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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: Africa: January 23rd 2009


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:: Smelter Company Completes Platinum Plant

The completion of work at the world's third-largest platinum producer Lonmin's plant, near Rustenburg, is further evidence of smelter technology equipment provider Metix's commitment to client service and satisfaction, says Metix marketing director Pat Davies.

Apart from having replaced the electrode systems on a six-in-line matte smelting furnace for Lonmin, Metix was also contracted to completely rebuild the existing furnace, including its linings and bus tubes.

"The project was valued at about R125-million and was completed in 12 months from start to finish. This is no mean feat on a project of this nature," says Davies.

Metix believes that the selection of its electrode system technology equipment by Lonmin is owing to the easy operation and low maintenance levels it offers, as well as Metix's success in the ferroalloy industry, where it is a principal supplier of such equipment.

"Metix is a provider of process and engineering services, as well as specialised patented equipment to the ferroalloy industry. The company's offerings range from consultancy to turnkey contract packages that include technical and commercial guarantees," says Davies.

With ferroalloys being a core focus of Metix over the past five years, the company has reached a point in its growth where it plans to use its previous experience in the platinum sector to increase its presence there.

"Key Metix directors have had prime inputs to the platinum industry in the past, including the then Mathey Rustenburg base metal refinery, as well as the Saref Platinum Group Metals (PGM) metal refinery, also in the Rustenburg area," explains Davies.

"The Saref PGM project originated from a pilot plant in the UK where Metix MD Reinier Meyjes spent two years on a final feasibility study, before proceeding with the implementation of that plant for Anglo American in South Africa," he adds.

With interesting projects in the pipeline for 2009, Metix sees the broadening of its focus as an opportunity to offer quality service and equipment to a sector in which any downtime can run into the loss of millions of rands.

"With the track record Metix has, it anticipates building on its existing relationships in the ferroalloys sector and creating others in the platinum arena," Davies notes.

He adds that the services that Metix provide include the full scope of engineering, procurement and construction management on smelter projects, detailed engineering of furnace-related infrastructure, in-house procurement and cost control systems, as well as site construction, quality assurance and safety.

"In an industry rocked by global financial issues, producers are looking for the types of solutions and cost efficiency Metix can offer. This means that anytime the company completes a project to the client's satisfaction and within the time span such as it did on Lonmin, it proves again its commitment to industry growth and success," concludes Davies.




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