Botswana’s growing coal mining sector will require environmentally friendly and processing technologies to beneficiate the vast coal reserves, increase the export quality and conserve water, in line with world class standards, Enprotech head of Sales and Marketing Jayson Jacobs says.
If Enprotech penetrates Botswana’s coal industry, the company can after thorough feasibility studies and confirmatory research, install customized coal floatation and filtration plants to eliminate over-reliance on slimes dams by dewatering ultrafine coal from the main plant.
During the just-ended September 3 to 5 Electra Mining Botswana extravaganza held in Gaborone, Jacobs said: “The Electra Mining Botswana 2013 although a ground breaking event in the country’s mining industry, has provided a window of opportunity to expand our footprint into the local coal mining sector and the rest of southern Africa. This has been largely due to the wealth of comprehensive mining-related date of the continent’s mining industry and technology needs.
“During the filtration process, for the rate of water recovery to be as high as possible, the filter press comes standard with membrane squeeze and cake blow, which reduce the water in the mineral sludge by between 5% and 9%, thereby increased the water recovery.
“Although the filter press technology is commonly used in coal the technological application can be used in the beneficiation of minerals such as iron-ore, magnetite, platinum and a whole lot of other commodities.”
Jacobs said the simplicity of the high pressure filter press machine reduces the complexity of operating and maintaining the machine. While the low capital expenditure and other operating expenses are also beneficial to the client.
Back home in South Africa, Enprotec has over the years developed its patented floatation plant technology, which beneficiates the ultrafine minerals derived from coal waste streams. The introduction of a three-product cyclone used to beneficiate high export and lower Eskom grade qualities, from one-run-of-mine source.
“Although there is a huge investment involved in acquiring the technology, we have installed plants ranging from a minimum of R20 million to R120 million. There are always decreases in prices as more customers come on board,“ he said.
Apart from Enprotec’s coal mining project in Mpumalanga, the company is involved in the turnkey beneficiation of coal reserves in the Tete province, Mozambique. The project which was started in July 2013 will be complete by August 2014.
With the dwindling of coal reserves with mine lives ranging around 50 years, Enprotec’s strategy going forward is to open a branch in Africa that can service the needs of countries such as Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe.