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Issue Date: December 2005

Everest - getting better all the time

1 December 2005

Bentley Plant Technology helps DRA bring local platinum plant online on time
Aquarius Platinum's third South African project, Everest, will begin commissioning at the end of this year. This is according to DRA project manager, Roger Paton, who is responsible for overseeing the total EPCM project, from engineering design, through procurement, manufacturing, construction and finally commissioning the plant for Minopex to operate.
Everest, situated on the Eastern Limb of the Bushveld Complex, an area of intense PGM exploration, will exploit the UG2 reef. It will be mined predominantly by mechanised wide-reef board and pillar mining methods, with non-mechanised methods being used where the dip of the reef is above 12°. The plant design is based on the concentrator built for the Kroondal Pooling and Sharing project. It has a two mill-float (MF2) configuration and is designed for a throughput of 250 000 t/m. Final concentrate will run at around 200 g/t with platinum accounting for about 59% of the contained PGMs, palladium 30% and rhodium 10%.
South African firm, Dowding Reynard and Associates (DRA), have partnered Aquarius Platinum on a number of projects and the two companies have a successful working relationship. Roger Paton explains, "We offer our clients a comprehensive turnkey service. If our clients deliver the bulk ore sample, we can design the plant, manage procurement and manufacturing, oversee construction and commissioning and then hand over to our sister company, Minopex, to run it. We improve on the design of each successive plant and make every attempt to complete our projects ahead of schedule and below budget."
Minopex operates and maintains all of Aquarius Platinum's PGM concentrator plants and Everest South will be no exception to the successful contractor model created by Aquarius. This process has assisted DRA significantly and feedback from Minopex has enabled DRA engineers to improve plant designs, keeping the plants compact and maintenance friendly, while squeezing extra recoveries from the UG2 concentrators.
DRA attributes a large portion of its success to partnerships with contractors that are known and trusted. At Everest, civil engineering is being carried out by Concor Civil Engineering. Selik Engineering is undertaking the piping, with B&W; Electrical completing the electrical work. Both the mills and the flotation circuit are being purchased from Outokumpu.
DRA has a reputation for coming in within budget and on time, and are working toward the contractual completion date, which is scheduled for the end of January 2006.
For the past 21 years, DRA has specialised in providing technologically advanced mineral processing plants and engineering services and undertakes all aspect of plant design from initial testing and piloting to final commissioning, plant extensions, upgrades and operations.
The model represented in the images was developed using Bentley Autoplant Structural for the steelwork, and Bentley Autoplant Piping for the process piping and generation of 2D Isometric drawings.
Bentley Explorer was used during project review sessions for visualisation of the model during Project development, and also for ongoing inter-discipline clash detection.
For more information contact Bentley Systems, 011 462 5811.

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