Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy]]> vol. 110 num. 10 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Tensile strength testing of thin spray-on liner products (TSLs) and shotcrete</b>]]> Tensile strength testing has been one of the most common physical property testing methods of thin spray-on liner (TSL) products worldwide. However, the variety of products tested has been insufficient for comparison purposes. Specimen preparation procedures and test parameters such as curing time and loading rate are not reported well. Comprehensive tensile strength testing on 20 TSL products and one plain shotcrete brand was performed over 28 days of curing period. Detailed information on the test procedures with particular attention on the important aspects during sample preparation and test execution are provided. As expected, the tensile strength increases with increasing curing period. The test results make the categorization and comparison of liner products possible. <![CDATA[<b>A comparison of limit equilibrium and numerical modelling approaches to risk analysis for open pit mining</b>]]> Risk analysis is an important step in the design of rock slopes in open pit mining. Risk is defined as the product of the probability of slope failure and the consequences of the failure, and is generally evaluated in terms of safety and economic risk. Most of the risk analysis done at present is based on the use of limit equilibrium (LE) techniques in evaluating the probability of failure (POF) of the slopes. The approach typically makes use of full Monte Carlo simulations of the limit equilibrium models, with all uncertain variables randomly varied. The number of required simulations is generally over a thousand, at times as high as 20 000, in order to produce statistically valid results of the POF. Such an approach is clearly not practical when using numerical modelling programs due to the high computational effort required. This paper explores the impact of using numerical modelling instead of the traditional LE techniques in evaluating the probability of slope failure. The difference in the overall assessed risk, in terms of economic impact, for the mining operation is then evaluated. With numerical models, approximate methods are used in the calculation of the probability of failure instead of full Monte Carlo simulations. This paper will use a method called the response surface methodology (RSM) for estimating the POF from numerical analyses. Simple slope models were used to verify the accuracy of the RSM method by comparing the results with those obtained from full Monte Carlo simulations. It is shown that there is good agreement between the POF values computed using full Monte Carlo simulation and those obtained using the RSM method. Finally, the use of numerical modelling in the assessment of risk is shown to bring a significant difference in the result compared with that from LE methods. One of the reasons for the difference is that LE models tend to underestimate the failure volumes and hence the consequences of slope failure. <![CDATA[<b>Design of Merensky Reef crush pillars</b>]]> The Bushveld platinum group metal deposits are two distinct, shallow-dipping stratiform tabular orebodies which strike for many hundreds of kilometres. Mining is extensive, with depths ranging from close-to-surface to 2 300 m. The mining method is a variation of planar open stoping. Pillars are widely employed to support the open stopes. In the deeper levels, in-stope pillars are required to fail in a stable manner soon after being cut, and the residual pillar strength is used to stabilize the hangingwall. These pillars are commonly known as crush pillars. Little work has been done in the past to determine pillar peak and residual strengths, and pillars have been designed using experience and formulae developed for other hard-rock mines. This has led to over and undersize pillars with consequential loss of ore, pillar bursts and potential collapses. This paper describes a crush pillar design methodology, and provides design charts. Three mining environments were incorporated in the investigations, which included underground and laboratory measurements, analytical solutions, numerical models and back analyses. The results of the study are suitable for the areas where the research was carried out, and may also be applied with caution in other similar environments. <![CDATA[<b>Thermal coal products in South Africa</b>]]> This article captures the intrinsic differences of thermal coal products, their utilization and their substitution characteristics. South Africa produces approximately 245 million tonnes of coal annually. Eskom consumes 46% (approximately 112 million tonnes), 26% (approximately 65 million tonnes) is exported, and SASOL Synthetic Fuels consumes 18% (approximately 44 million tonnes) and a further 9% (approximately 22 million tonnes) is consumed by domestic users in various different industries. Marketing theory contributes significantly to understanding the importance of technical product and quality appreciation and comprehension, encompassing elements of price, distribution, and promotion. Coal product specification is determined by the inherent geology of a resource and the number of complex actions to market the product to a specific consuming market. Sampling, analyses, beneficiation application, and an array of parameters contribute to matching thermal coal products to the value-in-use it provides to the different markets and its consuming industries. Coal producers have come under increased scrutiny since South Africa has been experiencing electricity shortages since early 2008. General misunderstandings were declared on public forums and in the media by both legislators and the South African public since a perception developed that South African coal producers are exporting coal that could be utilized by Eskom. <![CDATA[<b>Pricing of South African thermal coal exports</b>]]> Until 2000, pricing involved profit taking and cost covering combined with limited global published information. Market information was mostly subjective in nature and large resource companies benefited exclusively from aggregated company information and data. The market constituted producers and consumers only. The nineties saw massive cost cutting drives and re-engineering initiatives and this underwrote the structural changes evident in the late 1990s' economy. This supported South African producers on the international FOB cash cost curve, and ensured profitable coal mining operations. As the debate on relative scarcity of fossil fuels ensued, producers and buyers looked to the developing terminal coal market for direction. The much needed direction was provided when the API coal indices were developed and derivative trading was embraced to include financial institutions, trading houses and hedge funds. The liquidity of coal trades increased rapidly and vastly and market information became obtainable on a daily basis. Interpretation of current and future coal prices became available to all market players and contributed to the sophistication of the market that is now able to participate in risk management of prices, capital expenditure and brownfield developments. <![CDATA[<b>A comparison of the processes used during the development of the national mineral policies of Tanzania and Namibia</b>]]> Mining is important to the economies of both Tanzania and Namibia. Recently, both nations revised their national mineral policies to ensure future economic benefit. The main difference in the mineral policy-formulation processes followed by the two countries is identified as the degree and timing of stakeholder involvement during the articulation process. In the case of Namibia, the stakeholders were involved from the start in identifying issues and in suggesting policy solutions. In contrast, the Tanzanian process involved stakeholders after a framework had been developed by a task team. The Tanzanian emphasis was on attracting foreign investment into a traditionally state enterprise system of mineral investment and development. One can argue that the policies developed met the initial requirements, and both are, therefore successful, despite the different processes of policy formulation that were used. However, several fundamental questions arise as a result of the two approaches. This paper attempts to answer these questions by providing a comparison of the processes used for developing and formulating the mineral policies of Tanzania and Namibia. It concludes that the Namibian consultative process is perhaps more sustainable in the long-term because of its wider public support. Time will tell which of these policy-formulation processes provides a basis for sustainable economic growth for developing mineral economies. <![CDATA[<b>Developing green energy projects in Southern Africa - a mining investment approach</b>]]> The demographics and the growing numbers of people provide a strong signal that the demand for electrical power in Southern Africa will grow considerably over the foreseeable future. Without a steady and increasing supply of electricity development of the continent is likely to be constrained. The inventory of solar, wind, hydrothermal, geothermal and biomass resources will probably provide sources of energy for the future The parallels between extraction of natural resources in the minerals industry and the green energy industry is striking, and the well-established project development process in the minerals industry provides an ideal and useful template for comparing the establishment and development of green energy projects. The potential levels of power generation and carbon savings are described. <![CDATA[<b>A new model for compliance and reporting in the minerals industry</b>]]> The modern mining industry is increasingly being tasked to comply with various legal, industry and social prerequisites. In addition to complying with these, the mining industry is further expected to effectively report on their compliance. Although there are many models that aid the mining industry in compliance and reporting, it is perhaps opportune for a new model to be introduced. The Compliance Spindle is postulated as a new and alternative model which is easy to understand and has the possibility of implementation in South Africa and other jurisdictions as well. The Compliance Spindle is also an effective tool to educate future compliance officers. The new model provides for all aspects of compliance and reporting and can be easily modified to take account of new developments in the mining compliance and reporting arena.