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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: Africa: December 13th 2007


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:: DRA to Build Coal Washing Plant for Morupule

The Morupule Colliery Limited is a coal operation owned by Debswana Mining Company. The colliery is located about 15km from Palapye in Botswana, about 280km from capital, Gaborone and about 120km from the South African border post at Groblers Bridge. The colliery has been in operation since 1973 and the Botswana Power Corporation coal fired Power Station nearby has been its main customer.

The colliery decided to construct a Coal Washing Plant to improve the quality of the coal by washing the coal to improve the calorific value and reduce the ash content and other substances. In November 2006, DRA was awarded the project to design and construct the Coal Washing Plant. The project is worth around R55 million. A single drum 200 tons per hour plant, designed for a second stage drum expansion, will wash coarse coal (+15mm -75mm) from the mine. The washed coal will then be screened to different size fractions. The plant is designed with a closed loop water system with the fines being filtered and the water retained in the plant. This eliminated the need for slimes dams and prevents excessive water losses.

The plant will enable the mine to produce a higher quality product for export as well as for use in the Morupule power station. DRA will oversee the entire construction process with the number of staff on site peaking at 60. Construction of the new 200tph coal washing plant is currently under way.

The project offered a few challenges to DRA. For example the ground consists of Kalahari sand under which water was found, making site preparation difficult. However the project is on schedule for completion by December 2007.




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