec field service and commissioning team with the assistance of operational and engineering personnel from Komoto Concentrator. Multotec will also train plant personnel on general inspection and maintenance issues on the Flotation cells.

ďAs one of the largest manufacturers of polyurethane flotation equipment, it made sense to extend the groupís product offering to include ongoing inspections, maintenance and service level agreements. The major advantage to customers is that, during field service activities, our personnel develop a direct insight into the actual plant process, as well as firsthand knowledge of specific operational conditions. This facilitates accurate condition monitoring and allows for an optimal maintenance strategy," du Toit says.

The Kamoto Concentrator is located close to the town of Kolwezi on the Congolese Copperbelt, about 220 km north west of Lubumbashi, the DRCís second largest city. Mining will be from both open pit and underground operations. The mine comprises the Kamoto underground mine and the open pit mines of Dikuluwe, Mashamba East and Mashamba West (together known as DIMA) and Musonoie-T17. Ore will be processed in the Kamoto concentrator and refined in the Luilu metallurgical plant. The mine site covers an area of over 15 000 ha.

Studies indicate that total reserves and resources stand at 191-million tons of ore. At an average copper grade of 3,60%, this equates to 6,89-million tons of copper. Once fully operational, the mine will produce 150 000 t/y of copper and 8 000 t/y of cobalt.




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