Contract crushing and mining specialist African Mining and Crushing (AMC) celebrated a very successful 2018 having implemented plant optimisation processes at most of its manganese plant in the Northern Cape which resulted (on average) in a 40% improvement in throughput availabilities.

Now, with its core business functioning at peak performance, the company is looking to grow and is strategically positioning itself to do new business in the coal sector, operations director ZANE MURRAY tells LAURA CORNISH.

AMC prides itself on delivering the lowest sustainable cost per ton crushing solutions – across the African continent.

In 2018 the company took this business philosophy to new heights after investing in optimising plant performance across three of its manganese crushing and screening plant – including for its client Tshipi é Ntle Manganese Mining’s Tshipi Borwa mine – one of the largest manganese mineral assets in the world.

This article first appeared in Mining Review Africa Issue 12 2018

While the optimisation process entailed minor modifications and tweaks to the plant layout across the three sites, it delivered significantly improved operating efficiencies as a result of providing continuous availabilities of the plant, without additional maintenance requirements.

“This has resulted, on average, in a 40% improvement in our plant throughput capabilities. Consequently, because we are now processing ore so much faster without additional expenditure or wear on the machines, our plant life will also increase,” Murray outlines.

The ability to deliver such phenomenal plant improvements without significant changes bears testimony to AMC’s confidence in understanding the requirements of its business as well as its clients’.

It further showcases the company’s sound understanding of the equipment it operates.

“As a contract-focused business, we encounter multi-faceted challenges across our sites and are always focused on improving our service delivery through lessons learned and open communication with our clients to help them improve their businesses.”

Having now optimised three of its five manganese crushing plant, AMC is best positioned to cater to its clients’ production needs as required, ultimately delivering greater profitability.

Delivering top-level performance on site is also a reflection of the procedures and processes undertaken ‘at home’. AMC’s head office in Bloemfontein houses all the facilities necessary to regularly maintain its existing fleet.

It further showcases the company’s commitment to expanding its fleet which gives it a leading edge when bidding on new contracts. With available equipment, the company can mobilise quickly to new sites or expand production output on existing sites.

“In 2018 we invested in the purchase of a Metso LT140 jaw crusher which can crush anywhere between 500 and 1 000 tph,” Murray demonstrates. “Naturally, we have also started purchasing the necessary equipment to prepare the business to tender on crushing and screening contracts in the coal sector.”

The operations director acknowledges that the demands of a coal operation differ vastly from dense hard-rock manganese applications which require robust, durable equipment capable of handling highly abrasive materials.

As a result of this, AMC has purchased mobile Metso LT1415 impact crusher capable of crushing coal material up to 500 tph. This is the largest mobile crusher in the country Murray believes, “and definitely gives us a competitive edge in the market.”

Having arrived at AMC head office in early December, the objective is to deploy the machine to a coal site as quickly as possible in the new year – either to the Mpumalanga or KwaZulu-Natal coal fields, or even possibly Zimbabwe.

AMC prides itself in having in-depth knowledge and understanding of the machines it purchases and operates and even though the LT1415 is the first in the country, Murray is confident that the company can fully support the machine in South Africa and operate and utilise it effectively – enabling it to compete with smaller, same-value machines.

“The coal sector represents a vast, untapped market for AMC which suits our skills sets and will continue to be driven by the country’s need for electricity.

As a Level 3 BEE rated company, we are well suited to contribute towards their regulatory needs as well. We are now equipping the business to diversify into this new market and hope to secure two or three new coal projects in 2019.”

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