Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy]]> vol. 121 num. 10 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Journal Comment</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>When one tugs on a single thing in nature, one finds it attached to the rest of the world</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Sulphate removal technologies for the treatment of mine-impacted water</b>]]> Mine-impacted water, including acid mine drainage (AMD), is a global problem. While precipitation of dissolved metals and neutralization of acidity from mine-impacted water is accomplished relatively easily with lime addition, removal of sulphate to permissible discharge limits is challenging. This paper presents a high-level comparison of four sulphate removal technologies, namely reverse osmosis, ettringite precipitation, barium carbonate addition, and biological sulphate reduction. Primarily operating costs, based on reagent and utility consumptions, are compared. Each process is shown to be subject to a unique set of constraints which might favour one over another for a specific combination of location and AMD composition. Access to and cost of reagents would be a key cost component to any of the processes studied. The total cost calculated for each process also depends on the type of effluents that are allowed to be discharged. <![CDATA[<b>Are pit lakes an environmentally sustainable closure option for opencast coal mines?</b>]]> The aim of the study is to determine if pit lakes are a sustainable coal mine closure option in South African. The water balance, chemistry, limnology, and bacterial population of three selected pit lakes were investigated. The lakes are in the three major coal basins of South Africa and are associated with different lithologies and mining methods. The major factors driving the water balance of the pit lakes are direct rainfall, runoff, inflow from old mine workings, and groundwater infiltration, with the major losses being evaporation or discharge onto surface. The study indicated that pit lakes can be designed as 'terminal sinks' to provide a sustainable mine closure option. The pit lakes sampled have an alkaline pH, and mostly a sodium/calcium sulphate water with total dissolved solids content of less than 3000 mg/l. The phytoplankton and microbiological data indicates that the pit lakes support aquatic life. The study shows that correctly designed pit lakes can be an environmentally sustainable closure option for South Africa's coal mines. A suggested design manual has been developed to assist mine owners and regulators in developing sustainable coal mine pit lakes as a closure option. <![CDATA[<b>The effect of decarburization on the fatigue life of overhead line hardware</b>]]> Altering the microstructure in order to improve the tensile properties of bow shackles resulted in inconsistency in the fatigue performance. This raises the question whether the inconsistency in fatigue life can be attributed to microstructural changes along the profile of the shackle or to decarburization at the surface. Bow shackles forged from 080M40 (EN8) material were subjected to different heat treatments in order to alter the microstructure. The shackles were subjected to five different fatigue load cases, which represented typical loads experienced at termination points for an overhead power line with a span length of 400 m, with changes in conductor type, configuration, wind, and ice loading. Although the change in microstructure does improve both the tensile and fatigue performance, we found that the depth of the decarburization layer has a greater effect on the high cycle fatigue life of bow shackles than the non-homogeneous microstructure. <![CDATA[<b>Microstructure, microhardness, and tensile properties of hot-rolled Al6061/TiB<sub>2</sub>/CeO<sub>2</sub> hybrid composites</b>]]> T1B2 and CeO2 particle-reinforced A16061 hybrid composites were manufactured using stir casting and hot rolling techniques. The base alloy and composites were hot-rolled at 500°C and a 50% reduction was achieved through 12 passes. The effect of varying TB2 and CeO2 particle additions on the microstructure and mechanical properties of the Al6061 matrix was studied. Scanning electron microscopy showed uniform dispersion of both the reinforcements, with good interfacial bonding. Microhardness and tensile properties like yield and tensile strength were found to be higher for hybrid composite with 2.5% TiB2 and 2.5% CeO2 compared to Al6061 alloy and other hybrid composites. The increased tensile strength is attributed to good dispersion and interfacial bonding between the particles and Al6061 matrix. Fracture analysis using a scanning electron microscope revealed ductile fracture for the Al6061 alloy and mixed characteristics of ductile-brittle fracture for hybrid composites. <![CDATA[<b>Resistance spot welding of a thin 0.7 mm EN10130: DC04 material onto a thicker 2.4 mm 817M40 engineering steel</b>]]> The effects of welding current, electrode force, and welding time in a resistance spot weld were studied to investigate the effectiveness of welded joints between a thin EN10130: DC04 material and a thicker 817M40 part, through analysis of the microstructural and mechanical properties. All welded specimens were subjected to tensile testing at room temperature (25°C) and sub-zero temperature (-46°C) to test the strength of the welded joints. No full button failure was observed at either room temperature or sub-zero temperature after optimization of the weldng parameters. The fusion zone was observed to consist mainly of martensitic phase, due to rapid quenching, while the HAZ was composed of clusters of martensite in a ferrite and bainite matrix. The base 817M40 metal remained fully ferritic after welding. The hardness was found to increase with increasing welding current. An increase in nugget size, indicating good fusion of the weld, was observed with an increase in the welding current. <![CDATA[<b>Correlations of geotechnical monitoring data in open pit slope back-analysis -A mine case study</b>]]> Geotechnical monitoring plays an important role in the detection of operational safety issues in the slopes of open pits. Currently, monitoring companies offer several solutions involving robust technologies that boast highly reliable data and the ability to control risky conditions. The monitoring data must be processed and analysed so as to allow the results to be used for several purposes, thereby providing information that can be used to manage operational actions and optimize mining plans or engineering projects. In this work we analysed monitoring data (pore pressure and displacement) and its correlation with the tension and displacement of the mass of an established failure slope calculated using the finite element method. To optimize the back-analysis, a Python language routine was developed using input data (point coordinates, parameter matrix, and critical section) to use software with the rock mass parameters (cohesion, friction angle, Young's modulus, and Poisson's ratio). For the back-analysis, the Mohr-Coulomb criterion was applied with the shear strength reduction technique to obtain the strength reduction factor. The results were consistent with both the measured displacements and the maximum deformation contours, revealing the possible failure mechanism, allowing the strength parameters to be calibrated according to the slope failure conditions, and providing information about the contribution of each variable (parameter) to the slope failure in the study area.