Tech

Multotec technology assists in achieving ESG goals

Multotec, which has exhibited at every Electra Mining Africa exhibition since the show was launched in the 1970s, will have a strong presence at this year’s event, with its in-house experts on hand to brief visitors to the stand on the company’s comprehensive line-up of minerals processing equipment.

“Given that the Electra Mining 2020 was cancelled due to COVID, we see this year’s show as an excellent opportunity to reconnect with our customer base,” says Rikus Immink, who is Multotec’s.

CEO – South African Operations. “The overall theme will be how our equipment and systems can assist customers in realising their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals. We will also be emphasising our strong commitment to South Africa. We are a global group now but we started in South Africa and the country still accounts for about half our revenues.”

Virtually all Multotec’s products can, to a greater or lesser extent, reduce consumption of resources such as water and energy and allow for more efficient operations. A prime example is provided by the pulping chute, a highly innovative concept in fines scrubbing which was first installed at Ekapa Minerals’ Combined Treatment Plant (CTP) in Kimberley in late 2019. More recently it has been successfully trialed at a diamond mine in Botswana.

“The pulping chute performs the scrubbing action faster and more efficiently than a traditional rotary scrubber,” says Immink “It can use recycled water, which is a major benefit, and it also lowers energy costs. Moreover, it involves less capital outlay. We are very proud of this innovation and it will feature very strongly on our Electra Mining stand.”

Energy savings

Other Multotec products which will be highlighted at the show and which are able to contribute to energy and water saving include the company’s classification cyclones, which provide efficient solutions for desliming and dewatering; its ultra-fines spirals, which offer a non-chemical process for fines recovery and allow easy water recovery; its centrifuges and filter presses, which deliver effective solid liquid separation and dewatering solutions; and its screening media, whose many benefits include the recovery of non-chemical water.

Immink also notes that Mato belt cleaners, which will also feature on the Multotec stand, prevent spillage and reduce clean-up requirements. “This is not a product that gets much attention and yet it can play an absolutely crucial role in cutting wastage and in maintaining a clean environment,” he states.

The energy savings made possible by Multotec’s products and systems help, of course, to reduce the carbon footprints of mine sites. “At Multotec we take carbon footprint reduction very seriously and strive to achieve this both in our own operations and, through our equipment, at our customers’ operations,” says Immink. “Multotec equipment that can play a significant role in this respect are our coal spirals, which produce cleaner coal with less energy consumption, our DMS cyclones, which also deliver cleaner coal, and our mill lining solutions, which optimise mill efficiencies, thereby reducing power demand.”

The Multotec products that will be showcased at Electra Mining Africa 2022 are manufactured in South Africa, primarily at Multotec’s extensive facilities in Spartan, Johannesburg, with an accredited local content certificate from SABS.

With global supply chains currently experiencing severe constraints, the ability to manufacture locally represents a major competitive advantage for Multotec. In addition, the company has branches in, or close to all South Africa’s mining areas, offering quick delivery of parts and products, as well as fabrication and refurbishment services.

A recent development in terms of service has been the establishment of Multotec Services, with 51% black ownership. “This initiative reflects our determination to partner with local communities and to assist our customers in reaching Mining Charter targets,” explains Immink. “In essence, we are appointing people from local communities to carry out site services – for example, tile installation and ceramic wear tiling of chutes. We also identify suitable local candidates and small businesses and train them to perform to Multotec standards.”

Immink stresses that to get the most out of Multotec’s equipment, customers need strong backup from Multotec as well as training in product operation and management. “We are very strong in both these areas. On any particular day in South Africa, we will have around 135 engineers out in the field, engaging with our customers, working with them to provide solutions and helping them optimise operations,” he remarks.

“This on-site support is supplemented by intensive training programmes which draw on our almost 50 years of experience in minerals processing across six continents. We can conduct training in- person but we also make use of online platforms and it is by no means unusual for our webinars to attract around 400 participants.”

Commenting on current business conditions, Immink says that Multotec is experiencing almost unprecedented demand for its equipment, as mines ramp up operations to meet the global economy’s current appetite for minerals and metals of every type. “The level of activity suggests that Electra Mining Africa will be very successful and we’re expecting to be very busy at the show,” he concludes.

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